User-Generated Content - Why Your Digital Marketing Needs It
Businesses have to keep up with the speed at which trends change and consumer behavior evolves. Creating content that is engaging and drives action is becoming more and more difficult, especially now during the pandemic when marketers lack the time and resources to produce aspirational assets. But, the realization that user-generated content (UGC) can help maximize their digital marketing efforts is not new. Long before the pandemic, brands started to become aware that consumers are becoming less trusting of mainstream media and corporate marketing and are turning to user-generated content for authenticity.
In this article, we'll try to explore some of the benefits that user-generated content brings and explain why your digital marketing needs it.
Creating high-quality content that ranks high in search engine results and converts is hard, costly, and it can take a lot of time. Brands often spend hundreds of thousands of dollars if not millions on advertising campaigns, billboards, and TV commercials without always seeing the desired results.
With user-generated content, brands take a step back while their audience takes over the show.
User-generated content is any type of content, be it text, images, videos, or reviews, that is created by users or consumers about a brand or product. If you were to share an image about the new coffee maker that you bought, talking about how smooth and delicious the coffee is, that is user-generated content.
But, is it actually effective? Can UGC help companies reduce digital marketing costs? Let's look at some examples.
GoPro has helped kickstart the UGC movement when they introduced it into their digital marketing strategy. If you search for "GoPro" on YouTube, you will get 40,000,000 results - that's more than any business can ever produce on itself.
Another great example is T-mobile's break-up letters. When mobile users were afraid to switch carriers because of high termination fees, T-mobile offered to cover the costs if users subscribed break up letters, explaining why they wanted to switch carriers. The camping generated 113,000 letters and more than 67 million social impressions.
Consumers trust their peers more than they do mainstream media or branded messages. A staggering 92% of consumers claim that they trust recommendations from the people they know and 70% say they trust online reviews. Another study has found that 74% of consumers prefer to see pictures and videos of products posted by other buyers rather than professionally shot pictures.
Knowing that others have tried and liked a certain product or service instills trust. And it all has to do with authenticity. Ads or branded content rarely look genuine whereas the content posted by actual consumers is "real and organic." That's why 60% of consumers consider UGC to be more authentic than branded content.
One Adobe survey found that Millennials are spending on average 9.6 hours per day consuming digital content. One of the biggest challenges for brands today is to generate high-quality content at a fast pace. Moreover, some brands are setting the bar even higher by creating content that is personalized and engaging.
User-generated content can help businesses build a content library so that they always have content that they can share and repurpose.
Whole Foods, for example, encourage customers to post pictures of their shopping cart on Instagram, using the hashtag #WholeFoodsHaul. This is an excellent way of generating constant content that is in line with the brand's social media aesthetics.
In a world where the demand for high-quality content is higher than ever before, brands must find ways to keep up with the times and up their game. User-generated content can take some of the load off brands' shoulders and help them connect with their audience and build trust.
Need help with your digital marketing efforts? Contact us at 866-530-2729 today.