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Impact of User-Generated Content on Online Platforms in 2024 | Idukki

Updated: Feb 14


Impact of User-Generated Content

User-generated content has been pivotal in shaping online platforms and the fate of businesses in 2024. This article discusses how user-generated content fosters connection, builds trust, drives sales, and, most importantly, is more cost-effective.


Table of Content


What is user-generated content?


Word-of-mouth marketing today, by far, remains the best marketing source.


UGC or User-Generated Content can be images, videos, reviews, testimonials, etc, created by customers, employees, or brand loyalists and shared on social media. By giving customers a platform to share feedback, reviews, and share ideas, brands foster a sense of community and partnership with their customers.


Consumers find UGC 9.8x more impactful than influencer content.


By leveraging UGC in marketing campaigns, brands can reach more audiences and authentically communicate their message with those on the fence about purchasing the product.


In this article, we discuss:

  • The impact of user-generated content on online platforms

  • The top three brands that have leveraged UGC campaigns

  • Everything you need to know about UGC rights

  • An easy way to leverage UGC content for your brand without hassle


Without further ado, let’s dive into the five significant impacts UGC has on online platforms.


Impact of having user-generated content on your social media


1. Helps you build a strong community online


Naturally, as humans, we desire belongingness.


UGC is one way you can help your customers become a part of your brand identity. For example, LiveTinted, a vegan beauty product brand, has a section on its website called “You, Wearing Live Tinted.” Here, LiveTinted features customers who have used their products and tagged LiveTinted on Instagram. LiveTinted then features these posts on their website.


livetinted ugc

Source: LiveTinted


Whether a customer creates UGC as a part of a competition or does it out of pure love for your product, participating and sharing their experiences on social media allows you to market your product free of cost. Additionally, featuring your customers on your website gives them a sense of belongingness.


2. Helps you get authentic content for marketing your brand


Brands are always competing for their audience's attention.


On the other hand, buyers today are selective of the products and brands they support or buy from. 90% of consumers look at the brand's authenticity before considering purchasing. Marketers agree that authenticity and quality are significant elements of successful content, and UGC content is the most authentic content. Your audience is smart enough to see through fake content. Creating fake review videos and lying about your brand's quality will only work for a while, and this will only damage your brand's reputation.


Customers, brand loyalists, and employees are the best audiences to ask for UGC content.


Most brands relied on word-of-mouth advertising before all the high-end tech and the ability to market at the scale. Word-of-mouth marketing drives about a 13% increase in sales. Even today, word-of-mouth advertising has the best impact on potential customers compared to the other forms of marketing.


UGC is a proven social media strategy.


3. Helps increase trust and loyalty


People trust people.


Content created by customers, brand loyalists, or employees helps build the trust of potential clients and customers. When your target audience sees everyday people using your product to solve real problems they face, they will inevitably find it relatable and trustworthy.


Users are likely to stick with a brand when they feel heard.


UGC shares stories of people having a great experience with the brand. This also helps build an emotional bond between the brand and the user. Different customer perspectives about the product or the brand can speak to a wide range of people. Thus increasing their trust in the brand to meet their diverse needs.


4. Boosts sales


Social proof is a powerful tool for validating decisions, reducing hesitation, and increasing conversions.


When potential audiences watch reviews and testimonials, product demos, etc, they gain confidence in the brand and the product. On the other hand, UGC also sparks user engagement and increases the interaction time between visitors and the brand. UGC helps improve brand recall and foster a solid connection between the users and the brand.


UGC can create a relatable brand image that impacts consumer behavior, thus increasing revenue. UGC is critical in the final stages of the buyers' journey.


5. Cost-effective as compared to influencer marketing


Influencer marketing involves partnership fees, product giveaways, negotiations, etc.


On the other hand, it costs nothing to ask your consumers to share their feedback or videos of them enjoying your product. UGC makes the most out of the content created by existing customers.


Influencer marketing needs more investment. However, it does not always guarantee the desired sales. UGC is budget-friendly and offers impactful results. UGC capitalizes on the credibility and reach of real customers, thus building community and trust.


UGC's authenticity resonates with potential buyers and drives sales without breaking the bank.


Furthermore, UGC marketing platforms like Idukki.io can help you track and measure click-through rates, engagement, and revenue generated from your video content to help you make informed decisions regarding content marketing.



Top 3 brands leveraging user-generated content


The following are examples of three brands that have used user-generated content to reach new customers and drive exponential sales. Authenticity is one thing that is constant in each of these brand’s user-generated content.


Building a brand can come with its highs and lows. One of the brands mentioned below will also show you how to make the most of criticisms.


Brace yourself!


1. Calvin Klein

How can we talk about UGC and not mention Clavin Klein?


In 2014, Calvin Klein started a campaign titled #MyCalvins, where the brand encouraged its users to share their pictures wearing it. Users who post pictures of themselves using the hashtag #MyCalvins stand a chance to be featured on the brand's website. Everybody participated in the movement regardless of how popular they were. We are talking about regular customers to the Kardashians.


Did we mention that the campaign started in 2014? Well, the campaign is going strong till today. Today, this hashtag on Instagram has over 800,000 posts and over 200 million views on TikTok.


Because of UGC, the brand reached a whole new audience faster than it probably would have reached via regular marketing campaigns.


2. Go Pro


Go Pro is another brand that has gotten people from different walks of life on their UGC bandwagon.


Go Pro sells cameras specially made to take video travel content for travel enthusiasts. The camera is easy to handle when undertaking extreme sports and helps users create high-quality videos. Go Pro's users share their photos and videos under the hashtag #GoPro.


GoPro Instagram ugc

Source: GoPro Instagram


Talk about a sense of belongingness; GoPro has over 40 million posts under this hashtag.


Users capture high-quality images and videos using the durable camera, sharing their experience using the device. Thus, it's a no-brainer for potential customers to invest in the product and share their adventures.


3. Zomato


In 2020, Zomato's "rich butter chicken" YouTube advertisement got on people's nerves.


People flooded Zomato's social media with hate comments about their advert. However, Zomato's response to the hate comments in the form of a witty campaign skyrocketed its sales exponentially. The food delivery company agreed that their "rich butter chicken" advertisement was bad and rallied their audience with a tempting offer.


Zomato called for entries for a 1-minute video advertisement, the winner of which won a reward of Rs. 25 lahks. Along with the first prize, there were 2nd, 3rd, and 4th place winners.


Zomato Instagram ugc

Source: Zomato Instagram


Zomato not only agreed with its users that their "YouTube ads Suck," but their response to it clocked in approximately 85% of pre-COVID Gross Merchandise Value, up from about 75% from the previous month.


UGC rights- what you need to know before sharing content


Using user-generated content comes with a set of laws to safeguard the intellectual property rights of the content created by content creators. Getting permission from the content creator before using their content is essential. It is only fair to them because they spent time creating something creative. Businesses, thus, need to understand UGC rights before reusing content.


Give credit where credit is due.


After using UGC, it is necessary to give credit to the content creator. This will show that you respect their work and thus encourage them to continue doing what they love without fearing someone else taking advantage of it.


To safeguard the interest of the content creator and your brand, the following are the two types of consent marketers and brands need to know about before sharing user-generated content.


1. Expressed consent


Here, the brand or the marketer needs to formally get permission from the content creator. There should be legal proof of the creator giving the brand consent to use the content.


2. Implied consent


Unlike expressed consent, implied consent doesn't require legal proof of permission. For example, in Zomato's example discussed above, the users created content to win the prize and inevitably be featured on Zomato's social media accounts. Nevertheless, asking for permission before using any UGC is always better. Think of it as a UGC etiquette!


How do I get permission to use content?


1. Direct DMs


One best way to get permission to use content is by directly asking. You can email the creator or even send them a direct message on social media.


2. Contests


Again, Zomato's Rs. 25-lakh giveaway discussed above is an example of a contest where people can participate. Once the creator creates content, they imply consent to using their material.


3. Campaigns


Calvin Klein's hashtag campaign #MyCalvins is an example of a campaign where people share content under a given hashtag, allowing a brand to feature UGC on their social media platforms or websites.


An easy way to integrate UGC into your website from any online platform.


We learned quite a lot of things above. Let’s summarize what we’ve learned. We learned that -


  • User-generated content refers to photos, videos, reviews, or testimonials by consumers, employees or brand loyalists.

  • User-generated content has a powerful impact when used on online platforms. UGC helps build a strong brand, showcases an authentic range, is cost-effective, and, most importantly, helps increase sales (organically!!).

  • One of the best ways to get UGC is by hosting hashtag campaigns and contests to encourage participation.

  • It is always best to ask for permission before reusing content and give creators credit where credit is due.


If you are an online seller looking for ways to stand out from your competition, we help you make the most of your UGC.


What next?


The ball is now in your court. Use the strategies mentioned above to collect authentic user-generated content for your brand and improve your conversion.


Idukki’s No Code Solution helps you integrate UGC with your marketing touchpoints to improve your conversion rate, loyalty, community, and engagement.



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