By: Rachel Hanks
In the spirit of all things “content-based,” for this blog post I decided to take a deeper look at a marketing tool called user-generated content. According to Webopedia, the term user-generated content is defined as “ any form of content such as video, blogs, discussion form posts, digital images, audio files, and other forms of media that was created by consumers… and is publicly available to other consumers.” An example of user-generated content that you might be familiar with is the “Share a Coke” campaign. For the campaign, Coca-Cola created personalized bottles in an effort to encourage consumers to share pictures of themselves online with the custom product. You might have seen friends share pictures of Coke cans with their names on it– or even uploaded an image yourself! The “Share a Coke” campaign became an online hit and increased revenue for the company, proving the power of user-generated content. But why exactly do these custom products and social media-friendly campaigns work?
According to Nielsen’s Global Trust in Advertising report, more than 80% of consumers trust product and service recommendations from peers. With this statistic in mind, it doesn’t make sense for businesses to create broad campaigns that might have little to no effect on their target audiences. Instead, a focused marketing campaign that allows consumers to interact with a product, or better yet recommend it to friends, might have a much greater impact on brand awareness and revenue.
Adweek suggests that user-generated content will become a bigger trend in the future. Additionally, user-generated content does not have to be exclusive for a one-time campaign, but rather can be integrated into the brand itself and used to build a story about a business.