User-generated content by a girl who is holding two dresses

In today’s digital age, digital marketing has become an indispensable tool for businesses and individuals.  Digital marketing helps brands connect with their potential customers and target audiences using the power of the Internet and various social media platforms. Marketers are trying hard to come up with authentic strategies to build their brand awareness and make an impact on audiences.  If you are a keen follower of different powerful brands on social media you must have observed that the current Trend in digital marketing is using user-generated content!  But what is user-generated content? Why marketers are so fascinated with using UGC for their marketing purposes? Let us dig deeper to learn more about user-generated content and explore the benefits of UGC that can enhance the social media presence of businesses.

What is user-generated content?

Any form of content, such as text, images, videos, reviews, etc., that is created and shared by individuals who are regular users of a particular brand or website is known as user-generated content (UGC). As the user creates this content by themselves, these types of content can be a powerful marketing tool to attract potential customers.

Benefits of using user-generated content for marketing success

Expanding reach and engagement:

Encouraging users to generate content through branded hashtags, challenges, or contests can spark a viral effect. The users become the brand ambassadors and this help to reach the brand a wider audience. People from the creator’s network are more likely to engage with these posts as they have already trust and connection with the user. 

Building a community:

Starbucks has used the power of UGC in a great way for a campaign known as the #WhiteCupContest. They had asked their customers on Twitter to draw something artistic for their white cups. To motivate the winners, the company announced that the company will use the selected designs for their future cup designs. The campaign received a huge response and helped the company to build a community of its customers. The audience becomes a part of the brand through its content. Once a community is built around a brand, it turns out to be self-sustaining, with users actively engaging and supporting each other.

Fostering trust:

According to a report by Nosto in 2022, 79% of people depend highly on UGC for their purchasing decisions. When real people share positive experiences with a brand, the target audience becomes convinced and is more likely to consider the brand for their personal use.

Leveraging authentic content:

When customers share their unbiased experience about a brand or product it becomes more authentic to other potential customers. Potential customers can rely on the content generated by a real-time user of any product rather than forced advertising. They are more likely to relate to the personal journey of that user and trust the effectiveness of a particular product. UGC leverages this kind of authentic storytelling and creates a more emotional connection between the brand and the audience.

What are the best practices for user-generated content strategy?

Marketers strategizings best practices for leveraging User-generated content
  1. Businesses can organize challenges, contests and giveaways to encourage their users to create and share content. Social media platforms are the best channels to start these kinds of initiatives. The participants can receive discounts or freebies. The brands can also feature the participants on official social media channels. 
  2. Before launching any challenges or contests, the brands should prepare and share the rules with the audience. All the content should have branded hashtags.
  3. The marketing team can shortlist some of the best user-generated content and feature or showcase it on the official platforms. Brands must announce gifts for the short-listed content on social channels to motivate other users to contribute.
  4. The brand needs to engage with its audience, especially the users who are creating content and sharing. Respond to their posts and comments. This communication increases the visibility of the content, strengthens the connection and motivates other users to create content.
  5. Marketers should strategize about the legal and ethical considerations before launching a contest or challenge. The brands should have proper permissions to use user-generated content.

User-generated content leverages ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing. In traditional marketing, celebrities were often introduced as brand ambassadors to encourage the audience to trust the brand. But, the audience is quite smart now and they want trusted recommendations which UGC can offer. User-generated content in social media not only increases the brand’s visibility but also helps create a self-sustaining community. This community will start promoting the brand in a very humane manner with their personal story because they trust and are satisfied with it. What can be a better promotion than this? The marketing world has understood the power of UGC. Different brands are coming forward to take benefit from this scalable, cost-effective way of marketing as much as possible for promotion as well as for creating lasting connections with their audiences in this digital era.

Amrita Chowdhury

Amrita is an experienced content writer who is passionate about weaving words into stories so that they can reach the audience across all boundaries. She is passionate about reaching and communicating with people worldwide through her content.