You know that eager feeling when you give a gift and hope it is just right and appreciated.
Of course, a follow-up thank you card or text is satisfying. But the clincher is when you see the person using the gift. And, better yet, posting about it in their social feed.
The same goes for brands. We don't usually know the customers who make online purchases, but we sure hope they enjoy the items they receive. In fact, many companies base their core mission on delivering great products that people love.
So when a customer posts about the brand and shares photos of themselves using products - it's incredibly gratifying. You know they like what you do, and that feels good.
Additionally, the mention conveys a genuine "thank you" that is viewable to thousands.
In the world of ambassador marketing, this social appreciation is called user-generated content or UGC.
The benefits of user-generated content go way beyond feeling good and being recognized. This article covers the definition of UCG and why it is so amazing for marketers.
WHAT IS USER-GENERATED CONTENT?
First, let's cover the user generated content definition.
UGC is any material, such as text, pictures, videos, or reviews, that users produce. Unlike most other material, companies do not create this content. Instead, think of UGC as anything conceived by the people and shared for the people.
Individuals produce and share UGC from their own perspectives and experiences. User-generated content stems from users' viewpoints, ideas, and beliefs. Social media platforms are the primary outlets where users create and share their own content.
The scope of user-generated content is tremendous. According to eMarketer,
“Every day, user-generated content (UGC) is part of the online experience of millions of U.S. Internet users. From entertainment to communications to e-commerce, consumers are taking charge of the creation, distribution and consumption of digital content.”
WHAT IS USER-GENERATED CONTENT IN SOCIAL MEDIA?
Nearly everyone is on social media. We engage with Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, and TikTok -- creating and devouring social posts for hours on end.
Social Pilot published some statistics that emphasize our attachment to social platforms.
- 60% of Instagram users log in at least once every day.
- On average, 1.82 billion people log into Facebook daily.
- U.S. adults spend an average of 38 minutes a day on Facebook.
User-generated Content on Instagram
The leading channel for user-generated content is Instagram. In fact, 995 photos are uploaded on Instagram every second. (OmnicoreAgency)
If you want to see how many photos have been uploaded on Instagram today, check out this live website: wouldyouhavethought.com. It's pretty amazing!
Instagram is ideal for sharing images and short videos. Many of these photos center around brands and the experiences they inspire.
With users producing important content almost every day, brands have an opportunity to capitalize on the trusted, valuable material.
Many savvy marketers enhance brand credibility by sharing user-generated content on Instagram with their audience. Also, UGC is incorporated into ads, websites, and other marketing material.
Organic posts that feature your goods and services that users create are powerful. We'll cover the many advantages of UGC in the next section.
WHY BRANDS AND MARKETERS CRAVE USER-GENERATED CONTENT
In many cases, we use social media as a means of connecting with others. And while people are meeting up, a natural by-product develops--trust and loyalty.
Here is where the sweet spot for brands and marketers emerges.
Expand Awareness and Reach
When people become aware of a product, they theoretically enter the marketing funnel. During the awareness phase, they discover that they have a problem or unmet need.
So the search begins. Potential customers look to solve their problem through search engines, social networks, customer review sites, and online communities.
70% of shopping enthusiasts turn to Instagram for product discovery. FACEBOOK for Business
Most of these sources utilize user-generated content as their primary source of material.
Marketers can harness the authenticity of user-generated content to build brand awareness and expand their organic reach.
Leverage Relationships and Trust
Marketing activities have a higher chance of connecting with consumers and their followers when brands build on the relationships users already have. Thus, brands that harness the power of UCG in the social media ecosystem position themselves far ahead of their competitors.
Friends and families commonly meet on social media. When they do, the environment is inherently trustworthy. Social platforms lend themselves to word-of-mouth interactions where people discuss the things they enjoy and dislike. This is the modern-day equivalent of word-of-mouth.
77% of consumers are more likely to buy a new product when learning about it from friends or family. Nielsen
Capture UGC in Wooly's Social Feed
Brands running their ambassador programs on the Wooly Platform have a real-time view of all the user-generated content being created and shared.
It's super easy to download any UGC and repurpose it for all kinds of marketing and communication ideas. What a great gift!
Lower Customer Acquisition Costs
CAC or customer acquisition cost is the sum of all sales and marketing expenses you incur divided by the number of new customers you acquire. This metric let's you know on average what your company spends to bring in a new customer.
User-generated content can significantly lower your CAC.
For instance, retargeting is one of the simplest methods to get potential customers interested in your products. But you don't have to spend your marketing budget on Facebook or Google Ads. Try encouraging existing customers to post about your brand and share user-generated content.
In fact, your current customers can become your brand ambassadors who can produce and share continual content.
Brand ambassadors can work in tandem with you to run campaigns, test creative, leverage their network, and improve conversion rates.
Decreasing CAC with brand ambassadors and user-generated content is a potent partnership.
User-generated content has a 4.5% higher conversion rate. SocialMediaToday
Final Thoughts About User-generated Content
Based on actual experiences and candid opinions, UGC is considered the most dependable, honest, and genuine type of content. Especially when compared to marketing material produced by the company.
The benefits of this believable and authentic content make it a true gift for brand marketers. If you're luck, customers will share content featuring your brand.
In the coming weeks, we will share scalable strategies on how to get user generated content and user generated content marketing. So make sure to sign up for article updates in the form below.