Throughout the years, user-generated content (UGC) has proven to be a powerful tool in the marketing arsenal. As social media goes mainstream, every people become a marketing advocate. From customers, employees, influencers, and partners, UGC has become more effective than ever. That is why it is vital to explore the power of UGC in digital marketing.
A social media agency Hong Kong highlights that UGC continuously engages modern consumers. They serve as the word of mouth in the digital world. Gone are the days of professional photographers and videographers. With pocket-sized smartphones equipped with high-quality cameras and innovative editing tools, anyone can take a snap on a brand, product, or service they want to explore.
WHAT IS UGC?
A digital marketing speaker Hong Kong defines UGC as any form of content created by people and not brands. They are images, posts, reviews, testimonials, text, or videos published on a social media network or website. They have been around side by side with customer reviews and social networking. It was in 2005 when brands realized the potentials of visual UGC. They were then used as a brand’s earned content and social proof.
Here is a great example of UGC from a video marketing agency Hong Kong. You and your family go on a weekend trip and stay at a nice hotel. Enjoying the comfort of the trip, you post multiple pictures and videos of this precious adventure. You tag your Facebook and Instagram friends to show how cool the hotel is. The hotel then finds your content on Facebook and reaches out to you. They ask your permission to share the photos and videos in their corporate channels. Once the hotel uses them for branding, it is called user-generated content.
SOME STATISTICS ABOUT HOW EFFECTIVE UGC IS IN MARKETING
At first, brands and businesses are very cautious in using UGC for digital marketing. It is because the impact of these unpolished content is hard to justify when compared to perfect-looking professional creatives. But as mobile devices evolve, phone cameras get better. These made UGC easily accessible among social media networks.
Every single day, there are 350 million photos uploaded on Facebook, 95 million photos and videos shared on Instagram, and 500 million tweets posted on Twitter. With billions of posts shared on social media daily, marketers find UGCs as the most authentic and relevant form of content. They present an unprecedented opportunity to usher a new approach of marketing WITH people, instead of marketing TO people. As such consumers now become the world’s greatest content creators. Data shows that UGC is the most influential, memorable, and most trusted type of content.
UGCs are seen as 3 times more authentic than branded content. Around 60 percent of modern consumers find UGCs authentic, and only 20% favored branded content. Modern consumers trust the recommendations of colleagues, family members, and friends. They trust the endorsement of a real person over what a brand tells about itself. As such, 56% of modern consumers wanted to see more UGCs.
UGC promotes brand loyalty. When brands published UGCs, the person who created the content felt a sense of importance. Other customers and followers also connect to these types of content deeply. It is because they feel the same emotion as the author or creator of the UGC does. No wonder 92% of consumers trust this media content boosting loyalty among brands. Among millennials, UGC is 35% more memorable among other media types.
UGC also influences buying decisions and improves the conversion rate among brands and businesses. UGC as a social proof turns 79% of modern consumers to buyers of a brand, product, or service. It makes them 9.8 times more effective than influencer marketing. They are also more effective because they cut the campaign budget by 65%.
WAYS TO IMPROVE YOUR UGC STRATEGY
Consumers trust other consumers. This principle makes UGC more effective and influential. Here are ways to improve your UGC strategy.
Ask What You Need. The easiest way to get UGCs is to ask your online community about them. You can launch a contest featuring a unique hashtag for the campaign. You can ask questions relevant to your brand. Or you can entice your audience to share their content in exchange for a freebie or reward. These strategies can help stir your customers’ creativity to post UGCs.
Be Strategic. There are 6 major social media networks where brands and businesses can post UGCs. But they have to be strategic in knowing what to post for each platform.
- Curated UGC content and images are perfect Facebook posts.
- High-resolution photos, quotes, and Stories can work well on Instagram.
- Job postings, news, and professional content can boost your LinkedIn presence.
- Step-by-step guides can inspire Pinterest users.
- UGCs about trends are good conversation starters on Twitter.
Set Goals and Measure Results. The best way to improve your UGC strategy is to set goals and measure results. The most common goals UGCs typically achieve are awareness and conversions. Define your benchmarks when boosting engagement. Do you aim to increase the number of comments, followers, likes, and shares of the UGC post? Or would you like to boost sales upon using them? Analyze each result after every campaign. Then, learn the lessons to level up your UGC strategy!