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How Brands Stand Out Amongst Digital Clutter: Embracing UGC

Look out for UGC, the next biggest 3-letter acronym among Millennials since “LOL” and “BAE”! For those of you who aren’t up to the latest trends, UGC stands for User Generated Content. UGC is defined as content used by unpaid contributors who want to represent your brand, mainly as a result of the associations it has and values it holds. In the world of #marketing, who doesn’t love people providing content and promoting your brand for you?

Give the Millennials What They Want: Social media has created space for two-way communication between brands and people. I’m sure you’ve heard over and over again that Millennials value experiences, and that’s why it is more important than ever for brands to invite their target audience into their daily goings-on as they converse and form relationships outside of buyer-seller agreements. Brands are tugging at their users’ heart strings with in-depth captions and perfectly branded visuals. The goal is to emphasize their values and get consumers involved, whether voting on new flavours, entering contests, or sharing feedback.

Give & Take Relationships: Social media follows the golden rule of the 80/20 principle. 80% of content should be giving; providing the target market with something they want to see and engage with which also associates with your brand. 20 % should be selling; this means posts promoting specific products or services with a strong call to action. People do not want to be sold to all the time, they want to see content that is beneficial to them providing a laugh, a deep thought, motivation, or educational information. People want to see real things and share experiences that connect with your brands values. Why do you think Coca Cola struck it so big with their “Share a Coke” campaign?

This brings us to our next point…

You Can Do It, Put People Back Into It:

People add authenticity; consumers are more likely to trust third party reviews as opposed to self-advertising brands. This is another reason why UGC and influencer campaigns have become increasingly popular amongst brands, not to mention the positive implications with new pay to play social algorithms. Building genuine trust, engagement and respect is going to be what makes or breaks your strategy in the long run.

Nowadays, people share everything on social media from where they’re going, what they’re doing, to what they’re eating. People are more willing to promote a brand if they feel a connection with it and it aligns well with their values. Going back to the Coca Cola example, you can only imagine how many photos there were on social media of people with a can of Coke that has their name on it. Brands create memorable experience and opportunities for consumers to engage and build relationships with their brand while keeping track of it all with branded hashtags.

Instagram is picking up on this trend with the release of their newest feature- UGC story sharing. Brands can share users’ temporary content in their own stories if the user mentions them in their IG story. This is a great way of sending subtle authentic reminders to your audience that other people are buying and loving your product or service. Third party promotion instantly plays into the ‘Stephanie’s Ponytail’ notion: people want what other people have or are using. Social Media has made it easier for Millennials to look to their network for recommendations before making purchase decisions.

UGC is extremely important to the Health and Wellness industry. With so many tips, tricks, and common misconceptions, authentic natural companies are having a hard time breaking through the skepticism to reach their desired audience. Unfortunately, with known stories of healthy brands cutting corners and joining on the bandwagon of the consumer shift to those wanting to live a healthy, green and eco- sustainable life. With a market saturated in health gimmicks, people struggle to believe advertised before and after pictures or that an all-organic spinach smoothie not only makes you feel good but actually tastes great. User generated content helps brands break through the noise, creating brand awareness, increasing their reach, and the ultimate success of building a community. Social by Nature is made up of a group of like-minded creatives passionate about health and wellness who want to spread the good word. We help brands tell their unique stories using unprecedented digital expertise and an innovative eye for design.

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