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The State of UGC: Using AI to power your UGC and content strategies

In the current digital marketing world, customers seem to have more sway over each other’s purchasing decisions than marketing campaigns themselves. This trend has caused a shift in how brands market on social media, and UGC strategy has become a secret weapon for the success of a brand. In large content ecosystems where the barriers to enter are high for small businesses, AI helps to level the playing field, and changes the way data and UGC interact on the platforms. Overall, our studies show that 59 percent of respondents report that AI tools greatly assist their efforts to target campaign content better, and 97 percent said AI comes into some level of play. Read on to learn more about why you should pay attention to AI tools when it comes to taking your UGC and content strategies to the next level. 

Audience targeting and measurement

AI is incredibly effective in powering UGC strategy because it provides special pattern-matching algorithms that speed up the audience targeting process. Instead of a marketer manually going through hundreds of UGC photos to assign and activate the best pairs across numerous channels, AI works to identify those images that will perform best with a particular target demographic. This significantly expedites the content selection process, which immediately leverages a company’s UGC strategy. Marketers will be able to keep up with the massive content volumes and will not have to allocate extra time for audience targeting and measurement.

Ways AI is already helping UGC strategy at scale

Image Recognition

Image recognition is one of the key aspects of AI that helps with UGC strategy. AI tools have the ability to interpret and categorize the subject of an image or video. A company can use the image recognition feature of AI to help with content moderation in their UGC strategy. For example, if a company relies heavily on social media reviews to fuel their brand recognition and online presence, they can use image recognition to ensure that any UGC actually contains images of their product. AI image recognition also helps with pattern-matching for audience targeting and measurement. 

Dynamic Display Advertising

Dynamic display ads are highly effective marketing tools that appear on users screens based on their past search history and purchases. Using AI to create dynamic display ads allows a company to target audiences in new and innovative ways. AI uses signals from a platform’s algorithm to analyze a user's search browsing history and personal website content. Signals can range from behavioral search keywords to search interest groups. 

The most common dynamic displays used in UGC and content strategy are re-marketing advertisements. Re-marketing display ads appear for users who have either previously interacted with your online shop in some capacity. Display ads can also be responsive, and AI can even determine which ad format is best suited for each user. If a user is historically more responsive to text ads than solo images, a text box with an interesting fact and CTA may appear on their screen. 

Spam Detection

With the rise in popularity of UGC strategy, spam content has also increased. In UGC this is especially important to pay attention to, because spam accounts can both spread false information about a brand, and create negative brand associations. To eliminate content violations, you can use AI tools to automatically detect any spam content. This AI action is similar to its  image recognition capabilities. 

Predicting Customer Behavior

AI tools are able to mine data from social media platforms, news sites, reviews, and sales to predict what customers are expecting from a company, or what products are expected to increase in popularity. These powerful AI tools can also account for the current economic conditions, and how much customers are willing to spend in any given period. Using this information to help generate more effective and curated ad campaigns is crucial for creating a successful UGC strategy. An AI tool acts as a company’s “listening device” for its audiences. 

Making E-commerce more human with AI and UGC

In any digital campaign, it is crucial for consumers to be able to relate to the ad. Creating relatability within an ad campaign will likely convert the everyday consumers into buyers. It all starts with personalization, people love trying things on and testing out products. By using AI, e-commerce businesses can work to create that personalized and relatable experience virtually. Companies like North Face have implemented AI into their online shopping experience to create a “brand expert guide” that helps lead the consumer to purchase. This technology removes the problem of having too much information, by guiding the consumer to what products they would like based on their shopping history. 

Read more about utilizing your UGC effectively here.

Making the e-commerce shopping experience more human means that authenticity is the most important driver for its success. Studies show that consumers are more likely to trust customer photos and reviews than company stock images. Adding visual content in the form of UGC is a great first step towards creating a more relatable consumer experience. Implementing AI brings the consumer experience to the next level by adding personalization. 

The promise of UGC as a marketing tool has continued to increase with the expansion of digital marketing. AI tools allow businesses to keep up with important consumer and industry trends so that their UGC content is curated accurately. Using UGC content increases the relatability and authenticity of the brand. 

Want to learn more about incorporating AI into your UGC and content strategies? Head to the Cohley site to get started.