When it comes to marketing tools to promote your brand, user-generated content (UGC) is one of the most effective. UGC—photos and videos that a company’s fans create incorporating that brand’s products or services—is a vote of confidence and is more trusted than company-led campaigns. Why? Because people tend to trust when their friends, family members or community leaders give a recommendation on what to wear or buy. It’s more honest and human, without any sales pitch. In fact, 47% of Millennials and 36% of Baby Boomers trust UGC, whereas only 25% of both of those groups say they trust branded content.
And it’s not just about trust. One of the many lessons 2020 taught us is the importance of connectivity in times of need and how a sense of community is paramount to getting through hard situations. Many brands use UGC as a storytelling tool and a way to bring their company and their customers together by creating a deeper sense of relatability and belonging.
Relatability, belonging and trust are only the tip of the iceberg when it comes to how UGC can benefit a brand’s social media marketing strategy. Here are a few other important key benefits to keep in mind about UGC.
Your customers are in the limelight with UGC
Everyone wants to feel seen and heard, and love to feel like they are the “star” of the show. People get excited when their favorite brand shares their posts, because they are being acknowledged and incorporated in the company’s success. Wouldn’t you?
Clothing brand Reformation highlights You In Ref to make customers feel highlighted and celebrated.
When you use content that customers are creating, you’re letting their voices tell the brand story for you. You’re spotlighting individuals instead of an entity; you’re marketing with them, not to them.
UGC provides social currency and community
Another thing people love to feel is when they have access to something special and that they are apart of something that resonates with them. They want the validation that others are buying from you, and therefore, maybe they should too.
Additionally, we’ve all spent the last year indoors away from civilization and UGC is a way to tap into our desire for human connection. The more UGC a brand shares, the more you’re telling customers that you’re inviting them into your world, your community, and they will appreciate that.
UGC saves you money on content creation
Whether it was a small budget or working remote that made organizing photoshoots a challenge this past year, UGC takes away both of those obstacles. Because you’re sourcing content directly from your customers or fans, there’s little to no cost involved. Plus, engagement on social media increases an average of 28% when a mix of user-generated visuals and professional content are both used.
It's a way to cut through the noise and boost ad efficiency
Because there is so much content on the internet and social media, it’s easy to glaze over and scroll past so much content. User-generated content is a way to re-engage your audience that isn’t salesy. Folks find it more authentic and real. Therefore, when it’s used in social media ads, click-through rates go up, and by a lot.
The numbers don’t lie and the proof is in the pudding—user-generated content is here to stay and will boost both social media marketing efforts, but also the sentiment about your brand with your customers. With trust at an all-time low in 2021, brands will need to work even harder to recapture the trust and loyalty of customers this year, and incorporating UGC has proven effective and reliable at achieving both.
Still have questions about how to get started with a UGC campaign or how to incorporate it into your social media marketing strategy? We’re here to help you with a free consultation to figure out the best social media approach in this current climate. Give us a call at 323.596.0606 or email us at email@example.com.