What is a UGC or a User-Generated Content?
UGC, User-Generated Content, is also known as UCC or User-Created Content. Tintup.com defines well what UGC is. UGC is any type of content created and put out by unpaid contributors or fans. It can be pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blogposts, and everything in between. These contributors or fans are promoting a brand themselves rather than the brand itself.
Why is it important?
To cut the chase, user-generated content is important because it is coming from the consumers or users themselves. Therefore, it is more authentic and transparent. As consumers are becoming more accustomed to slimy marketing tricks employed by advertising and marketing companies — UGC can have a high trust rating to peers or other consumers.
Here are other reasons why a user-generated content or UGC is important:
- UGC propagates a brand’s authenticity and transparency through fans and consumers. Therefore, it is more likely a voluntary action by fans because of their loyalty and trust on a brand.
- In addition, user-generated content captivates the users interest as they feel more empowered and engaged. The more fans and users share a brand, the more likely for them to be loyal. This is perhaps what others may call as brand identification, which obviously would lead to brand loyalty.
- Besides, marketing teams can save more time, energy, and resources. Users and fans are augmenting the marketing team by 1) answering basic questions and 2) promoting features they find useful about a product/service/brand.
- Companies do not have to pay for user-generated content. Companies just have to deliver a great product/service/brand. What more can you ask?
Unfortunately, the world cannot run out of slimy sales tricks. That being the case, some marketing companies have also created fake user-generated content for a product or service they are selling or promoting.
User-generate content is supposed to create an authentic brand advocacy. It is also a good signal to search engines as it has a great likelihood of increasing social engagements and performances for a brand.
How to effectively implement a user-generated content?
As mentioned earlier, user-generated content can be pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blogposts, and everything in between.
Here are a few applicable, practical, and effective user-generated content to implement:
In April 2014, Starbucks’ White Cup Contest launched. Customers across the country submitted pictures as entries. Nearly 4,000 customers submitted entries with in 3 weeks.
Watch this video of Super Mario with more than 10million views. Super Mario in Nintendo allows you to create and play Super Mario the way you want it.
You shouldn’t have to be a big brand to make use of user-generated content. Ultimate Visa Corporation, a visa and immigration consultant in Philippines, makes use of their own version of a user-generated testimonial. Above all, it does not have to be perfect as well, as long as it is coming from your fans’ or users’ hearts.
This is by far the easiest to create and track. With Twitter, you can easily track mentions of your brand and easily re-share them. Here is a very unlikely user-generated tweet by a Japanese on a local barbecue restaurant specifically found only in Cebu Philippines.
— 【公式】語学学校NILS (@NilsCebu) September 22, 2016
More importantly, though it is in Japanese, it translates to: “Eat in Cebu with cheap, delicious BBQ shop [YakskiBarbecue]” (Translation using Bing’s translator)
Anyhow, there are lots of examples for user-generated contents like those from forums and other social media channels (such as Facebook and Pinterest). Perhaps in the future, I can add more examples for you.
Meanwhile, I think you got the idea. It does not have to be complicated. Just be creative. As usual, test the following:
- Is it applicable to your business? If yes, proceed to the next question.
- Is it practical to implement? If yes, proceed to the next question.
- Is it effective? Ask this question after testing it. If yes, then proceed to do more user-generated campaigns by inviting users and fans to participate for example on a contest.
Leave me a feedback of your experience.