User-generated content, or UGC refers to any content that is created by individuals rather than the brand. It refers to things like videos, reviews, text and images. It can be as simple as an image on your social media profile of some new clothes that you have just purchased. Or, an unboxing video on YouTube of a new product you have been dying to get your hands on.
UGC has a huge impact when it comes to helping generate a trust in a company’s products on the internet where everyone can see.
Where does UGC come from?
There are a number of sources of UGC. Each one has its place in helping to promote your brand and build trust in your products or services.
- Customers – probably the most visible UGC, often share your brand in a more organic manner for example through TikTok’s or the use of Instagram tags
- Brand loyalists – these are your most resolute customers because they have such a love for the brand these are the individuals you can reach out to if you are looking for specific UGC content.
- Employees – when you have employee-generated content (EGC) this shows the story and value behind your brand. This might be photos of unpacking or displaying your items, it helps establish the brand and offers the authentic touch customers love.
- UGC creators – this is anyone who created content that is sponsored. It may appear authentic but the individual making the content has been paid by the brand to make it.
Why is UGC important?
User-generated content can be used at every stage of the buyer journey in order to ensure that there is engagement and an increased in conversations. Any customer-centric content can be placed not only on your social media channels but also on your landing pages and even in emails.
It can help a company to take authenticity to the next level. With so many brands fighting for attention online it is important to do something that helps to ensue that you stand out from the crowd. Buyers are more selective. They often choose to use those brands who are more visible particularly on social media platforms and the likes of TikTok. When content is authentic it is not only important to consumers but also marketers as well. UGC is considered to be an authentic content type. This is because people intrinsically trust other people. One thing you mustn’t do however is fake your UGC. Your audience will know.
UGC can also help to establish brand loyalty and also grow your community. People love to be part of something big. Therefore, creating the right UGC will really give them something to aspire to be a part of.
In short, it can help to act as a trust signal, encouraging potential customers to believe in your products because so many others have been vocal about what it is you are offering. People are naturally suspicious. They want to believe the claims made by marketing teams, but they know that in the past this hasn’t always been completely honest from some companies, and it makes them more cautious.