The Role of User-Generated Content in Youth-Centered Marketing

Published on 15 Nov, 2023

Why is User-Generated Content Important for Youth-Centered Marketing

When you hear about a product from your friend who's using it, you trust that information, right? It's like getting advice from someone you know. That's because trust is a big deal in marketing.

User-generated content (UGC) is when regular people, like you and me, create content like pictures, videos, reviews, or posts about products and brands. It's not made by the companies themselves; it's made by people who are using the product or service.

Now, why is this so trustworthy? According to the State of UGC 2023 Report, 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust content created by customers more than content created by brands. People trust people.

Businesses are now leveraging this concept by encouraging their existing customers to share their experiences. It is making big leaps for companies to grow their market in a genuine and trustworthy way. 

Why is User Generated Content Most Cost Effective Yet Trustworthy Marketing Form

User-generated content is like turning your customers into your best marketing team! User-generated content (UGC) is the unpaid and unsponsored social content that people share on various platforms when they're excited about a product or service. 

Let the numbers speak for themselves: Around 80% of people say user-generated content impacts their purchasing decisions.

Each December, Starbucks kicks off the annual #RedCupContest to spread the word about its holiday-themed drinks and, of course, those iconic red cups. This contest encourages coffee lovers to share pictures of their drinks for a chance to win a generous Starbucks gift card. And guess what? Coffee enthusiasts always rise to the occasion, with over 40,000 red cup posts and counting.

The #RedCupContest is a brilliant example of UGC in action. It motivates fans to get involved and interact online by offering attractive prizes and highlighting a special seasonal promotion, and it boosts sales because you need to buy a red cup to snap that winning picture.

Alert! Not to Confuse User-Generated Content with Influencer Marketing

User Generated Content (UGC) and Influencer Marketing might seem similar, but they serve different purposes in your marketing strategy.

User Generated Content (UGC):

  • UGC is content created voluntarily by your customers or fans.

  • It's genuine and not sponsored, like reviews, social media posts, or videos that people share about your products.

  • Example: When a happy customer posts a photo on Instagram with your product and tags your brand, that's UGC.

Influencer Marketing:

  • Influencer Marketing involves partnering with individuals who have a significant following and paying them to promote your products.

  • It's a form of paid advertising and can be more controlled.

  • Example: If a popular fashion blogger does a sponsored post about your clothing line, that's Influencer Marketing.

Gen-Z + User Generated Content = A Match Made in Marketing Heaven

Generation Z (Gen-Z) is a demographic that places a high value on authenticity and peer opinions. Here's why UGC is a natural fit:

  • Trustworthiness: Gen-Zers trust content created by their peers more than traditional advertising or even influencer content.

  • Authenticity: UGC is authentic and relatable, which aligns with Gen-Z's desire for genuine experiences.

  • Engagement: Encouraging Gen-Z to create UGC, like challenges or contests, can boost engagement and brand loyalty.

Common Pitfalls to Steer Clear of with User Generated Content

While UGC can be a powerful tool, it's essential to navigate potential pitfalls:

  • Privacy Concerns: Always respect user privacy. Don't share UGC without permission or use it in ways that violate privacy laws.

  • Negative UGC: Not all UGC will be positive. Address negative content thoughtfully and professionally, turning it into an opportunity to improve.

  • Inauthenticity: Encourage genuine content creation. Avoid incentivizing UGC to the point where it loses authenticity. It should feel real and not like a forced marketing ploy.

Important Takeaways for Marketers!

Provide customers and users with a stage to proudly showcase their purchases. It's not limited to luxury goods; even everyday brands with passionate followings can tap into the enthusiasm of their customers on social media. Introduce a unique hashtag that empowers customers to express their love for your brand, and in return, you'll earn their affection.


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