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BizReport : Blogs & Content archives : February 17, 2016

Why brands should use UGC to engage shoppers

In the content game, user generated content (UGC) is said to hold more power than typical branded content. Many experts believe this is because shoppers are more likely to believe another shopper's review than a straight ad.

by Kristina Knight

Kristina: How are shoppers engaging with UGC?

Jeff Soriano, Senior Director, Demand Generation, Offerpop: With 50% of consumers finding UGC more memorable than brand-produced content, UGC is proven to consistently outperform brand content every day, and its impact is only growing stronger. Brand-produced content is steadily losing steam and trust in the market. It is also being viewed as less and less relevant by the consumers who used to view it.

Kristina: How can retailers better use UGC to engage?

Jeff: Consumers today want to see how their peers actually use a product, not how a brand envisions them using it. This shift in focus from brand marketing to peer and influencer marketing provides great insight into the needs and wants of today's consumers. They want to engage. They want to be heard. And they want to feel a sense of belonging and community. This is where UGC comes in. UGC is the product of encouraging your consumers to share and interact with your brand. Collecting their content, photos, videos and experiences creates a community for other likeminded consumers to share their peers' experiences. Furthermore, the UGC collected will provide a much larger sounding board for other consumers to be inspired to create content of their own.

Kristina: Is there a difference between UGC and Organic Promotional Content?

Jeff: Absolutely. Organic promotional content (OPC) is what you probably saw on Facebook circa 2013. Millions of brands on Facebook would peddle their own content and promotions, not considering the users they were reaching and what types of experiences they expected to receive. There was no engagement or conversation; it was simply brands standing on a soapbox selling their companies. UGC is the complete opposite of that. UGC is consumers sharing their experiences, whether through visuals, comments, testimonials or other content, with their network of peers and followers. It is completely social, trustworthy and authentic. Consumers love UGC because they love interacting with each other. When brands start looking at their interactions with customers as relationships, amazing things happen. People start wanting to share their experiences. They become emotionally invested in the company, and their loyalty shines through in everything they do.

More from Jeff and Offerpop later this week, including his top 3 tips for a stronger UGC strategy.

Image via Shutterstock

Tags: branded content, content marketing, Offerpop, UGC, user generated content

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