Wondering how UGC marketing works? Or the meaning of UGC in marketing? This guide will cover all aspects of User-Generated Content, or UGC in marketing and help you decide whether it’s for you or not. Let’s dive in!
User-Generated Content or UGC is any kind of content that gets posted by your average social media user. This could include short TikTok videos or IG selfies to show off new clothes.
The point is that this content is created by real social media users instead of brands, influencers, or content creators. Such content is posted by users for their own pleasure or to connect with others – they are not necessarily trying to sell anything or have any affiliation with a sponsor.
Even if they talk about a product or service, it’s usually to give advice or to share their experience, and most importantly, they weren’t paid to do so. That’s UGC – any content posted by real social media users who have no affiliation to a brand or sponsor.
Why is UGC Important in Marketing?
Due to its authenticity, people online tend to trust UGC a lot more than other forms of content. Creators of such content come off as real, honest, and trustworthy because they weren’t “bought” by some brand to say good things about them.
UGC boosts engagement and conversions
UGC is important in marketing because brands can easily use it in their marketing campaigns to get much higher engagement rates. According to research, brands that use UGC get 29% higher conversions, 90% boost in time-spent on site, and 20% more return visitors. Moreover, consumers are 2.4x more likely to trust UGC over branded content.
Source: Business Wire
AirBnb, for example, mostly reposts photos from its customers to show that it's a genuine brand and that other people use it on a regular basis.
Other examples of UGC include user reviews, testimonials, shoutouts, and more. In our social media age, the easiest way to assess a brand’s reputation is by looking up what other people say about it.
UGC builds social proof
Chances are, you are much more likely to make a purchase from a brand if it has great reviews or if someone you follow recommended it in a social post. Even if you see a product being used by other people, you are much more likely to think that the brand is real and authentic.
Social proof helps you make a purchase decision much faster, pushing you deeper in the buying journey without you even realizing it.
UGC is cheaper to create
The good thing about UGC is that it’s always created by other people so you don’t spend your own time and resources on creating it. Actually, ugc is even cheaper than influencer marketing.
Moreover, influencers who charge thousands of dollars per post usually promote you for a limited period of time. They take off your post as soon as the money stops coming in.
As for UGC, it stays on the internet forever, and builds brand awareness overtime. It creates a snowball effect and helps you boost your sales in the long run. So as a brand or business, it makes total sense to leverage UGC in marketing.
Where to Get UGC From?
Just like in any content marketing campaign, you must have a reliable way to consistently source fresh content.
The best kind of UGC comes directly from your customers. By providing an exceptional service and requesting reviews, you can have people generate UGC for you to repurpose in your marketing campaigns.
However, it’s really hard to convince people to create content for you if you’re still a new brand. You could offer some bonuses or incentives but this could degrade the quality of content. Remember: your customers are not expert creators, so their content will only come off as authentic if they’re genuinely motivated to review your products or recommend it to others.
If you don’t have a huge customer base and find it hard to source content from real people, fret not! You can always source content from UGC creators for hire. These people are not influencers (most of them don’t have any social media following), but they are really good at creating authentic-looking content.
The only hurdle you will face when working with UGC creators is that it’s a very tedious and time consuming process to find them and start working with them. That’s because you can’t just have one UGC creator produce content for you – that will be too repetitive and your audiences will sense that the creator is actually hired by you.
To avoid that, you have to work with many UGC creators and source a lot of content in bulk. For this, it’s a lot more practical to use a UGC creator platform.
UGC Creator Platforms
UGC creator platforms are designed to source on-demand content from creators all over the world.
One great example is Paysenger – it’s a social marketplace where content creators offer various services to brands, sponsors, and other content creators.
To source content, simply follow these steps:
- Download Paysenger on iOS or Android (or use the Web version).
- Create an account and link your social profiles.
- Go to the Creators tab.
- Use Search Filters to find creators in your industry.
- Pick a creator that you like (you can review their content style on their profile).
- Send a paid request and describe in detail what kind of content you want them to create.
- You can even ask them to post it on their socials.
A UGC creator platform like this makes it very easy to source content in big quantities. Not only is the content created based on your requirements, you also get to quickly find creators who specialize in your niche or industry.
Employee generated content can be used to build trust and to tell the story of your brand. It’s much more authentic because it comes directly from your employees.
Employees on average have 10x more followers than company social accounts, and their content gets more engagement because it comes from first-hand experience working at the company.
UGC Tips and Tricks
Important tip for e-commerce sellers
If you’re an e-commerce seller who sells on Amazon or some other third-party marketplace, the TOS usually prohibits you from incentivizing people to post UGC reviews. However, you can still use UGC or UGC creators to post content on social media. If you can build enough brand awareness, people will be happy to buy your products and post reviews on Amazon.
Even if people don’t post enough reviews on Amazon, remember: the end-goal is to have a brand presence and that could be on any platform. The most important platform is your own email-list.
Ask for permission
If people decide to review a product or make a post, always ask their permission before using their content in your marketing campaigns.
If you have a decent social media following, a lot of people would be happy to get some extra exposure if you give them a shoutout. However, some people might be off-put if you don’t ask for their permission first.
Also, if you run a branded hashtag campaign, don’t expect everyone to know that the hashtag gives you permission to use their content. Ask permission in any case.
Always tag the original creator in your posts. This creates a culture of give and take, and people need to see that you reward those who create content in your favor.
This will entice other users to create UGC for you as well.
UGC in marketing is an excellent tool to boost your engagement and build long-term brand awareness with your customers. Every piece of content that people put out stays on the internet and builds backlinks to your website or social pages.
This boosts your rankings in search results and also gives you much more exposure on social media. But remember: it’s a long-term strategy and you won’t see results immediately. You must continue sourcing new content and stay consistent for a long-time for the UGC strategy to work.
Ready to source high quality user-generated content from UGC creators? Create a free Paysenger account and start meeting UGC creators from all over the world! Source large amounts of UGC and even pay creators to post content across social networks. Achieve your marketing goals quicker and much, much more!