The Future and Importance of UGC in Digital Marketing
User generated content (UGC) is a powerful way for digital marketers to reach customers. It’s easy for consumers to tune out direct marketing, but with UGC you’re able to create engagement and conversation with your fans. Consumers are more likely to respond when your content promotion involves work they or their peers produced. See why we highly encourage letting your customers do some of the talking for you.
Why Marketers Should Care
Consumers trust the experiences and opinions of their peers more than they do marketing that comes directly from a brand. The ability for consumers to have instant access to product ratings and reviews from other consumers influences their motive to buy. You’re more likely to believe a product is worth your money if you hear it from someone like yourself who had a great experience, than you are the brand who created it and you know is turning a profit from your purchase.
User generated images are especially influential in digital marketing. Seeing your product being used or worn by a ‘real’ person can have a huge impact on a consumer’s decision to buy. Listen for mentions of your brand or products on social and jump in on the conversation in a timely manner. What others have to say about you is way more influential than what you say about yourself.
User generated content campaigns is one proven method digital marketers are using to magnify reach and build trust with consumers. In 2014 Starbucks launched the White Cup Contest encouraging consumers to doodle on their Starbucks cup and submit pictures. The winning entry would be the new template for a limited edition cup. Starbucks was putting the power, creativity and opinions in the hands of the user, and it worked beautifully. In just 3 weeks, Starbucks received 4,000 UGC entries. Implementing social media influencer marketing campaigns and brand ambassador programs are some of the best ways to get results with user generated campaigns.
What’s To Come?
The future of user generated content is looking like the future for digital marketers. Utilizing UGC and working with social media influencers to help drive campaign awareness is on the rise. In fact, 65% of users aged 18-24 consider information shared on social networks when making a purchasing decision (source: eMarketer). This is telling of where new generations are seeking out information and shows that they’re looking to their social networks for trends and advice, which then carries over to their purchasing habits.
This shift in digital marketing toward earned media and social influencers is changing the way marketers execute campaigns forever. This new way to market is called influencer marketing and it is here to stay. Don’t just sit back and see what happens, make it happen. Take control of your influencer marketing strategy and social influencer recruitment. Enable customers to create content for you by making easy ways for them to provide social proof for your marketing. Leverage a social influencer network and build and grow a brand ambassador program to collect the most engaging UGC. Take advantage of influencer marketing software to help you better organize, curate and earn UGC.
Digital marketers need to be active participants in assessing their UGC and influencer marketing strategy. Take the time to find the right influencers for your products and campaigns, and amplify the love influencers and ambassadors already have for your brand. Make it easy and fun for consumers to share, discuss and review your products and services. Set yourself up for success with a solid framework, but remember to let your fans do the talking.