What is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content, or UGC, is brand-specific content created by customers and posted by brands through various channels, often seen across social media. And while social media may be its most key advisory, it is by no mean a new phenomenon. Time magazine named their person of the year, way back in 2006, ‘You’ as a homage to the explosive growth of user-generated internet content which was beginning to take over the digital world.
This 21st-century boom in content creation saw massive shifts in job creation and new waves of market research and advertisement techniques. As it became easier than ever to connect with your consumer and bring their voices to life through trustworthy and engaging video created with newfound familiarity. A theme we found only strengthen over the pandemic. During which we often used video diaries to keep in touch with audiences, explore their thoughts and what we found, below.
Stretch your Budget
UGC, in particular video diaries, was the most popular form of video throughout the pandemic for our clients. A trend we explored further through our recent research project. We asked professionals within the marketing, insight, and internal communications industries to state which video medium had grown the most over the last two years. Online video approaches were the key trend. Through cuts in budgets to in-person filming restrictions, UGC paved the way for fresh insights when we were stuck at home. It has been adopted by so many of our clients as a unique way to stretch their budget across multiple projects, with key features of reusability through various channels.
For marketing purposes, UGC provides a cost-effective way to gather social media momentum. Creating traditional video content or hiring influencers for brand promotion can often be costly affairs. Using consumers who love your brand and would love to be featured by your brand creates shares, comments, and likes which cost absolutely nothing! While the key measures for insight and market research are highlighted by the ability to cut costs of production without sacrificing the quality of content.
Video diaries have been extremely popular for a variety of insight projects. Bringing new life to the customer’s voice by letting them explore your questions through the comfort of their own home. Paired with not needing to shift across large amounts of equipment and people into specific locations. Prompts with your consumer’s voice are also easily discussed, and the responses are always natural. See a snapshot of video diaries research study (right), Moving into 2022 sustainably, as we explored consumers hopes and fears as they moved into the new year, across a variety of topics.
The biggest marketplace for UGC is social media. And as if social media wasn’t already powerful enough, the pandemic cemented its place as one of, if not the, most important channel for marketing, advertisement, and consumer trends and insights. The movement of ‘Reel’ styled video content across social platforms has shifted the aspects of video content. Video content is more easily skipped than ever, being swiped off your screen in less than a moment. Consumers are drawn to short, punchy, and relatable content. But you have to be quick and make sure you connect with your audience immediately.
Through our recently conducted survey about the use of video within marketing, we found that 80% of all marketing professionals say that they create video for social platforms. So, the question is, how do you deliver personalised messages to a wide audience over a minute timeframe? Authenticity. 83% of consumers seek authenticity from brands, and the most authentic content is consumer-created. This is due to UGC’s key parallels to social proof. Consumers are inspired by watching people just like them visibly enjoying or promoting a product as it gives them clear evidence of a potential personal use case. 87% of people say that social media post helps them with purchasing decisions. UGC unlocks this trend by best connecting to a vast audience, on a uniquely personal level.
UGC creates relied upon brand unification through lasting human connection. Using your consumer base helps to grow your brand by establishing a like-minded audience through relatable content. Also, allowing consumer-created content into your branding creates massive benefits in brand loyalty. Individuals can be part of a brand they love while inspiring others.
Unification through human connection is also a key benefit for UGC in insight and market research. Product testing, for example, through video diaries can have huge benefits to your brand. Instant feedback delivered from the comfort of your consumer’s home has helped many brands alter product tastes, change branding, and discover how to best advertise to the consumer they wish to connect with.