User Generated Content (UGC) offers a goldmine of information from a user point of view. Any serious marketer would want to know what the customers prefer and their specific pain points, in order to deliver targeted solutions. And UGC offers just that.
As a marketer, you can get value from UGC by collecting and analysing organic posts, comments, and content put up by the brand’s users on channels like social media. Now there are two ways to use this content in your marketing campaigns –
1 – Reach out to individual customers and request to use their data
2 – Use third-party services that are adept at pulling brand-specific content from different social media channels and capture all ‘mentions’ about the brand.
Why the need for such efforts?
For marketers the potential offered by UGC is phenomenal. They can use it by itself or blend it with brand-generated content. It is a goldmine of leading indicators that can boost your marketing endeavours up by several notches. Moreover, people trust user-generated content more than the advertised content. Hence there is natural credibility that is associated with this form of content.
Benefits of UGC emanating from customers
UGC is known to influence purchase decisions. They do not cost a lot to deploy, but the ROI provided remains exceptional. These creatives have proved to generate high engagement rates on the known social media platforms. This is the primary reason why these creatives are made available on the social media platforms.
Coca Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign is a classic example of how the multinational beverage giant stepped up its marketing game and got high impact gains in the process. There was tremendous social media traction where users posted their images with their name on the Coke bottle. As an outcome, sales jumped up by 2% in the US, as against the 10-year trend of negative growth witnessed by Coca-Cola.
How to use it effectively?
We need to combine user-generated creatives with brand-produced creatives together to create the maximum impact. Crowdsourced creatives work well to attract users to your site. Hence they can be used at the initial stage of the sales funnel when you are in the prospecting phase. On the other hand, brand-produced content will generate impactful yields when they are used for retargeting purposes.
Crowdsourced creatives will work well when they revolve around activities related to the product, while brand-generated content will deliver results when it is focusing on the product’s USP.
It is important to note that the outcomes may vary in degrees for different types of content and different types of brands. So marketers will have to closely watch out for the yields generated by both types of creatives and continuously test it to ensure the optimum mix.
UGC platforms are a great way to start tracking engagement with high impact creatives. However, the emphasis needs to be on continuously tracking the efficacy of the campaigns to see if they are working or not. For instance, for some brands, bypassing these forms makes sense so that they can employ other outreach techniques like directly getting in touch with social media influencers.