User-generated content (UGC) has become incredibly popular, with 58 percent of marketers having implemented some type of UGC campaign. UGC is often collected on social media, and is basically anything created by your audience, not by the brand itself. This can range from photos, videos, memes, podcasts, blogs/articles and reviews to other pieces of sharable content. As marketers, we’re constantly looking for the best way to authentically connect with our target audience, and UGC is a great way to do that. As with all types of marketing, tapping into UGC can have its ups and downs. Here are some pros and cons of using UGC:
Motivates customers to engage – Start a UGC campaign and ask your followers to participate and tag the brand. You can then search through the content and repost or share some of your favorites.
Motivates people to purchase – Not only might your target purchase your product to participate in UGC, but about 90 percent of consumers noted that UGC has more influence over their decision to purchase than standard marketing.
Builds authenticity – Authenticity is still incredibly important when connecting with your target audience. UGC makes your customers feel like they are part of the brand, and when they see other UGC get posted, knowing that it was made from other fans and not the brand only adds to that feeling of community and authenticity.
A type of “free” advertising – When customers do the creating, brands aren’t paying creative and production time. There may end up being a lot of content generated by your target audience, and the brand can tap into that without having huge production and content creation costs.
SEO perks – Having a lot of UGC can help boost your SEO, especially on social media channels. The more people that are posting/talking about your company, the higher your content will rank.
Potential for negative content – You can’t control what people post online, and that goes for UGC as well, so you might have people use the opportunity to voice complaints about your brand.
Needs monitoring – While the creation of the content might be “free” you still need a team of media experts to monitor what is getting posted. If your target is taking time to engage with your brand, your brand needs to engage as well by liking, commenting and sharing content where appropriate. You might also need to address any negative content depending on what it is and if it gets any traction.
Quality – The images/videos and other content might be low quality/low resolution. Since these are your fans creating what they can from home, not professionals with creative suites, you might end up with some low-quality items.
Less control over branding – When you create a campaign and a brand image, you want to stick with it to make sure you have brand consistency. UGC might not follow your branding exactly, so you’ll want to select what to share carefully.
UGC poses a huge opportunity for brands to engage with their target audience and have authentic interactions on social media. There are pros and cons to this type of engagement, so your brand needs to determine if encouraging or using UGC is the right move.
Contact the team at Beyond Fifteen to learn how our skilled social media strategists can help you and your brand navigate cultivating and using UGC.