How user generated content affects brands
User-generated content (UGC) marketing may be the rage among brands and marketers today, but the model isn’t new. Since the first humans started trading, consumers have shared opinions about products, and their opinions have influenced the buying decisions of other consumers. That’s what UGC is – customers sharing their opinions, experiences, and ideas about products they’ve used.
Can UGC benefit your business? More brands wouldn’t be incorporating UGC into their marketing strategies if the benefits of user-generated content were not many and worthwhile. Keep reading to discover how UGC can play an important role in boosting your brand visibility and attractiveness to supercharge customer acquisition and sales.
Why Is UGC Important for Brands
Brands are taking advantage of UGC to access these benefits:
Wide Reach and Exposure
When customers create content about your brand (UGC) and share it on their social media, blogs, and other platforms, their followers see the content. The more customers share such content, the more brand exposure you will get. For example, if you have a hundred customers, and each customer shares UGC with a hundred followers, tens of thousands of people will discover your brand.
You can encourage customers to create UGC and share it on their social media by launching contests, viral challenges, and branded hashtags on social platforms. Also, since user-generated content is 42% more effective and 6.9x more engaging than content created by brands, a UGC campaign will convert more people. In fact, according to a Nielsen report, over 60% of consumers trust user-generated content over content created by brands or influencers.
When you increase your reach and exposure with UGC, you can look forward to benefits like:
- A higher follower base
- More web traffic/page views
- Increased brand awareness
- Boosted social metrics (likes, shares, comments, and retweets)
Lastly, getting customers to upload content about your brand or product on social media will give you access to a stockpile of UGC that you can use in marketing campaigns. When you have loads of fresh content, you can frequently post on social media to increase your chances of popping up in the feeds and recommendations of potential customers.
Trust and Authority
A 2020 Edelman study showed that 70% of customers prefer brands they can trust. Another study indicated that 68% of customers are willing to spend more when they trust a brand. These stats prove that you cannot afford to take the trust of your prospective and existing customers for granted.
One of the easiest ways to build customer trust is using UGC, such as user-generated reviews and testimonials to your advantage. According to data gathered by Adweek, 76% of consumers believe UGC is more trustworthy than brand-created content.
Customers find UGC more trustworthy and believable than brand-created content because UGC comes from fellow consumers who have used a brand’s product. Unlike brands and influencers, consumers typically do not create or share content to convince people to make a purchase. Instead, they create UGC to share their view of a product or brand, which is why customers consider UGC more honest and helpful than influencer and brand-generated content.
Do you still doubt that user-generated content can help you build trust and authority? If so, know that 84% of millennials state that user-generated content influences what they buy. Also, 48% of customers believe UGC is excellent for finding new products, while 86% say that user-generated content is a good indicator of a brand’s quality.
Diverse and Creative Content
One of the top benefits of user-generated content is its diversity. Since every consumer has a unique voice and perspective, the written, video, or image content each one will create about a brand will be just as different. The diversity will give you access to different content you can use in your UGC campaign across various digital channels.
Creating similar content in-house or hiring a professional will cost more, limiting how much content you can get. Since you can source UGC from the comments, reviews, and posts of hundreds of social media and website users, you don’t have to worry about such constraints. You can get as much user-generated content as you want for as long as you want.
However, while UGC is typically free, you will need to get the creator’s permission before using their content. Asking for permission from hundreds of creators may sound like a lot of work, but it’s an issue you can easily overcome with a UGC platform like Cohley.
Online Community Building
Your online community will grow as you use more user-generated content because the customers who created the content will feel seen and heard. Customers who believe you are listening feel more engaged and eager to provide UGC to boost your brand awareness. The bigger your community becomes, the bigger your online presence will be, leading to better brand visibility.
70% of marketers believe nurturing and building a brand community is more valuable than direct sales. Why? Building an online community leads to a family of loyal customers who engage with your brand and share feedback that can help your brand improve. Also, loyal customers are more likely to defend, patronize, and promote your brand offline and online.
What Is the Impact of User-Generated Content?
UGC has changed how businesses go about getting content for their digital channels. Since UGC costs less than hiring a professional content creator or creating content in-house, brands have been able to lower their marketing costs.
The effectiveness of UGC has also helped brands get a better return on investment from marketing campaigns. For instance, inserting UGC into your online purchase path can increase conversions by 10%. Below are examples of brands that have benefited from incorporating user-generated content into their marketing and customer outreach:
Turbie Twist is a hair towel brand that had trouble generating authentic content that engaged and converted its target audience. Switching to a user-generated content strategy provided the brand with large quantities of visual assets that Turble Twist used to reach prospects on different platforms. Using UGC on Amazon helped Turble Twist to increase engagement by 54% and conversions by 44%.
Rhone’s content was not differentiating it from other activewear brands, so customers were overlooking its products. The huge sum Rhone was spending on its underperforming content also negatively impacted the company’s bottom line.
Things turned around for Rhone when it switched to a cost-effective UGC campaign that delivered user-generated content suitable for digital ads across various channels. Switching to UGC helped Rhone increase its return on ad spend (ROAS) by 300 to 400%.
What Does a Brand Need to Be Successful at UGC?
The benefits of user-generated content are many, but your brand will only get the desired payback if you execute a UGC campaign correctly. Below are what you need to launch a successful UGC campaign:
Yes, you can get user-generated content from your many customers, but not all of that content may fit your brand voice and marketing goals. If you want the highest-quality UGC with top-notch visuals, you should work with a professional creative team.
Creatives who understand your brand voice and target audience can provide you with visual assets tailored to fit your unique needs. You can optimize your outreach by working with creatives from different backgrounds and reach prospects within various demographics.
If you stick with getting UGC from customers, you should have moderators. A moderator will help you source content and filter out the unsuitable ones, leaving you with visual assets you can use in your campaign. Moderators can also help with collecting permission to use a creator’s content. Depending on your preferences, a moderator can be human or automated software.
LOTS of Creative
Finally, you will need loads and loads of content. The more user-generated content you have, the more prospects you can attract and engage. Besides getting fresh attention, regularly publishing user-generated content will keep you at the forefront of customers’ minds.
The content could be images, videos, or written pieces published as reviews, comments, blog posts, or social media posts. The important thing is the content is positive, and your brand or product is its main subject.
Get Diverse and Plentiful Creative with Cohley
Instead of hiring several people or using multiple tools to be successful at UGC, save time, money, and effort with an all-in-one UGC platform like Cohley. Cohley connects brands with a diverse pool of talented creators who provide high-quality UGC tailored to match brand and marketing goals. For instance, you can get product reviews written alongside photos showcasing your product in use.
With Cohley, you can skip the hassle of asking each creator for permission to use their content. Also, every visual asset delivered by Cohley will be 100% yours to use as you like on any platform you choose.
Book a consultation today to learn more about boosting customer engagement, brand visibility, and traffic with user-generated content from Cohley.
Written by Parker Dietz
Parker is a staple in our marketing team - Our Marketing Manager brings with him an intimate knowledge of the platform, and is our go-to on technical topics, and user behavior. With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.