User Generated Content is the term which was and is on the buzz. User-generated Content or ‘UGC’ is something which is much more important than you think. Let’s start from the basics,

What is user-generated content?

UGC means user-generated content generated by users on online platforms in the form of text, image, and video, etc. UGC sometimes refers to UCC, meaning User-created content.”

Content created by people is, in many ways, more effective than a brand. And the same content is shared on its platform by the brand for many purposes.

The consumer relies on consumer-generated content more than the content created by the brand-self. Such content influence consumer purchasing decision and also enhances brand loyalty in the consumer.

This is the main reason big brands are involved in user-generated content today, including Coca Cola, Apple, and Burberry, etc. In this case, UGC is a must-have for any brand that is trying to be popular in terms of credibility and awareness.

Why a brand should engage in user-generated content?

Different brands may have different aim and opinion to choose the UGC in their digital marketing strategy. Here we’ll point out the main factors or you can say benefits:

  • To enhance the Authenticity

  • UGC helps to build the trust among consumers

  • It can influencce the buying decision of target audience

  • UGC is the cost-efficient option to derive a good ROI

  • Very easier to track and calculate the success of campaign

 We’ll help you to understand the points above in details.

How UGC (User-generated Content) helping brands to embrace authenticity

When a people post content talking about your brand, product, and services, your consumers’ trust in the authenticity of your brand increases by 2.4 times as the recent market survey done by Stackla.

From the consumer’s point of view, authenticity plays an important role in supporting and liking the brand. Authenticity matters to 90% of consumers.

Understand why and how UGC helps you to increase the trust among consumers

When there is no trust in a relationship then that relationship cannot last long. A matter of trust also applies to your brand.

When a consumer from a people he/she knows receive a recommendation to use your brand service, their trust in your brand increases by 92% as per the nielsen report recently published.

The level of consumer confidence increases to 70% when he/she sees a post from unknown users about your brand or services online platform.

Infographic: User Generated Content | Venngage Infographic: User Generated Content | Infographics

How User-Generated Content influence the buying decision for others

It could be surprising for you that UGC can influence the 90% of buying decision. For an example, If Apply Inc. would advertise about their iPhone’s camera, people would not take it seriously. They are brand and they can shot the images from very high resolution camera and advertise as the shot from iPhone.

But Apple ask their users to post the photos, shot from their iPhone, nad they advertise on those photos. Here people start beleiving that iPhone also can click the photos, which is really appreciable. In both terms, quality of device and quality of photographers as well.

If you’re excited to dive deep, and wann know on micro level, then this data below will help you. UGC can be on multiple type of digital platform, and it did not work on all the platform same.

The impact of UGC outranks all other forms of marketing, including:

Search Engine : 87%

Promotional Emails: 79%

Display Ads: 76%

Social Media: 63%


User-Generated Content is the cost-efficient method to drive result

To let you understand, we’ll took the most successful UGC campaign till data as example.

In 2014, ALS Association started a challenge. In this challange you had to complete the task or donate to the ALS. You may know this campaign as Ice bucket challange. This challange comes into light and go viral, when some pro athelets accept this to grab the attention of public.

In this charity more than 3 Million donars donate to foundation and totale donation was more than the $ 100 Million. Everyone should consider this Ice Bucket Challenge UGC campaign as case-study and get to know more as much as possible.

This is self understood, but let me tell you for this, ALS association does not go harsh on their bank account.

How to Track and measure the success of UGC campaign

To run and track any UGC campaign you need to be a well-versed with the social media or the channels, where you want to run the campaign. And of course you should be aware with the latest and useful marketing technology as well.

If you want your campaign to run on the social media, then it is very easy to track. Either you would like to run any #hashtag or wanna them to mention your handle or bio. So this is pretty straight and easy.

But, if you’re trying to run the campaign on any channel, which is not this much easy, then the most effective way to track is to use the MarketoApp’s URL shortener.

In our other article, we’ll guide you, how to strategize and execute any UGC campaign.

By these data you have a preety good idea, how user generated content can boost your brand’s accountability and authenticity.

Here one more question can arise in your mind that, because UGC campaign can perform in many platform, channel or mediums, so can we get the benefit of it in long term?

Does UGC (User-Generated Content) helps in SEO in long term?

 In this section we’ll give you one more reason to go for UGC. But just for a glance have a look in this image, which is showing a form of user-generated content ‘Reviews’ boost the organic pageview.

Does this graph excites you?

Great! Let me tell you, how this graph can be of your website?

Although this graph already have answered your question, that yes UGC affect positively SEO for your website. But we would like to tell you some factors, that how UGC will help you in exposure for SEO.

According to Adweek, 81% of buyers survey before purchasing a product online. Google search engine prioritize first relevant and fresh content in SERP.

Reviews, videos, photos, Q&A, comments and other user-generated content (UGC) can give search crawlers more information to figure out what your pages are about and how relevant they are to any search query.

UGC provides search engine’s crawlers new and relevent content

To generate organic, fresh and original content could take a lot of time and it’s not guranteed for expected result.

Marketers only need positive content to get the benefit and be all over internet, in this scenario UGC is the best options for brands to go with.

Generating the UGC is the most efficient and intelligent method to solve the content crunch issue. Users are generating the content in their manner by using their time and resources, so it is again a plus point for brands. Brands don’t need to invest much and they have a lot of content, which makes them lovable for search engines and it helps to be in buzz as well. (if intended to do so)

Even the simplest UGC have all the elements to provide good SEO signal

If any user is creating the UGC, they have to use the brand name, need to provide the backlink, need to describe about the brand or product or campaign.

And that’s all is needed to get a boost in SERP ranking.

So basically, if users are not creating the SEO optimized content, then too it is as beneficial as it could be. You can consider it as consumer testimonials, which is written only for information and express the feeligs for any product or brand. But search engine’s algorithms are smart enough to distinguish the good and bad impression about the brand.

UGC optimize the site for Long-tail keyword

When you create content for website strategically, then it is more likely to optimized for any keyword or couple of words, which can be considered as the keyword.

But, as we already discussed that UGC may not be optimized for any keyword, so it will help you to rank for long tail keywords. Because search engine’s algorithms are smart enough to understand the context of content.

When you’ll read some product review and feedback, you’ll understand that these reviews are actually answering the questions, which are unanswered. So for those question it will help the websites to rank on SERP.

How long tail keywords, use to work and how we can have the most of it, is a complete different discussion and we’ll discuss it in different article.


A Strong Social Media Signals are also countable as good SEO signal

From last few years, social media signals are also consided in SERP ranking and we don’t need to describe how UGC on social media could be beneficial for you.

Search engines are considering the strong social media follwership and positive sentiments as brand authenticity and it helps the websites to rank higher in SERP.


Word-of-Mouth Marketing helps in SEO

As a marketer I’m assuming that you know the power of Word-of-mouth marketing. Here in this case, if any brand is getting good amount of positive UGC then people would love to know moare about it, if they already don’t know.

Then people try to find the brand via search engines and it enhance the search volume of that brand keyword. In SEO term it is use to called as ‘Brand Search Optimization’. When brand search volume increase organically, it is really good for brands or website in long run.

Now, when you know approx. all kind of benefits of UGC (User-Generated Content), you need to know and decide how many kinds of UGC are there and on which you need to focus. But, we would like to tell you that everykind of UGC have their own different value and different method to run the campaign to get the result.


Most Famous kind of User-Generated Content

Actually when we are discussiog on user generated content , it could be either recommending any brand or product or having any negative feedback about that brand.

And there are thousands of method to share your feedback about any brand or product with your loved ones. It basically can’t be controlled and measured 100% accurately, which is actually good, as a consumer.

But in this digital era most of the people prefer some major method to share their views, those major methods are:

  • Images and Videos
  • Reviews and testimonials
  • Discussion forums and Q&A sections
  • Posts
  • Comments

So, as you can see most of the types of UGC are the social media friendly and brands use to share those positive user-generated content on their social media handles. But, before sharing there are some unsaid rules and decorum, which you should maintain.


Don’t forget to share the UGC on your platform or Social media handles

Sharing the best or good content, which are generated by users are one of the major part of any UGC campaign. It motivates others and sends a good message to community, that brand is actually hearing out the fans or consumers. Doing it can enhance the performance of campaign drastically.

While sharing UGC through your social media channels, you should keep some points in your mind:

Ask for the permission:- You can simply send a request for permission to post their content that talks about your brand. It is an easy approach and good for long way.

Give the credit:- The important thing you should never forget is to give credit to the users of that UGC. Often other users go to verify the UGC that you share on your platform. Today’s buyers are smarter than 2010 buyers.

Some new brands often make a mistake by sharing their employee’s UGC with the expectation that it will gain but its brand value falls in place of profit. You should avoid this kind of activity.

To give away something valuable to your users:- Social media has become a social status to a large extent. For those who earning is $10,000, winning on social media  is also a matter of pride. You can take advantage of this to get UGC for your brand.


You should know about the risk in UGC as well

If a great User-Generated content Campaign is powerful to boost your brand then it may go against your brand also, if the campaign is not well planned or implemented accurately.

Negative trend or contents can harm and waste all your goodwill among the consumers. Whenever you think to do something with UGC, then you need to be proactive on the channel.


How to manage UGC campaign

We will discuss this in the another article but for now, you need to have experience to run the UGC campaign. The best is to hire an agency for it, if you do not have anyone in team who have proven experience in running the campaign.

Because if you’re planning to extend it to a scalable level then need people in team who have hands on it.


Conclusion and Thank you!

If you’ve ever run any UGC campaign or you’re planning to do so, then let us know, was this article helpful to you in any manner? Marketoapp would like to thank Pollo Jaffri for his major contribution in reasearch for this article. If you think you can make this article more informative, please write to us and we’ll make the changes, if we’ll find it informative and useful.