Digital Marketing 8 min read
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed
Published 27 Jan 2021
I’m reading a book called the Marketing Rebellion by Mark Schaeffer, and in the opening chapter, he shares a statistic that struck me. During the evaluation phase of a purchase, two-thirds of the touchpoints involve human-driven marketing activities—such as internet review sites, social media posts, and Youtube videos (McKinsey).
So two-thirds of your marketing…is not your marketing.
Let that sink in.
Since that 2009 study, more and more platforms have surfaced to support user-generated content (UGC), which refers to any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—that is voluntarily created by individuals, fans, or consumers not associated with the brand (i.e., not an influencer).
Why is UGC important? Because it’s real, and it’s authentic. And as the McKinsey study suggests, in a world of many products and a sea of ads, people are looking to each other to navigate it all and make the right purchase.
It’s become one of the most sought-after marketing tools because of its simplicity and what it can achieve. So what exactly is this marketing tool that’s not actually your marketing but makes up two-thirds of your marketing? How does it work? What are the benefits? It’s quite the concept—and we’re here to help you unpack it.
As part of our Digital Marketing Series, this is your beginner’s guide to user-generated content.
To leverage user-generated content, you gotta know where to source it. Here are a few types of UGC and where you could spot it in the wild.
And when it comes to making a purchase, people seek out reviews—a whopping 95%. Millennials, particularly, value online reviews. In fact, most trust them as much as personal recommendations. What we’re trying to say is, ask your customers for reviews!
In these threads, you can find people asking for recommendations as well as giving recommendations. We suggest poking around on these forums to see if there’s any UGC for your brand. However, if there’s an embodiment of “going down a rabbit hole,” this would be it. It’s best to set aside a few hours for this research.
If we only had a 15-word limit, we’d leave you with that McKinsey finding—user-generated content has a huge influence on purchasing decisions! But because we have room to wiggle, here are some more reasons why you should leverage UGC:
UGC makes purchasing from a new brand less risky. When your prospects see someone else trusting your product or service, it breathes life into it. It’s no longer an intangible brand in a sea of many (or worse, a scam). It’s real (and recommended!) by a human.
Let’s use Galactic Fed as an example. Sure, I can tell you how great we are (and I will continue to do so), but reviews like these help validate our superpowers. (You didn’t just hear it from us!)
Now that you know what UGC is and how it benefits your brand, you may be wondering how you can get more of it.
Sure, you can’t create it yourself, but you can turn your customers into fans and communities—which encourages more engagement and ultimately fuels more content creation.
Here are some ways to do that:
If you’re struggling to get reviews, try offering an incentive, like receiving 10% off their next order. Or revisit the process of leaving a review. If it’s difficult or inconvenient to do so, they may opt-out—even if they like your product.
Leverage hashtags: To create a trackable UGC social media campaign, you gotta create a unique hashtag. With that being said, you’ll still want to choose a hashtag that reflects your brand, like Coca-Cola’s #ShareaCoke. It includes the brand name and asks for content that’s pretty darn easy to create—all you have to do is find a bottle with a name that holds personal meaning to you and snap a pic!
Source: Coca Cola United
User-generated content has many benefits that resonate with virtually every brand—it’s highly effective at growing reach and sales while keeping the workload and costs low. Do we need to say more?
UGC certainly has a place in your marketing—but it’s a bit tricky to source, isn’t it? If you’d like some guidance on building a UGC campaign, let’s set some goals together! As growth marketing experts, we’re all about seeing those results moving up and to the right.
Content Writer @ Galactic Fed