User-Generated Content – Great for Content Marketing

How about leveraging a content market strategy where customers create the content for you and they rant about your products or services online?

Yes, you read it right!

Perceived as the most authentic and trustworthy form of content marketing, User-Generated Content is the favorite of marketers for so many reasons.

Why? Keep scrolling to find out.

What is User-Generated Content? 

Whether it is images, videos, blogs, testimonials or any other form of online content created by unpaid users, it falls under the category of User-Generated Content or UGC. Consumers create the content and then disseminate that content across social media and a variety of other channels.

Some of the benefits that are associated with UGC are as follows;

  • Build customer trust and loyalty
  • Strengthen brand-customer relationships
  • Improve SEO value
  • Boost social reach and social followers
  • Increase sales
  • Amplify brand authenticity

With time, user-generated content campaigns are becoming a trend as a staple part of content marketing strategy.

One of the mind blowing examples of highly successful UGC campaigns is the #ShareaCoke campaign by Coca-Cola which was launched in 2011.

Share a Coke campaign
Image: Share a Coke campaign – Source

With the objective of allowing people to share the customized coke bottles with names, personalized messages, etc., the campaign got the attention of the customers all across the globe.

Why User-Generated Content is Effective

As brands both large and small leverage the power of user-generated content as a part of their marketing strategy, it has proven to be quite effective in helping achieve targeted goals for revenue, growth, brand awareness and beyond.

There are a few factors that make UGC effective for brands. Let’s dig in to some of these factors.

●     UGC Showcases Authenticity

As customers want to hear about the products or services from users who have already tried and tested them, user-generated content seems to be a symbol of authenticity.

Customers tend to trust a low-quality video created by one of their peers more than they do a sponsored multi-dollar endorsement designed to drive them to take a desired action.

●     UGC Impacts Buying Decisions

Who is more trustworthy, brand, or a fellow customer, when it comes to buying a product or service?

Of course, you’ll trust the fellow buyer as they are likely going to be more honest with  what they have to say about a brand considering they aren’t being paid to promote it.

According to research, over 85% of customers say that visual UGC influences their buying decisions than branded content. In short, customers are more likely to trust user-generated content.

●     UGC Builds Social Proof

UGC serves the objective of highlighting the quality of your products and services and offers proof from sources outside of your business that the products or services you sell are high quality. This means the more authentic user-generated content is out there about your brand. the more potential customers will show interest in you.

●     UGC Cultivates Healthy Brand-Customer Relationship

As an effective marketing tool, UGC helps brands to build healthy relationships with their target customers.

How? Because user-generated content allows customers to take part in the process of content creation and also feel appreciated.

In this way, brands get the opportunity to have a better understanding of the needs and wants of their customers.

●     Existing Customers Attract New Customers

If you treat your customers well, they’ll likely be open to boasting about your products and services. When people who aren’t yet customers see the user-generated content produced by your customers, they may be likely to jump on the bandwagon and become customers themselves.

Fundamental Benefits of User-Generated Content

User-generated content can be generated by outsourcing content creation to users by creating loyal, lasting relationships and happy customers. This way brands can save their precious time along with financial resources.

Below is a list of a few key benefits of user-generated content!

1. Increased Social Media Reach

Various social media platforms work great for executing user-generated campaigns to strengthen brand-customer relationships. There are various benefits of social media-based user-generated content such as:

  • Boost in the number of social media followers
  • Expanded social reach
  • Amplified brand awareness
  • Boost in website traffic
  • Increased social media metrics i.e. likes, shares, comments & retweets

2. Know Your Audience

Popularly known as the hub of creative content, user-generated content helps you understand your audience in a better way. These insights can, therefore, help you generate leads and boost sales.

Before launching a UGC campaign, don’t forget to line up, marketing channel & set up to encourage your target audience to create UGC for you. Analyze what your customers are complaining about, and then work on it.

3. Find Unique Content

Motivating your audience to produce fresh and unique content from their ‘own perspective keeps content interesting. The more encouraged the audience will feel, the more they will stay engaged.

4. Increase Personalization

Another advantage of user-generated content is ‘Personalization’ to get your target audience to notice and engage with content.

Don’t limit yourself while personalizing your content as UGC encourages engagement, improves SEO, enhances lead generation efforts, helps you grow your audience, etc.

Challenges Associated with User-Generated Content

Some of the challenges that brands face while crafting a user-generated content campaign.

1. Making Content Policies

There’s an unwanted con of allowing users to submit original content is- Unpleasant Content. This is why dealing with irrelevant content from time to time is very important.

Moderating the user-generated content feeds is one of the best ways to showcase positive content. So, maintain the value of UGC by filtering out all the negative comments on your social media posts.

2. Legal Precautions

Ensure that you have ownership of user-generated content from its original creator to avoid sticky legal hassles like content infringement, copyright issues, etc.

Take the proper time to do extra research and work before publishing UGC from a third-party source.

3. Trustworthy Sources

Always remember to take information from a credible source instead of submitting and publishing information that is false. In short, running a website with plagued content can affect your brand image amongst your audience.

Most Successful UGC Campaign

World’s one of the leading technology companies Apple launched a #ShotOnIphone campaign after realizing user’s dissatisfaction over the average camera capabilities. The problem was that users were facing problems while clicking pictures in low lights.

The aim of this UGC campaign was to regain the trust back of its users on iPhone’s camera aptitudes.

Apple encouraged its users to take shots in low-light with their iPhones and share them online. The campaign got very popular amongst iPhone users all across the globe.


As time is passing by and new trends are hitting the marketing world, it has become very important for marketers to put their business ahead.

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Anne Griffin
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