What is User Generated Content (And Why It’s Important to Your Marketing)

Imagine a relationship that gives you both excitement and stability. Wouldn’t you want it?

Well, if you’re a digital marketer then User-Generated Content (UGC) is your perfect mate. User Generated Content offers a long-term relationship that wouldn’t run out of style ever.

What’s User-Generated Content?

UGC, short for User-Generated Content, is any media content created by users mentioning or referring to your brand and posted in a public sphere by sharing on websites, social media platforms, blogging sites, review or rating sites, etc.

It is simply any content created by people who are not your brand officials, sharing their brand experiences with their family, friends, and followers. The content could be anything, ranging from written materials, blog entries, forum posts, reviews or visuals such as images, GIFs, videos, or audio recordings.

Why User-Generated Content is Important to Your Marketing?

UGC rules the marketing world. Reason being that it taps into the customer’s unspoken desire of getting recognized and being acknowledged. An external recognition or a word of appreciation for your brand, and that too, by your original customers, adds value to the confidence and affinity users have in your brand.

This further encourages them to share your brand-related content with their family and friends through social media platforms (and this benefits your brand obliquely).

93% of users find UGC advantageous while making a purchase decision while 86% millennials find UGC as a key gauge of a great quality of the brand (source). UGC is not an entire replacement of any marketing strategy rather it is the secret sauce that enhances the effectiveness of your entire marketing arsenal.

Having that said, there are many more benefits that answer the above-asked question- Why user-generated content?

Let’s have a look at some of those reasons.

1. Authenticity

User-Generated Content is the ambassador of objectivity. This objectivity comes from the fact that UGC is created by real and genuine users of your brand. They are not endorsing your brand because they are being paid to do so but just because they are actually satisfied with your brand’s product and services.

60% of consumers say UGC is the most authentic form of content (Source).

Hence, when you incorporate user-generated customer reviews on your websites or display them as your digital signage, you present the authenticity of your brand and showcase its social acceptability among your user base. Hence, the overall user trust in your brand is escalated.

2. Engagement

User-Generated Content is inherently engaging. The main source of user-generated content is social media. We all know how addictive social media is. It is one of the most used tricks to enhance user engagement.

Based on Meltwater’s study, UGC has 73% higher CTR (Source).

So, when you display user-generated social media content to your audience, either through your website or through social walls in events and digital signage, your users are automatically intrigued by it and encouraged to post on social media using your hashtag so as to become a part of your social wall’s display.

One great example of an effective social wall was in the Cisco employee hashtag campaign. It made great use of a unifying theme with a world map and pulled together tweets from all around the world demonstrating good engagement.

E.g.- Taggbox is an amazing social wall vendor that displays aggregated user-generated content from multiple social media platforms and helps you engage the audience at your events or on your websites. This is a great way to encourage user participation and interaction with your brand, thereby improving the overall ROI of your marketing campaign. You get the superpowers to spread word-of-mouth marketing even beyond your target circles.

3. Conversions

User-Generated Content is the key driver of conversions for your business. UGC presents social proof, thus building user trust, and convincing them to make the final purchase. This helps you to increase the percentage of website visitors and event-audience finally converting into customers.

Comparing conversions between with UGC vs without UGC.
UGC helps increase conversions by 161% across industries. That's such a huge impact! tell a friend

Running UGC Contests is one of the most tried and tested way to drive conversions for your brand. It opens the floodgates of user engagement for your brand.

The #MyCalvins campaign connects celebrities with typical consumers like us. When viewing the image galleries on the website, visitors can see the consumers who submitted the photos. Then visitors can make the purchase by clicking on the picture.

Another great way to improve your conversion rate is by embedding user-generated social media content at the point of sale which acts as the point of inspiration too simultaneously. Thus, your conversion rates are improved immensely.

4. Community-Building

User-Generated Content is a great way to build a strong and loyal community around your brand. This community not just helps you to grow but also advocates for your brand being your loyal customers.

UGC campaigns act as a great platform for your community building exercises. It helps you build a deep connection with your customers.

UGC campaigns = great way to build a strong community around a brand (Source).

UGC is like the unsolicited content that comes directly from your customers. Your users value the positive UGC that you display on your website or in your events or as your digital signage. It helps to build user’s trust in your brand. This trust, in turn, binds your customers with your brand as a community, thus making them a long-term customer of your brand.

5. SEO Perks

88% of customers trust user-generated reviews as much as they trust recommendations from their family and friends. Now just imagine the impact that embedding social media feed on a website (created by your users) would have on your conversion rates, dwell-time, the relevancy of the website, and the overall ranking of your e-commerce website.

The study shows that organic traffic page visits increased over the span of 9 months by adding customer reviews to website pages.

User-Generated Content has the ability to serve your customers with social proof at every step of their purchase journey. At the same time, it gives marketers an amazing opportunity to drive potential traffic to your website. This helps you improve your ranking in the search listing on Google. In fact, the report shows that those websites that incorporated user reviews as part of their website content experienced an increase in their search engine ranking. Isn’t that great?

6. Brand Awareness

User-Generated Content initiates a chain reaction where when one user posts something on social media about your brand and following that other users also starts posting similar content about your brand. This user-generated content is available to the multiple social circles of your loyal customers, thereby spreading brand awareness.

The Share-a-Coke campaign remains a great example of a highly successful user-generated campaign to increase brand awareness. The campaign allows people to personalize Coke cans.

User-Generated social media content is one of the most popular and favorite move of marketers to exploit the vast reaches of social media to spread a word of mouth marketing for your brand and spread relevant information about it. 84% millennials and 70% baby boomers agree to the fact that user-generated content has at least some influence on their purchasing decision.

User-generated content can influence the buying decisions - 84% millennials and 70% baby boomers. Tell a friend

7. Saves Resources

User-Generated Content is a gold mine of information and data that is often underestimated. And if we consider social media as a source for user-generated content, it is like an infinity pool. You can keep diving in deep and it will never fail to serve you with new and undiscovered content. Hence, it saves you a lot of time, money, and efforts overall which can be efficiently invested somewhere else making your marketing campaign more robust.

Rather than let content lie dormant on social media, you can leverage the user-generated content in your email marketing campaign. For example, Foot Locker sent out regular emails featuring images of customer posts to increase conversions.

Also, incorporating user-generated content into your marketing strategy, such as email marketing, saves you from the daunting task of creating new content constantly. This frees your resources to be used to achieve other marketing goals. Also, once you have successfully launched a UGC hashtag campaign over social media, you basically set a constant source for new and fresh content for your marketing purpose, that too, user-generated content, the best form of advertising content. All you need to do now is just aggregate and moderate the user-generated content.

8. Gain Audience Insights

User-Generated Content is like direct feedback from your audience and users. Nothing could be a better form of insights than user-generated content in order to improve your marketing strategy. Now, this audience/user insight could come in various forms and types.

Be it customer reviews, comments, images, videos, tweets, or any other form of social media post.

This audience insight could be both positive and negative. Positive feedback is always desired but negative feedback is equally important. You can always showcase your positive feedback and learn to improve your drawbacks from the negative feedback. User-Generated Content thus helps you gain audience insights that can help you better your marketing campaign, thus making it more robust.

Lastly…

Discover what kind of content your audience is excited to create for your brand/event and engage them by giving them an opportunity to create user-generated content for your event/brand. The results will really shock you. The amazing benefits user-generated content brings along for your marketing campaign are really incredible.

User-Generated Content is a great choice for events. The audience at events is always excited about interacting with the user-generated content displayed on a social wall or as digital signage. They readily post on social media to become a part of your displayed user-generated content. UGC  for websites is also an amazing way to improve the overall performance of your website and drive potential traffic to it thereby growing your online business.

So, what are you still waiting for? Start incorporating user-generated content and start experiencing the amazing benefits for your marketing campaign.


I’m Anne Griffin and I’m a digital marketer and technical writer. I’m passionate about exploring and writing about innovation, technology, and digital marketing trends.

About Guest Poster

author avatar

This article was submitted by one of our guests. The author’s views are entirely his or her own and may not reflect the views of BuildThis.io. Interested to write for us? Click here to learn more.

Connect with Guest Poster: Twitter . Facebook .