Have you ever been scrolling through social media, saw someone using a product, and thought, “Omg, I need that!”
You’re mesmerized by this person, and you trust their opinion. People in the comments also talk about how much they love the product or how they want it.
You’re convinced, so you make the purchase.
That is the unique power of User Generated-Content (UGC). UGC is content made by real customers posting about real products.
Think of users playing a video game or posting a GRWM (Get Ready With Me) video.
You already know what’s great about your brand, but it’s more impactful when customers buy your product, love it, and CHOOSE to post about it.
This is why UGC stands out from traditional advertising.
That’s also why companies like CRAFTSMAN+ create UGC for other companies to showcase their products authentically.
UGC is a must-have for brand awareness, so here are some trends to stay ahead of.
1. The Era of the Micro-Influencer
We’ve seen macro-influencers flooding social media with hundreds of thousands or even millions of followers. But now it’s all about the micro-influencers.
Micro-influencers have a smaller following, anywhere from 5,000-100,000 followers, and typically have a niche.
Because of their smaller following, they’re highly interactive, so their followers feel connected to them, commenting on their posts and getting responses back.
That means they have high engagement, and 60% of consumers say they tend to trust micro-influencer endorsements the more they interact with their followers.
If you need UGC, they’re a great resource to reach out to get your products in front of the right audience.
2. Pick the Right Partnerships
Yes, customers create UGC, but that doesn't mean you can’t partner with other brands and creators.
Partnerships are pretty cool because they benefit both sides. Both brands get exposure, but not in an “I’m paying you, so you have to do exactly what I say” type of way.
The partners are happy to show off each other’s products that resonate with their audience while expanding their reach.
Just make sure the partnership makes sense for your brand and audience.
For example, if you have a tennis gaming app and want users to choose top-name clothing to flex on the court, then partner with leading fashion and sporting brands.
3. Authenticity Is What It’s All About
UGC has to feel authentic to consumers. 86% of consumers say authenticity matters and is a deciding factor when choosing between brands.
People want to hear from other customers and know what they’re getting is trustworthy.
Take a look around your social platforms. About 52% of consumers post about products at least once a month on their social media. The chances are you’ll find genuine content about your brand from real customers.
When you find UGC, share it on your social media accounts! 43% of consumers said they would keep engaging with a brand if they share their already-made content.
The content is already there, and people want you to use it!
4. UGC Short Videos > Branded Videos
From Facebook albums and Instagram posts (we’re talking the Lo-Fi filter days) to YouTube, Tik Tok, and Instagram reels. Short videos are what people want to see and prefer over static ads.
Think about all those viral videos that have literally caused brands to sell out their products within a week. You can be one of those brands.
Videos have a major impact on audiences, so much that “1 in 2 shoppers are more confident in a purchase after seeing a video, and UGC fan videos get 10 times more views on YouTube than branded videos.”
Get on those UGC videos!
5. UGC How You Want
The spirit of UGC is users can make content however they want. It’s whatever feels natural to them. Bringing it back to the authenticity of it all.
New trends appear every day, using new sounds, backgrounds, and editing techniques, so you’ll need to stay on top of social media.
But here are some UGC ideas you might already find about your brand or you can create yourself:
- Customer reviews
- Picture-in-picture video
- Third person or first person point of view
- Live stream
6. Get Your Customers Involved
There are many ways to involve your audience in UGC, but here are a few ways to start:
Ask your audience to upload a picture or video with a special hashtag to highlight your product. Get ready to be overwhelmed with UGC you can repost. That’s a good problem!
Invite your audience to participate in a contest they can post about on their social profiles with an incentive.
Depending on your goals, you can offer anything from free products to a free trip.
Other incentives can be:
- Gift cards
- Tickets to an event
- Being featured on your social accounts
- Promo codes
People want to make sure they’re getting what they pay for, so 45% of shoppers actually look up reviews before purchasing items. Plus, 72% of consumers say they trust user reviews and testimonials more than brand-made content.
People want to hear from other customers, so include an area on your platform for buyers to leave comments and pictures. Let their positive reviews sell your product for you.
Most importantly, share customer posts on your accounts (with their permission and credit them). It’ll make their day to see their content on your page!
7. Inclusivity Matters
People want to see people that look like themselves on your social media. They aren’t interested in a “model saying facts about your products” framework anymore.
Customers want to purchase quality products from companies that align with their values. 65% of consumers said it's important to see diversity across a brand’s platform.
So take a look at your UGC and other content and ask yourself, “Are we representing all backgrounds? What kind of language do we use? Do we celebrate our audience?”
The Time For UGC Is Now
UGC has taken over social media because users value real connections. They want to see people who are like them or could be friends and family engaging with your brand.