User-generated content (UGC) is any form of content – text, images, video, reviews, social posts, that are created by individual people, not brands.
Why is UGC a great source of content for marketers?
It’s human nature for individuals to relate more to posts or pictures from people who resemble either themselves or someone they know. Which in and of itself is a good reason to make sure your social feed is diverse, but that’s a post for another day.
According to a recent survey from Stackla, 90% of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding which brands they support. And you can’t fake the kind of authenticity that you get from UGC. According to an article from socialmediatoday.com, 70% of the time, consumers are able to distinguish between consumer-created content and brand-created content.
It Inspires Brand Loyalty
As a company/brand, by sharing UGC, you are putting your audience first and creating that genuine relationship with your customers. It shows that you value what your customers have to say and want other potential customers to hear them as well. Sharing content that your customers have sent you allows people to feel like a participant in your brand instead of just an onlooker. And it really just snowballs from there – when people see UGC, it generates brand enthusiasm and loyalty which then creates more brand ambassadors who share your content and the cycle continues.
It Builds Trust
Consumers are wary of ads because the incentive behind the message is to sell, but when the message comes from an *everyday person, like themselves* who isn’t being paid to sell them something, that message is valued more.
According to Nielson’s global trust in advertising report, 92% of consumers trust earned media more than any other form of content. Earned media here means recommendations from friends, family, or peers. AKA user-generated content.
Where does B2B UGC come from?
It can come from your customers – people who praise your product and share it with their colleagues and friends either via word-of-mouth or posting about it on social. Advocates are also a great source of UGC. Advocates can be a media partner or an engaged customer. They are highly enthusiastic, active in your community, and someone you could go to and specifically request feedback that you could use as UGC.
Lastly, UGC can come from employees. The content that your team members share is a direct reflection of your company. Also known as EGC (employee-generated content), this type of content can give an inside look at what your company culture is like, what new products are coming out soon, or even to just remind your audience that real people work for your company and you are more than just a brand.
User-generated content is a great source of material that you can share that highlights your authenticity as a brand. Be on the lookout for content coming from your customers, advocates, and employees that you can share to your audiences to build trust and a sense of community.