What is User-Generated Content in Social Media? Why is It Important?

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User-generated content on social media refers to content that is original, brand-specific content created by customers and published on social media or other channels. UGC is more influential than brand-made content, as customers act as non-official representatives of a business, influencing their followers’ buying decisions. In today’s digital age where content strategy is crucial for brands, UGC has become even more important.

This article explores the importance of UGC for marketers and different types of UGC. Keep reading!

Why is User-Generated Content Important?

So let us dive straight into the discussion of why UGC is important for brands and businesses. User-generated contents help the brands cater to the increased needs of their customers. There are significant other importance of UGC for businesses. Take a look at the discussion below –

Brands get unique contents from the customers

As social media has become a part and parcel of our day to life, customers like to generate content about the brands they like on our social profiles. Especially, when a product satisfies the customers and offers them several benefits and rewards, they can share it with their community in various types of contents and indirectly become the ambassadors of a brand. In this way, brands can get a lot of unique and exclusive contents about their products along with the data about the potential audiences in relation to their products.

Recommended reading: Tips to Help You Publish Awesome Content That’s Helpful To User.

UGC establishes brand loyalty and grows community

Customers can get a unique opportunity to participate directly in a brand’s growth through UGC. This increases brand loyalty in a great way as UGC can allow the customers to be part of a brand’s community.

UGC also helps open up conversations between a brand and consumer, which in turn increases the level of brand interaction and helps build and grow an engaged community. By developing audience/business relationships, UGC can contribute greatly in driving more brand loyalty.

Using User-Generated Content to Build Trust

In the past, some companies have used false advertising to promote their products or services, making it hard for people to trust them. Due to the rise of fake news during the pandemic, only 9% of Americans have a high level of trust in mass media. This is not unexpected considering the increase in fake news during the global pandemic in 2020.

For brands to gain the trust of their audience, they need to work harder than ever before. One way to establish trust is by using user-generated content (UGC). Studies show that 93% of marketers agree that customers trust content created by other customers more than content created by the brand.

UGC serves as a trust signal, similar to how people ask for recommendations from their friends, family, or professional network. Millennials, for example, base over 50% of their purchasing decisions on recommendations from people they know. UGC can serve as a personal recommendation, making it an effective way for businesses to build trust with their customers.

Learn more: How to Collect User-Generated Content?

Flexible UGC: Versatile Marketing Strategy

User-generated content (UGC) is a versatile marketing strategy that can be used across multiple channels. It is not limited to social media and can be incorporated into other marketing campaigns as well, making it an omnichannel approach.

One way to use UGC is by including images in abandon cart emails. This helps to persuade potential customers to complete their purchase. Moreover, adding UGC to important landing pages can also help to improved conversion rates.

Calvin Klein is a best example of a brand that has successfully used UGC to their advantage. They created a landing page solely for UGC content, featuring real customers wearing their products. This provides shoppers with genuine endorsements from real people, showcasing how the products look on regular individuals rather than just models.

Overall, UGC is a flexible and adaptable marketing strategy that can be utilized across various channels to boost engagement and drive conversions.

Authenticity can be taken to the next level

In this present world, brands have to compete online; because competition is a must for audience attention. Buyers have become more selective about the brands they interact with and purchase from, especially those who are passionate about authentic content. Nowadays, marketers agree that authenticity and quality go hand in hand, which can be provided by the user-generated contents.

However, as a marketer, if you fake your user-generated posts or campaign, audiences can quickly sniff out the false sentiment and this can ultimately damage your brand reputation. Rather, think of utilizing UGC as the modern-day word of mouth. So this is the time to invest in an authenticity-driven social media content strategy now.

Read also: How to do Competitor Analysis for Social Media

UGC can increase conversion and influence purchasing decisions

User-generated content can speed up the purchasing process, and increase your brand’s conversions. It becomes incredibly influential in the final stages of a buyer’s journey where converting your audiences to buyers and influencing them into making a purchase is very much important.

By being an authentic social proof of a product, UGC shows the customers that your product is worthy of buying. For example, when your audience sees people like them wearing or using your product, this can ultimately influence their decision to buy and try your product.

You can also read: What are the key Benefits of Influencer Marketing in Bangladesh?

UGC is cost-effective compared to influencer marketing

The cost seems almost next to nothing when you ask your customers to share posts of them enjoying your product. So it is certainly a cost-effective solution if you do not have that much budget to invest into influencer marketing.

For smaller brands who are just starting out, UGC campaigns can be considered cheaper and easier to manage. You just simply need to connect with the most important people in your business which is your audience base. You will see that most of them will be excited to take part in your UGC campaign and get featured on your channel.

Read also: How Much Does Google Retargeting Cost for Google Ads

Attracts the users easily and generates quick feedbacks

UGC is a great way to attract users to your brand because of its flexibility to integrate into marketing strategies well. When a user eventually spreads a content about your brand on your social platforms and as a brand, you encourage that content by commenting on it or interacting with the user, you are actually motivating the rest of your community to do the same.

Thus, it creates a great feedback process that can attract users and increase the visibility of your brand.

What are the Different Types of User-Generated Content?

For social media marketers, it is a must to have a variation of different types of user-generated contents as part of their marketing strategy. There are many styles and formats of UGC that can actually help you find the right fit for your brand promise.

Here are 7 types of UGC that you can start with if you are considering to explore this tactic for your brand promotions:

1. Social media posts from followers

Social media posts become UGC when one of your followers posts something about your product or brand on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and platforms of these kinds. One can simply post a subtle review on your product that can work like magic and boost up your brand image significantly.

Because, the person who is doing this may have family and friends who are able to get to know about your product from someone they trust. In this way, chances also increase that they will also try your product sooner or later.

Sometimes, bigger brands tend to partner up with strong online influencers, artists, or anyone who has a huge follower base in any social media platform. They also come up with user-generated content to motivate their fan base trying out the product. Thus, this recommendation increases the opportunity to open up a huge market of potential customers who you want to capture for your brand.

Read also this article: What is the Best Time to Post on Social Media?

2. Reviews and testimonials

Online reviews and testimonials can work like magic as real users can help your brand create its authenticity which can help gain the trust of your target consumers, And this can happen even before you target consumers who want to buy your product.

Studies have shown that consumers are greatly influenced by customer reviews while making a purchase decision. And in this way, good reviews on your product can act as an instant promotion for your brand.

3. Articles & blog posts

Blog posts appear to be similar to reviews and testimonials, however, they can offer a more extensive experience of your product when the users share those on their social media platforms.

If you want, you can partner up with some writers, publications, or content influencers who can showcase your brand in their blogs by displaying your products, sharing their experience with it, or doing a how-to video. These types of organic contents can really help boost your brand image among a wide range of audience base.

Check out this article: Things to Know When Hiring Content Writing Services.

4. Videos

It is needless to say, videos can attract users on any platform. With the popular social media sites like Youtube and Instagram where people see most of the UGC contents, videos can work very effectively. People can share their full experience about a product or brand in a subtle manner which can naturally make the relevant audience base become interested about your brand. Video marketing campaigns are effective for telling stories visually that cannot be understood in the thousand words of a photo.

A popular mode of UGC using video is the unboxing video of a product that helps customers experience a product visually by creating a sense of desire to buy the product and experience it by themselves.

5. Survey sections

It is seen mostly in the case of the ecommerce platforms who have a public Q&A or survey section where customers and you, the brand, can engage in a fruitful discussion about your products. Customers can also ask questions by themselves.

The pro tip here would be: In terms of having a public Q&A forum, you need to make sure that you leave no stone unturned as a brand. It’s very much important to answer each question, even if they are repetitive, to help build a strong brand-customer relationship.

6. Case studies

This type of UGC can greatly help you target a specific market where you are seeing a boom of your products. For example, if you are selling baby foods, you can say that 8 out of 10 moms trust your brand. And this should be backed up by the right research and feedback from your audience. In this way, case studies can help influence your potential customers with a collated outcome from the previous users who have already tried your product.

Read also Identifying Target Audiences For Social Media Marketing Campaign.

7. Interactive events for customers

From product launches to learning seminars and forums, you can engage your customers with interactive events which eventually can help generate good user-generated content. Because during your hosted events, customers can share their own experiences and interactions with other users on their social media platforms by creating a buzz about your brand.

Events are also helpful to provide your customers the first-hand experience with your product which is pretty much desirable among them.

What is the Role of User-Generated Content in Marketing?

User-generated content plays a significant role in marketing by providing social proof, building brand trust, and increasing engagement with the target audience. It is an effective way to showcase real customer experiences and opinions, which can influence the purchasing decisions of potential customers.

What are the Advantages and Disadvantages of UGC?

User-generated content (UGC) has both advantages and disadvantages for businesses and marketers. Here are some of them:

  • Advantages: UGC is often more authentic, diverse, and budget-friendly than content created by brands or companies. Plus, it can increase engagement with your audience, which is always a good thing.
  • Disadvantages: UGC can be of low quality and may have legal concerns, including copyright and privacy issues. It can also contain negative content, which could harm your brand’s reputation. In addition, creating and managing UGC can be time-consuming, so be prepared to invest some resources.

Recommended Reading for you: How to Create User-Generated Content?

Final Words

Now you know that UGC is very important for getting a valuable audience base. Because, a good UGC can add significant value to the brand.

With the promise of showing people the capability of a particular product or service, UGC works significantly by spreading awareness, and boosting social proof during the purchasing process.

Frequently Asked Questions

A Q&A (questions and answers) forum can provide an area for the community members of a brand to ask and answer questions.

Influencer marketing can enable businesses to collaborate with individuals who have a great follower base on social media. These influencers can help increase brand exposure and companies may ask a person with a large follower base to publish any social media content that promotes their products or services.

Yes, as long as users give consent and credit is given where due, user-generated content is legal and ethical.

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