User-generated content is a new buzzword in the digital marketing space. But what exactly is it and how can it help your brand? In this article, we delve into why it works.

Many factors affect a customer’s purchasing decisions, like the company's values and ethics, the sustainability of a product, or even basic factors like price, efficacy, and customer reviews. But did you know that brand authenticity plays a big role, too? In fact, according to a survey conducted by Social Media Today, 90% of millennials agree that brand authenticity is key when making purchasing decisions.

What's more, 52% of them would recommend the brand to their friends and family, while 49% would pledge loyalty to the brand.

Anna Patricia Malay, the senior vice president, partner, and general manager of FleishmanHillard in Manila also thinks the same. “In an age where there is a conflict between facts and misinformation, organizations need to have a fundamental alignment of what their brand claims to be and what they really are," she explains. "Authenticity will be the linchpin for businesses to address the expectations and concerns of an active and engaged audience."

What does this mean? For one thing, authenticity is important for brands. This means that hard-sell advertisements are no longer effective, as the consumers of today prefer real customer experiences and testimonies. This is why businesses have adopted the practice of influencer marketing and recently, a new concept called user-generated content.

But what exactly is user-generated content? Is it different from influencer-generated content? Here is what you have to know about it.

User-Generated Content, Explained

Otherwise known as consumer-generated content, UGC refers to the original content published on social media or other platforms—either by your brand’s customers or the people who actually used the brand’s products or services. UGC can come in many forms, like unboxing videos, blog posts, videos, and photos, as well as reviews and testimonials. 

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