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User-Generated Content: A Dominant Course of Promotion

If you are an ‘extreme sports’ lover, you might often watch thrilling adventure videos in YouTube, people cycling in jolty narrow mountain top, surfing in the turbulent ocean, skating on high buildings, rock climbing, sky boarding and many more. These people who share videos of their stimulating experience need top functioning video cameras. GoPro, a manufacturer company and marketer of small, portable, high definition video cameras, serves a great deal of opportunity to its users to record their exciting adventures. These cameras are attached to the user’s head or bike and help the viewers to have a first-person perspective of what the athletes are seeing.

GoPro discovered that many of their customers are happy to share these types of videos in social media like Facebook, Instagram and YouTube. These posts massively helped the company get popularity. In 2010, the firm decided to collaborate with customers and made users’ videos key to their promotion strategy. Now, if you visit GoPro’s Instagram or YouTube page, you will see their timeline flooded with consumers’ videos. Some of them are sent by traditional users, while professional athletes make others. That’s how this company engaged its customers and shared their contents to attract other customers. Here the marketing strategy GoPro using is called User Generated Content.

In this century of undeniable dominance of social media, Today’s businesses have to put so much effort to promote their brand in online platforms where most of their potential customers spend a massive portion of their time. Many businesses have to go through so many trial and error session to find the right method to attract their consumers online. In this tenacious era of digital marketing, imagine having your consumers promote your brand and products. This type of marketing strategy is widely known as User Generated Content.

User-Generated Content (UGC), also called User-Created Content (UCC), is the contents such as text, image, audio or video created by consumers. The substances of these contents directly relate to the product or service of the firm and are usually posted by the customers in social media platforms. UGC can also come from customers’ rating on the business web page. Businesses can use these contents to showcase the aspects of their product or service through the eyes of their customers.

To get more clear ideas of UGC, let’s picture a scenario here. Suppose you bought a cool t-shirt from a store. Being satisfied with the product, you posted a photo of yourself in your Facebook wall wearing that t-shirt and mentioned the brand name in the caption. Your Facebook friends will observe your satisfaction with the product. Now, if they are also great fans of t-shirts, they most probably will attempt to buy some products from the same store you bought your t-shirt from. In this example, the very photo you posted on Facebook is the User-Generated Content. Through this content, you have promoted the brand being entirely unpaid for it.

Traditional ways of brand promotion are losing their beauty. Again social media marketing, search engine marketing, influencer marketing and other digital marketing tools can be costly too. The unfortunate part is that many customers do not find the promotional contents created by brands reliable. Today’s customers want to hear actual reviews of products from the users before buying them. That’s how UGC can significantly drive purchasing decision despite the firm spending almost no money behind it.

Therefore, undoubtedly positive customer input is very crucial for businesses nowadays. All kind of businesses starting from startups to big companies like Netflix and BMW are being greatly benefited from customer reviews through different contents. UGC can come deliberately from consumers in a desire to demonstrate a high-class lifestyle. Sometimes firms particularly ask their users to share their experience with the product. Firms can create their own hashtag and encourage users to post their contents using that hashtag. Sometimes firms offer gifts to customers who share their story; this also impulses them in providing a positive review. Firms always have the option to share those contents on their pages with the permission of their audiences.

Here are some reasons why User-Generated Content is an effective method of digital marketing:

  • Authentic User-Generated Content provides proof of the quality of the products or service. About 92% of customers trust UGC more than advertising.
  • It is a great way to attract new customers. 48% of customers say they discover new brands through peer review.
  • It creates an opportunity for customers to discuss and share information about the brand.
  • It can go a long way to make the consumers feel like their opinion is being valued.
  • It builds long term customer relationship based on trust.

To sum it up, we can say that User-Generated Content has become a trustworthy medium for customers to assess the quality of the products. The power of this promotion strategy is silent yet so strong. Like a campus needle points north, the customers will always find ways to know more about products they care about before buying them. Therefore, a business needs to engage its users in a more organized way to provide positive and useful information to potential customers. Firms need to embrace this strategy, along with other traditional promotional methods, to get the best outcome.


1. Marketing in a Digital World
2. Why Marketers Should Implement User-Generated Content: 23 Stats to Know