Pushing User-Generated Content Can Authenticate Your Brand
An important element for brands to consider when publishing content online is user-generated content. This refers to any content such as text, videos, images, reviews, etc. which is created by an audience, rather than the brand. Through involving this style of content, alongside your brand’s content, you are increasing the reliability and trust that an audience has when engaging with your product. It’s worth noting that a staggering 90 percent of consumers say that authenticity is a defining factor as to whether they like and support a brand. With this in mind, let’s delve into the five determining reasons as to why user-generated content is a necessity for your digital presence:
- Creating an authentic online footprint
There’s nothing worse than a great site or digital platform that is hidden from the world and has no clear engagement. This is like creating a ghost in the digital world. So when someone does encounter your platform, they won’t stick around, because it lacks an authentic, human essence. It’s fundamental that there is a lively presence surrounding your brand. By incorporating ‘customer reviews’ or ‘re-posts of customer reels’ on your page, you are certifying your brand's existence for future customers.
Teapigs are a great example of a brand who have utilised the reviews section on their website, enabling audiences to see what other customers have to say about their products.
- What customers see matters
Did you know that consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to the content created by brands? In some ways this is an added bonus, because your customers can participate in the acceleration of your brand by promoting it on their platforms. This creates further momentum surrounding the sales and success of your brand online. The more audiences who consider your content as trustworthy, reliable and authentic, the more credibility your brand receives. Meaning everyone wins!
Makai Restaurant have recently launched and a huge part of their digital success stems from their content which combines food photography and user-generated influencer marketing.
- Trust is an important part of a brand’s success
With UGC you are subtly coding trust into your business’ online presence. By reposting, resharing and engaging with your customer’s content, this amplifies the trust that you represent as a brand and online business. The more engagement that you create with your customers, the more audiences will believe that you are a legitimate business who is trustworthy. One of the ways that you can do this is by engaging your customers on social media through hashtags and interactive stories.
Oliver Bonas encourages their audience to tag them in the hashtag #oliverbonas and upload photos of their products on Instagram.
- Increasing an audiences purchase decisions
Another stand-out factor of UGC is that it highlights the ways in which a consumer can engage with your product. For example, you have just designed a new item of clothing or beauty product. Now is your time to send it off to influencers or digital creatives and ask them to produce exciting content which frames your product under an enticing lens. This not only creates content that can be used to promote your brand, but it simultaneously indicates to potential buyers, ways in which they too can engage with your product. Ultimately, leading to an increase of purchases.
- Emphasising the desirability of your brand
The more people who are talking about your products or services, the better. Now with most of a brand’s engagement occurring online, UGC can optimise the interest that various audiences have with wanting to be part of the online community that you are representing. It’s not only worth having a signature line up of professional brand specific content, but also by including your audience’s response to your products, you are expanding your digital branding and making it more of a lifestyle than a flat, surface-level product.
Baylis & Harding have dedicated one of their Instagram highlights, titled ‘celebrities’, to show different people engaging with their products in their personal environments.
So, moving forward, with an awareness of user-generated content, what ways are you going to enhance your customers' engagement with your product? Will you be creating more engagement-based Instagram posts, or contacting customers to create videos for their social media? There are many ways in which you can go about creating UGC, but always remember that by building your content library in this way, you are also enhancing the growth and engagement that your business has long term.