In a world where the internet and social media rule, you have probably heard the term “user generated content” used around.

User generated content (UGC) is content that is produced by people as opposed to businesses.

Have you ever visited a cafe, taken a photo of your food or coffee and then posted it to your Instagram Stories, and tagged the cafe? If yes, then you created a user generated content for the cafe. 

In most cases, user-generated content comes in the form of photos, videos, reviews, or testimonials; as a result, consumers promote brands through online content rather than the brands themselves.

The outcome of this is a strong online social proof that has the ability to boost sales, trustworthiness, and authenticity.

Types of User-Generated Content You Can Use

Among the many form of UGC, some of the most common ones include:

1.     Product Reviews

A product review is an honest review of a product or a service by the consumers themselves. You will find them on different websites and platforms like your brand’s website, on online retailers’ websites, shopping apps, and on review aggregators such as Google, etc.

2.     Review Blog Posts

Bloggers often post reviews of different brands, whether it is a new product they have tried or a comparison of a different brand.  This also gives you the chance to get in touch with popular bloggers and offer them samples of your products and ask for a review post.

3.     Social Media Posts

Social media content is one of the biggest contributors to UGC. People love to post pics, videos, or comments about their favourite brands on social media like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook. To promote UGC, you can run contests and giveaways on social media using the right hashtags.

4.     Video Testimonials

Video testimonials are an awesome way for people to tell their story about a brand. So, you can use them on your website, on social media, and in your ads.

Why is User Generated Content Important for Businesses?

Mentioned below are a few reasons why user generated content is important for your business: 

1. User Generated Content Impacts The Buying Process

Social proof is the validation or recommendation of a product or service that existing consumers of a company give and because future customers need them. 

When you give a review or rating to a product or service that is social proof or UGC. Consumers find it more trustworthy as they believe people rather than marketers. 

According to a survey by Stackla, “On average, 60% of consumers say content from a friend or family member influences their purchases decisions.”

2. User Generated Content Is More Authentic

The foundation for building trust with your audience is authenticity. According to a Stackla study, 90% of consumers feel authenticity matters when choosing which companies to support.

Consumers today invest in brands as a whole rather than just products. A lot of people are affected in their purchasing decision if the company’s core values are nor followed; it does not justify its motto or promises. 

But how does UGC increase the authenticity of your brand?

It humanises your business, fosters stronger connections with your audience, and demonstrates to them rather than simply telling them that your product will live up to your expectations.

3. User Generated Content is Both Time and Money Efficient

How much time does it take you to organise, take pictures, edit, publish, and come up with a caption for a single social media post? A lot right? And if you publish five-six times each week, it will add up to a lot of time invested for the project.

Next comes the cost. Whether you hire professional graphic designers or depend on the skills of your own staff, their time is expensive for your company.

By having people who are your customers provide this for you in the form of user-generated content will save you time and money.

4. User Generated Content Gives Good ROI

Sales and inquiries are not the only thing that comes with a good return on investment. There are other benefits to UGC outside the influence for example, it has an impact on purchasing choices. It can also boost consumer interest in your company’s brand as a whole.

Websites that featured user-generated content saw a 20% increase in returning visitors. These websites also recorded a 90% increase in time spent on their website.

This kind of thing can significantly increase your follower count and click-through rates (CTR) in the increasingly tough and crowded online market. To sum up, user generated content in the digital world is like word-of-mouth marketing. It is a form of organic marketing for lead generation that saves your resources effectively. So, by encouraging your customers to share their experiences and thoughts about your brand, you can build trust, create a sense of community, and boost your brand’s credibility.