UGC (for “User Generated Content”) is a marketing term that refers to all content created by users or customers of a brand. Properly mastered, this type of content represents undeniable added value for your inbound marketing strategy.
During the 2022 edition of Inbound Marketing France, two experts from the Tribu agency returned to the challenges of UGC. Margaux Le Goux, head of social media and Caroline Llabrès, creative strategist, discuss UGC formats, the strategies to adopt as well as concrete examples of brands that use this type of content.
UGC, what is it for?
At present, consumers are increasingly tired of advertising, which can be found everywhere: on the web, on television, on the radio, at the bus stop, in the metro… Overexposure which makes them hermetic to brand messages. To counter this effect, the User Generated Content represents a good approach. Indeed, this type of content makes it possible to bring more “real life”, and generates more exchanges: “UGC is an opportunity to start conversations with users, who will then interact more with the brand”.
Here are some figures that demonstrate the importance of integrating UGC into your marketing strategy (source: Nosto):
- Only half of consumers believe that the content produced by brands is truly authentic,
- 8 out of 10 consumers indicate that UGC has a strong impact on their purchasing decisions, and 88% consult product reviews before buying,
- The sectors where user-generated content is the most consulted are beauty (at 92%), fashion (at 52%), restaurants (at 47%).
Finally, a UGC strategy will allow you to:
- Gain transparency: using UGC is a strong approach, which aims to accept compliments as well as criticism,
- Generate engagement: users are involved in your brand, and you can create a real community,
- Increase your conversions: by using user-generated content, you reduce your costs, while increasing your sales.
The different formats of UGC
User-generated content can take different forms, such as:
- Texts : customer reviews, ratings, comments, blog posts…
- Pictures : social networks, photo contest, moodboard…
- Videos : posts on social networks, stories, Reels, TikTok…
- Exchange spaces: private pages, private groups on Facebook or Discord (a format still underused by brands).
Also, the two experts specify that it is essential to successfully vary the content for a successful UGC strategy. It is also important to be an active listener and to constantly exchange with your community. Indeed, it allows to create a lasting link with customers, to work on brand preference and to identify emerging trends.
How to set up a UGC strategy?
According to Caroline Llabrès and Margaux Le Goux, the implementation of a strategy for the exploitation of user-generated content goes through 3 stages:
- Prioritize goals: it is important to set a precise objective to have results. It will therefore be necessary to choose among objectives of engagement, conversion, notoriety, etc.
- Think 360 degrees: UGC is a type of content that works very well on social networks, but it is also possible to use it for a print format, or in a physical store. The objective: to exploit content on all channels.
- Listen to your community: since the content is produced by users, it is essential to listen to them to guide your strategy, whether it is positive remarks or more critical opinions.
Of course, we must add to this a well-identified ecosystem, which allows Internet users to find content generated by users. “without having to swipe for long minutes”.
Once your UGC strategy is clearly identified, you can integrate your content:
- In advertisements: the use of user-generated content within advertisements tends to convert better than advertisements produced by brands.
- On your social networks: UGC allows you to create posts at a lower cost, while engaging your community more.
- On other online levers: more and more brands are integrating content from UGC on their website, for example.
Some examples of UGC strategies for inspiration
1. Starbucks: a love brand that plays on the emotion card
In terms of UGC strategy, Starbucks is a textbook case! Apart from writing the first name on a cup to encourage the consumer to take a photo (and post it on social networks), the brand also offers many challenges, and is also developing an employee content strategy. On social networks, the hashtag #starbucks is a hit: more than 38 million publications on Instagram, and 25 billion views on TikTok.
2. GoPro: community involvement
GoPro relies heavily on UGC for its social media strategy: on Instagram, the brand, which has 19.3 million subscribers, only publishes content created by its users. To do this, GoPro regularly encourages its community to share photos of their travels, and also often offers different challenges.
3. Undiz: the “real life” spirit
Undiz has managed to create a real community, with a strong sense of belonging. User-generated content is used by the brand in its newsletters, on the website and on product sheets, but also in physical stores, with the #Undizfamily which is very visible. Moreover, the hashtag #undizfamily includes 61,000 publications on Instagram.
4. Lego: the creative community
The Lego universe lends itself particularly well to the exploitation of user-generated content! The hashtag #legoideas has 388,600 posts on Instagram, and has 45 million views on TikTok. The brand goes even further: each year, Lego selects 10 construction projects carried out by members of the community and shared via the hashtag, to market them! And to select these projects, it is of course the Internet users who vote, via a dedicated site.