Marketing Tactic – UGC – How it is defined
User generated content took the world of business and marketing by storm. It has astonishing effects and the outcomes were brilliant. The abbreviation UGC is used majorly for this incredible marketing tool USER GENERATED CONTENT.
To elaborate it further here is a definition. User generated content is any form of content such as video, blogs, discussion form posts, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by consumers or end-users of an online system or service and is publicly available to others consumers and end-users.
At various places the other terminology used for User-generated is consumer generated media(CGM).
Any type or form of content which has been developed and shared out on digital platforms by unpaid sponsors or more precisely by any brand’s fans. The content could be pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, and everything in between and shared with the purpose of users/ clients or sponsors promoting a brand rather than the brand marketing team.
It is so clear that UGC is another one of those marketing buzzwords. In fact, it is a fact that ugc cannot be considered as a fad at all. It has been producing spiraling effects for the campaigns and there is no way this is going to stop.
Perks of using User Generated Content
In this present world where the competition is getting strong every day and the consumer is getting more and more aware as well. The very challenge for the brands is to come up with planning and strategies that can help them stand out and not fizzled out of the consumer mind very soon.
All expert content marketers are progressively integrating User Generated Content campaigns as part of their content marketing strategy due to the advantages UGC provides. Here are few of the benefits:
- Building up sales number
- Increasing and building Customer Trust
- Establishment of brand/customer relationships
- Hike in Social media Followers
- Growth of social reach
- Enhancing authenticity/credibility
- Developing SEO value
Effectiveness of User Generated Content
The most powerful and unique characteristic of UGC is that it taps into consumer trust and relationship building. It has pretty much solved the problem marketers faced about the downfall of trust and credibility with prospective and existing customers.
Experts says that it has been observed in various studies that people would be more likely to engage with an announcement if it contained user generated content. Let’s see what impact user generated content creates
- Building authenticity and credibility
If someone tells you that a customer taken image of the product will create more impact than the high-profile photograph taken by brand. It won’t be exaggeration. Various research studies have been consistently showing that consumers are more likely to believe a peer review or word-of-mouth account over promotion material created by a brand or organization.
It is the human nature that they like and prefer to hear the stories about product and service from their alike or need word of mouth to trust a brand.
Customer accounts, and their real experiences leads to more genuineness, and more credibility.
The logic behind user generated content being more credible is that brands are not taking the lead in promotional content instead the clients share their feedback. The element of objectivity in a customer review is powerful. But brands need to remember there is not certainty about what the customers will create.
Let’s take a look on the available user generated content platforms before we further talk about the advantages UGC can bring to a brand
Best Platforms for User Generated Content
- Shop Socially
It is a shopping community app that is designed to automatically captures and displays trending products gallery to enable product discovery and conversion on any website, including Facebook pages.
It is a hosted social platform which displays UGC at strategic points throughout the customer’s purchasing journey, such as customizable social hubs, landing pages, and social competitions. Plan starts at $1,000 per month.
It is based on a social search algorithm and display platform uses hashtags to search for and bring together public social media and display in one streamlined embedded view. Includes real-time accumulation and moderation.
This amazing platform links with customers’ visual/graphic content through a brand hashtag or by influencers and has an embedded rights management tool to assure user rights. This platform charges and is priced per event or begins at $425 per month.
This platform produces a product wall from ongoing, current dialogue through its question-and-answer display place, sorted by relevancy, volume of conversation between the users, and most recent chat. It is a paid tool for UGC.
This UGC platform is content based and mainly uses contests and sweepstakes to generate content walls on social networks, in the form of custom landing pages, and also offers pin-to-win Pinterest campaigns.
This multi-network UGC search engine curates and provides customer-provided photos on product pages, category pages, and home pages. It further converts UGC photos/graphics into shoppable ads on Instagram.
This expert platform accumulates consumers’ UCG across all social networks. It provides a platform to receive rights and publish with full disclosure on ecommerce, in physical stores, advertising, marketing materials, and more. In addition to that it has an Instagram shopping app
This incredible UGC platform interweaves customer-created photos and conversations from friends, family, and like-minded shoppers. Retailers can showcase the most viewed, bought, or discussed items to encourage discussion and buying.
Knowing these platforms is important but what more important for the marketers is to know the advantages they can get by utilizing these platforms. They also need to know what challenges will come forward while using these incredibly efficient platforms to plan their strategies accordingly.
Key Advantages of User Generated Content
- Efficient Resource Consumption
It has been observed through various researches that content marketers constantly quote insufficient resources as their supreme content marketing challenge. UGC can help save organizations their time and financial resources by outsourcing content creation to consumers.
- CONTENT CURATION
UGC is principally considered within the content curation family. Content curation encompasses tracking, interpreting, and sharing the best and most related third-party content with a brand’s audience.
Listed here are few benefits of content curation that a marketer must be aware of:
- Develop brand awareness
- establish credibility as a thought leader
- Rationalize lead nurturing
- Enhancement of social media metrics
- Building progressive SEO
- Support lead generation
- SOCIAL MEDIA REACH AND GROWTH
Social media channels are a great deal for UGC campaigns, given both are characteristically based on dialogue. Therefore, executing a UGC campaign on social media channels such as Facebook and Twitter are an outstanding approach to strengthen brand/customer relationships.
It’s critical for an organization to respond to user content. This enables more meaningful interaction and encourages other users to submit content.
Such kid of interactions is equally beneficial for both brands and their customer. Recent researches have shown that “75 percent of customers are likely to share a good experience with their brands and purchases on their own profile.”
Moreover, scheming a social media-based UGC campaign increases social stream of traffic, which will result in below listed advantages:
- An increase in the followership
- More Reachability of Content
- Improved brand awareness
- Enhanced social metrics such as likes, shares, comments, retweets
- SEO INCENTIVES
Another remarkable benefits brands can get from UGC campaigns is that they can boost SEO value. In a latest research it has been found out that “25 percent of search results for the World’s Top 20 main brands are links to user generated content.” Positive customer reviews can raise any brand’s SEO ranking. In addition to this brand needs to analyse the most frequently used words and phrases their audience uses in order to improve their keyword optimization research.
- UNDERSTANDING YOUR AUDIENCE
Another remarkable advantage of UGC is a brand can find more about the consumers. Many of the times this advantage of UGC is ignored. Brands can gain key insights by scrutinizing the content their audience shares. This activity leads to better understanding the audience and what they find appealing. The answer to the question that how to generate more leads and enhance sales is here. Just apply the principles of a data-driven content marketing strategy.
So, once you decide to use the data driven strategy conduct an assessment of content your audience generates. If there are reviews and discussion forums then notice what customers are complaining about—and improve on it. User generated content is a gold mine filled with nuggets of content data.
- VARIETY OF CONTENT
The content created by the customers is different from what the brand team generates hence it builds a great pool of appealing content. This is a substantial advantage. It brings to the brand, a fresh perspective and a varying point of view from the audience members. It helps to publish content which is interesting and boosts engagement.
Brands can always customize and personalize the content. Researchers argues that one of the most important way to get your target audience to notice and engage with content is to comprehend what resonates with them. So that UGC strategy can be aligned.
The best way to use this feature is to ensure that you don’t limit it to content creation. Consider the aspects of different digital media channels and formats of a UGC campaign to ensure your audience is inspired to contribute.
An awesome example featured by Forbes is Dell’s Idea Storm. This UGC campaign let the users submit recommendations on improvement of Dell products both existing and upcoming. The success of the campaign was huge that the brand got 15000 suggestions in first five years of campaign. What they did best is they applied 500 of them in the form of various modifications.
This campaign came up with the process where audience were given a platform to provide feedback on other customer ideas as well. Consumers were given the chance to submit votes, comments, and contribute in “Storm sessions.”. The brand was literally showcasing it to the audience the number of recommendation implemented by the brand in its products.
Challenges of UGC
Like advised before that a proactive marketer needs to be aware of the challenges involved when designing a UGC campaign.
- REGULATING CONTENT
With the benefit of variety of content there is a downside of user generated content too. It can also lead to undesirable content by consumer/ audience. This challenge comes with a responsibility to be keen about such content and responding to it intelligently. Such comments, reviews and content need to be responded with right answers in a timely manner.
Keep in mind that letting your audience engage in healthy discussion and debate makes for valuable, interesting content. Brands needs to ensure that discussions remain productive by course-plotting and controlling conversations.
- LEGAL RIGHT ISSUES
Whenever a UGC campaign is active the brand needs to make sure that their users/ audiences are aware of the ownership and usage rights. Considering the relative novelty of UGC, researching about copyright laws will be a bit of extra work. This needs investment of time and resources but this will lead to awesome results if the users end up generating good content.
- TRUSTWORTHINESS OF SOURCES
Another challenge is about the reliability of content. When it comes to review boards and discussion forums it is not clear that who is providing the feedback and review. Or if the review is factual or well informed one. Which makes it more challenging for the brand team and users both. However, if the brand is handling a forum plagued with incorrect information and Internet trolling, it could affect the brand in a very bad way
We highly recommend that you archive this writing about UGC as it gives a great deal of information on perks and challenges in addition to identifying the best platforms.