Have you ever gone to a Cafe, ordered an Oreo Milkshake & both the appearance and the taste of that drink was so good that you wanted to share a photo of it with your friends or on your social media profile? This is exactly what UGC (User-Generated content) stands for.
What is the definition of UGC?
UGC is counted as any form of video such as Photos,videos, articles or posts that a user of your product/service shares across their social media profiles to increase your brand’s awareness & audience engagement.
The history of UGC
According to Notso, the first ever mentions of visual UGC on social media was in the early months of 2005 by the BBC, when the london bombings and the buncefield oil depot fire was taking place. Citizen journalists gathered around the disaster to take notes & journal the events resulting in 5000 photos shared from viewers.
User generated content marketing has become a big marketing strategy for B2B & B2C companies since then; of course this isn’t without a reason. UGC helped countless brands to increase their website traffic and engagement, build trust among the new & existing customers, increase their follower counts & encourage customers decisions & persuade them to purchase their product/service more willingly.
User generated content examples
Stranger Things has become One of the biggest TV Shows on Netflix. Users took upon themselves to relate to the characters in the series and create memes or gifs and tagging Netflix’s social media resulting in a reshared post made by one of their viewers.
Following Adobe’s Photoshop app that’s being used by most of the graphic designers in the world, users attempted to create gorgeous templates & posts using the elements present in the app & this resulted in Adobe sharing the user’s post on their social media profile to both give credit and to increase the awareness of both the content creator and the company.
Starbucks is known as the Apple of the coffee industry. Since the early 2000’s the company changed people’s daily routines and gave a new meaning to coffee and other related drinks.
Starbucks meant status to anyone drinking their products & so people started to share their “status” at their social channels.
More UGC = More customer trust
Establishing trust among your customers could be a daunting task that requires time, energy and effort. By encouraging your audience to share your service/product among their feed and offering a reward in return for the best UGC, you could use this technique to your advantage & give the visitors of your business social channels an overview on how your product/service looks. Be careful though, what you’re selling should be well prepared & clean;
For example, UGC could be quite bad for a restaurant business if they sell burnt pizzas or place outdated mozzarella cheese in their meals, the specified audience may get enraged and instead share a bad side of your business that discourages further people from purchasing from you.
Influencer Marketing? Nah, How About UGC Marketing?
Nowadays anyone knows that hiring an influencer, even a local one, can cost you thousands & even millions of dollars. Sure, these influencers are recognized by the majority of the people in your business area & people may take your entire stock if their favourite influencers recommend your product/service to them, but there’s a much more cost-effective option that you can implement with little to no cost and that is, you guessed it, UGC Marketing.
To do this, just simply connect with the most important people in your audience & offer them to test your product or even give them discounts and offers to increase your brand loyalty.
In this article we described what UGC means, how your business could benefit from it & some UGC examples from the top industries in the world. Remember, if you want to implement UGC to your content strategy, make sure to set goals first and ask customers what they would like to see in your business. Once you have a clear UGC goal, be sure to add them at your social channels, media posts & even your website to increase brand awareness & loyalty dramatically.