Author: Juliet Carnoy / Source: MarketingProfs User-generated content, UGC for short, is a powerful content marketing tool for brands l
User-generated content, UGC for short, is a powerful content marketing tool for brands looking to resonate with new customers.
That content, created by online users and made available via social media, can consist of photos, tweets, blog posts, reviews, audio, video, and more. UGC a powerful source of creative, trustworthy content for brands to display via their marketing channels.
When a brand scales its content creation with user-generated content, and uses real customer photos alongside branded content in its marketing, it adds a layer of credibility and authenticity both to the brand and its products.
Today’s consumers are digital natives. They are exposed to over 5,000 brand messages and advertisements every day and, as a result, are distrustful of brand messages. UGC, however, is effective at influencing purchasing decisions because consumers trust content that is generated by their peers over content generated by the brand itself.
Three Benefits of User Generated Content: The Case of Real-Life Customer Photos
1. Gain social proof
User-generated content builds credibility and social proof for your brand. Since consumers trust other consumers, displaying UGC on your website is an effective way to influence potential customers to buy. In fact, 51% of US consumers trust real customer photos of a brand’s product more than any other information available on a brand website.
Marketing with UGC becomes even more important as the popularity of online shopping continues to increase. It gives shoppers a real-life view of how customers are using a brand’s products. That authentic lens helps convince online shoppers—who can’t touch or feel your products as they would in a store—to make purchases.
Testimonials and reviews are a large part of building trust for your brand and your products. When paired with real-users’ photos, they make a noticeable impact on sales. Even though online shoppers might not personally know each reviewer, they draw parallels between themselves and the people whose pictures they see on your site.
Featuring real customers on your website reinforces the idea that consumers can trust your brand and products, and that makes people more likely to buy from you.
2. Drive engagement
User-generated content provides an opportunity for one-to-one marketing. Social media users and emerging influencers love when their favorite brands recognize them and spotlight their content. Accordingly, displaying UGC can be mutually beneficial to brands and consumers alike. Brands receive free, influential content, while emerging influencers receive heightened exposure and feel included by the brand. Real-customer photos help to not only build brand awareness but also develop brand loyalty.
Consumers are eager to share content related to brands that they use and trust. But they want direction from the brand itself. Over 50% of consumers want brands to tell them what type of content to share, but only 16% of brands actually do so. Giving your users specific…