In the 21st century, corporations experiment with several marketing techniques to attract new audiences and retain the existing ones. But it seems that UGC (user-generated content) will dominate the industry in the post-pandemic world of marketing. Statistics show that UGC influences a consumer’s purchasing decision more strongly than influencer marketing.
Likewise, millennials trust people-generated content 50% more than business-generated content. They’re contributing to more than 70% of all UGC today as well. So, why has user-generated content become crucial for a business’s survival in 2021? What are some forms of UGC that businesses must explore (and are already exploring)? Let’s discover answers to these queries.
Business benefits of UGC in 2021
It’s pretty self-explanatory what UGC means; content (images/videos) created by consumers and shared on social media. Since people generate it, it’s more trustworthy than traditional paid content businesses often produce. So, companies can exploit the genuineness of user-generated content. Driven by a consumer’s desires, thoughts, and suggestions, UGC provides an excellent alternative to other tactics used by marketers deemed inauthentic by their audiences.
So, what are some examples of UGC?
There are reviews/testimonials without which 70% of customers don’t purchase your products. Then we have hashtag contests to encourage more consumers to create UGC. People mainly utilize online tools to develop content such as videos, eBooks, and podcasts. These tools offer them a variety of eBook templates to produce visually appealing digital documents. So, how does this user-generated content enable your business to promote its products/services? We’ll now explain the benefits of depending more upon UGC:
People are prone to follow what’s massively acceptable and universally popular. So, businesses strive to enhance their social proof. Your social proof (social media posts in your business’s favor by a famous person) shows that people validate you. It contributes to your company’s acceptability as more customers create content about how reliable you are. By this logic, the more UGC you acquire, the more followers you’ll get online. That’s why organizations today invest more in getting UGC.
We’ve already talked about how UGC increases your business’s authenticity. A study by Stackla shows that nearly 80% of consumers find UGC highly impactful on their purchasing decisions. So, don’t forget that user-generated content is inherently most trustworthy than business-generated content. It is also more reliable since people tend to trust reviews by other customers before purchasing your products. Unfortunately, a company positively describing its products/services won’t have the same impact.
Even during an ongoing pandemic, the competition among rival businesses is still brain-numbingly fierce. It has led to “banner blindness.” It happens when excessive advertisements make people ignore them. But UGC – being not entirely market-driven – appears more genuine to customers and can cut through the noise successfully. Thus, it improves the effectiveness of your marketing endeavors. In the next section, we’ll show statistics about how UGC can boost your audience’s engagement.
Being more reliable and authentic, UGC also engages more customers. Statistics show that users spend 5.4 hours daily with UGC, accounting for almost 30% of a millennial’s media time. So, the videos/photos shared by people on different social media platforms encourage potential customers to interact with them automatically. Hence, UGC gets more likes, shares, retweets, and comments. It discusses many topics, including those sensitive ones businesses can’t touch via traditional content.
User-generated content also drives more conversions and increases the digital traffic to your business’s website/webpage. Marketers consider website traffic as a crucial KPI (key performance indicator) of the progress of their marketing endeavors. With people-generated authentic content that serves as “social proof” for your customers, leveraging UGC enhances your website traffic. So, it accelerates the purchasing procedure, thereby making your business more profitable in the end.
Encouraging customers to create more content enables you to have a strong connection with these people. You are actively establishing a communication channel – a feedback loop – with your trusted audiences. A study shows that over 50% of boomers and over 60% of millennials want companies to offer them various methods to share their opinions about businesses online. When you make customers feel seen/heard, you’re acknowledging that their opinions matter. It also gains loyalty from your fans.
All these reviews created by consumers directly influence your SEO efforts. User-generated content has helped several popular businesses improve their positions on search engines. Search engines such as Google require genuine and interactive content to determine how credible your website is. When consumers contribute to your content-creation endeavors, it convinces Google’s algorithm to decide in your favor. So, UGC gives you the necessary backlinks to help boost the website’s SEO ranking.
In modern-day marketing, personalized campaigns are more effective than traditional ones. Studies show that over 70% of customers prefer advertisements personalized to their shopping habits. Such ads encourage more potential customers to notice your business. Also, when you produce content that resonates with people’s likes/dislikes, it boosts their engagement. And that’s what UGC helps you achieve. Businesses can bolster personalization by leveraging the content made by consumers.
This one’s a bit obvious, i.e., UGC is budget-friendly and cost-effective. Since it’s created massively by consumers, so – instead of paying a bunch of ghostwriters to produce content for your website – you can utilize UGC to bolster your marketing efforts. Consider it a massive library of content merely waiting there to be used by your marketing department. As COVID-19 has disrupted the marketing endeavors of many businesses, UGC can serve as a “holy grail” of free content for marketers.
Many businesses struggle to create content that stays with their audiences and isn’t easily forgettable. Statistics have revealed that almost 30% of consumers consider ads featuring UGC more memorable than non-UGC ones. User-generated content is also more effective as it can linger around in their memories longer than traditional advertisements.
In 2021 marketers seek techniques that appear authentic to influence people’s purchasing decisions. We can observe that 75% of marketers considered user-generated content as more reliable than different content formats. According to 2017 statistics, 60% of consumers believed UGC to be the most original content format out there. Its benefits include building trust with your targeted audiences while increasing your business’s visibility, credibility, and search ability. Thanks to UGC, your consumers now have a voice you can leverage to enhance your business profitability. Being peer-generated, this content is unique, trustworthy, and memorable since competitors can’t replicate this user-generated content.