The Marketing Power of UGC
by Koussey •
“A brand is no longer what we tell the consumer it is—it is what consumers tell each other it is.” Scott Cook, board member of Procter & Gamble, said.
Content consumption has reached impressive numbers, as there are over 400 hours of video uploaded on Youtube every minute, 10 billion views on Snapchat daily, and more than 8 billion video views per day for Facebook. It is estimated that 80% of online content is generated by users, and much of this content features products from brands that those users love.
User-generated content (UGC) is basically content related to a brand that is voluntarily produced by its customers, and most of the time shared through social media platform. This includes reviews, blogs, videos, photos and social media posts coming from customers.
UGC is not a new concept, yet marketers around the world are only just starting to realize its potential in their quest for conversions. It has created an incredible opportunity for brands: they can leverage visual contents created by their customers to drive up their revenue, reduce their content creation expenses and form a deeper connection with customers.
1. UGC will drive your conversion rate
It is common sense to know that a savvy looking website with beautiful photos is designed for one, and only one, purpose: to sell you something. This is why buyers do not believe ads and content created by brands. What customers want is unbiased information: they want to know if the Beauty Cream they are about to purchase is really worth spending money on. If people they trust are willing to say how excited they are about a product, there is 99% chance that they are going to be more inclined to give that cream a try.
Hence the fact that UGC is especially powerful during the consideration phase of the buyer’s journey: it provides the necessary social proof to legitimize the product or experience. When you showcase UGC on your website or directly in the product page, shoppers convert at a rate of 2x on average. How come? First, this help you build legitimacy with your potential customers. Next, you give them more content to absorb, which make them stay longer on your website. And shoppers who spend more time on a site tend to discover new products which will undoubtedly increase your conversion rate.
2. UGC will help you grow your awareness on social media
Today, we are seeing more and more brands entering the content arms race. Every brand is jockeying to create content that is more useful, more engaging, and more effective than the competition. On top of that, we consume content in a huge variety of ways. In 2018 there are a lot more avenues for content than there used to be (were you talking about Instagram, Snapchat etc. 5 years ago?). As a result, if you want to stand out in today’s cluttered content marketplace you need to be producing a lot of content that adds serious value.
And that is far from being easy. Keeping up with the demand for fresh content for each channel of distribution can be overwhelming and pricy. Ad agencies and professional photographers are not cheap, and each asset will cost you thousands of USD.
Let your consumers help you! They are creating great pieces of content for you. If you incorporating UGC into your marketing campaign, not only will you save a significant amount of money, but you will also make the most of very effective content that will definitely build trust and legitimacy for your brand!
3. UGC will give you many insights
The future belongs to brands who better connect with their customers.
People are complicated. Still, it’s key to understand your customers: sustainable business is dependent on understanding a customer’s evolving needs. You can read researches, take educated guesses about what you think they will do, you can even ask them if they like something or not. But unfortunately, it will not give you as much insights as connecting with them and opening a direct dialogue with them.
Customers’ insights are a goldmine. If you manage to create a great feedback loop, you will be able to paint an accurate picture of your customers and their preferences, to shape more efficient marketing campaigns, to design products that fit their market and ultimately to improve your customer engagement and retention.
UGC is a great method to identify already engaged customers and to turn them into advocates. With a little encouragement, these advocates will soon become vocal advocates, sharing their experiences with their network on a regular basis.
Brands that are incorporating UGC in their marketing strategy continue to see their revenue growing, keep their content creation cost under control and manage to connect with their customers. It definitely fosters a relationship of trust between the consumers and the brands, which will encourage loyalty over the years and drive the brand awareness and customer acquisition and drive your conversion goals.
Written by Koussey
Koussey is a cofounder of Capssion