Just how impactful is user-generated content (UGC) in content marketing? Eighty-five percent of consumers say visual UGC is more influential than brand photos or videos. So, what exactly makes these consumer-created assets so persuasive?
It’s largely the authenticity. When an actual customer shares their review—either as a written testimonial, photo, video, or combination of the three—there’s a significant increase in trust. Rather than taking a brand’s word for it, consumers can see a product or service in action or at least rely on their truth-seeking abilities to determine if a written review is honest.
If you’re looking for ways to collect and share more UGC on your brand’s website, social media channels, or e-newsletters, check out the many benefits of using consumer-created content.
- Reach new audiences
Social media algorithms prioritize content with lots of engagement, and UGC — whether created by an employee, influencer, or customer — drives engagement. This means that in addition to the new audience members you reach through the original poster’s following, your brand may also receive exponential exposure organically.
More visibility increases your brand’s reach and can solidify your brand’s reputation for using UGC, motivating other consumers to create content for you.
Need an example? Check out this TikTok video from Tian Susan promoting TheraBreath, which earned 50.5K views.
- Capture more diverse content
Sometimes, marketers are their own worst enemy, boxing themselves into a corner with a misconception about who their target audiences are or which influencers might be able to sway them.
By leaning into UGC, your brand can pick up content from consumers your team might not have thought to target, capturing a more diverse approach to promotion.
Just check out this Instagram glamor shot from Matt Lars, a Mexican makeup artist and foodie who tagged Sydney-based lash company Lilly Lashes in his post. The brand was so “obsessed” with the image that it reused it on its Instagram page.
- Grow brand followers
UGC comes from a source the original audience trusts; authentic persuasion can do more than just earn your brand some immediate sales. You may gain social media followers, email subscribers, webinar views, or brand ambassadors.
Consumers who learn about your products or services through the original post may visit your brand’s website, e-commerce store, or social media channels. Ensure you’ve got opportunities to capture their attention—and contact information. The path from UGC to brand loyalist may only be one touchpoint away.
- Introduce varied usage
Fashion brands love UGC, with examples showing five different ways to wear a little black dress or a classic white button-down shirt. These types of visuals help viewers feel like they’re getting value from a product’s versatility, and sharing ideas can build a sense of community.
Just because consumers know that your product exists doesn’t mean they know all the ways it can benefit them. Sometimes, all it takes is a relatable post to covert.
Take GoPro, for example. Many think of the tech company as a popular camera brand for daredevils, global adventurers, and water sports enthusiasts. But as sports mom Portia pointed out with her TikTok post about using the brand’s tripod, their products can also be used to record games with a steady hand for college recruiters.
- Save time and money on assets
With users handling the initial creative, your brand can focus its energy and marketing budget on distribution. This can include adding reviews to your landing pages, sharing unboxing videos on social media, promoting giveaways featuring the UGC content, including testimonials in your printed and online promotional material, and repurposing assets in targeted ads.
Best of all, evergreen pieces can be reused and upcycled for years to come, adding assets to your marketing media center for future use.
- Gather FAQs
User-generated content isn’t just valuable for the brand messaging being promoted to potential customers. It’s also a free means for collecting feedback from those commenting or asking questions about the post.
Reviewing engagement under UGC of one of your products might help you discover questions like:
- Is this available in other colors?
- What sizes does this come in?
- Where can I determine what size to buy?
- Is this stain-proof?
- Is this waterproof?
- Can I order this for next-day shipping?
- What’s the refund policy on this product?
- Does this product ship internationally?
- Is this dry clean only?
- What are the dimensions of this product?
Not only can these questions be used to compile FAQs for your brand’s website or e-commerce store, but they may also inform product development.
When TikTok influencer SuzFromTexas posted a video of her trying on Spanx wide-leg jeans, there were quite a few takeaways in the comments. Suzy’s followers asked how snug the jeans felt on her stomach, how much they cost, and what size she displayed.
User-generated content should be at the top of your marketing toolset for 2024. It costs your brand nothing to create, is incredibly effective due to its authenticity, and can expand your brand’s reach to new audiences.