User-generated content (UGC) is created and published by unpaid contributors based on their experiences on social media platforms. In other words, it is the content created by customers and brand advocates. It is not by employees or official representatives of the brand. The content may include anything like images, text, reviews, videos, poll responses, comments, or discussion forum posts.
User-generated content can be a major marketing asset for any business because users willingly publish it on different online platforms. This makes it more reliable, authentic, creative, and trustworthy. No wonder more and more businesses are realizing the importance of user-generated content and designing campaigns to boost it.
It has been shown that an estimated 90% of consumers say user-generated content (UGC) holds more influence over their buying decisions than promotional emails and even search engine results. It is obvious that user-generated content cannot be ignored, a fact further highlighted by the following statistics:
Consumers rank authentic user generated content as the most trustworthy content
- 70% of Gen Z and 78% of millennials find user-generated content helpful with purchasing decisions
- User-generated content on social networks has a 28% higher engagement rate than branded content
- Over 69% of marketers feel ratings and reviews are important to their conversion rates
- User-generated product videos are more successful in producing emotional intensity—84% for UGC compared to 77% for branded content
- Consumers are 2.4x more likely to perceive UGC as more authentic than branded content.
These are just some of the statistics that show how important user-generated content is to your marketing strategy.
Some common sources of user-generated content include:
- Social media channels
- Online reviews and testimonials
- User-generated content platforms
- Hashtag contests
- Community forums
- Discussion boards
Benefits of user-generated content
It’s more effective
Gone are the days when consumers could be easily influenced by advertisements featuring paid models depicting fake stories. Today, consumers want more authentic content, which is exactly what user-generated content is. Content created by a user inspires your audience and helps you stand out from the crowd. It proves more effective when it comes to instilling confidence in potential buyers.
Promotes brand advocacy
Brand advocacy is when people who love your product or brand share their positive sentiments with the audience. These are basically your loyal followers who can openly praise your brand. content creates social proof among the potential customers and turns them into loyalists, who promote your brand in their social circles.
When your potential customers are more likely to trust an existing customer’s experience than an ad run by the business. Personal recommendations are always more reliable than advertisements. Consumers find such content more authentic, relatable, and trustworthy.
A user-generated content campaign can help a brand reach a much wider audience and gain enormous exposure quickly and effectively. Hashtags are a great way to encourage your users.