SeriousPR: User Generated Content (UGC): The Authenticity your brand needs

User Generated Content (UGC): The Authenticity your brand needs

The way in which brands engage and connect with their audience is an ever-changing kaleidoscope. The rise of User Generated Content (UGC) evolved naturally with the growth of social media and the increased quality of mobile phone cameras. Ever since, brands have harnessed technology and UGC to add authenticity to their marketing efforts.

This blog aims to answer three key questions:

  • What is UGC?
  • Why should you use it?
  • How do you get it?

What is user generated content?

UGC is simply any content that consumers or end users create that brands then harness to add to the effectiveness of their overall marketing efforts.

It is no coincidence that a Starbucks barista will write your name on a coffee cup or that Coca Cola decided to place first names on millions of bottles during its ‘name on a bottle’ campaign. Both brands had the exact same aim; to connect with their users on a ‘first name basis’ and an overall goal to encourage people to share pictures of their unique coffee cups and soft drink bottles on social media.

Perhaps the Barista spelt your name wrong? Insert Evil Mr Burns Laugh – It’s all part of the production I’m afraid. Chances are you posted a picture of the misspelled name to social media and thus the goal to drive engagement is still achieved.

Both examples show how UGC has been used to effectively drive user engagement and incite an action/feeling.

Why should I use UGC?

UGC poses many benefits including: authenticity, cost effectiveness and volume. As if this wasn’t enough, studies show that UGC can have a 28% greater impact than standard brand posts.

How do I get UGC?

While there are many paid for social media platforms that can perform social media listening and pull content for use almost instantly – the most basic and effective approach is ask for it!

Monitor your hashtags and if you see content that you think your brand could use drop the user a nice personalised message complimenting their work and ask if you may use their content for marketing purposes. Likewise, if influencer marketing has a place in your marketing strategy, ensuring your influencers are properly briefed on the type of content your brand needs is key.

In summary, UGC works and you should be harnessing the content your customers/users create to support your wider marketing activity and goals.