Why is user-generated content important for your brand
93% of marketers believe consumers trust user-generated content (UGC) over traditional content created by brands. Since trustworthy content is more likely to attract and convert prospects, 86% of businesses now use UGC in their marketing strategies.
What Is User-Generated Content?
Traditional content is videos, images, and written content created by your in-house team or a professional creator. User-generated content, on the other hand, is content created and shared by consumers – real people who are familiar with your product.
Users create UGC to share their experiences, ideas, or opinions about a product or brand. The content could be an image, video, or written piece published as a review, comment, blog post, or social media post.
Your company can collect UGC from multiple sources and repurpose and republish it on your website, newsletters, or social media to promote your brand or product. Unlike traditional content, brands typically do not pay for UGC. However, brands need to get permission from customers before using their content as UGC.
Why Use UGC in Marketing?
If you incorporate UGC into marketing strategies for your brand, you can expect benefits like:
Create Trust and Authenticity
Consumers create user-generated content based on their experience with a product or brand. Other consumers see such content as more authentic, trustworthy, and helpful than brand-created content made to convince prospects to convert and buy.
According to data gathered by Adweek, 76% of consumers believe UGC is more trustworthy than brand-created content. Also, Elite Daily states that 43% of millennials prioritize authenticity above all else when consuming content.
The more authentic and trustworthy your brand appears, the more attractive you and your product will be to prospective customers. Besides helping you attract and convert more customers, authenticity can help boost customer loyalty and reduce customer churn.
Increase User Engagement
Customers prefer engaging with content that is trustworthy, entertaining, and informative. UGC checks these boxes, making it the preferred content of consumers who are trying to make a purchasing decision. In fact, 84% of millennials state that user-generated content influences what they buy, and 48% of customers believe UGC is excellent for finding new products.
Besides convincing users that your product is their best choice, increasing user engagement with UGC has several other benefits. For instance, sharing a customer’s UGC on your website or social media will make that person feel seen and heard. Customers who feel heard are more loyal and likely to defend your brand and increase their spending.
Also, increasing user engagement with UGC can help you build a community that provides valuable feedback and customer insights. You can use the insights to continuously improve your product and service delivery to keep customers happy.
User-generated reviews and testimonials can help convince prospects that your products are worth buying. However, if you attempt faking your reviews, customers will sense foul play, leading to a loss of trust, which can crash your brand image and sales.
Also, millennials currently make up the biggest percentage of the workforce and have the most purchasing power. These individuals are the most influenced by UGC, with 86% of millennials saying that user-generated content is a good indicator of a brand’s quality. If your brand can get the millennials on its side, it will have loyal customers with the purchasing power to buy your products.
Another way UGC helps drive revenue is by reducing marketing costs. Generating UGC costs far less than creating content in-house or hiring a professional content creator, allowing you to reduce marketing expenses. Also, the cost-per-click of ads featuring UGC is 50% lower than the average ad and generates 4x higher click-through rates.
Influence Purchasing Decisions
User-generated content is one of the most powerful tactics for influencing purchasing decisions. It’s so potent that nearly 80% of consumers admit that UGC influences their decision to buy a product. Also, 71% of customers believe that user-generated reviews make them feel more confident about buying products.
Why is UGC so effective at influencing purchase decisions? It boils down to trust and authenticity. Customers believe the content because other users created and shared it. If several customers create UGC that indicates they had a positive experience using a product, prospective customers will buy the product because they expect to have a similar experience.
The Impact that UGC Has on Brands
More brands are adding user-generated content to their marketing campaigns because of its value. For instance, placing UGC in your online purchase path can increase conversions by 10%.
Also, consumers want to feel more connected with brands, and one of the best ways your brand can accomplish this is with user-generated content. Below are examples of brands that successfully engaged consumers with UGC and grew their loyal customer base.
Braun offers various electrical appliances for cooking, grooming, and more. The varied product line means the brand has products for different customers. Creating high-quality marketing content to promote products to each type of customer the brand served was expensive and tasking.
Braun solved this problem by switching to a UGC strategy that reused content shared by customers who have used their products. The tactic provided Braun with plenty of highly engaging content for each customer demographic the brand served. Braun also saved money because it could use a lot of the user-generated content on its website and social media channels.
Rhone was a men’s activewear brand that had trouble creating high-quality content that differentiated it from its competitors. The lack of differentiation made it harder to attract customers. Also, the cost of churning out professional content in-house and the low return on investment affected the company’s bottom line.
Rhone turned things around with a UGC campaign that delivered plenty of user-generated content that the brand could use in its digital ads. The results were amazing, with Rhone increasing its return on ad spend (ROAS) by 300 to 400%.
Philz Coffee was looking to expand into new markets and grow its customer. However, the company did not have the finances or team to generate content for its marketing plans in-house. Philz Coffee managed to save money and lighten its workload by switching to a UGC tactic.
The UGC plan provided the brand with content created by customers from different demographic, giving the company all the content it needed to break into new markets. The user-generated content used by Philz Coffee led to over 3.4 million Instagram impressions and 700+ visual assets to use in various marketing campaigns.
When Koia launched in 2016, it was the new healthy beverage brand on the block. As a startup, it didn’t have the finances or personnel to compete with visual assets and promotional content from established competitors. The brand overcame this issue by raising brand awareness with the help of user-generated content of customers celebrating retail launches.
Koia used the same strategy in 2020 when it became a direct-to-consumer product. Customers uploaded images and videos of Koia products delivered to their homes. The move generated over 160 user-generated videos and images that Koia used in successful Facebook and Instagram ads.
Cohley Helps You Build UGC Campaigns That Work
Now that you understand the importance of UGC, you are probably wondering how to get your hands on user-generated content. You can gather UGC from social media and other sources, but manually doing this is time-consuming and tedious. A much more effective method is to use a UGC platform like Cohley.
Cohley gives you access to a diverse pool of talented creators who can provide high-quality UGC (videos, images, and reviews) that beautifully celebrate your brand and product. Every delivered visual asset will be 100% yours to use as you please, including on your website, social media, and other platforms.
Book a consultation today to learn more about using Cohley to get user-generated content for supercharging your visibility, authenticity, and sales.
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.