User-Generated Content (UGC) has become an essential part of content marketing strategy in today’s digital era where consumers are always ready to rave about new products or services online. But more than ever, with the global Covid-19 pandemic, this is a golden time that you should not miss on discovering and investing your marketing effort in user-generated content.
Consumers’ shopping behaviour is shifting with more and more consumers ordering goods online so you should be extremely critical about knowing how to be at the top of your content game and going the extra mile in delivering content that is authentic, convenient, safe and effective in return for user’s time and their brand loyalty.
Content marketers are now increasingly incorporating UGC campaigns as part of their strategy due to the benefits UGC provides. User-Generated Content brings many benefits and it is not limited to:
- Increasing sales
- Building customer trust
- Strengthening brand/customer relationships
- Boosting social media reach and growth
- Establishing authenticity/credibility
- Improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
- Support lead generation
In this article, we will provide a brief overview of What User-Generated Content is About, Why is it Effective?, explore the Success Rate and Statistics of User-Generated, Reasons Why You Need To Start and How to Create A Successful User-Generated Marketing Campaign. So be sure to take note of important key points for a successful UGC Campaign plan while reading this article.
What Does User Generated Content Mean?
User-Generated Content (also known as UGC for short) is any content related to your brand that has been created and published by someone who is not an official representative of your business. It can be content of any type, including Product Reviews or Testimonials, Video Content, Blog Post, Social Media Posts.
Why is User Generated Content Effective?
Let’s say you are making a decision to buy a product, who would you tend to trust more?
McDonald’s’ cashier who promotes their new and hot selling seasonal burger or online reviews about McDonalds’ new burger?
You are more likely to trust online reviews or opinions from your friend, family or colleagues who have tried and enjoyed McDonald’s new burger isn’t it?
Ta-da! And this is the power behind user-generated content. It is all about allowing your consumers to create a FREE advertisement for your brand. Before we fill you up with the reasons why you should be incorporating UGC into your marketing plan, here, take a look at these statistics and discover the significance of user-generated content:
Did You Know the Success Rate & Statistics of User-Generated Content?
- At least 48% of consumers discover new products through UGC from their social media feeds.
- 80% of consumers prefer seeing real photos of customers than content created by brands.
- 84% of consumers trust UGC compared to advertising content.
- UGC is a big influence on shoppers’ purchasing decisions with 79%. Shoppers are even willing to wait longer for products with UGC to proceed with their purchase.
- More than 86% of companies are using UGC as part of their marketing strategy with an increase of 28% engagement on social media posts.
- UGC works well at boosting credibility as 87% of brands have been using UGC to share authentic content
- When it comes to millennial customers, user-generated content is 35% more influential than any other type of media.
- UGC videos on brands are seen 10 times more than official brand videos on YouTube.
- For case studies UGC, Burberry’s UGC-focused campaign resulted in a 50% rise in eCommerce sales year over year.
- Lays received more than 22 million visitors per week during the campaign competition Meta page by using social media channels as their primary voting platforms. In that year, sales climbed by 12%.
Now that you have some ideas of how powerful UGC actually is, let’s get right into why you need to start having UGC in your next marketing campaign!
Reason Why You Need To Start User-Generated Content
1. More Engaging and Unique Content
It is important that when you have an online presence, your social media is constantly updated with fresh and exciting content to engage and attract your audiences. With UGC, one of the most prominent advantages is that your consumers can now share their content consisting of your products. It is an alternative where you can use your consumers’ creativity. Of course, with the permission of your consumers to have their content shared and published on your social media. This way, you no longer need to come up with more content creation yourself. If you are out of content ideas, one of the best ways is to always turn to your consumers.
2. UGC is Free or Cheaper in Price
Your consumers are the stars and they get to have fun sharing their photos! Oftentimes, consumers are more than happy to share some fun and awesome experiences while using great products on social media with their followers, friends and family. You can always make a deal with your loyal customers such as offering them free products or services in return for their beautiful UGC images or videos. With UGC, you might get to skip pricey marketing budgets. If you have some budget to search for greater ways to boost brand awareness and drive your brand’s message with UGC content, Influencer Marketing is the perfect choice to dive into. Here, get some insights on how to kickstart Influencer Marketing to optimize your marketing strategy.
3. Trustworthy and Reliable
Customers have a tendency to trust the opinion of others. Whether it is a service or product, consumers are always interested to know what they are going to experience or receive before making their purchase. Back to our previous question again, would you trust McDonald’s’ for promoting their new seasonal burger or online reviews on the burger or how great the outlet has been providing their services to loyal customers. So it is all about creating trust. As mentioned above in the statistics, 92% of consumers trust UGC, recommendations from other people compared to advertising content. Therefore, adding UGC in your campaign helps boost followers’ trust towards your product and your brand.
4. Gain Audience Insights
UGC is a gold mine of data. You can gain key insights by analysing the content your audience shares, which also provides you valuable insights into what your audience finds engaging and how you may improve or drop in your products or services. This comes in handy when you apply the principles of a data-driven content marketing strategy to generate leads and increase sales.
5. Improving Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
If you understand the basics of SEO, you should be familiar with Google suggesting that in order to improve SEO performances and boost growth, content should be:
- New and fresh
- Engaging, interactive and interesting
- Authentic, trustworthy and reliable
- Useful and informative for the audience
- Unlocking long-tail keywords: When consumers search phrases into search engines, this helps when you target these keywords and generate traffic from them. The best part of this is that it is not as competitive as short keywords so targeting and ranking on these keywords are easier.
- Sharing UGC brings higher traffic from social media which ultimately sends signals that boost SEO performances.
With all the criteria above to improve SEO, UGC meets the criteria of new, fresh and engaging content that are authentic and a trustworthy form of content among audiences. UGC content is driven by real-life experiences by customers to provide realistic values to products and brands.
6. Driving More Sales
All of the advantages of user-generated content simply lead up to the final and significant impact – the decision to purchase. With new and engaging content on your social media feed enabling your content to perform well on SEO and ultimately showing up and gaining trust from potential consumers, this whole process of traffic is a major opportunity to drive traffic to your website and ultimately boost sales!
How To Create A Successful User-Generated Marketing Campaign
Step 1. Understand Your Goals & Objectives
Start by defining why you are creating a UGC campaign?
Note down what are your goals and what do you want to achieve from them?
Some of the general goals that you may define are: Awareness, Boost Engagement, Product Launching, Increase Conversions or simply setting your own specific objectives to determine the success of your UGC campaign later on.
Step 2. Who Is Your Audience?
It is very crucial to know who your audience is as they will be the key drivers to your campaign. Here, there are three factors that you should consider.
- Who are your brand advocates or who can help you generate the best UGC content for your brand?
- What rewards will your brand advocates receive? How are they creating it? Where will they be sharing it?
- Create a buyer persona for your audience. Get an insight into what they like? Which channels do they use most? What type of content do they want?
Go in detailed as possible and ensure the best quality and content relevancy to help create a targeted and more impactful campaign.
Step 3. Type of UGC
After knowing your goals and audience, define what are the sources for you to obtain your UGC content. UGC content includes social media, testimonials, product reviews, etc. Here are some examples of UGC content.
The UGC Product Reviews or Testimonials
UGC Video Content
The UGC Blog Post
UGC Hashtag Campaign
UGC Social Media
Step 4. Add Hashtags to Your Campaign
Generate unique hashtags for your campaign and make use of it. That way, you can increase your SEO as well as easily gather your UGC content.
Step 5. Duration of Campaign
To access the success of your UGC campaign, remember to define a deadline that is realistic to actually compare and measure the result of your campaign.
Step 6. Gather UGC content
If you are running your campaign on social media, It is time to gather and select the most valuable and engaging UGC content. When it comes to compiling UGC content, this is about quantity; thus make sure if you are having your UGC over different platforms, it is crucial to compile and manage them into a single feed.
Step 7. Request Content Permission
Aside from knowing the advantages of UGC, don’t forget to always request permission from users and credit the owner when you plan to repurpose their content for your campaign.
Step 8. Making UGC shoppable
Now that you have received permission from advocates, take the opportunity and make your UGC content shoppable by simply tagging your product on the visual.
Step 9. Observe & Measure UGC Campaign Performance
Once your UGC campaign is published, be sure to continue observing your campaign to ensure that it is heading in the right direction. Then after completion, analyze if your UGC campaign is impactful towards your audience.
Embrace the UGC Opportunity
UGC has come a long way in content marketing. It has been applied constantly by well-recognized brands to advertise products and services. In such a quick endlessly changing online community, content needs to be new, engaging and on-trend. Hence, instead of spending time and money planning for an advertising campaign that may be outdated over time, UGC marketing allows brands to stay on the ball and current with new and existing customers.
Still having a hard time getting your hands on UGC? Don’t worry, our marketing team of experts at Kode Digital have been incorporating successful UGC campaigns as part of our content marketing strategies to create amazing brand awareness for our clients.
Contact us today for a FREE consultation and let’s boost your next marketing strategy!