User-Generated Content: Why Do You Need It?

User-generated content is becoming increasingly popular. Companies have a lot to gain from saying their products are good. In fact, they have everything to gain, and consumers are becoming increasingly aware of this. They are even becoming aware and sceptical of their once trusted ‘influencers’.

As advertising and marketing become trickier and trickier to navigate, there is one avenue that will always remain consistent and unchanged in terms of its reliability: the users.

User-generated content refers to pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog-posts and anything else that involves a user promoting a brand. This is an alternative to the brand itself or a brand ambassador (Tint). These people are neither paid nor compensated. Their content and opinions are always real-time and genuine.

Leaving this power in the hands of the consumer can seem scary. What if they have something bad to say? In the famous words of Oscar Wilde, “the only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about”. Damage control can always be done. In fact, criticism is a great area for you to grow as a business. Allowing these channels to always be free for your consumers means they will always feel as though their voice is going to be heard.

So, what are the benefits of user-generated content for you?

For starters, it’s FREE!

Any time a person takes a photo, checks in, posts a status or tweets about you or your business, you’re being exposed to all of their followers. This then has the ability to be shared. A great way to capitalise on this free advertising is to prompt your consumers to post about your product.

Coca Cola’s personalised name bottle campaign is a prime example of this. What this did was make every single consumer one of Coke’s personal (and FREE) advertisers. This saved millions of dollars in ad spend. This technique also means for a high ROI, with engagements rising by 28% when consumers are exposed to both professional and user-generated content (Tint)

The Human Touch

User-generated content will always the advantage of coming from a trusted source. Someone who has nothing to gain from saying something good about a brand is instantly a more viable source of information. Even if you have the most incredibly appealing ad campaigns, without a human voice supporting it, it can fall flat. Research has shown that 92% of people trust a recommendation from a person over a brand.

An excellent way to capitalise on this for your business are reviews. Reviews are vital in demonstrating to future consumers that your brand or product is tried, tested, trusted and approved. This could mean the difference between an add to cart or purchase. It can mean the difference between looking or booking. Prompting consumers to leave reviews or offering incentives and competitions in return for feedback is a great way to increase your brand image.

We Are Family

Creating a sense of community is really important for a successful company. People will be more likely to repurchase if they feel as though they are part of something through interacting and engaging with your product. Allowing space for user-generated content means that your consumers will feel valued. They will also feel as though they are contributing to the buying process for others.

If you’d like some advice on how to capitalise on this trend for your business, please don’t hesitate to contact us for a free consultation.

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