User-generated content (UGC) is any content – text, videos, images, reviews – created by people rather than brands. And brands will often share UGC on their own social media accounts, websites and other marketing channels.
For many brands, Instagram is the primary platform for UGC. Users create and share posts featuring your brand, exposing your products and services to their audience. You can then share that content with your audience, boosting your credibility.
We’re here to give you four reasons to pay attention to UGC and spill some ideas for implementing this content strategy into your marketing plans.
Ninety-two percent of marketers believe most or all of the content they create resonates as authentic, yet 51 percent of consumers say less than half of brands create content that resonates as authentic. That’s not to say polished and put-together content doesn’t have a place in marketing but knowing when it’s appropriate is key. In the case of Accel Performance and Wellness, its audience is looking for content that’s relatable and resonates with their lifestyle. They want to see real people – people like themselves – working hard to reach their fitness goals.
Accel repurposed a video on their Instagram page featuring one of their members working on a dynamic drill. The video generated comments like, “So happy she reached it #getitgirl.” Had Accel used a stock image of a model lifting weights, would their audience have been as excited?
It can be hard for consumers to pull the trigger on a purchase. For brands selling products, sharing exceptional user-generated content is a great way to spark brand desire. This provides businesses with the opportunity to show how all kinds of people are wearing, using or consuming their products.
Eclectic Eye does this well. Their artful Instagram feed showcases individuals wearing the eyewear boutique’s unique frames. You might like the idea of owning a pair of bright pink frames, but until you see them on a real person, you can’t picture how they might fit into your wardrobe. The Stories feature on Instagram also allows Eclectic Eye to share what their customers are saying in real-time, while the Highlights feature gives the content staying power.
Another one of our clients, Event Rentals by Hicks, shares user-generated content to show how people are using their rentals to style different events. Seeing how one couple used custom drapery to dress up their venue gives followers fun ideas for their own weddings.
Seventy-nine percent of people say user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions. That explains why many clothing brands now feature social feeds on their websites.
When you click on pics of cotton sweatpants on the product page of Outdoor Voices, a Nashville-based recreation brand, you can view photos of real customers wearing the popular items. Shoppers deciding which color to buy or who want to know how the sweatpants fit can scroll through various images before deciding which pair to add to their virtual carts. Strategically-placed UGC can transform potential customers’ purchasing desires from “want” to “need.”
Creating brand desire is the first step in getting a new customer to make their first purchase and fall in love with your brand. Creating brand loyalty means making sure that customer comes back to you time and time again.
The people who are talking about your brand are among your biggest fans. They probably bought something from you once or benefited from your services and have sworn to keep coming back. Sharing this UGC allows you to excite followers and show that people care about you as a company. Memphis jewelry designer David Quarles regularly shares artistic shots of himself sporting his beloved Eclectic Eye frames.
Sharing this type of UGC allows brands to prove they’re invested in the customer experience.
As a business, leveraging UGC starts with monitoring what people are saying about you on their social feeds. What hashtags are they using when they talk about your products or services? What kind of language are they using to describe your brand? These insights can help you understand your audience and uncover new ways of highlighting your offerings to better align with customers.
Need some help figuring out how UGC can meet your business needs?