User-Generated Content: The Benefits

Bright Fish Media_User-Generated Content

Social media users create user-generated content. Videos, images, podcasts, and reviews are all forms of user-generated content. YouTube video-sharing is the ultimate example of such a powerful platform. The purpose of this article is to examine some of the benefits this type of content can have for your brand.

It’s Free Marketing

User-generated content is free and is an excellent plan of action for businesses on a budget. With the right strategy, you can get noticed quickly and by a large audience – if you get to know their needs and habits. Sharing user-generated content created by your followers also shows your customers that you value them and that you want to maintain a two-way relationship.

Customers Trust

Users naturally trust user-generated content more than brand-created content. Individually produced content has a level of authenticity that commercial content cannot match. We see the power of this through customer reviews. When looking to purchase an item for example, we’ll almost certainly head to the review section first to see what fellow customers are saying about the product. If the reviews are good, we are more likely to lean towards buying the product. The same is true of Tripadvisor when we are planning an activity or a hotel stay. If the reviews are bad, we are going to move on quickly to the next venue. We are more likely to trust a customer’s voice since we see no agenda in their action.

SEO Benefits

A site’s ranking in Google is determined by its SEO, and this can be improved by user content. An online customer review, for instance, is likely to contain a lot of keywords naturally. You’ll be able to easily monitor comments about your product/brand through your website. On other platforms, where you have less control, such as TripAdvisor or Trustpilot, it’s important to follow-up with customers after feedback has been provided. The dwell-time statistics can also be improved using user-generated content. This refers to the time a user spends on a page after clicking through from a Google results page, before then returning to the results page.  Sharing customer photos and reviews also improves the likelihood of stronger engagement in the form of content shares, comments and likes. This also increases traffic for potentially new customers looking for what your brand offers.

Content Needs Change

The more user-generated content you share the less pressure your brand has to generate commercial content. Furthermore, it relieves the pressure to create content since it keeps your social media platforms busy and interactive without too much interference. Additionally, it saves time and money on your marketing budget. In many industries, this form of content can even work on its own for a brand. On social media plenty of companies create their own hashtag to benefit from user-generated content. For example, Wayfair encourages its customers to share videos and images of their Wayfair purchases set-up at home using the hashtag #WayfairAtHome.

This type of content sharing involves some legalities that you should make sure you’re aware and up to date with. Take Wayfair as an example. Without the owner’s permission, the company would not be able to use customer images on their website. Getting the green light to publish is usually an easy process, but it still needs formal approval.

There are some really great benefits to optimising user-generated content. Overtime and with consistency it can take on a really important role for your business.

For other articles on social media marketing, including how to get started with social media campaigns, how timing content posts correctly can influence its success,  and why a social media presence matters, click here.

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