What Is User Generated Content and Why Does My Business Need It?

What Is User Generated Content and Why Does My Business Need It?
Photo by Carlos Muza / Unsplash

In the ever-evolving landscape of digital marketing, businesses are constantly searching for innovative ways to connect with their audience and build a strong online presence.

One strategy that has gained significant momentum in recent years is harnessing the power of User-Generated Content.

What Is User Generated Content?

User-generated content (or UGC) is any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands. It is content that is voluntarily contributed by individuals that have had  experiences or interactions with your business.

This type of content not only enhances engagement, but helps brands take their authenticity to the next level and fosters a sense of community amongst consumers.  

With that in mind, let's look into the benefits of UGC and how you can harness its power to create a thriving brand community. 

First, Some Numbers

According to Hubspot, UGC is on the rise and will continue to grow into the near future. In fact:

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The Rise of User-Generated Content

With the rise of social media platforms and online communities, consumers are no longer passive recipients of marketing messages; they actively participate in shaping brand narratives. This shift has led to a more authentic and relatable form of marketing – one that stems from the voices of real users.

GoPro community member capturing dynamic GoPro shot while wakeboarding, posted on the official gopro account for content
An example of community UGC used by GoPro

Benefits of User Generated Content

Building Trust and Credibility

One of the primary advantages of User-Generated Content is its ability to build trust and credibility.

When potential customers see authentic experiences shared by their peers, it adds a layer of authenticity that traditional advertising struggles to achieve. Positive reviews, testimonials, and real-life stories create a sense of reliability, instilling confidence in prospective customers and increasing the likelihood of conversion.

Engagement and Interactivity

Beyond marketing benefits, UGC helps foster a sense of community around your brand. By creating a platform for users to share their stories and connect with each other, you're building a community that goes beyond mere transactions.

By creating and sharing content, users can connect with other like-minded individuals and build relationships based on shared interests and experiences. This sense of belonging can transform one-time customers into loyal advocates who actively promote your brand and products.  

Cost-effective Marketing

UGC can serve as a cost-effective marketing tool.

Instead of investing significant resources into creating content from scratch, businesses can leverage UGC to showcase their products or services. This can save both time and money while still generating effective marketing material.

Social Proof

UGC acts as social proof, influencing the purchasing decisions of other potential customers.

When people see positive experiences and recommendations from their peers, it can instill trust and confidence in your brand, leading to increased conversions and sales.

Examples of User Generated Content Campaigns

Coca-Cola - Share a Coke Campaign

Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke campaign” is a prime example of a successful UGC campaign. This campaign features hundreds of first names on Coke products and traditional ads and in-store displays encouraged customers to find a bottle or can with their name on it and post a picture of it on social media with the #ShareaCoke hashtag.

Coca-cola was not only able to collect organic content for their socials, but it also led consumers to feel more connected to the brand.

An example of the Share a Coke bottle design.
Coke bottles with personalized names Erin, Amelia, Daniel for sharing.

American Express - OPEN Forum

American Express professionalizes its user-generated content and has built a community around its brand through its OPEN forum. The site features user-generated blogs and articles covering everything from company culture to money management to e-commerce that is written by its customers.

By giving small business owners a space to post and answer questions, create content, and connect with other entrepreneurs, American Express used UGC to create a community of its customers.

screenshot of the American Express Open forum as a professional example of how UGC can be used to build a community
Preview of the American Express OPEN forum

Why Does My Business Need UGC? 

Overall, UGC is the key to connecting with customers on a more authentic level. By collecting and encouraging your audience to share their media, you are creating a bank of content that is going to deeply resonate with your audience.

When prospective customers see real people engaging with your brand, they are going to be more likely to purchase from you versus from your competitor that has no UGC or brand community!

How To Create Marketing Campaigns With User Generated Content

User-Generated Content can be seamlessly integrated into your marketing campaigns, amplifying their reach and impact.

Create campaigns that encourage users to share content with a hashtag that is unique to your company. This not only boosts user participation but also turns your customers into brand advocates.

As they share their content, they are effectively promoting your brand to their networks, exponentially increasing your reach.

However, creating and managing a successful UGC campaign from scratch takes significant effort. Monitoring hashtags, curating content, reaching out for permissions – it's a task that can quickly get overwhelming

A Better Solution...

Using a platform like memoryKPR allows you to simplify the management and organization of UGC gathering campaigns. Rather than manually downloading content from social media, memoryKPR's automated hashtag and digital asset management tools allow you to run UGC campaigns and organize the content all in one place.

memoryKPR eliminates the hassle of manually searching for relevant content. It automatically gathers posts featuring your branded hashtag, saving you precious time.

screenshot showing how easy hashtag capturing is on memorykpr
This is how easy it is to capture hashtag content in memoryKPR

Platforms like memoryKPR for customers/consumers or Mighty Networks for community networks create spaces where businesses can build their own exclusive communities, fostering connections and interactions away from the noise of social media.

By creating a private community, businesses can curate user generated content, initiate discussions, do surveys and provide value directly to their loyal customers.

The Future of Marketing is UGC

In a world saturated with advertising, the power of authentic storytelling cannot be overstated. UGC empowers businesses to tap into the genuine experiences and sentiments of their audience, creating a more relatable and trustworthy brand image.

By leveraging the power of UGC, businesses can not only enhance their engagement levels but also cultivate a vibrant and connected community that extends the reach and impact of their brand.

Transform Your Digital Presence with memoryKPR

Schedule your free demo today to see how memoryKPR can supercharge your content strategy

Book a Demo