When customers share content highlighting your brand, a sense of unmatched satisfaction exists. After all, the person is inclined to put effort into capturing and sharing their experience. Not only does this signify a successful brand value-add to the consumer’s life, but it’s a slam dunk in the digital marketing space. In this article, we’ll talk about the impact of user-generated content on brand loyalty and affinity. Let’s go!
What is the Impact of User-Generated Content on Brand Loyalty?
User-generated content (UGC) is filled with opportunities that convey your brand message to a new potential audience. It’s especially effective when the message isn’t coming directly from the brand.
Individuals are more likely to trust a referral over a brand talking about how great they are and why you should buy their products.
Don’t get us wrong, but good marketing includes championing your brand in the public space and making it attractive to individuals to connect with.
What we’re talking about is tried-and-true consumer-based marketing. Get the products in the hands of your audience, then let them try them and talk about them.
UGC can be used across different digital mediums, including in emails, on webpages, and, of course, throughout social media to drive engagement and ultimately conversions (sales).
Showcasing UGC portrays authenticity and helps keep your brand top of mind when it comes to choosing between yours and others in your niche.
Outside of organic UGC, brands can also find it helpful to amplify their reach further by working with various groups of individuals to create UGC.
Influencers are Driving the Era of UGC
Through brand collaborations, social media influencers (or content creators) are working to build meaningful relationships with their audience by way of the products and services they use every day.
They understand that their experiences can help others find solutions. And influencer marketing is only on the rise. Brands recognize this built-in community trust, so it doesn’t come as a surprise that spending on influencer marketing in the U.S. is expected to rise by 12%, leaving the spending at over $4 billion.
Along with a rise in influencer spending, overall social spend from global marketers will increase by 53% within the next year.
Before making a purchase, more than half of consumers seek advice about the product or service in question. Now, more than ever, those individuals are trusting the opinion of digital influencers using various products and services in everyday life.
Brands utilize UGC as they actively connect with and collaborate with influencers and celebrities to receive, create and post content to help drive sales even further.
Just look at Kourtney Kardashian’s wedding, which was not far from a luxurious living advertisement for the Italian fashion house Dolce & Gabanna.
Celebrity collaborations are nearly always driven by strategically timed product launches and luxurious PR packages that leave consumers nearly drooling for the drop date and selling out in mere minutes. This is the new age of retail and product marketing. And so far, it seems to be working.
In addition to the new spin on celebrity endorsement, there are also organizations and agencies that work with other types of digital influentials. Micro-influencers, which are those with less than 5K followers, is a group that’s increasingly helping to spur brand engagement and product sales.
UGC Helps Brands Meet Consumers Where They Are
With the popularity and convenience that e-commerce brought to individuals throughout the pandemic, in-store retail suffered major losses in 2020 and 2021. Adapting to meet consumers where they are is necessary for retailers to stay afloat.
Successful retailers are re-imagining their offerings for both online and in-store to gain traction and reestablish themselves as trusted brands.
Content creator platforms across beauty, food, households, and fashion are becoming household digital marketing go-tos that agencies and marketers are using to get their products in front of the right people at the right time.
It comes down to influencers “influencing” the space around them as they create UGC that is designed for their audience and also helps drive action, engagement, and sales.
They’re aware of how to direct their audience to make educated choices on the products and services they consume by first using the product themselves.
Curating UGC is Much Like Traditional PR Sans the Press Release
Another way influencer marketing has evolved is by way of influencer management agencies. These types of agencies focus on creating content, but they also host a roster of individuals situated in certain niches and digital platforms who produce content on behalf of brands.
Together, they’re used to provide heavy-duty marketing power and, of course, brand influence. They’re not just marketing or digital marketing agencies; their core functions are uniquely situated in influencer marketing.
Considering how much UGC helps build brand awareness, loyalty, and affinity, it’s no wonder the influencer marketing industry will reach $16.4 billion this year.
Nearly 75% of U.S. marketers plan to use content creators as part of their marketing mix with the main focus on driving engagement, brand awareness, and ultimately sales.
UGC ultimately helps the consumer imagine themselves in that same spot in the restaurant or in their own kitchen prepping that recipe, wearing the clothes, or taking those daily wellness vitamins. It’s a win-win for the brand, influencer, and consumer. And it’s working.