User generated content, or UGC started with the advent of digital applications like Instagram, VSCO and Afterlight – tools that empower their consumers to design and distribute high-quality images. Today, UGC is considered to be a powerful source of marketing for brands. Consumers are quickly taking control of brands from how-to be in YouTube to creating a newsfeed on twitter. Moreover, some of the great success stories of the companies that either intentionally or accidentally managed to obtain vital success, because of UGC as these images and videos achieve – brand affinity, engagement and even boosts in on-site awareness. It also helps to keeping the content fresh making the websites more interesting.
In a research studies it has been found that the companies that are more active on twitter obtained more positive results, where 50% of the users say that they are likely to buy a brand after they follow them on twitter.
This proves that having a social media button next to your product can positively affect buying decisions.
Despite, recent studies says that Facebook has a better brand engagement compared to twitter. There are many reasons why UGC has become such desirable, as it is all about creativity, authenticity and personal experience. If you ask yourself, what you are more likely to respond positively- a photo/ video created by a brand you follow or the same shared and reviewed by a user? It’s quite obvious that reviews turn out to be more authentic compared to the content shared by the brand itself.
Thus dedicated UGC programs acts as a valuable opportunity to create a lasting impact and making a connection with their target audience.
There are couple of examples to prove it:
- Starbucks white cup contest in which users are asked to decorate the cup with customized art and post it on twitter under the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. The winning entry would be the template for the new limited edition of Starbucks cup.
- In Instagram, Bollywood actors and actresses such as sonam Kapoor used it for neerja, diljit dosanjh for Punjabi movie promotions, etc
- TEDxportland an event in which users were asked to click images and add text ‘perfect’ on it and organizers projected all the photos on an 80ft tall honeycomb stage.