UGC: Why Your Brand Needs Real People In Their Marketing Creatives
What is UGC?
Have you checked a review before making a purchase? There’s something that makes a product feel more trustworthy. Take this idea of a peer review, then make it an advertisement. This is essentially the root of what innovative marketers call UGC.
User-generated content (UGC) refers to any content created by users or customers. This can include videos, images, audio, text, etc., and is usually geared towards social media. However, it has recently moved into review websites, forums, and ads.
With the recent explosion of social media titans like TikTok, video content is one of the most commonly served forms of UGC. While scrolling around on your social feed, you may have seen product review videos that appeared to be regular content. This means that the people in the videos did not appear to be professionals and seemed like everyday consumers. If it was a targeted ad, the person in that video probably even seemed relatable to you. If that is the case, you just saw a UGC video.
Why is it popular?
UGC has become an increasingly popular marketing tool for businesses seeking to engage their audience and build lasting relationships. According to StackLA, consumers are twice as likely to view UGC as authentic than brand-created content. Since real people create the content, consumers see them as their peers increasing the trustworthiness of UGC. A recent study found that up to 84% of consumers trust peer recommendations above all other sources, and 79% of people say UGC impacts their purchasing decisions. UGC can also help maximize brand reach through social media platforms, where they receive four times the click-through rate than average.
Alongside these benefits, UGC can also decrease budget expenses as word-of-mouth marketing generates twice the sales as paid advertising. Furthermore, UGC sees a 50% decrease in cost-per-click compared to regular advertisements.
Why is UGC unique?
Commonly mistaken for using influencers, UGC advertising began under the umbrella of influencer marketing. Still, it has evolved into its own content style and brought an industry-wide demand. The uniqueness of UGC that elevates its values are the humans who make the content. There’s an air of authenticity not found in other areas of advertising that has allowed UGC to quickly rise in popularity. According to a study by Nosto, people can differentiate between a UGC image and a brand-created one and will typically prefer the UGC image.
While they are neighboring influencers, UGC creators differentiate themselves by not having a large following or publishing the content themselves. Instead, all UGC is typically delivered to the brand to share on their channels. Both marketing styles are relevant and have advantages. While consumers’ trust in influencer marketing continues to diminish, UGC will continue to grow in popularity and demand.