The secret to using UGC platforms correctly

We all love it when people perceive us as individuals and respond to our individual needs. This is especially true when making purchasing decisions where we want an individualized offer. Until a few years ago, however, it was difficult for companies' marketing to do justice to us individually - they tended to focus on the lowest common denominator of a target group. That has now changed. UGC – as user-generated content – ​​not only addresses potential consumers directly and personally, but also offers a particularly authentic and promising opportunity to win customers via social media.

What exactly are UGC platforms? What does it all include?

The power of user-generated content - including UGC - should not be underestimated in today's digital age. UGC platforms offer a wealth of opportunities for businesses to build authentic and engaging interactions with their audience. But what exactly is this actually about?

The first to be mentioned are social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok and Pinterest. Here, users can share photos, videos, posts and comments that reflect their personal experiences and recommendations. The ability to share content allows companies to reach a wide audience and increase awareness of their brand. The majority of UGC content runs through such platforms.

Ratings and review sites like Yelp, TripAdvisor, Amazon Customer Reviews, and Google Reviews also play a crucial role in the UGC space. Customers share their honest opinions and experiences with products, services or companies here. Positive reviews can increase the trust of potential customers and improve your company's reputation.

Video platforms such as YouTube and Vimeo offer users the opportunity to upload and share self-created videos. Companies can use these platforms to create informative or entertaining videos that showcase their products or services and engage their target audience. There are now many YouTube channels that have extremely large numbers of subscribers and thus reach a large number of people. We can use this to expand our brand’s reach!

Customer forums and community platforms and blogging platforms such as WordPress, Tumblr or Medium should also not be forgotten. Here customers can discuss specific topics or interests and share their experiences with specific products. For your business, you can use these platforms to build an engaged community, answer questions, collect feedback, and drive brand engagement. Product testing platforms also create a completely new level of proximity to potential customers.

In our opinion, the importance of UGC platforms for brand building cannot be overemphasized. Nothing is more contagious than the authenticity and enthusiasm of real people!

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The history of UGC platforms – how has UGC developed in recent years?

The history of user-generated content (UGC) platforms goes back to the beginnings of the World Wide Web. As early as the 1990s, people began sharing their thoughts and creations online in the form of texts and images. At that time, individual blogs, forums and guest books were more commonly used.

The breakthrough came in the 2000s with the advent of social networks. Platforms such as MySpace, Flickr and YouTube offered users the innovative opportunity to share their photos, videos and music with the world. This era marked the beginning of a true UGC boom. People let their creativity run wild and exchanged ideas online in a completely new way. Never before have so many people had the opportunity to share their skills, their art or simply their thoughts with such a large audience.

The launch of Facebook in 2004 and later Twitter in 2006 further strengthened the trend. Sharing status updates, photos and links became standard and users became active participants in the digital age by sharing their thoughts and experiences with a global audience. Over the years, the user group on this platform in particular has become larger and larger, so that people of all ages have long been active here.

A new era began with the birth of Instagram in 2010 and Snapchat in 2011. These platforms took visual content sharing to a whole new level. Users now had the opportunity to upload photos and short videos in real time and thus share their everyday lives and experiences with others. Influencer became a real profession.

Progress in UGC platforms continued with the launch of TikTok in 2016 and the continued development of platforms such as YouTube and Pinterest. Today, these platforms allow not only sharing content, but also commenting, sharing and interacting with other users' creations.

What all UGC platforms have in common is the ability to share content in a creative, approachable and authentic way that reaches audiences in real time. You should definitely take advantage of this potential for your marketing!

Why should I use UGC platforms for my marketing?

Do you need any further arguments to convince you of the value of UGC platforms?

Of course, authenticity and credibility are the core themes of UGC. Since content is created by real people and is not traditional advertising, customers are more likely to trust the opinions and experiences of other customers than the brand message of your company itself. Positive experiences from other users seem more credible and can encourage potential customers to choose your brand.

Another significant benefit of UGC is increasing brand awareness. When users create and share UGC on their social media profiles, the brand's reach expands exponentially. User sharing allows you to reach a wider audience and increase brand awareness - all without additional marketing spend! In addition, you can cooperate closely with the users of your brand and thus generate a kind of feeling of togetherness.

Another advantage that should not be underestimated is the cost savings compared to conventional marketing campaigns. Compared to extensive advertising campaigns, using UGC is a cost-effective marketing strategy. The content is created by the customers, so there are no expensive production costs for the marketing material. Companies can also use UGC for social media campaigns, contests, and other promotions to activate their audience and further reduce costs. Plus, content spreads so quickly.

Another advantage is that you can gain a better understanding of your target group through UGC. Observing and analyzing UGC gives you valuable insight into your customers’ wants, needs, and opinions. This allows you to adapt products and marketing strategies accordingly and ensure that you meet the needs of your target group.

Would you like to know more about the advantages of UCG for your company? Leadnow will be happy to help you - just let our team advise you on your options today!

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