There are many buzzwords in digital marketing, and one you probably have heard a little less of is ‘user generated content’. Many digital marketing and social media agencies shy away from using this term because it could potentially mean less business for them. But here at Ovation, we love this term because it means better results for you.
User generated content is a term that’s used by the social media world to describe any type of content that’s created by unpaid contributors – mainly fans and customers of a business. It could be photos, videos, designs, testimonials or blog posts. It’s really about your audience [users, customers + contributors] promoting your brand, rather than you doing it yourself.
How can this benefit you?
Studies have found that user generated content in digital marketing + social media can be extremely beneficial for businesses. Here’s a few examples of how it can benefit you.
75% of consumers would say that user generated content is the most authentic form of content [Source].
Let’s face it, if people are talking (good things) about your brand on social media then you must be doing something right. But this feedback isn’t coming from you, it’s coming from real people – your customers. So if they’re saying good things about you, then people are more likely to trust you + what you have to offer.
Place a spotlight on your customer.
Content of your customers provides the online world a real representation of who your target marketing + audience is. Many fashion brands share photos of their customers wearing their clothes – this is because it puts a spotlight on the type of people who are likely to engage with what you have to offer. Similarly, customers of cafes are posting photos of their food + drinks; showcasing how delicious it may be, but equally as important, how aesthetically pleasing it is.
Here’s an interesting fact for you. Video-based social media platforms such as YouTube have found that customer videos on brands + products receive 10 times more views than content created by brands [Source]. 10 times more views!
In addition to this, customer reviews are 12 times more likely to be trusted than marketing messages coming from the business itself [Source]. So imagine how much trust + reach can be generated from customer review videos on YouTube.
How can you use user generated content?
To start off with, you can always share user generated content because it will help boost your credibility + authenticity. But it will also show people who you are catering for [target audience].
If your customers are posting a lot of photos – don’t forget this can help minimise your content creation cost, because you can share + repost this content as part of your social media calendar + strategy.
If you’re not too keen on sharing or reposting posts and photos uploaded by your customers, then you can always use temporary posting features such as Instagram stories to help you out.
Our recommendation is for you to have a blend between user generated content and branded content. This balance will allow you to reach more people, but to also help you direct and guide your messaging + communication.