Although user-generated content, UGC, or u-gen content – whatever you like to call it – has been around for a good number of years now, it’s showing no signs of slowing down.
With the rise of bloggers, vloggers and social media influencers, user-generated content has gathered some serious momentum in the world of marketing. With a multitude of fantastic benefits on offer though, it really comes as no surprise.
We explore some of the main advantages in a more depth a little further on but before we do that.
Let’s first answer the question:
What exactly is user-generated content?
Well, funnily enough, user-generated content describes unpaid content that has been generated by the users (or customers) attached to a brand.
UGC could take a whole host of different forms – that’s the beauty of it as customers have creative license over how they engage with (and promote) the brands they align themselves with.
Do you remember a few years back when Starbucks launched their white cups that customers were encouraged to doodle over and upload to their social media accounts using the #WhiteCupContent hashtag?
That is a perfect example of UGC!
Starbucks were able to invest a lesser amount of money and manpower into launching a campaign call to action. Customers then reacted to this and enabled the brand to reap the rewards of the following values.
The benefits of user-generated content:
- It’s a low-cost marketing tool – Aside from any initial marketing materials around the campaign, UGC requires minimal financial input from you as the content is all created by your customers.
- Brand exposure without the need for expensive influencers – Influencers are the new celebrity which means getting them onside comes at a cost. Targeting your demographic with a campaign to encourage UGC is a great alternative.
- ROI is sky high – Due to the fact businesses have to invest so little into UGC, the return on investment is naturally going to be positive.
- It creates trust in your brand – According to research presented by TINT, more than 90% of people are more likely to trust a recommendation from another person over branded content.
- It humanises your brand – As well as fostering a trustworthy reputation, UGC also puts a face (or many faces) to your brand making it more approachable and human.
- It builds a community around your business – You can spend months, years even and thousands of pounds trying to engineer a community around your brand. UGC generates this much more organically and cost-effectively.
- Communicate directly with your TA – rather than speaking to your audience as a general body, you are able to connect with individual members of your target audience.
So, to conclude:
User-generated content is what one might consider an absolute no-brainer.
It requires little effort and minimal funding from you, and once you’ve got the ball rolling, you can sit back and let the benefits listed above simply work their magic.
While we’re on the topic of user-generated content, we’d love for you to share your thoughts on the matter with us via Twitter or Facebook. Is this something you’re noticing has had a positive impact on customer engagement? Let us know!