Do you run a business, and if you do, what are you doing to promote your brand? If the answer is standard advertising, instead of using user-generated content, you may be headed in the wrong direction. By not taking advantage of user-generated content, you may be passing by critical opportunities that allow unpaid customers to endorse your products and/or services. Here’s what you need to know about user-generated content and how it can benefit your business.
What Is User-Generated Content?
Some of my clients have heard of user-generated content but aren’t quite sure what’s meant by this term. Simply put, user-generated content or UGC is content (generally digital) that’s been created by consumers who aren’t paid to promote a product they love. UGC isn’t really a new phenomenon since it’s been used for hundreds of years. It’s just that now we have so many different media platforms for making it more available across the world, thanks to the internet and new technologies.
Types of User-Generated Content
User-generated content can be in several forms, such as photos, videos, blog posts, tweets, testimonials or just about any way a happy consumer can promote a product. The common denominator for all these types of UGC is that consumers use them when deciding on products.
- Photos and videos –These are the most popular types of UGC. According to Pew Research Center, 54 percent of adults use their own photos or videos they’ve personally created when sharing online.
- Product reviews – These are another common type of UGC. Besides reading reviews on business websites, people also use places, such as G2 Crowd, TripAdvisor, Yelp, Google and other third-party review sites to check products and services.
- Blogs – Let’s say your business produces a special dog food, and a veterinarian who recommends your brand creates a blog. This is considered user-generated content. Another example is someone who’s a fan of a certain new dessert at a local eatery writes about it in a blog.
- Video blogs – Also known as video logs or vlogs, these are another form of UGC. A vlog is a combination of a video link or embedded video that contains supporting images or text.
- Social media messages – Facebook posts, Instagram messages, and tweets are also user-generated content.
Why UGC Is Important and Why You Should Use It
One of the main reasons you should use UGC, rather than creating your own ads, is because it gives attention to the customer. If your brand isn’t putting your customers first, you can easily lose them to your competitors. UGC surpasses marketing campaigns by sending a constant message where customers relate to your product, resulting in more social interaction, along with improved performance.
By using UGC, it’s certain that more people will hear about your brand and want to try it. Consider how non-paid exposure of a product from satisfied customers can mean a greater investment return from lead generation. Furthermore, we’ve seen statistics that show how most people don’t have faith in marketers. Instead, they trust the average “Joe Blow” on the street more than pushy salespeople and gimmicks.
In fact, according to research, 92 percent of people have more trust in another consumer recommending a brand than they do marketers. What consumers really want to see are positive reviews and testimonials by other consumers who’ve tried products and recommend them without being paid to promote them.
Considerations and Warnings
- Visual is the main method millennials and Gen-Z use to communicate. That’s one reason why Facebook, Instagram and Snapchat are so popular.
- Over 50 percent of internet users post photos or share videos.
- A huge reason why UGC is on the rise is consumers have become immune to radio commercials, television ads and telemarketers.
- Besides switching the dial when an ad comes on, most people don’t even pick up their phones unless they know who’s calling.
- Additionally, if you’re like most people, you automatically delete annoying email ads or toss them in your spam folder.
Get Your Business Evaluated by Peak Performance Digital
Questions? Please contact us at Peak Performance Digital and learn more. When say we are a full-service consulting company, we mean we evaluate your entire business, including everything from lead generation and marketing to sales strategy technology, delivery, and follow-up. We do whatever is needed to help you deliver the best services possible to your clients