Have you just purchased a designer bag that you’re excited to announce to the ends of the world?
Let me guess what you’re going to do. You snap a photo of yourself with the bag, or maybe just with the bag itself, and then post it on social media. Presto! All your friends and connections will see it and know you’ve just acquired a most prized possession. Perhaps you don’t do this, but you know at least one person who makes these “announcements.” Whether you realize it or not, what just happened there is a perfect example of UGC.
So, for starters, what is UGC?
UGC stands for user-generated content. It is any digital content about a brand that comes straight from the user or consumer. It is original content because it comes straight from the customers, without any intervention from the brand, who publish it on their social media channels. A UGC also comes in different forms, which include photos, videos, product reviews, and testimonials. Some UGCs also come in the form of a podcast.
As an entrepreneur, you would intentionally promote your product or service. After all, in this promotion, you attract clients who will, in turn, patronize your business. So, what role does UGC play in promoting your business and attracting clients?
Before I touch on the great benefits of UGC to your digital marketing, let me first talk about where UGC comes from. I mentioned that this comes from users or consumers, but there are different kinds of users. Knowing them could help you leverage the kind of UGC you want to integrate into your marketing strategies.
A UGC typically comes from any of these sources:
Customers/Clients: Your clients are your number one UGC source mainly because they have experienced first-hand what your product or service does. You asked them to share something about your product, or they voluntarily did it; what they share could attract new customers.
Fans/Advocates: Your clients are very loyal to your brand. They are the ones who are always excited and anticipating the new stuff you share or offer. They can be your ideal UGC source because they are always ready to advocate for you, mainly if you collect specific content.
Content Managers: These digital content experts will help you plan or conceptualize the ideal content that makes your brand more noticeable to loyalists and potential customers. Brands pay them because they help showcase your product or business in a way that emulates a typical UGC.
Content Creators: The digital landscape tags these as “influencers” because they have an extensive social media following that would reach thousands. Brands typically collaborate with them so they will endorse the product or service to their followers, who would then try the brand out.
The Benefits of UGC to Your Digital Marketing Strategy
Now that I have unpacked the basics of UGC, let us head on to the essential part. Why would you even utilize UGC? How does it benefit your business? Look at these notable benefits when entrepreneurs utilize UGC in their digital marketing.
1. Promotes authenticity
The fast-paced world of the internet has made information accessible as fast as the tap of a finger. The influx of information brings confusion instead of clarity to people. The rise of spam, scams, and fake news became inevitable. Because of this, people become more intentional about getting truthful and authentic information, whether it’s the world news, scientific discovery, or the best restaurant in town.
This is precisely what UGC does by acting as the modern-day “word-of-mouth.” People trust and believe the experiences or words of people they know. So if their friend or family member talks positively about your product or service, you would have more chance of ushering in a new set of potential customers. UGC promotes authenticity in a way that makes or breaks your business.
2. Strengthens loyalty
The presence of loyal customers is the way to make your business last long (we’re talking about at least five years). When you can leverage the participation of your loyal customers who are more than willing to speak on your behalf, you are also increasing their support and loyalty to your business.
UGC enables your loyal customers to interact with you and feel that they are part of something bigger than what they usually engage in. The more they can create content or participate in your UGC initiatives, the more they will develop and strengthen their love and support for the product.
3. Increases trust
In contrast to traditional marketing or advertising, UGC has the potential to nurture the trust factor in a potential customer. Because it is easy to get information from social media and the internet, people can easily sense which information is too good to be accurate and which is realistic and trustworthy.
Traditional marketing is always expected to highlight a product's best and close-to-perfect aspects, which would raise people’s expectations. So when they don’t get what they anticipated, the disappointment will destroy the business. With UGC, users don’t get paid by the brand, so they can be as truthful as they can in talking about a product, helping their followers to increase belief and trust in the brand.
One of the best reasons why UGC benefits business owners is that this mostly does not cost a thing. All you have to do is find creative ways to get the voice of your customers to promote your product or service on their social media channels. If you’re still starting up your business, the UGC is ideal for you to utilize rather than investing in extensive advertising campaigns.
Are you ready to integrate UGC into your digital marketing strategy?
While UGC is undeniably an ideal method to take your business to a higher level, you might still be wondering how to get your customers to participate in the first place. If you’re a startup entrepreneur, this could also become a challenge because you are still trying to establish your business as a trusted brand to your customers.
Whether you’re still trying to attract your leads or planning a strategy to increase your current customers, digital content marketing always works best for you. This is where our agency can help you, especially if you’re on the path of scaling your business this year. Let us help you establish a brand that your customers can talk about so that a fresh set of potential customers can also hear about your brand. Schedule a discovery call to discuss how to use UGC to your advantage. Let's Connect!