What is User-Generated Content and How Can it Strengthen Your Business?

The potential for user-generated content is enormous, but only when done successfully. If you have a business, you need to take advantage of all the content opportunities that you can. The following article will help you better understand what user-generated content is and how you can use it to your advantage.

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content is any piece of content you use that has not been created directly by your brand. Reviews, videos, comments and photos are just a few examples of things that can be user-generated content.

Instagram is a gold mine for collecting user-generated content. If someone posts a photo featuring your product and tags you, then you repost that photo, you’ve now “created” user-generated content. I put created in quotes because the purpose of user-generated content is to keep from creating new content. It’s all about repurposing what your consumer is giving you.

Why should you use user-generated content?

There are plenty of reasons you should be using user-generated content. An obvious reason is that it saves you time, but here are a few deeper reasons.

It shows authenticity

Consumers are 2.4x more likely to say user-generated content is more authentic than branded content. The reasoning for this? All content is coming directly from the consumer. People are more likely to trust the experiences that come from real humans than the word of a brand.

It builds trust

81% of consumers say they need to trust a brand before making a purchase. Like I said, people are more likely to trust real humans over a brand. So, utilizing those real life experiences as user-generated content can lead to an increase in brand trust. 92% of people trust recommendations from people they know, why wouldn’t you want to share those recommendations as content? It will build trust and could even lead to more sales.

It influences purchasing decisions

79% of people say user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions. This ties into both previous points. Having authentic content from real people will have an effect on your consumers’ purchasing decisions. 60% of consumers say content from friends or family influence their buying decisions. That is a lot of people who could potentially turn into paying customers if you were to post their user-generated content.

It’s what the consumer wants

56% of consumers say the types of content they most want to see from brands are user-generated photos and videos. Not to mention, they’re constantly creating them. According to a consumer research study, people are constantly creating user-generated content and tagging brands because it makes them feel important and needed as well as increases their self-esteem. Not only does it make them feel better about themselves, but it also makes them feel validated. They receive a sense of validation as soon as the brand they tag interacts with their content. This feeling then leads them to creating more and more content for the brand.

User generated content is a great way to show authenticity, build trust, influence purchasing decisions and give your consumer the kind of content they crave. Save yourself the time and energy it takes to create mass amounts of content, when you have so much at your fingertips.

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