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User-Generated Content vs. Influencer-Generated Content

Updated: Jan 24


ugc vs influencer

In the ever-evolving world of digital marketing, brands are constantly searching for new ways to reach and engage their target audience and are in a constant battle for attention in a crowded marketplace.


User-generated content (UGC) and influencer-generated content (IGC) are two popular strategies that have emerged in recent years, each with its own distinct advantages and disadvantages.


According to recent studies, UGC is 9.8x more influential than any other type of media when it comes to making a purchase decision. On the other hand, 40% of people end up making a purchase after recommendations from an influencer.


But which one is better for your brand? In this blog post, we'll explore the key differences between UGC and IGC, the benefits and challenges of each, and help you decide which strategy is right for your marketing goals.


So, whether you're a small business owner or a marketing professional, keep reading to learn more about UGC vs. IGC and how you can use them to drive success for your brand.

But first, let’s get the meaning of UGC and IGC out of our way to eliminate any loopholes.


User-Generated Content (UGC)


User-generated content refers to any content created by people who are not directly associated with a brand but rather are direct customers or users.


This content may include text, images, videos, reviews, etc. They voluntarily share their experiences, genuine opinions, and ideas about a particular product or the service they have received.


Unlike the traditional marketing style, UGC is not created or controlled by the brand on its own but is delivered voluntarily by users directly on various online platforms such as social media, blogs, and third-party reviews websites.


UGC

It is critical to note here that the user's response may either be positive or negative.


Brands use UGC to increase engagement with their target audience, build trust and credibility, and encourage brand loyalty. Moreover, UGC is often considered more authentic and trustworthy than brand-generated content, as it is based on real user experiences.


Influencer-Generated Content (IGC)


Where UGC refers to content created by the customers or actual users of a brand, IGC, on the other hand, is made by social media influencers, often including celebrities.


IGC contains photos, videos, blog posts, and other forms of content created by influencers to promote the products or services of a brand they are associated with.


Influencer-Generated Content

Most of the time, influencers use their influence to promote a brand to their followers in a personalized and relatable way and are paid for their services. Since professionals in the field of marketing create it, IGC is usually more polished.


However, while influencers may be experienced people delivering perfectly curated content, UGC creators are the Pied Piper of the content world. They follow their own practices providing content that is more authentic, relatable, and can sometimes even be hilarious.


Influencers often spend more time providing picture-perfect material, while UGC creators like to deliver content spontaneously and are not afraid of revealing the other side of the story. They are the content industry's rebels, and this sets them apart in the marketing world.


User-Generated Content vs. Influencer-Generated Content: In-Depth Comparison


UGC vs IGC

While both user-generated and influencer-generated content are established and powerful marketing tools, there are still significant differences between the two. Below are some of the main distinctions between UGC and IGC:


1. Content Creation:


UGC is often produced by users and consumers who are not in any way associated with a brand or the company. In comparison, IGC is explicitly created by social media influencers that are active across various social media platforms and have a sizable fan base.


2. Authenticity and Trustworthiness:


UGC is frequently seen as a more authentic and reliable type of advertising since it is based on actual user experiences. IGC could occasionally be less genuine or more contrived, especially if the influencer is endorsing an item or service irrelevant to their brand or audience.


3. Reach and Engagement:


UGC might not have the same reach as IGC because a larger spectrum of people primarily produces it. Influencers are more likely to have a significantly wider audience because of their enormous social media following.


4. Quality:


IGC is often known for delivering higher quality content than UGC. As influencers are usually experienced professionals in the content creation industry, they are able to provide more polished and professional-looking content.


5. Cost and ROI:


Real users usually create user-generated content; therefore, this type of content is mostly free for companies.


On the other hand, companies need to compensate the influencer creating the content with cash or other forms of remuneration when they deliver influencer-generated content.


6. Control:


Brands have more control over the content created by influencers, as they tend to specify the messaging and requirements for the content in advance. But as UGC is mainly designed independently, brands have little or almost no control over their content.


Choosing Between UGC vs. IGC


When creating a marketing strategy, choosing between UGC and IGC ultimately depends on the goals of your business and the type of content you want.


You may realize that, ultimately, UGC is a better option as it is cost-efficient and genuine. But it’s still better to know why one of these is more suited than the other in your particular case.

Consider these factors while choosing between UGC and influencer content.


1. Authenticity


What matters to your business more? Polished content or authentic content that more people can relate to?


Since real users create UGC, it is comprehended as more authentic and trustworthy. UGC focuses on real-life experiences with your product/services and is regarded as more relevant. This is why it provides a greater psychological effect on the target audience. Content created by influencers, on the other hand, is usually paid and bears the sole intention of brand promotion.


2. Budget


Budget is another critical component when deciding between the two. If you have a tight budget and don’t want to spend much on marketing efforts that might or might not end in sales, UGC is your go-to strategy.


UGC is usually free, while IGC may often require hefty fees to the influencer. However, if your brand is looking to reach out to a newer audience or expand into a new market, partnering with an influencer who has a large following in that niche can be an effective way to gain exposure and credibility.


Again, it completely depends upon your budget.


3. Versatility


UGC is more versatile and can take many forms, including reviews, testimonials, social media posts, and blogs. So, if you want content that you can repurpose over and over again, UGC is the best thing to go for.


Despite these factors, it’s best to test both UGC and IGC to see which strategy resonates best with your audience and drives the desired results. Measure engagement, conversion rates, and other metrics to determine which strategy is most effective.


Real-Life Examples of UGC


If you’re new to UGC, you might want to see these real-life examples of how some of the biggest brands in the world utilize UGC for their marketing campaigns.


1. Coca-Cola


The company started the "Share a Coke" campaign, printing around 150 most common names of males and females on their bottles. People went crazy with this trend, sharing a personalized Coke with their loved ones and shooting and sharing thousands of photos on social media.


coca cola UGC campaign

As a result, 1.25 million teens tried a Coke during the following summer and sales of participating Coca-Cola packages rose by a phenomenal 11% in the US.


As far as social is concerned, Coca-Cola’s Facebook traffic increased by 870%, and 170,000 tweets were made by 160,000 fans.


2. Starbucks


Starbucks’ very creative #WhiteCupContest campaign induced customers to draw something creative on their white cups.

Starbucks UGC campaign

The company announced further that the winning drawing would be used as a template for future cup designs. Free marketing!


3. Amazon


Amazon developed a strategy for customer feedback as a central part of their shopping experience. They made the review process simple, emailing customers after every purchase with a link for feedback.


Thus, Amazon established how UGC could be one of the essential features of marketing campaigns.


Importance of UGC for Marketing Campaigns


UGC can be a powerful tool for marketers looking to unlock growth for their brands. By incorporating UGC in your marketing strategy, you are sure to benefit from the most authentic and trustworthy content.


Following are some of the steps to induce UGC in your marketing campaigns:


Encourage Customers:


You can encourage customers to create UGC by offering rewards, discounts, and similar incentives. To engage your followers, you can also run campaigns for users and ask them to tag your brand in their content.


Utilize UGC Aggregator Platforms:


You can consider utilizing the services of a UGC aggregator platform like Idukki to add UGC to your brand’s marketing touchpoints and improve your conversion rate, loyalty, community, and engagement with our No-Code solution.


Give Credit to the Creators:


You can also tag the creators of UGC in social media posts or credit them for creating the content by including their names in your marketing assets. This will encourage other users to create and share UGC.


Conclusion


In conclusion, both UGC and IGC have their own set of advantages and disadvantages and can, in one way or another, be beneficial to your marketing strategy.


The decision between the two is typically influenced by the specific objectives of your brand, target markets, and—most importantly—financial resources.


The most critical, no matter the kind of content you finalize, is to produce exciting material that provides a lasting impression on its customers.


In order to foster a solid and reliable brand image, cultivate a feeling of community, and build long-lasting relationships with customers, you may even explore using a mix of UGC and IGC!




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