Ultimate Guide to User-Generated Content (What, Why, How)

8 min read

How do you make a decision to buy something? Maybe like everyone, you also trust the recommendations of your friends, family, or other people who already have used that product or service.

In short, People trust people! Like what I always prefer, even you too would like to go with other customer experiences before making any purchase. In fact, everyone should go with this trend.

So, basically, this is what I am going to talk about next – “User-Generated Content”.

Increase Authenticity and Brand Advocates
Image Source

Now you might be confused. How is it related to our decisions when it comes to buying or the following something?

But UGC has a clear relation with your purchasing decisions and has enough power to influence anyone. User-generated content is a powerful way to put a positive impact on users’ purchasing decisions.

For instance, your friends and family visited a restaurant and they uploaded their photos related to the restaurant on Instagram. You saw that picture and thought “the place looks good, you should visit that restaurant”. And you made it real. You visited that place.

One more, your friend buys a watch and uploads the product’s photos on social media platforms. You saw that picture and thought “the product is awesome, you wish to buy a similar product”. And you actually buy that watch. 

If I am right, it happened to you. Wonder!

So, exactly what I am saying. User-generated content can influence the decision of anyone.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-Generated Content is any content that is created by genuine users, buyers, or customers of a brand and its products.

UGC can be created and shared on any online platform such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter, Google My Business, Yelp, TikTok, etc.

What is UGC Onstipe

User-generated content could be any piece of content such as images, videos, texts, GIFs, testimonials, tweets, blogs, audio posted on social media platforms, or online sites that makes an impact on people’s opinion regarding any brand or product.

User-Generated Content (UGC), also known as Consumer-Generated Content (CGC), earned media or reviews. 

It completely depends upon customer experience with a brand or its product.  If you are a customer-focused business or brand then your customers are everything for you. 

In other words, they are your marketers where the most trusted form of marketing such as UGC comes from the customers. When customers share their experience about a brand on social media platforms then it influences other people too. 

UGC can turn to be a key feature for marketing teams. 

Mostly user-generated content  generated in the form of text, images, and videos. 

Here are some types of UGC that Brands generally prefer to use for their promotional activities.

  • Social Media Content – Social media is the platform where people share photos and videos so frequently. And this is the only platform that allows people to produce and share visual UGC related to brands, products, hotels, food, and more using their brand hashtags. Whether it is an Instagram post or a Tweet it counts as UGC that gives immense benefits to brands.
  • Blog Posts – Blogs are the way where people can share their views and experiences in a descriptive way. For instance, you are looking to visit someplace for holidays then what you do the first thing. Of course, you read all the blogs that will help you to guide you for traveling. So, blogs are the thing where bloggers share content related to their experiences that help you throughout your entire journey.
  • Q&A Forums – This is the more open and most direct way to talk about any business. Where people asked any query related to a product or brand and customers their honest reply on them. Q&A forums can be negative or positive but brands only use positive feedback for marketing purposes.
  • Ratings and Reviews – Most influencing part of UGC where people check the good and bad reviews of users before making a purchase. There are many online platforms on the internet where customers are completely free to share their honest reviews regarding a product, service, or brand.
  • Video content – Have you heard about Unboxing and Vlog? Yes, this is the part of UGC where people share their views, experience, and reactions through short or long videos. People record their real-time video clips and publish them on video platforms such as YouTube.

User-generated content is the most powerful and rapid way to build trust among people.

Approximately, 7 out of every 10 million social media users are influenced by their friend’s and families’ social media posts about products and services. 

That’s the reason why UGC is so powerful and capable of social media campaigns that empower brands to enhance user engagement by 50% in a quick time. 

In comparison to any brand-created content, UGC is proved to enhance a user’s purchasing confidence.

Why User-Generated Content?

The words are not enough to explain the power of UGC. It comes with so many capabilities that could be a game-changer for any brand.

There are many big brands on the internet that incorporated UGC in their marketing strategy to attract more people and build trust.

There are a massive number of benefits that’s why top brands run user-generated campaigns to market their product and boost lead generation. 

Gone are the days, when brands used to make commercial ads to promote their business and products. Now brands are taking interest in UGC. Because no one is the best promoter of the brand than their own customers.

As you know, People trust People. Customers trust each other and like to go with recommendations and genuine reviews. In fact, in a survey, 79% of people agree that UGC highly influences their decisions before making a purchase. More than a brand itself or brand-created content, they trust consumer-generated content.

UGC marketing is the most genuine way to generate social proof and increase more conversions.

How UGC is So Effective?

Promoting a product with User-generated content is a convenient way to convince people to pay more for your product.

How UGC Effective

As per TurnTo’s research reveals, 90% of users agree that UGC holds more influence over their buying decisions than brand-created content such as promotional emails or videos.

Now we know why UGC is unbeatable and why brands should consider it in their marketing efforts. Let’s dig into the depth of how UGC is so effective?

1. Give a Human Touch to Marketing Efforts

One of the best advantages of incorporating UGC into your marketing strategy is that it puts your customers in the spotlight.

This way you can tell your brand story to your audience through the Voice of the Consumers. As a result, your consumers become your brand advocates that generate more trust among other customers. 

The human touch to a marketing effort generates more revenue and allows brands to build direct relationships with customers. 

Your marketing is now done by your customers and not your employed salesman, hence more trust is generated. Now you have enough power to shape your brand along with your customers.

2. Cost-Effective

For marketers, it is hard to keep everything maintained and under the budget. Sometimes, marketing budgets are strictly restricted. So, User-Generated Content helps you to save a lot and keep things below your given marketing budget. 

UGC is easily accessible and available on social media platforms where millions of people share images and videos online.

Simply, extract this interactive and engaging user-generated visual content from these social media platforms. It will cost you very little or nothing at all.

3. Generate Social Proofs

User-Generated Content is the most trusted and excellent form of social proof that you could ever display to your users. 

If your target is to enhance conversions then UGC such as customer reviews, experiences, and feedback helps you to generate more social proof and make the sale double.

This earned media is proof that you keep the promises that you made as a brand to your customers and how happy your users are with your products and services. 

This helps you to build authenticity and generate brand trust among people.

4. Increase Authenticity and Brand Advocates

Add more honesty and authenticity to your marketing using user-generated content. Authenticity and user engagement are the two top priorities for any brand. 

Brand Advocates
Image Source

To achieve these precedences, brands implemented consumer-generated content into their marketing strategies. 

If your consumer-generated marketing campaign goes in the right way then it can help you to draw a positive and genuine brand image, much better than any brand-focused campaign could.

UGC allows you to make your customers your brand advocates or promoter.

5. Create a Community

User-Generated Content opens the doors for your brands to generate more conversations and make your brand more approachable. 

This helps you to increase user engagement and create a huge buzz around your brand. Also, it helps to create a sense of community for your brand.

The stronger the community builds, the better is the user engagement and the more loyal are your customers to your brand. Not only that, user-generated content helps you to enhance the ROI of your entire UGC marketing campaign in terms of user engagement and brand awareness.

15 Mind-Blowing Stats About User-Generated Content

A few years back from today, no one could ever think that UGC will turn into the most popular and reliable marketing strategy. 

Now UGC has become the most trusted way to increase social proof, conversions, and user engagement. 

UGC can take any brand’s marketing efforts to the next level. Don’t go with my words. Here see some mind-blowing stats about UGC, that surely will excite you to incorporate user-generated content in your marketing strategy.

  1. 88% of consumers agree that they trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations.
  2. UGC is 35% more memorable than other media, and 50% more trusted.
  3. 92% of consumers around the world say they trust earned media.
  4. 47% brands use UGC on their website.
  5. 81% of consumers have said their purchasing decisions have been influenced by social media posts.
  6. Consumer reviews drive 18% more customer loyalty and 25% higher consumer satisfaction.
  7. Brands see 25% increase in conversions when user-generated photos are used instead of professionally made product shots by brands.
  8. UGC can improve conversion rates 6.4% for clothing, 2.4x for jewelry, 1.7x for footwear, and 1.6x for products in beauty and consumer electronics verticals.
  9. 23% of marketing professionals consider influencer engagement strategy for SEO purposes.
  10. 86% of marketers claim they’ve attempted to incorporate user-generated content into their campaigns, but only 27% say they had a strategy for doing so.
  11. 83% of people think a business with a user-generated review on their landing page is trustworthy.
  12. 86% of millennials say that consumer-generated content is generally a good indicator of the quality of a brand or service.
  13. On video platforms like YouTube, UGC fan videos get 10 times more views than brand content.
  14. Sites with featured UGC saw a 20% increase in return visitors.
  15. 48% of customers say that UGC is a great way to discover new products.

Get Started with User-Generated Content

I have covered all the possible information about User Generated Content in this article. Now it’s confirmed that in the coming years, UGC will play a vital role for brands in their marketing efforts. So, what are you waiting for?

Collect valuable user-generated content for your brand and incorporate it into your marketing plans, get a higher conversion rate, generate more conversations and build trust among customers.  

Good UGC always adds more value to your brand. Make your brand more established, spread more awareness, and boost your social proofs by showcasing user-generated content on your website, emails, blogs, or during events.