Can User-Generated Content Help Your Business Marketing?

user generated content UGC

In the simplest of terms, user-generated content (often called just “UGC” by marketers) is the process of allowing and encouraging your current customers to advocate for your brand.

Like influencer marketing, UGC lends credibility to your brand. After all, if a movie star or music mogul say they love it, a lot of their fans are probably willing to try it.

Unlike influencer marketing, it isn’t the “cool kids” telling the commoners what they’ll like — it’s your average Joe (or Jill!) telling their own friends and family what they already like and why their circle will like it, too. And because there’s no money changing hands or freebies being thrown their way, it builds even more trust than influencer marketing, because there’s really nothing in it for them.

User-generated content can be a huge boon for your business marketing. Let’s take a closer look.

What Is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content is anything that your fans, followers, or customers create. Some examples:

Plenty of big brands have used UGC to their advantage.

Coca-Cola did it with their Share a Coke campaign, challenging their audience to hunt for a bottle with their name on it and post it on social media with a dedicated hashtag.

Starbucks did it with their White Cup Contest, encouraging customers to decorate their blank coffee cups and share the results, with the winner getting a few hundred dollars in Starbucks gift cards.

Even charities have hopped on the UGC train. Cancer Research’s No Makeup Selfie campaign raised over $3 million in just two days back in 2014. The Ice Bucket Challenge raised $135 million for ALS that same year.

Now that we’ve established what UGC is, let’s talk about why it works.

4 Awesome Advantages of User-Generated Content

Increased Trust

Brands tell you to buy their product or service because they want to make money. Influencers tell people to buy a brand’s product or service because they’ve received compensation.

Regular people? Sure, they might or might not be compensated a tiny bit. But largely, the motivation is simply that they enjoyed the product or service and want their friends and family to enjoy it, too.

This dynamic engenders a higher level of trust. A would-be customer is going to believe their mom, BFF, or next-door neighbor over a brand or influencer any day of the week.

Wider Reach

For businesses with a limited marketing budget, it’s just not possible to market to everyone. You need to keep your net small and target the sure bets, not the maybes or probably nots.

But by allowing your customers to market for you, you’re expanding your reach exponentially. A guest blog post brings in an entirely new audience, a video goes viral, or a hashtag trends. Suddenly, your brand is in front of thousands of people who you couldn’t have reached without user-generated content.

Significant Savings

You can’t get much more cost-effective than “free,” and that’s exactly what UGC is. You’re not paying these people money to tout your brand; they’re doing it because they like who you are, what you offer and what you stand for.

But you’re not just saving dollars. With UGC, you’re also saving time. Why spend hours creating content when your audience will do it for you?

Unique Content

No matter how hard you try to keep your content fresh and creative, you can only really see your products and services through your eyes, which can be incredibly limiting.

With UGC, however, you get to see things from multiple perspectives. No two people are alike, so unique content is guaranteed. And seeing the way your audience reacts to the different types of content they’re creating can be a gold mine when it comes to your marketing efforts going forward!

It’s Time to Put Your Audience Front and Center!

User-generated content is a great way to build trust and reach new fans while saving both time and money. And it’s fun to see what people come up with! UGC can take your brand to places it’s never been before.

Is content creation quickly becoming the bane of your existence? Mischa Communications can help! Whether we tell your story or show you how to get your audience tell it for you, we’re only a few clicks away.