User-generated content aka ‘UGC’ refers to any type of content, such as text, images, videos and audio that is created and published by individuals or users on the internet. These contents could range from blog posts to reviews to social media posts. UGC can be viewed as a valuable component of advocacy on the brand or service as users may share their own experiences and perspective.
UGC plays an important role for brands and businesses for a variety of reasons.
1. Increase brand awareness
In this day and age, every customer is a content creator as they may share a variety of information online. This information could be their experiences and understanding of the brand and businesses and be published on various platforms such as social media, or even on forums.
At times, they would mention the name of the brand and business, allowing it to spread and increase the awareness of the brand.
User-generated content may act as a “word of mouth” to their peers. Instead of sharing it with a specific group of people, these contents may be published on the internet to reach a wider group of audience.
2. A cost-effective method for advocacy
Contents that have been created and published voluntarily are known to be earned media. Creating and publishing content requires time and effort hence most of the posts are authentic and genuine in sharing their reviews of the brand and business. They are generally viewed as valuable content as they aid potential customers to understand the brand. This may also lead to an increase in the shareability of the content.
Some UGC could be earned with a few incentives or through a campaign. Here’s how Mashwire utilise the opportunity for UGC to amplify the awareness of H-Two-O.
3. Engage and build community
As users share their feedback and experiences, this creates an opportunity to gather feedback and suggestions, and respond to their inquiries and complaints. It allows the brand to foster a connection and interaction with its customers.
It is essential to let your customers know that you are actively listening. One of the ways to showcase active listening is to react to their posts. This allows the customer to feel that their time and effort in patronising and purchasing your products and services had been appreciated. This recognition and acknowledgement may lead to a sense of loyalty and attachment to the brand among customers.
Additionally, feedback and suggestions allow the brand to understand its target audience’s needs and wants, allowing them to make informed decisions in product development and marketing.
How to measure UGC?
- Reach, impression and views – allows brands to see how many users have viewed the content. This helps in measuring brand awareness.
- Click-through rate – the action of clicking on the content that leads to a webpage or an article. This may show that users are keen in finding out more about the product or service.
- Engagement rate – actionable items such as likes, saves, comments and shares are interactions actions. It is a measurable formula to calculate the interest of users in the content.
Overall, UGC can play an important role in your marketing and branding. It is equally important to try exploring and strategising new options for your marketing campaigns.