The Ever-Evolving Social Media Landscape
Generation Z and Millennials encapsulate the youth population that grew up using the Internet. The pervasive involvement of technology in the lives of these newer generations has created an entirely novel form of interaction that facilitates the way young users interact with the world. A research study on the socialization of Generation Z and late Millennials highlights the impact of technology and social media on the social interests of youths. Concerned with advances in technology, the study revealed that early exposure to a vast array of new software and media applications accounts for young users’ highly developed media literacy skills. Read the study here.
Another study revealed that the role of visual content grows more dominant, with each passing generation, in brand communications and commerce. For example, many Gen Z and Millennial populations find it extremely helpful to know how other users feel about product purchases and are influenced best by reviews that include photos and videos. This study explains why younger generations favor visual platforms, such as Instagram and YouTube, compared to older generations who prefer Facebook. In addition, the research shows a clear trend of people increasingly wanting to hear from others through user-generated content, visual content. Read the study here.
In this age of inauthentic marketing, UGC surfaces as the perfect replacement. The benefits of moving towards user-generated content campaigns in the social media landscape are huge. User-generated content is precisely what it sounds to be, a people-powered marketing strategy that seeks to differentiate with authenticity and uniqueness. Content – videos, photos, posts, reviews, etc. – is created by people rather than brands. So why should brands incorporate user-generated content in their marketing strategy?
The Importance of Having a UGC Marketing Strategy
- Save time and money. User-generated content is free, and there is no need to spend time creating content for your brand. So how does a brand build a content library for UGC? First, brands can start a social media campaign that prompts users to share their product or experience by taking photos and using hashtags.
- Promote authenticity and create trust. Whether it is a service, product, or experience, today’s consumers want to know what they will get before investing. UGC is seen as genuine because it is driven by users’ actual experiences, opinions, feedback, etc. As a result, consumers are more likely to view UGC as authentic than content created by brands. Additionally, most young consumers trust recommendations from acquaintances and online consumer opinions.
- Drive purchasing decisions. User-generated content drives most young users’ purchasing decisions. This strategy is the most important reason why brands should implement a UGC marketing strategy. Young users are more likely to purchase if they feel well-informed about a service or product.