A Retailer's Guide to User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) has become a buzzword in the retail industry — and for good reason. Avid social media users are consuming over five hours of UGC per day. Therefore, it's not surprising that fan-powered campaigns have proven to be 20 percent more impactful on purchasing decisions than their traditional ad counterparts.
Since 2006, Frito-Lay has invited fans to submit their own Doritos commercials for a chance to win a $1 million prize and see their spot air during the Super Bowl. With last year's finalists drawing in nearly 100 million views on Doritos' Facebook page — as well as generating an immeasurable amount of media buzz — the strategy was a proven winner. It's no wonder Frito-Lay revisited the campaign for its ninth year running!
Why UGC Works
UGC is a low-investment, high-impact way to generate social conversation between a brand and its fans. It also has advantages over traditional marketing avenues. Reports show that millennials, the demographic that holds the most purchasing power, are 50 percent more likely to trust reviews from their peers than they are from any other form of media.
"Millennials are a generation that wants to co-create the product, the brand, with you," says Alex Castellarnau of the file transfer service Dropbox. "Companies that understand this and figure out ways to engage in this co-creation relationship with millennials will have an edge."
Even if your business doesn't cater to millennials, don't dismiss the idea of UGC just yet. As technology becomes more prevalent amongst older generations, the same buying behaviors and principles will become the norm.
Types of UGC
UGC can be as simple as a blog comment or as technical as a video spot. The type of content you collect is really up to you — just make sure it aligns with your brand messaging.
Some other types of UGC to consider include the following:
- social media posts (e.g., Twitter, Instagram);
- user-submitted photos and videos;
- guest blog posts;
- testimonials; and
- public and brand forums.