Word of Mouth in the Digital Era? User-generated content represents the digital implementation of personal recommendation.
User-generated content (UGC) is attributed a high level of credibility, the content is authentic and approachable – channels like TikTok and Instagram are proof of concept.
UGC is content that is created and shared by users, such as images, reviews, comments, blog articles or videos. This user-generated content already plays an important role in social media, e-commerce, online marketing and PR. By involving users and their creativity, companies can create authentic content that strengthens customer trust and builds an engaged community. Target groups can be reached accurately and the perception of the brand can be strengthened.
Do you already have a UGC strategy? Here are some reasons why UGC is so popular with people and brands, and some tips what to look out for:
Authenticity and credibility: UGC is often seen as more authentic and credible than branded content. As it comes from real users, it reflects their experiences, opinions and perspectives. People tend to trust reviews, comments and recommendations from other users more than official messages from companies.
Customer engagement and participation: By engaging users and their contributions, companies can increase customer loyalty, participation and reach. By encouraging their customers to create and share content, for example with a UGC campaign hashtag, they become brand ambassadors.
Diversity and versatility: UGC allows for a wide variety of content and perspectives. Users can get creative in different ways, be it by sharing photos, videos, reviews, comments or testimonials. This creates a diverse content landscape that can increase the interest and attention of the target group.
Costs: UGC offers companies the opportunity to generate and use content cost-effectively. Instead of doing costly photo shoots or video productions, they can use existing UGC.
Interaction and engagement: UGC promotes interaction and engagement between companies and their target group. The active involvement of users creates direct communication where companies can receive feedback and respond to individual questions or concerns. This allows companies to build a closer bond with their customers and to target their PR messages.
Challenges and risks: Companies have less control over the content created and may have to deal with negative or inappropriate content or even misinformation or fake content.
Effective use of UGC in PR requires careful planning and moderation to ensure the quality and relevance of the content. Companies should set clear guidelines for the creation and distribution of user-generated content to ensure it is consistent with brand values.