Why Your Brand Can’t Afford to Ignore UGCs

January 23, 2024

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The modern-day consumer is all about third-party recommendations.

User-generated content, or UGC, is the perfect way to promote your brand in a way that resonates with your target audience. 

Put yourself in the shoes of your target consumers. Would you be persuaded by a self-promotional ad or someone else’s experience with a brand?

Let’s dive into all things UGC so that you can reach your target audience in a way that converts.

Understanding What UGC is Exactly

UGC is simply content created by one of your customers.

It conveys a real brand experience and positions your brand in a new light.

UGC overlaps with influencer marketing. Influencer content counts as UGC but typically, UGC is from a happy consumer with an average amount of followers.

UGC is about quality, not quantity. Most of it will come from an average person but it’s so effective that it doesn’t matter if they don’t have a lot of followers.

UGC can take form in a few ways. It can be a video, a social post, a blog post, an online review, or a response in a forum.

Your earned UGC will get in front of a person’s organic audience and really gets effective when brands promote it.

As you can see in this example from La Croix, UGC doesn’t need to be overly polished, authenticity is key with this type of content. And notice how the brand reposted their earned post and tagged the creator. 

Why UGC is Crucial

At the end of the day, the reality is that consumers DO want to learn about your brand but they DON’T want to learn about it from you. Consumers want to learn about brands through a third party making UGC one of the most effective strategies.

By putting your customers at the center of your brand, your brand will become more humanized.

Sure, I can tell you the value of UGC until I’m blue in the face. But let’s face it, we are marketers and we utilize data to drive strategic decisions. So, let’s look at some numbers.

  • 79% of consumers say UGC highly impacts their purchase decisions (source)
  • Ads promoting UGC get 4x more clicks than other types of ads (source)
  • 48% of people claim that they rely on UGC to discover new brands (source)
  • 92% of consumers trust a brand recommendation from someone they know more than anything else (source)

One thing is clear from all of this data. Consumers largely prefer UGC and it’s your job to give it to them.

How to Earn UGC

A little incentive can go a long way!

Start by identifying your happiest customers. Email them or DM them on social asking them to post a video or image of them utilizing your products. Offer a gift card or a discount to make your offer enticing.

Another important thing to understand about UGC is that it will happen organically. Consumers love sharing their lives and mentioning brands they love (and don’t love) so implement social listening to get a pulse on the UGC that your brand already has earned.

Create an exclusive community for your brand fans to keep them engaged and keep them talking about your brand. 

Don’t dance around the topic. You can come out and ask for UGC from your audience. Take a look at how Ben and Jerry’s did exactly that.

Leveraging Your UGC

A consumer’s audience alone will get your UGC traction. However, since this type of content is so effective, brands need to get it out as much as possible.

  • Use it in paid ads
  • Incorporate it in your email marketing
  • Post it organically on your brand’s social channels
  • Publish it on your website
  • Add it to your blog posts
  • Amplify it with influencer partnerships

See how Mac leveraged UGC on social and tagged the creator. Simple, to the point and look at how much engagement the brand got!

Conclusion: Is UGC As Hot as It Sounds?

Looking at data and logic, UGC is both affordable and actionable.

Your brand can’t survive without your consumers, so give your audience the content they crave–UGC!

Don’t just rely on a creator’s organic audience. UGC is the best use of your paid budget. Especially on social.

Keep a pulse on your happy consumers and get creative when it comes to earning authentic posts about their experience with your brand.

Have you seen any UGC lately that made you take notice? I would love to read about your examples in the comments below!