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Traditionally, marketing campaigns involved creating ads on the radio, TV, newspapers, magazines, and other communication mediums. These mediums were effective then because they were all there was to it.
But times have changed, and more forms of communication, such as smartphones, the internet, and social media platforms, have made information sharing easy. These platforms have also created new ways of marketing, including user-generated content, which can hugely impact how a brand gains acceptance by its audience.
If you are hoping to increase your sphere of influence, user-generated content is one of the areas you should pay attention to.
But What Is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content (UGC) is any content developed by any other person rather than a product or service marketing team or a person contracted to create the content on their behalf.
Often UGC refers to content created by users of a specific brand’s products or services.
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User-generated content takes many forms, such as pictures, reviews, videos, testimonials, blog posts, tweets, social media mentions, and everything in between. Simply put, UGC is the act of users of a brand promoting it, which can significantly complement a brand’s marketing campaign.
Why UGCs Are So Effective
In 2021, Trinidad Sandoval, a Tik Tok user, created a video showing the effectiveness of an eye cream made by a skincare brand. Sandoval’s video went viral on TiK Tok and Twitter, amassing millions of views and shares. In the days following the video, the product sold off.
According to one retailer, what would typically take six months to sell out was off the shelf in less than a week. You probably may not have the luck of this brand. But this shows the impact UGCs can have on your sphere of influence in marketing and why you should leverage their power in your marketing strategy.
There are several reasons why UGCs are that effective, which include:
Consumers Trust Other Consumers More Than the Marketers
Today’s consumer has seen and faced it all thanks to sleazy tactics employed by unscrupulous marketers. As a result, most will not take the words of marketers seriously. After all, they know the only thing in the marketer’s mind is making a dollar out of them.
But it’s different when another user with no vested interest in a brand creates content that puts it in a good light. Studies show that most consumers will trust a brand when another consumer creates content depicting the products as good.
Most marketing ads look pretty glamorous, making them unrelatable to their audiences. While they may be suitable for catching attention on mainstream media platforms, user-generated content tends to be more authentic and relatable to consumers.
For example, if a consumer is shooting a video about their experiences with a product, they could shoot it from anywhere they like. Such a video will be better at looking and feeling authentic than a professionally shot video, thus boosting consumer confidence.
Creates a Community
UGCs have a way of bringing people with similar experiences together. Instead of marketers’ typical “us against them” approach to win new customers, UGCs bring fans of a specific product or service together.
Having satisfied customers in one pool presents a unique opportunity where a brand can reach out to them and leverage their love for the product to have them share their experiences with more audiences by offering incentives. This way, you can have a whole army of promoters that may cost you very little.
UGCs can come for free. A happy product or service user has enough motivation to talk about your product. Alternatively, you can offer some incentives to have product users create content.
Even then, the cost will be way lower than what you would pay for other options, such as influencer marketing, TV ads, and PPC advertising. The beauty of a user-driven campaign is that you do not lose much if the generated content doesn’t yield many returns.
Your Employees Can Also Be Part of Your User-Generated Creators
Often user-generated content is created by people without affiliation with your company. But this does not mean you cannot involve your employees in creating user-generated content. While your employees may have some vested interests in your brand, there is no way your audiences will know that they are employees unless they are notable figures in your company.
So, your audiences will treat your employee’s content as any other user-generated content. This approach works best for companies with a vast workforce. But you may need to incentivize your employees.
When used right, UGCs can significantly impact your sphere of influence and help put your brand on a whole new level. While there are no guarantees of receiving the same levels of success seen by other marketers, you can never know until you try.
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