User-generated content (UGC) is any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands. It is an original, brand-specific content created by customers and published on social media or other channels. The customer-centric content can be used on social media and other channels, such as email, landing pages, or checkout pages.
Where does UGC content come from?
Your customers are usually the most prominent cohort you’ll look to gain UGC from, either because you’ve asked for it or because they’ve organically decided to share content about your brand.
Those are the most dedicated customers, they’re typically the group that’s most enthusiastic about your business. Since loyalists are so passionate about worshiping at the alter of the brand, this audience segment is ripe to reach out to and ask for specific UGC content.
Employee-generated content (EGC) shows the value and story behind your brand. For example, photos of employees packing or making up orders or a video of your team talking about why they love working for your company. This behind-the-scenes content helps establish brand identity and works across social media and ads to show authenticity.
Why is user-generated content important?
Takes authenticity to the next level
Nowadays, brands have to fight to be seen online, and competition is fierce for audience attention. As a result, buyers are more selective about the brands they interact with and purchase from. Don’t be tempted to fake your user-generated posts or campaign. Audiences will quickly sniff out the false sentiment, which could seriously damage your brand reputation. Instead, always ensure that your UGC comes from one of three cohorts: your customers, brand loyalists, or employees. People ultimately trust other people, so it’s essential to think of UGC as the modern-day word of mouth.
Acts as a trust signal
Brands need to work harder than ever to establish themselves as trustworthy. Audiences turn to UGC as a trust signal in the same way they’d ask their friends, family, or professional network for an opinion. Over 50% of millennials base their decision to buy a product on recommendations from their family and friends, so this is where UGC can shine since it is precisely that: a personal recommendation.
Increase conversions and influence purchasing decisions
User-generated content is incredibly influential in the final stages of the buyer’s journey, where you’re looking to convert your audience and influence them into making a purchase. UGC acts as authentic social proof that your product is worthy of buying. For example, your audience sees people just like them wearing or using your product, which influences them to decide to buy.
More cost-effective than influencer marketing
The average cost of hiring an influencer can run into thousands or millions of euros. The average cost of asking your customers to share posts of them enjoying your product? Next to nothing. UGC is a cost-effective way to scale your business and introduce a new marketing strategy to the mix. There’s also no need to invest a lot of money in hiring a flashy creative agency to produce brand assets or content for your campaigns. Simply connect with the most important people in your business: your audience. Most will be excited to be featured on your channel.
For smaller brands or those just starting out, we recommend that you start with UGC. It is cheaper and easier to manage than investing in larger-scale brand awareness campaigns.
Follow KO Agency on social media for weekly updates, peek behind the scenes of KO Agency and discover more useful tips & information about the digital world.