User generated content, or UGC for short, is any content that has been created, published or submitted by users of your brand. In most cases, it’s the most effective way of marketing! In this blog, we look into what makes user generated content so effective. 

How does it work? 

User generated content can come in many forms; images, videos, reviews, social media posts or testimonials. It’s essentially using your customers’ submissions to take over your marketing efforts – free advertising! 

Here’s a well known example that demonstrates perfectly how UGC works; 

Coca Cola personalised bottles 

When Coca Cola brought out their personalised Coke bottles for their ‘share a coke’ campaign, the world went crazy. The personalisation craze took off, with the iconic coke branding being replaced with the 150 top names of people in every destination. 

To keep the momentum going, customers were asked to share pictures of themselves enjoying a drink with their very own personalised bottle. What happened as a result? The user stepped into the role of the advertiser, essentially doing Coca Cola’s job for them.

Why is user generated content so successful?

There are a couple of reasons why user generated content is so successful, and brands continue to use it to market their products and services. 

UGC makes customers a priority 

Customer orientated businesses are on the up, because businesses have to constantly keep up to date with changing trends. In this fast paced, digitally-run world, attention spans can be snapped away with a click of your fingers. If brands aren’t tailoring their content to their customers, they will begin to look elsewhere. 

Marketing has been around for a very long time, and it’s becoming harder to come up with something that you can guarantee will be effective. Online users are becoming increasingly savvy in knowing which companies are using slimy marketing tactics, and which ones are being genuine, authentic and transparent.

People trust real people 

Unfortunately, marketers can be untrustworthy when it comes to advertising. They’re tasked with making something look the absolute best it can be, even if this means masking or bending the truth slightly! Take these examples below; 

 

It’s no wonder that a recent survey uncovered that 96% of people don’t trust brand advertisements. In today’s digital age, people crave connection, they crave interaction, and user-generated content gives them exactly that. 

Authenticity should be at the forefront of every brand’s marketing strategy, and you can’t get more authentic than genuinely happy customers choosing to share your content by choice! 

User-generated content is cost-effective

UGC is all about the users creating content. In most cases, they’re not being paid to do this and ultimately do it for a number of reasons, whether it’s to share their experience, build a connection with like-minded people, or to have a chance at winning something. 

This is obviously considerably cheaper than chucking thousands at a marketing strategy that could end up being a lot less effective. The beauty of UGC is that the users run your show, while marketers don’t have to empty their pockets on marketing campaigns that may or may not work! 

How can you get your users to create UGC for you? 

To get customers to create content for you, you do unfortunately have to put in a bit of the leg work to come up with a good idea. Here are 3 to get you started;

  • Motivate customers to crate UGC during certain parts of the buying journey 
  • Create eye-catching physical spaces, or fun experiences that people are more likely to share.
  • Ask customers to create some UGC in return for a prize

Still not sure you should be using user-generated content?

In such a fast-paced, constantly changing online landscape, content needs to be quick, snappy and on-trend. Instead of spending weeks or months coming up with a campaign that may well be out of date by the time it comes to implementing it, UGC marketing allows brands to stay on the ball and stay current at all times. 

If you want to learn more about using UGC in your marketing strategy, but aren’t sure where to start, then get in touch with our team! We can help you brainstorm some ideas and really get the ball rolling. Give us a call on 01752 746890 or get in touch. 

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