Your company’s brand is everything. It’s how people view your company. It’s how they understand its values. It’s a continual encapsulation of all that your company stands for. Yet, it can be far from easy to establish and just as hard to maintain. That’s why so many companies, particularly online retailers, are looking to user-generated content (UGC) to boost their brands.
UGC is, as the term suggests, content that is generated by users of a brand or product. Thus, in a sense, it’s free marketing assets for your company. This content can take any form of promotion, whether that’s images and videos or reviews and articles. Furthermore, as it’s most prominently being utilized by companies on Instagram, it’s ideal for retailers that want to display their merchandise.
With that in mind, here are 4 of the most significant reasons UGC is ideal for marketing your brand.
Come Across as Genuine
With your brand being central to conveying who you are a company, it’s critical that your brand comes off as being authentic. Authenticity, in turn, makes your brand more reliable. Since potential consumers will see that there’s no pretense in your brand, they will find it more believable.
UGC is among the best marketing tools your brand can take advantage of for displaying how genuine it is. This is because UGC is unpaid for. It comes about organically so others are more likely to believe in it than something your company itself puts out.
The numbers bear this out, as 60% of consumers say they find user-generated content to be the form of content that shows the most authenticity, according to Social Media Today.
Going hand-in-hand with authenticity is trust. These days customers are wary about what they buy. They want the convenience of being able to buy online but also the guarantee that what they see will be of the quality advertised. For this, they generally trust other people over companies themselves. That is why having good ratings, reviews, and a strong online presence is vital in maintaining your brand image and customer trust.
USG is paramount for enhancing the trust consumers and potential consumers have in your brand, as each piece of UGC is like a seal of approval from their fellow online shopper. On some level, UGC is a way for potential buyers to peel back the layers of carefully manicured marketing dollars spent on glossing up their products and just see the product they’re interested in, free of any frills and effects.
Through UGC, communities also form around brands. This is because people who make UGC tend to be the people who are most supportive of your brand. As such, the more UGC your brand receives the greater its most loyal fanbase becomes.
In turn, as fans like to share in the enthusiasm, they often come together and a community is formed. Through communities, parts of your brand can take on a life of its own, with the characteristics of its communities reflecting it as much as it does them.
Drive Learnings & Insights
User Generated Content a great opportunity to generate learnings about your audience and how they interact with the brand. For example, consciously test the use of influencer and model imagery vs. UGC on your product pages. Our partners have found that UGC drives sales and engagement. However, it is always worth testing general insights in your eCommerce shop. To get started, make a list of the test you plan to run and then document the outcomes.
As a logical consequence of trust and loyalty built around your brand through UGC, sales should follow. Moreover, services like our Shoppable Instagram exist, which can give companies like yours the ability to have your products bought directly off the platform. Thus, such services, when paired with UGC greatly increase the likelihood of sales.