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Staged vs. Organic UGC

Updated: Mar 30, 2023

By: Jason Levy

User-generated content (UGC) is authentic, brand-specific material generated by consumers and released on social media or other networks. UGC can take many forms, including images, videos, reviews, testimonials, and even podcasts. Because of their high efficiency, UGC campaigns have proven to be a gold mine in digital marketing. Most notably, 79% of people say UGC influences their purchasing decisions significantly. There are numerous advantages to using user-generated content, which is why so many businesses include it in their primary digital marketing strategies.

Businesses utilize two forms of UGC: Staged and Organic. Both forms of UGC are incredibly beneficial to the business. We see a lot of staged UGC when it comes to the company paying influencers to create content that promotes their business and products. Usually, this content comes with a script on what needs to be spoken about, video graphed, photographed, and what actions need to be performed. To contrast, organic UGC comes purely from the consumers themselves. Any content that they make on their own is defined as organic UGC. For example, a consumer posted a review online and shared a picture of the product. Because you're reposting someone else's organic content, the organic repost is the more authentic option. It's also user-generated content because you didn't ask or compensate them for posting about your business. It was solely motivated by their own enthusiasm for your product/service. People are heavily influenced by their peers' opinions on social media, and an organic post has even more power and influence. It instantly generates far more confidence and trust than a paid advertisement or sponsorship. Any form of UGC is excellent for a business as this demonstrates that consumers care to show your product to the world.

Here are the primary reasons why companies are transitioning to their audiences to share product experiences rather than doing it themselves:

  • UGC improves authenticity and trustworthiness

  • It possesses the potential to boost brand awareness substantially

  • Establishes trust in your company by providing unquestionable social credibility (consumers trust recommendations from real people)

  • Influences higher-level purchasing decisions

  • It empowers the consumer

  • It's inexpensive (marketers do not need to invest in advertising campaigns that might or might not succeed)

  • Obtains brand advocates and ambassadors

  • It gives people the impression that they are a member of an online community

  • Customer reviews supplement your SEO efforts and assist you in ranking higher

How UGC will be utilized in 2023

The next big thing is user-generated content. Consumer postings are much more common, and photographs are more impressive now that smartphones are in nearly every pocket. These online comments and vibrant images prove that someone cared enough about your company to say something. User-generated content is attracting more attention as businesses find novel ways to amplify their customers' voices. User-generated content can take any context-specific form, including feedback, video content, customer reviews, photos, social posts, live feeds, blogs, and YouTube content. It generates a multifaceted, omnichannel prospect to complement marketing.

Public figures, athletes, and influencers are now all paid promotional 'tools' who promote the products or services of brands, "Influencer programs that generate real ROI are more appealing to brands. That is why, in 2023, it is believed that concentrating on the influential voices in your brand community will become increasingly important for many. Identifying the voices of your followers, customers, employees, and partners that can drive more genuine word-of-mouth recommendations and a higher return on investment is emerging as the next and more effective step for brands." Even so, one of the fastest-rising tools is set to have a breakout year in 2023. UGC is quickly becoming popular, and brands are starting to get on board. Though some businesses are still sitting in the wings, many are wisely incorporating UGC as an essential element of their marketing.​​

According to the Consumer Technology Association, Americans consume UGC for 39% of their weekly media hours. People over the age of 55 spend only 22% of their income, but for teenagers, that figure more than doubles (ages 13 to 17). But that isn't all. Almost 28% are looking for products to buy. Furthermore, over 23% are sharing their thoughts. Some of this discussion is irrelevant to businesses, but much of it is. Many customers leave product and service reviews. And, with 28% of the social network searching for products to purchase, there is undoubtedly a market for what consumer reviewers have to say.


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