A 2019 report indicated that 45% of the world’s population (roughly 3.5 billion people worldwide) is active on social media. Thus, the advent of user-generated content (UGC) as a viable marketing tool utilized by more and more businesses, established, and startups alike. UGC is any content (photos, videos, text, reviews, etc.) created by private individuals or consumers in various social media channels. The objective of brands and businesses now would be, of course, to figure in as much UGC as possible as it is now a viable advertising strategy. The brand may then share UGC on its own platforms.
People on social media create and share posts anywhere between three and thirty times each day. Multiply that by more than three billion users and what you get is a piece of vast advertising machinery that costs nowhere near that. And this is why if you own a business or thinking of starting a new one, utilizing UGC to your advantage can only bring your business benefits and growth.
Why UGC Is Important to Businesses
There are three key reasons why UGC is a vital marketing strategy for any brand or business.
UGC is perceived as more authentic
Research shows that consumers are about twice more inclined to believe UGC is more authentic than brand-created content. For instance, an actual stay-at-home mom using a particular food processor brand will likely resonate more with audiences than a Hollywood icon photographed with the same piece of appliance.
Consumers trust UGC more
Instagram has been somewhat of a go-to atlas for millennials. It’s been found that 30% of the members of this generation would not patronize, say, a restaurant if it does not have a compelling presence on the said platform. Ninety-two percent of consumers trust word-of-mouth or 5-star recommendations from people they know on Instagram. Set up a stand-out profile on Instagram for your business and share a lot of UGC with real-people testimonials.
UGC influences people’s purchase decisions
Nearly 80% of people on social media have attributed their purchase decisions to be influenced by what they read from other users. As a business, cover all the bases in social media platforms, including the Stories or Highlights channel. And, again, do not forget to share a lot of your brand’s users’ testimonials and content.
How to Maximize UGC on Social Media
Ask any technology public relations expert, and they will attest to how vital social media channels can be in helping your business thrive. In fact, a tech PR team can benefit your business more by managing your social media campaigns for you altogether.
Create brand desire among your audience
UGC is instrumental in sparking a desire for a particular brand. If users see plenty of exceptional posts regarding a specific brand or product, it is human nature to want to “belong” to the exception—those who’ve tried the brand than to be part of the norm—the rest of the population who have not. One way to do this is to share exceptional UGC without fail. Another effective strategy is to use influencer marketing. Tap on social media influencers who can make your brand more desirable to all their followers.
Inspire brand loyalty
It is not enough to just make people want your product or service so that consumers try your product out for the first time. The next step is to build loyalty to your brand, which aims to generate more sales over the long term. Remember that users who post and share about your brand have tried out your product at least once. And that their experience with it was meaningful enough for them to create a post about it. Value and harness this kind of UGC as it is the beginning of what is potentially a long-term customer connection.
You can do this by sharing their content and crediting them for it. Doing so allows your users to feel significant and valued. Elevating users to this satisfaction level motivates them to remain loyal to you.
Enhance your content library
By staying in touch with UGC, you continuously handle what’s considered relevant and fresh among consumers. This should provide you with tons of practical ideas on creating your own ad content that will genuinely connect with your target market.
Social media channels have rapidly become a standard in business strategies. They are now vital to developing meaningful connections with consumers that, in turn, can drive long-term loyalty to your brand apart from boosting online sales. Share exceptional UGC and create a visual that makes your brand desirable among them and inspires them to act on such desire.