What is User Generated Content (UGC)? | Digital Media Marketing Term
User generated content, also known as UGC is a term used to describe online content such as videos, blogs, discussion forums, social media posts, blog posts, digital images, videos, podcasts, and any other form of media produced by customers or end users. This is different than media created by professionals hosted on a website created by a company. UGC is any content created without any real motive behind it besides simply sharing an opinion. The most well known site for user-generated content is Wikipedia, where anyone can edit or write an article with sufficient expertise on a specific topic. YouTube is also a highly popular user generated site where anyone can upload a video that they create and accumulate thousands, and even millions of views and shares. When you think about it logically, this is the type of content most people would find difficult to trust or credit as accurate. Surprisingly, the opposite is true.
Mashable reported a study today that found millennials trust user-generated content 50% more than other traditional forms of media. And UCG is 20% more influential when it comes to purchasing and 35% more memorable than other types of media for this generation.
As the generation with the biggest combined purchasing power, millennials spend an average of18 hours looking at media per day. Five of those hours are spent looking at UGC. They check social media, home to UGC, above any other media channel.
Many brands have created ways to encourage user-generated content. Take a look at this Tumblr page Home Depot created in September 2013, for example, which features photos uploaded and posted by users showing their latest home projects.
Another great example of a user generated content campaign is RayBan’s Instagram fan photo mosiac that was created in real time from 3,000 photos taken by users during a three day music festival.
User generated content is not only the most trusted form or media, but it’s cost effective, testifies loyalty (because the content is created by your most loyal customers), and increases reach. Brands can take advantage of social media sites such as Pinterest, Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram to upload and feature customer reviews and customer created content.
Using a memorable and appropriate hashtag to collect this content can also be helpful to moderate and manage entries. Showcasing user entries show your gratitude and encourage other users do the same. Recognition is the best reward you can offer users, and, in turn, will reward you with outstanding brand recognition and loyalty.
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