The Power of User Generated Content

Posted 19.08.20

What the UGC?

For those who aren’t familiar, user-generated content (UGC) is any content that has been created by people rather than brands. Instagram has over 1 billion monthly users, 500 million of which use the app daily, and the engagement rate per follower on Instagram is 58 times higher than that on Facebook!

Incredibly UGC is 20% more influential than any other kind of media when it comes to millennial buyers.” 

There’s a hugely engaged, young audience here, and there a lot of potential to leverage UGC to authentically build communities and conversions.

Making the most of UGC

Brands like Airbnb are successfully utilising UGC on Instagram to show off their most lavish properties that are ready and waiting to be booked. Showing customers UGC of these properties rather than images from the website feels much more reliable from a consumer point of view, as that person has nothing to gain from posting the picture.

Taking a slightly different approach, Gymshark uses UGC, in particular carousels, to promote the different range of activewear that they sell. This is a brilliant way of advertising different products and the available colours that they come in. As well as their physical products, Gymshark go a step further and post UGC workouts for their audience to save and test out another time. This is going to engage their gym-obsessed audience whilst subtly promoting their products.

UGC is a huge contributor to the Discovery UK Instagram page, where we often showcase the incredible wildlife photography from our engaged fans. In the last 12 months alone, our top 8 posts (based on both engagements and reach) have all been UGC. Posting UGC to the Discovery UK Instagram channel allows us to inspire our audiences whilst also building powerful relationships with photographers as a brand. 85% of users say that UGC is more trustworthy than branded content, this is really important to remember when setting up or running an Instagram account where you’re selling physical products or services.

But is it for me/my brand?

It’s important to recognise why you should be using UGC and what you want to get out of it for your brand. The two most important things to think about are:

1. Promote authenticity: Consumers on IG are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. This offers brands an important credibility boost which could ultimately drive engagements & sales down the line

2. Create trust: “When it comes to online, especially for e-commerce brands, user-generated content is the digital equivalent of a personal recommendation.” 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent trust online consumer opinions. You’re not going to go for a bottomless brunch if the venue’s Instagram presence is nowhere to be seen. By posting UGC, someone has liked a product so much that they’ve decided to pose with it / rave about it – utilise this and re-share these to your audience!

There are options with UGC as it can be in-feed stills, videos, carousels, IGTV, or Stories depending on what is most relevant for your brand and what your audience is trained to engage with. Just make sure you’ve got permission to use the content first!

UGC is a winning ticket in gaining trust from your audience at the same time as promoting your brand effectively. Put a consumer stamp of approval on your Instagram and start reaping the benefits. What are you waiting for?

Niamh Moore – Junior Strategist, Wilderness Agency

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