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User generated content is the cornerstone for engaging your target audience. When done well it is one of the most impactful ways to build real engagement with your customers and create shareable content that drives closer relationships with your brand.
What is UGC?
First of all, what do we mean by user generated content or UGC? UGC is content that has been created and posted by your customers, clients or followers to share their opinions and experiences of your brand. This can be in the format of images, videos, text or audio across online platforms such as blogs, social media and forums. It is often more valuable than your own branded content as it’s been shared by a real customer and is truly authentic.
Letting the numbers talk
The State of Social & User-Generated Content report provides us with some very strong statistics on how valuable UGC really is:
- Consumers rank authentic UGC as the most trustworthy content
- 68.75% of consumers have purchased something they saw on social media
- 62% of consumers report that they are more likely to click on content like ads, websites, social posts, or emails, that feature customer photos rather than an image created by the brand
- 79.69% of consumers look at ratings and reviews before making a purchase
The importance of online content is undoubtably growing, and it is the starting point for virtually all customer journeys today. By sharing user generated content, you are showing how reliable and trustworthy your brand is.
User generated content is social proof – when consumers trust and reciprocate the actions and behaviours of others. This phycological want to reflect a positive emotion or experience is the scientific basis for why user generated content is so important for brands. Digital and social platforms are more influential now than ever, enforcing how amazing the knock-on effects of user generated content can be!
Never under-estimate word of mouth referrals! Consumers are considerably more likely to trust other people over brands. The corporate image of a company and its messaging will often be seen as biased and is less likely to be trusted. However, the opinions of a likeminded person are held in high regard for a customer choosing a product or service. This doesn’t even have to be somebody you know; a consumer is more likely to be swayed by the opinions of real, existing customers, so showing them benefiting from your product will play an important role in their decision to purchase.
Influencers can be the perfect advocate for your brand and play a significant role in connecting their audience to your business through authentic promotions. The use of social media channels are at an all time high, and truth be told, followers look, listen and copy! Considering influencers or micro-influencers in your marketing strategy is a must, as this user generated content helps you reach new audiences.
Now you understand how powerful user generated content is, it is time to implement a strategy. Start communicating with your existing customers to see if they’d be happy to leave a review, tag you in a social post, share on socials, mention you in a blog or type out a quick tweet! User generated content can work wonders in any form, but you need to position yourself to your customers first – let them know how valuable they are to you! In addition, to speed up the process, paid blog posts, online reviews and influencer posts are a great way to get the ball rolling and to ensure you are getting your brand on the tip of everyone’s tongue!
You may also like to listen to this episode of the revitalise and grow podcast, where we discuss ‘Is there a secret formula to going viral?’
Outsource to save time
Good communication will improve all areas of your business – from increasing staff engagement levels and sales, to building awareness in your products and services. But it does require a strategy to be effective. If you’d like to talk to us further about how we can help you save time in your marketing activities, drop us an email at email@example.com or request a call back.