Have you seen the chihuahua that did six backflips on TikTok last week? Or that video where the guy walks on water… in his living room (the Reel)? Or, how about that viral dance challenge that has everyone from Lizzo to their grandmas up and moving on Youtube Shorts?
The vast majority of people would say yes to this question. For good reason, too; UGC is rapidly becoming the norm across the web and the entertainment industry.
In case you’re unfamiliar with the term, user-generated content (UGC) is any form of media (videos, photos, articles, etc.) that was produced by ordinary people rather than paid artists, photographers, or journalists. Several of the most widely used websites for user-generated content are TikTok, YouTube, and Instagram.
The success of UGC begs the question: why?
At the dawn of the social media era, people were mesmerised by glossy commercials from major brands, celebrity endorsements of products on Instagram, and professionally produced social advertisements from major media conglomerates.
However, as social media platforms have progressed, users’ preferences have shifted towards a greater emphasis on authentic, personal content. In other words, they prefer content made by regular people to that made by famous people or corporations.
Several factors have contributed to this change.
The World Appears Much More Manageable and Linked Thanks to It
We can find people all over the world who share our interests by using social media sites like TikTok, Instagram, YouTube, and countless others. Since more people who are just like us are making content that we enjoy, it stands to reason that we would feel inspired to do the same.
User-generated content (UGC) tends to be more approachable than other forms of media. Each of us has experienced the joy of having friends over and breaking out into spontaneous dance or a game of a wacky challenge. However, we may not connect with flashy celebrity endorsements or expensive ads.
Word-of-mouth marketing is also heavily influenced by user-generated content (UGC) on social media platforms because people share their genuine, trustworthy opinions about the products and brands they use and enjoy. Advertising and social media posts that feature real people instead of actors are replacing highly polished and produced commercials. To be continued.
Authenticity is more valuable than ever in a world where we are constantly exposed to fake news and sponsored content.
Consider Kendall Jenner’s infamous Pepsi commercial as an example. The commercial was panned for being insensitive and forced. However, student activist Kailee O’Neill’s recent TikTok video quickly went viral.
Many people related to the video’s honest portrayal of what it’s like to be a teenager in the modern world, with the proliferation of cyberbullying and the destructive effect that social media can have on one’s self-esteem due to its inherent comparative nature.
A Conversation Starter
User-generated content (UGC) on social media sites facilitates communication between viewers and content producers. TikTok, for instance, has become popular due to its “challenges,” in which users post videos of themselves performing a task or dance and then challenge their followers to do the same. Users enjoy this kind of interactivity because it provides a novel experience and helps them feel closer to the show’s creators.
The Future of Entertainment: What Does It Mean?
Streaming services and other long-standing entertainment goliaths are starting to feel the heat from social media. UGC will continue to grow in importance as the number of people interested in making and sharing content on social media platforms increases.
The ease and speed with which users can access and consume UGC content is another major factor in its meteoric rise to prominence. Hubspot reports that after one minute, 5% of viewers will click away and 60% will do so after two minutes.
Just how can businesses make use of user-generated content?
Marketers should zero in on making their brands genuine and approachable. Instead of trying to outdo user-generated content, brands should work to supplement it, use it to their advantage in content marketing, and learn from content creators who have already found success in doing so.
User-Generated Content Sites
Brands can easily source content via specific hashtags, photo tags, mentions, and more with tools like Pixlee TurnTo’s UGC platform.
Investing in a content management platform can help your brand save time and effort while giving your team access to the best possible community content in preparation for any UGC-based campaigns you may launch.
How to Benefit from User-Generated Content and Social Media
Most user-generated content (UGC) and UGC-style content is created and shared on social media platforms, so your company should adopt UGC-style content engagement and conversion best practises.
Provide Potential Clients with a Behind-the-Scenes Look
One of the best things you can do for your brand is to tell the world who you are and show it through the eyes of your employees, capitalising on the authenticity and human connection UGC elicits.
All content should have calls to action.
Reels, advertisements, and social media posts are all great ways to incorporate direct calls to action (CTAs) that encourage people to learn more about your brand and follow you on social media when resharing user-generated content. In addition, you can direct them to your website, where they can make purchases, safe in the knowledge that all sensitive financial information is encrypted and shared only with employees who have a genuine need to know it, thanks to your strict adherence to PCI standards.
Use Shoppable Instagram and TikTok to Repurpose Content
The versatility of UGC makes it ideal for content recycling across different channels. If you make a popular video on TikTok, you can also share it on Instagram as part of your story or Reels.
However, the value of that content can be increased by incorporating it into channels outside of social media as part of a broader brand marketing strategy.