User-generated content, or UGC, is any content created by consumers, rather than brands. UGC is a powerful tool for companies that allows them to inspire engagement and spread brand awareness while reducing or even eliminating the need to create social content themselves. It’s a win-win situation for both brand and user, as it promotes both the individual creating the content and the brand which they are promoting through their post. Instagram has become the most prominent social platform for UGC, with thousands of companies picking up the trend of posting user-generated content to create brand loyalty and expand their reach. A user-generated content strategy can be extremely effective, and this is perhaps best exemplified by Adobe and their Instagram campaign #Adobe_Perspective.
Why is user-generated content important?
Utilizing user-generated content in social campaigns builds customer trust, strengthens customer relationships, increases brand credibility, increases social following, expands social reach, and builds SEO value. It’s an incredibly valuable tool that both lessens the content creation workload for companies and boosts their credibility with consumers. Consumers are more than twice as likely to perceive user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. Therefore, reposting UGC to your brand’s page will make the impact of your content more significant than if you posted corporate images. 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent trust online consumer opinions, so reposting organic content that praises your product creates authentic trust in your brand and its offerings. Ultimately, encouraging and utilizing UGC will generate more sales, both first-time and repeat, since almost 80 percent of consumers say user-generated content has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.
How to use user-generated content
Create a desire for your company’s product or service by sharing exceptional posts that incorporate them. Show consumers what is possible with your product by sharing the best examples of what others have done with it. This will create a desire in the consumer to purchase your product and try to recreate the experience for themselves. Motivating people to post photos with your product in the hopes of being reposted will inspire brand loyalty, increase engagement, and spread brand awareness. If you gain a reputation for posting user-generated content, users will want to be reposted to your page and will take photos of your product or service and tag you. This is great for boosting engagement and spreading brand awareness to a network of new followers.
Adobe and user-generated content
One of the best examples of successfully utilizing user-generated content for social campaigns is Adobe’s Instagram. Adobe uses the hashtag #Adobe_Perspective to source and repost content from creators that have used Adobe products to create stunning photographs and art. This campaign allows Adobe to showcase what its products can do when used to their fullest potential while simultaneously engaging with its community of users. It fosters a sense of community among its customers as users source content from one another and unlocks the possibilities of Adobe’s software through inspiration from peers. Encouraging customers to share their results from using your product allows potential consumers to see what they could achieve and creates desire. It spreads brand awareness to new customers while encouraging engagement and loyalty from existing ones.
Utilizing user-generated content to tell brand stories is becoming an increasingly popular marketing tactic as companies come to realize that they can tap into inherent trustworthiness that is almost entirely unachievable through official brand promotional images. Relying on photographic testimonials on Instagram allows companies to source quick and free social content for its page while simultaneously earning trust and loyalty from followers. If your social campaigns are struggling to get off the ground, and you’re finding it difficult to obtain new followers, consider incorporated user-generated content into your social strategy. If you need further assistance strengthening your social game, give IDG a call and we can get started crafting a custom social strategy for you today.