Why is user-generated content better than traditional content?

user generated content
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If you have been using social media platforms, you must have been aware of how user-generated content has made its way to every brand’s marketing strategy. Many brands have now put a high emphasis on this type of content, ditching expensive billboards and print ads to build more online presence.

The best deal is that user-generated content can be cheap and efficient at the same time.

Consumers rely on social media for 74% of their purchasing decisions, while 41% of them just need to see 1 to 4 UGC reviews to be swayed to buy.

Do you want to incorporate user-generated content into your marketing or branding strategy? Then continue reading to see its benefits over traditional content.

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content (also referred as UGC or consumer-generated content) is content made by someone who isn't an official representative of your company and is related to your brand. It could be a status update on social media, a review, a video, a podcast, or a variety of other formats. It's user-generated content if it has something to do with your brand but was not made by one of your workers or affiliates.

What makes user-generated content better than traditional content?

The bitter truth is that: Marketers and advertisers are not that much trusted by consumers. We’ve got so used to telling about our services and products in the best words possible, only to negatively impact the customers’ attitude towards advertisements.

So we shouldn’t be surprised that consumers think ads are “exaggerated”. Which leads us to the first and foremost benefit of user-generated content:

1. User-generated content provides better authenticity

In the corporate world, authenticity and success have long been synonymous. Stay true to who you are and what you make if you want to enjoy continual growth and win out every new competition that comes in with new ideas. In this case, the well-known marketing term "content is king" couldn't have been more appropriate.

However, how can you use the brand image you've established to attract new clients and retain existing ones? Complement your customer-generated content with employee-created material and other media that demonstrates your company's commitment to sustainability and openness.

This is to be expected: consumers are drawn to the 'authenticity' and human connection that comes from noticing real-life experiences combined with environmental consciousness in the content that companies produce.

Look at how GoPro kicked off the whole concept of user-generated content on their Youtube channel. By showing user-generated content that is exciting and more real than any commercial footage, people appreciate GoPro as the leading sport camera for adventurers.

2. User-generated content can bring a higher conversion rate thanks to social proof

When you share user generated content with prospects, this goes hand in hand with lower expenses and increased confidence. You can't blame them for wanting proof that those glowing reviews are real, can you?

The cause of the high conversion rates is simple: prospective buyers value information into how effectively your product functions in real life and by actual people. UGC leads to a 29% increase in web conversions when compared to campaigns or websites that do not use it. It's energizing to witness a product in action, and it helps your customers imagine themselves as members of your brand community by exposing them to similar experiences.

The buyer in many ecommerce sites no longer has the option to physically touch and inspect a thing in their hands. Reduce the likelihood of your customers being disappointed with your product by using UGC to demonstrate how it works in real life, and you'll have fewer returns, and happier customers.

Apple has an entire campaign with #ShotonIphone and show everywhere the beautiful picture taken on their devices. Not only was this brilliant in generating UGC, it was also genius in showing the capability of iPhone’s cameras.

3. User-generated content can decrease the content creation cost

It should come as no surprise that businesses spend a lot of money on marketing. This is how they increase brand recognition and attract the appropriate customer. But what if you could spend less money on marketing and more on improving your product?

This is where user-generated content (UGC) comes in helpful. It not only costs very little (if anything at all) in comparison, but it also frees up a lot of time that would otherwise be spent thinking about content ideas, organizing photoshoots, and waiting for deliverables

You can repurpose and recycle content created by others for your brand in future campaigns. By being efficient with the content you collect, your organization will avoid wasting resources (such as trip fuel and physical items) on future marketing campaigns.

4. User-generated content helps establish brand loyalty to grow community

Instead of being a bystander, UGC allows customers to actively participate in the evolution of a company. This has a significant impact on brand loyalty and affinity because individuals thrive when they are a part of something bigger than themselves, and providing UGC helps them to join a company's community.

UGC also facilitates communication between a brand and its customers, and this level of brand interaction aids in the development and growth of a loyal following.

Contrary to traditional content, with which you can only produce, UGC lets your brand grow with more engagement from customers and fans.

5. User-generated content can have a positive environmental impact

Did you know that only 100 companies account for 71% of global emissions that contribute to global warming?

Consider the rubbish that every organization generates on a daily basis. There's no end to the garbage that isn't usually recycled or repurposed, from seemingly innocent single-use kitchen items to more tangible factory leftovers and photographic decorations.

UGC enables you to save the time and money spent on professional photoshoots, as well as hold fewer of them. Share how your company goes above and above to reduce its negative environmental impact, and you'll gain the attention of environmentalists on social media.

Citizens of Humanity, a premium denim brand, used its #WEAREALLHUMANITY campaign to put a social justice twist on user-generated content. Every photo with the hashtag generates a $10 donation to the United Nations Refugee Agency (UNHCR) in the United States.

Final words

If you’re serious about using user-generated content for your brand, first you need to come up with your company’s vision & mission. People won’t just stand by your brand’s side for no reason.

That said, don’t throw away traditional content! It’s still a valuable tool to retain your brand’s voice across all channels. Do both, and find your audience where they want to.

  • Ecommmerce

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