Google has been pushing hard its algorithms and social signals over time emphasizing more on the importance of user-generated content. Its regular updates have even led corporate organizations to leverage marketing strategies based on a user-centric approach. But the question is – why does user-generated content work? Why do consumers believe in the advice of other consumers at such a higher rate?
Before we dive into the answers to this pain-staking yet worthy questions, let us first understand the basic premise of the term user-generated content.
User-Generated Content (UGC) – A Quick Overview
We can define user-generated content simply as – Created by Humans for the Humans.
i.e., any form of graphical media like images, videos, social media posts which you create forms a part of user-generated content. As consumers often question the brands’ credibility when it comes to creating authentic content, UGC serves as the best alternative.
Generally speaking, UGC acts like a collaboration between a brand and a user wherein brands will share the UGC on their social media handles, as well as on their marketing channels to improve engagement.
Types of UGC
With technology booming at a rapid pace, consumers are creating multiple variations of user-generated content. However, out of the entire collection, there are few names which have always been people-friendly like:
• Forum posts
• Blogs / Podcasts
• Social Media Posts/Comments
Why Is User-Generated Content Worth Your Time?
There’s a famous saying – Consumers are your Best Marketers. This holds validity because we as human beings tend to get influenced by other people’s behavior and their actions. Before purchasing a product, we always take a peek at the online reviews and user feedback to understand if that particular brand/product is worth our time and can it be trusted?
For example: If you run a product-based site, people know that your products are good. But, they won’t convert into your lasting customers unless they see real-time feedback and user reviews from other visitors who are purchasing and buying your products.
Online reviews, blog comments, social media posts are multiple ways wherein UGC is affecting a buyer’s journey, but it is also giving marketers a direct approach to drive more engagement and boost their sales. So, UGC is a great marketing strategy for your brand because of the following reasons:
• User-generated content holds more power on customers than the brand
• Having a Positive Online reputation Matters a lot for Consumers
• UGC Impacts the Purchasing Decision of Nearly 80-percent Buyers
How Businesses Leveraged User-Generated Content for their Branding?
With the diversification and corporate trends shifting to a whole new level, businesses had to strive hard to not only engage with their readers but also to build up a trust-factor between them and their customers. In this section, we take you through 3 brands which leveraged the concept of UGC in their campaigns successfully:
Sharing is Caring – Everyone knows the famous English saying, but not every brand implements it. Coca Cola marketing team started this famous “Share a Coke” campaign back in 2011 wherein they got almost 150 common yet popular names printed on their Coke bottles. The idea was to allow their customers to “Share this Personalized Coke” with their loved ones.
The “Share a Coke” campaign was an instant hit and received some great response from customers across the globe. Users bombarded their social media handles with the photographs, videos, etc. praising the campaign wholeheartedly.
In the era of digital entertainment, partners like Netflix, Amazon, etc. are looking out for opportunities to cash in some engagement and generate revenue. Implementing the concept of User Generated Content (UGC), Netflix too recently used the title of “Strange Things 2” in their hashtags to promote the second season of the series.
This gave way for Instagram users to check the official Netflix page to figure out what the real fuss was about. The constant checking out of the official Netflix page gave tremendous traction to Netflix and paved way to some unique UGCs globally. This also helped Netflix to boost its revenue and subscribers count as they generated nearly 1 million subscribers in just 2 weeks.
There isn’t a single soul who doesn’t fall for Apple and its products despite the price range. However, recently Apple underwent an extensive backlash from its customers over camera picture quality, especially in low light conditions. Sensing the threat to its reputation, Apple instantly launched a campaign dubbed as #ShotOniPhone.
Apple believed that the said campaign will help them redeem their customers’ trust, especially with iPhone camera quality. All the low-light photographs which users took from their iPhones were then posted on YouTube under the same campaign name. As the photographs count improved on YouTube and people started checkingthem out on real-time basis, their belief in Apple and its brand values got restored. It also led to two other benefits for the company namely:
The company saved a huge chunk of their finances on development and production cost
This UGC campaign considerably improved user engagements in Apple community
P.S. – The UGC campaign is now an integral part of Apple core marketing strategy from past 3 years without fail.
User-generated content holds the power to improve your return-on-investment and conversion rates. The right strategy can help you boost your market presence and make your business look more authentic and credible in the eyes of your customers.
Did you ever implement UGC concept for marketing your business? Do let us know your experience and views via the comments section below.