WHAT IS USER-GENERATED CONTENT (UGC) AND WHAT MAKES IT IMPORTANT?

User Generated Content (ugc))
User-generated content, or user-driven content, is content created by an unpaid contributor who may be customers and/or site users .

User-generated content, or user-driven content, is content created by an unpaid contributor who may be customers and/or site users themselves rather than a company or website owner and published on social media or other channels. UGC comes in many forms, including images, videos, reviews, a testimonial, or even a podcast or blog articles.

The introduction of user-generated content signals a shift away from the traditional one-way mode of communication and toward a partnership exchange with users. For many years, website owner-generated content has been disguised as user-generated content in the form of user comments, but with the arrival of the social web, user-generated content has become more diverse and more common

Types of user-generated content

UGC is not constrained by a company’s size, sector of operation, or range of products. User-generated content may connect with all audiences, whether they are consumers of premium brands or everyday goods.

  • Images
  • Videos
  • Social media content
  • Product reviews and testimonials
  • Live streams
  • Blog posts
  • YouTube content

What makes it important?

  • Increases authenticity 
    Brands struggle to be visible online due to the never-ending rat race, but because of the intense competition, they can benefit from the real feedback, reactions, and attention that their customers generate. Because most consumers are prepared to accept recommendations for goods and services made by actual people rather than the business itself, UGC can also increase social media reach and growth. If you recall the #ShotOniphone6 hashtag, you might be aware that when the iPhone 6 was released, Apple encouraged customers to snap regular images with their phones and post them online with the hashtag. The finest photos were chosen by Apple, who then used them to promote their products on a variety of print and digital media outlets throughout the world.
  • Cost-effective
    Businesses aiming to market their brands without shelling out thousands of dollars on promotions and TV advertisements can do so by using user-generated content (UGC). The majority of UGC content is created naturally by unpaid users who are attempting to share their experience with a product or service, connect with like-minded people, or are merely hoping to take advantage of certain benefits.
  • Helps establish brand loyalty 
    Because of UGC, customers now have a chance to actively take part in a brand’s expansion through user-generated content (UGC). Because developing UGC enables users to participate in a brand’s community, and because individuals thrive when they are a part of something bigger than themselves, this has a significant impact on brand loyalty and affinity.
    UGC bridges the gap between the audience and the brand, which indeed aids in the development and expansion of an active community. By fostering and strengthening ties between the audience and the brand, which leads to brand loyalty.
  • Boosts SEO
    Positive customer feedback and poll results can improve a brand’s Search Engine Optimization (SEO).UGC from customers is typically posted on blogs that link to retailer websites. Brands can enhance their keyword optimization study by looking at consumer search terms and keywords. 
  • Works in harmony with social commerce
    The fundamental appeal of social commerce is that it enables users to make purchases directly within a social media app rather than leaving the network. Consider pausing when browsing Instagram to look at a cute dress. You tap to get additional information about the item, choose to buy it, and finish the transaction through the app. That is an example of social trade. Social commerce and UGC complement each other well since UGC influences conversion rates. There is no doubt in saying that UGC works in harmony with social commerce, as it has an impact on the purchasing choices of the customers.
    However, because the user is given control, user-generated content also carries a risk. User-generated content may result in legal infringement, such as when it violates copyright or personal privacy. Lawyers recommend platform operators specify what is and is not legally authorised under the usage regulations and their own terms of use as clearly and accurately as possible in order to avoid such conflicts. User-generated content must also always be prominently marked.

Example of user-generated content

Coca-Cola: Share a Coke campaign

In 2011, Coca-Cola decided to print the 150 most popular male and female names on their bottles in Australia, launching this well-known UGC campaign. The message was to share a Coke with your closest friends and family. After the concept gained popularity, people began posting photos of their personalised Coke bottles on social media with the hashtag #ShareaCoke. This creative marketing strategy resulted in a much-needed increase in sales.

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