Think back to the last item you bought that was recommended by a friend. Was it food, or maybe clothing? Perhaps just a brand in general. How about the last time you read reviews before making a purchase?

Word-of-Mouth marketing has been around as long as people have been talking. But with modern day technology, these recommendations are finding new ways to reach the ears of willing listeners, or maybe I should say eyes.

Online reviews are nothing new either but when we combine the two, a new digital version of word of mouth marketing forms. UGC. Three simple letters that are changing the way consumers interact with their favorite brands.

UGC stands for User Generated Content and is defined as any type of content that has been created and put out there by unpaid contributors. It can refer to pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, etc. and is the act of users promoting a brand rather than the brand itself. Not to be confused with Influencer Marketing, by which a brand would identify an individual to promote and endorse the product via their private social media, usually in exchange for money or contra.

Linking content to hashtags is the way of the future and can no longer be ignored. In recent years, big brands like Burberry, CocoCola, GoPro, and Starbucks have had big success and you can too.

Along with helping build brand awareness and increasing social media followers, here are 5 big reasons why you should consider utilizing UGC:

  1. Encourages Engagement
    • Brand engagement increases an average 28% when users are exposed to a combination of user created content and professional content. – comScore
  2. Influential
    • 93% of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchasing decision.  AdWeek
  3. Increases Web Conversions
    • UGC results in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or websites without it. – AdWeek
  4. Provides SEO
    • 25% of search results for the world’s 20 largest brands are links to user created content. – Kissmetrics
  5. Low Cost
    • Aside from a few promotions (flyers, banners, boosted posts, etc.) your customers will create the content for you.

Like any marketing trend early on, UGC campaigns are not without risk. While the investment may not be too steep, these type of campaigns can occasionally take time to build traction. The key is to know your audience and stick with it! Consider a contest or giveaway to help boost engagement during the kickoff.

Encouraging consumers to partake in social selling is a great way to spread the digital word about your brand. Plus with the aid of social media and smart marketing, you can capitalize on the best sales person you’ve ever had … your customer.

Want to implement a UGC campaign in your marketing strategy? Contact Spry today.