In a world of ads and brands pushing sales messages, user generated content is a lifeline for businesses. Your customers are your biggest fans and can even be your best salespeople, without any prompting from you. Sounds great, right? But what exactly are the benefits that user generated content can bring to your business, and your bottom line?
1.It puts the focus on your customer
People love to be recognised by brands, and brands love to use the content their customers come up with, so UGC is a real win-win for both parties. This really helps to develop a strong relationship between the two; you’re not marketing AT them, you’re marketing WITH them, and it’ll help boost loyalty that’ll keep them coming back for more. And it helps to create a message that comes from a person, not a faceless brand. More on this next.
2.It’s more trustworthy
Whether they love a brand and follow all its social media channels, at the end of the day people know that a brand’s ultimate goal is to sell to them. So every time they see a post from a brand it’ll be taken with a heavy heaping of salt. On the other hand, genuine user generated content is much more humanised; there’s no sales pitch involved.
And it’s certainly working. According to research by Olapic, almost ¼ of respondents said they had bought a product after seeing it featured in user generated content. And a further 76% view content posted by consumers as more honest than brand ads; straight from the customers’ mouths.
3.It can boost SEO
Social media is a new and modern way to recommend brands, and when people link to your site through their tweets or posts, search engines don’t turn a blind eye. Just like reviews left on Trustpilot, Google takes these positive social signals into account. While the signals may not be huge and don’t have an instant impact, over time and as they build up, they become more and more prominent.
4.It shows you want to listen
Your customers are not only your biggest advocates, but also your biggest source of legitimate feedback. Who better to tell you how to improve your product than those who use it on a regular basis? Being open to user generated content shows that you welcome feedback and want to listen to your audience. By opening a genuine two-way conversation you can gain valuable audience insights and then use that feedback to tweak your products and make them better.
In fact, a study by Bazaar Voice showed that 64% of millennials and 53% of baby boomers want to have more ways to share their opinions directly with brands. They want to be seen and heard, so take advantage of that.
5.It provides social proof
They say the proof is in the pudding, but in this case the proof is in the pictures. When they market, brands make certain promises to their customers. User generated content acts as social proof to show others that you are delivering on those promises. Seeing real content coming from real customers is a fantastic way to put your brand into perspective and boost your credibility.
6.It’s better for your budget
When it comes to budgets, marketing is often one of the first things to get cut in hard times. So if your budget is stretched pretty thin, reaching out to your customers is a cheap and cheerful way to bring in some brand new content. While user generated content won’t completely replace your paid or organic efforts, it can be an excellent complementary method.
7.It gives a fresh perspective
Being part of a business’ internal team gives a great insight ‘behind the scenes’, which makes for fantastic social media content. But it’s just one perspective. Tapping into your audience shows you a whole other side that you may never have even considered. Whether it’s photos, videos, blog posts or reviews, user generated content keeps things interesting.