1) What is User Generated Content (UGC)?
User Generated Content is the content generated by various creative fictions with the direction of brands or services in line with the marketing strategies of the brand.
How to use User Generated Content (UGC)?
UGC is a type of content that attracts more attention because it feels more natural and sincere than content produced by brands. Therefore, brands often want to produce this type of content. From a broad perspective, user generated content has influence on both the brand and the user who created the content. While brands promote themselves naturally without requiring an extra budget, the user who creates the content has the chance to increase his or her audience when he shares the brand content on his own account. Thus, a structure that contributes significantly to both sides with a win-win strategy.
2) User Generated Content with Statistical Data
According to We Are Social Digital's 2021 report, there are 4.2 billion social media users in the world. This represents 59% of the world's population. 72% of brands say that user-generated content is helpful when connecting with their customers and increases customers' trust in the brand. 87% of brands use User Generated Content (UGC) when sharing their own content. The reason for this is that the reliability of advertisements decreases on the user's side, and they give more importance to the experience.
According to The 2021 User-Generated Content Report, 90% of consumers think user generated contents are useful. Therefore, brands that want to get interaction and increase the trust of users prefer User Generated Content. On the other hand, the fact that it is much more cost-effective than professionally created content is one of the biggest factors that lead brands to this strategy. Overall, at least 8 out of 10 users say that UGC made a product they've never heard of indicates brand quality and positively influences their purchasing decision.
More than 90% of consumers are impressed by positive reviews when shopping for a product or service. 64% of consumers look for reviews and comments about products or services on various social media channels before purchasing and then make a decision. This situation actually expresses how much users affect each other.
93% of brands says that they have gained a new customer through videos on social media. On average, user-created videos about a brand for products or services (unboxing, product review videos, etc.) are watched 10 times more than official brand videos on YouTube. So user-generated videos often result in higher view rates.
How Was "User Generated Content" Used in Covid-19?
Especially due to the pandemic that the world has been in for the last 2 years, the relations between brands and consumers have completely changed. Prolonged quarantines and curfews can be used for brochures, billboards, public transport advertising, etc. disrupted traditional marketing strategies. In order to adapt to the new conditions brought by the pandemic, brands have changed their marketing strategies and focused more on digital marketing.
In these difficult times when shopping malls are closed and social distance is the most important rule of our daily lives, User Generated Content has been one of the most effective choices for both parties, which is an alternative for both consumers who do not have the chance to physically experience the products and brands looking for a successful marketing strategy in this period.
3) User Generated Content Examples
According to the data in the “Global Overview Report” published jointly by We Are Social and Hootsuite, users browse social media for an average of 2.5 hours daily from all devices. Therefore, it is possible to come across user-generated content frequently in our daily lives. User Generated Content example is when your friend tweets about a new product they have tried, or when they go to a hotel, they share their room and environment in their story by stating the name of the hotel. In such cases, user generated ads come to the fore.
Global brands like Apple, Netflix, Starbucks are increasingly running User Generated Content social media campaigns to market their products to ensure the effectiveness of their campaigns.
When Coca-Cola wrote the 150 most popular names on its products, it was in great demand around the world. Everyone shared when they found their name on the Coca Cola bottles and there was generally a good response. People started to share Coca Cola constantly on social media. The Share Coke campaign has become popular in more than 80 countries around the world.
Another successful example is Apple's #ShotOnIphone campaign. When Apple realized that users were not satisfied with low-light photos on iPhones, it launched this campaign to restore confidence in the iPhone's camera. The theme of his campaign was for iPhone users to take photos in low light and post them on social media. He combined the collected photos and videos with the most beautiful content shared on Youtube under the title "Shot on iPhone". Thus, it both regained brand trust and increased the bond between users. Currently, there are 22,339,418 posts on Instagram with the hashtag #ShotOnIphone**.**
"Stranger Things" , which is one of the most popular series on Netflix, attracted great attention with its first season. Before the second season launched, they made a promotion aiming to create User Generated Content based on the name of the series.
With the hashtag #StrangerThings2, they encouraged users to share weird things around. Thousands of people have shared strange photos, foreign objects with the hashtag #StrangerThings2. Thus, the interaction with the Netflix account has also increased. Netflix captured approximately 1 million viewers in 2 weeks. After the success of this campaign, Netflix continued to produce UGC with creative contents.
The Turkish beverage brand Dimes created a communications strategy by using Tik Tok, a social media channel that appeals to its target audience, to promote its new products Milkshake and Smoothie. First, they shot a clip with the singer Aleyna Tilki, known and loved by young people in Turkey. In the clip, he said “choose your team” and asked users “who are you in this duel?” He asked the question and invited him to produce content.
Agreeing with Tik Tok influencer, Dimes made a choice between Smoothie and Milkshake by making the influencer with ticked accounts dance in a certain choreography. Then they expected other Tik Tok users to do these dances. This strategy, which was carried out on both the offline and online sides, resulted in success.
Migros, which is one of the supermarket chains in Turkey, is a strong example that can be given to user-generated content on Tik Tok with its "Department Wars Challenge" project. Groups of Tik Tok influencers prepared special dance choreographies in front of Migros aisles. He encouraged followers of Tik Tok influencers to like these posts and follow Migros. At the end of the competition, the followers of the best dancing group were given a Money gift worth 15,000 Turkish lira. Migros gained 130 thousand followers 48 hours after this project started. At the same time, it became one of the world record-breaking brands with 6.7 million comments and 74% interaction.
4) What are the Benefits of User Generated Content?
Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as real compared to brand-created content. Therefore, there is the potential to reach more people by getting more interaction from collaborative ads.
Regardless of the product or service, consumers want to obtain detailed information about the product or service before purchasing. The comments of the person who has experienced this product or service before are of great importance to them. 92% of consumers trust recommendations from their acquaintances and 70% trust online consumer opinions. Once the brand builds trust for the consumer, everything becomes easier and they can get many user generated content benefits.
There is no doubt that user-generated content has a great impact on the purchasing decision process. Users who see the content shared by people they know make a quick introduction to the purchasing decision process, even if they do not need the shared product or service. Nearly 80 percent of people say user-generated content has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.
5) Should Brands Get Permission from Users Before Sharing Their Content?
The brand should always ask the users before sharing them from their own account. Regardless of story, post or reels, sharing should be done with the consent of the users. In such content, where brand loyalty is important, user approval is important in order not to hurt the brand identity. 84% of users care about being valued rather than financial gain while doing business. Therefore, sharing user content with permission by brands will make them feel both valuable and part of the brand.
6) What to Consider When Encouraging UGC Creation?
Brands should know their brand identity and they should choose a social media platform that fits their target group and interests. Generally, brands prefer to progress through instagram. However, TikTok, which has been growing at full speed recently, is also an ideal platform for such content if it fits their target audience.
At this stage, the brand should know its target audience well and proceed with a strategy that will not contradict brand awareness. It should not be considered on which channel the brand is more active, but on which channel users want to interact with the brand more.
Before creating user generated content, it is important to set specific goals and prepare a road map.
Half of the consumers have expectations of guidance when they create content. Therefore, brands need to clearly express what kind of content they expect in order to receive good feedback. Proceeding with the contents (campaign hashtags, social media contests) will be more descriptive for users.
According to research, 48% of consumers will have tried or interacted in some way with virtual reality before the end of 2021. For this reason, the development of technologies that will provide users with virtual experiences continues. User Generated Content continues to be one of the most effective marketing tools ever created within digital marketing. Now, every brand that wants to increase brand awareness and brand loyalty uses this strategy. Contributing to the digitalization and e-commerce volume increased by the pandemic and presenting original and useful content becomes much more effective with User Generated Content.
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