Creating great content is crucial for engaging current and potential consumers who may be interested in your industry or your particular brand. The expression “content is king” isn’t new to marketers but the premise of the phrase in the parenthesis is more important now than ever.
Creating content and crossing our fingers that consumers will engage with it, whether that may be sharing, liking or continuing the discussion is a gamble that all marketers take when they put their work out there.
Instead, I strongly believe that marketers must create content that allows consumers to engage with that company’s brand or campaign. Allowing a consumer to engage with your brand on their own terms has huge upside and I’m going to discuss 3 of them here today.
1.) User Generated Content Builds Trust
Lets take a minute and remove our marketing caps and put on our consumer ones. As consumers, we tend to trust the advice, stories and messages that are relayed to us from people in our network more often than a brand or company’s message. For example, I’d be more inclined to buy a shirt from Oak & Fort if a friend recommended it to me rather than them telling me I should. Let’s think about it, it would take Oak & Fort a couple of messages to get me to even check out there website, then to finally browse their men’s wear, and then complete a purchase. I’d be more inclined to check out the website and make an online transaction if someone in my network had something good to say. I strongly believe this insight holds true across almost every industry, and I welcome those who disagree to comment below. I’d be interested in knowing.
2.) User Generated Content Generates Great ROI
User generated content’s effectiveness speaks for itself. In addition to finding new users, converting leads into loyalists and facilitating a genuine discussion with a brand, the scale of user-generated content is massive. It doesn’t just have to be about products and companies, but it can translate into any industry. Let’s take a look at the political atmosphere in the United States for example. There is a plethora of user-generated content created for the American election. There is something to say about some of the candidates that are running for office, particularly a Republican called Trump. The election is consistently a trending topic around the world, and this is partly due to consumers going online and voicing there political stance, educating the public or poking fun of the never ending joke, Donald Trump. If you were to go on YouTube and type in the letter “D” or “T”, Donald Trump’s name is one of the most frequent search terms. Crazy.
Lets stop talking about politics (I don’t want to turn this into a republican vs democratic debate forum) and look at another industry. The movie, Straight Outta Compton, mastered user generated content by utilizing a meme generator that allowed consumers to change there profile pictures online. GENIUS. The reach that this campaign had generated helped facilitate a $56 million opening weekend and rave reviews. It also helped that the movie had a great story line, humorous and amazing, but lets stick to the topic at hand. I’m not saying by any means that user generated content alone was the reason why Straight Outta Compton did so well, there were other factors in play such as word of mouth, marketing and PR. There are tons of user generated content examples out there, email, tweet or send me a direct message, I’d be very interested in checking them out!
3.) User Generated Content Facilitates Discussion and Loyalty to the Brand
Gone are the days where a consumer only absorbed a brands message. We live in a day and age where social media allows individuals to express themselves in anyway they want. People crave community, and user generated content allows people to put there own spin on things while staying in the confines of being accepted and conforming to society norms and the collective. User generated content allows consumers to interact and facilitate a two-way conversation with a brand, and this in turn, increases loyalty. It’s cheaper to sell to an already loyal consumer than it is to find a new one. A consumers interaction with a brand or self-created content makes them feel important and a bigger part of the brands presence.
This can also be seen from communities that are built online via hashtags. There are thousands of Instagram communities that individuals hashtag too because it makes them feel like a part of something bigger. If there post gets shared on a community page, that further facilitates a stronger connection to the brand. Check out this community that promotes amazing photography, I guarantee you’ll follow it.
Trust, ROI and Loyalty. There are several more reasons why user-generated content is the hottest thing in marketing right now, and it make sense why. Allowing consumers to create content for your brand (as long as it fits within your brand guidelines) is more cost effective and genuine than doing it yourself.