Image Source: Campaign Asia
User-Generated Content (UGC) is the bridge of the future that connects brands to their target audience. And as we can see, TikTok is winning in this marketing strategy as early as today. But what is user-generated content, and how does it affect your business?
What is User Generated Content?
Image Source: Medium
User-generated content or UGC puts the power of marketing to the people, instead of to the brand. Essentially, UGC is any content that has been created for free by contributors, or by users of a certain platform like TikTok.
User-generated content is the equivalent of word-of-mouth marketing in digital marketing. It encourages users to create and participate with the cause, even unknowingly. Hashtag challenges are examples of effective user-generated content, and TikTok marketing. Users who join these challenges are not necessarily paid by brands to participate or to upload short videos.
They simply do so because it is trending, or they want to get involved with other people who already joined the challenge before them. As such, it has the potential to hit virality without costing an arm and a leg to the business owner.
Outside of TikTok and other social media channels, user-generated content also exists in the form of blog posts, website pages, images, and testimonials. One common example is when a clothing brand asks its followers on social media to share a picture of them wearing one of their iconic pieces, like a trench coat.
Once the campaign rolls out, and the images start to pile up, the brand can simply curate the best images that they can share on their blog or their social media channel. The images from their followers wearing their iconic trench coat don’t only increase brand awareness, they also instigate a buying urge for other followers.
Social media proof or information that is being shared across these platforms can strengthen the image of the brand, and 68% of social media users between the age of 18 and 24 take these things into account before they arrive at a purchasing decision.
What’s in It for Your Business?
UGC campaigns have been a major player in marketing because they really work. Again, user-generated content doesn’t only provide social proof; it also creates a good image and credibility to the brand, as well as increases its salability in the eyes of their target audience.
And though, UGC is mostly created by users for free, sometimes brand also partner with influencers to increase the chances of their campaign being viral. When a famous TikTok influencer makes use of a certain hashtag while dancing a certain move in the tune of particular music, other TikTok users can be easily encouraged to join the challenge. Influencer marketing is effective in speeding up the success of a UGC campaign.
Why Are UGC Campaigns Successful?
The trend in marketing is always evolving. Gone were the days when celebrities like actors and singers take center stage as far as commercial campaigns are concerned. Today, influencers or people who are famous in a certain circle are more seen as authentic by a brand’s target audience. That is why it’s a common practice to use influencers to launch a UGC campaign.
Moreover, user-generated content is successful because of various reasons. Why do brands give out the power to the people to promote their products, instead of hiring celebrities? Is it because they want to save on their marketing expenses?
People Despise Marketers
People trust people, and not ads or high-paid celebrities. A whopping 92% of people are more likely to trust a recommendation from another person that they don’t know, over a branded content or blatant advertising.
UGC Campaigns Are More Authentic
In a study run by Stackla, 86% of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support. Also, 57% of consumers believe that less than half of brands create authentic content.
UGC content is also supported under this survey. It says that 60 percent of consumers say that content from family and friends influence their purchasing decision, while only 23% say content from celebrities or even influencers are impactful.
The bottom line is that a brand that is seen as more authentic with their content and marketing is more likely to be loved by consumers. And one of the ways to create authentic marketing campaigns is by using the power of user-generated content. Let the average people be the voice of your brand.
The ROI is High While the Cost is Low
User-generated content is all about encouraging users to be the ambassador of a brand for free. And these highly engaged users do it out of their own volition because they want to share their experience, they want to connect with like-minded individuals, or even to have a chance of winning a certain prize.
Paying a representative from video-sharing apps like TikTok to craft an effective user-generated campaign is obviously cheaper than paying celebrities. And user-generated ads receive 4 times higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in the cost of cost-per-click.
Short-form videos allow users to share their passion and express their creativity through TikTok, while also connecting with other like-minded individuals. This, in turn, creates an instant emotional connection with the target audience.
Consumers love stories and testimonies from ordinary people, and user-generated content is a sure way of creating these potent social proofs.
UGC is a win-win solution for brands and app users. TikTok creators could gain followers, and brands can benefit from the uploaded videos that are shared by the users for free.
Did you find this article helpful? Feel free to check out other content on our blog. And if you have questions or you are interested to learn more about the possibilities that await your business with the help of TikTok marketing, feel free to get in touch with us today.