Making Waves In Digital Marketing With Visual User Generated Content
By Jeffrey Soriano
We live in a digital world where mobile device use and social media engagement continues to rise. Brands that once resorted to traditional marketing efforts are beginning to see the value in more modernized techniques, and are shifting how they engage with their audiences on the Internet. Proof of this digital revolution lies in this: 71 percent of millennials engage with social media daily, while only 60 percent watch TV daily. The habits of these young adults reflects a more general movement toward interactive forms of communication rather than classic one-way brand messaging.
These trends have created an influx of visual user generated content (UGC).
Mobile technology and the rise of social media have made social sharing easier than ever. With just the touch of a button, users can post images, videos and text for the world to see in a matter of seconds. People upload and share more than 1.8 billion photos on the Internet each day. That number breaks down further to reveal that 80 million of those photos end up on Instagram and 300 million on Facebook. These two websites are home to so much visual content because they’re optimized for it.
Think about it – modern technology has made it so easy for users to connect their social channels to their mobile camera rolls, so it takes virtually no effort to get your content on the Web in real time. Compare that to just a few years ago when sharing images and videos meant physically connecting your phone to a computer and sifting through a ton of content. There’s no wonder why visual UGC is gaining traction in today’s convenience focused world. These days, Facebook, Twitter and Instagram all have monthly active users in the hundreds of millions. In other words, people aren’t just logging on; they’re speaking out.
It’s time for brands to put that UGC to use.
If your brand has consumers who are excited about your products, chances are they’re willing to post content that demonstrates their love of your brand. All they need is a little inspiration: like a catchy hashtag or a visual marketing campaign, and you’ll have a slew of brand relevant UGC in no time. Once you’ve reached that point, it’s time for the real fun to begin as you start integrating those visuals into your existing marketing efforts. It’s been proven that 92 percent of consumers trust online content from friends and family above all other forms of brand messaging, so why not leverage the customer voice and visual UGC to speak directly to customers via other happy customers? Showing your fans a little love on your website and in your advertisements will surely go a long way. According to 50 percent of consumers, they remember more from content (photos, reviews, etc.) shared by their peers than what’s shared by the brand. Not to mention, users are spending more time (5.4 additional hours to be exact) looking at sites with UGC than ones with only brand produced content.
So what do all these engagement statistics mean when it comes to the value and ROI of UGC? Consider the real results this kind of content has been proven to yield. For example, McCormick Canada used our platform to launch a campaign aimed at increasing engagement with second-generation Filipino-Canadians. The brand’s personalized UGC campaign ultimately landed them more than 130 new pieces of content and a 37 percent increase in unit sales growth compared to the prior year. Other various brands we’ve worked with have seen their click-through rates (CTRs) increase 5 times over when using UGC on their websites. So, if you want your site’s visitors to browse around and stay awhile instead of quickly hitting the X in the corner of their browsers, maybe it’s time to think twice about the type of content they enjoy seeing. Additionally, when UGC is found on a webpage, people are 20 percent more likely to revisit that page again. And people aren’t only more likely to look at your website when it includes content from their peers, they’re more likely to buy from you too. Perhaps most telling of UGC’s ability to drive tangible results is the 10 percent lift in conversions brands have seen when user generated content is part of the purchase path.
UGC is making waves in the digital marketing world, and the smartest brands have already taken notice. The increase in content that smartphones and social media have brought us isn’t just enjoyable to look at, it’s also quite effective at driving results and making your customers happy. Since user produced content is everywhere, and people who love your brand are likely eager to post about it on social media, it’s time to take advantage. Companies that care about increasing engagement, establishing trust and encouraging more conversions are turning to UGC as a vehicle to achieve it.
Jeff Soriano is senior director of demand generation for Offerpop. As a B2B demand generation expert, Jeff has more than 10 years of experience working at leading software-as-a-service technology companies. He has led several strategic initiatives to develop go-to-marketing positioning and demand strategies for both emerging and established B2B organizations. His work has resulted in generating overwhelming demand and awareness for the platforms and solutions of the companies he has worked for.