User-generated content, or UGC, is any type of content that users produce online. There are several types of UGC including social media posts, pictures, videos, comments, testimonials, podcasts, blogs, reviews, Q&A databases, and more.
UGC can be a very effective and powerful tool for businesses to utilize because consumers tend to have a greater influence over others. For example, if a close friend recommends a product or service to you, you’re more likely to purchase that product or service because you trust their judgment. This concept is similar to UGC. If a customer writes a positive review or testimonial about a business’s products or services, other users who read those messages may be more inclined to purchase from that business. “93% of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchasing decision,” according to AdWeek.
Consider a restaurant, for example – when users snap a photo of their meal and tag the establishment on social media, this can serve as a valuable way to attract new customers to the business. Another example could be seen with a clothing brand. Several clothing brands use fashion models to market their products. When real-life customers post photos wearing products from a specific clothing company, it gives potential customers a genuine and more realistic idea of what they could be purchasing.
In most cases, promoting UGC can positively contribute to a business’s credibility and establish a stronger brand presence online. It’s crucial to monitor UGC on a business’s websites and social media pages to avoid any harmful publicity toward the brand. This can be achieved by responding to comments that could potentially damage the reputation of the business and filtering spam comments properly. One bad review could negatively impact brand image and spam comments can draw attention away from the reliability of the business.
UGC is beneficial to SEO rankings as it boosts search visibility, has the potential to reach more leads, and builds trust with Google. This can also provide valuable insights into trending topics and the key interests of an audience. Not only is UGC an organic way to promote a business, but it also creates a sense of trust between prospective customers and the brand by showcasing authentic experiences from the existing customer base.
In today’s digital world, UGC truly has the power to make or break your company.