What does “UGC” mean?

You’re on Linkedin or Tiktok, you’re closely following news from the marketing and communications sphere, and you see the term UGC coming up more and more in certain videos or posts.

What’s this new marketing term?

We’ve come to the right place to explain everything!

UGC: definition

Everyone does UGC without knowing it. When you take a photo of your dish at the restaurant to post on Instagram. When you take a video at an artist’s concert, or even a customer review on Amazon.
UGC stands for User Generated Content. In French, this means User-Created Content. Put like that, it doesn’t necessarily speak to you.

This is all the content created spontaneously by a brand’s customers and posted on the Internet, whether on a social network or not. It’s free communication for the brand.

The big advantage of UGC for brands, apart from cost, is authenticity!
This is undoubtedly the most important ingredient that makes UGC so attractive to brands.

The problem of classic advertising

Brands today face a major problem: years of constant exposure to advertising have made the public impervious to advertising messages. Creativity must be constantly redoubled to attract people’s attention, or pay dearly for strategic advertising space.

One of the main ways in which advertising messages have come to the fore in recent years is by being more authentic. Being closer to the daily lives of potential customers is the key to breaking through the unconscious barrier to advertising.
And one of the most effective ways is to use your customers to create the advertising message.

Turn customers into brand ambassadors.

Examples of UGC for companies

What does UGC content look like for a company?

What you need to know is that it’s within the reach of any company.
Whether you’re an online trainer, a retailer, a small boutique or a large global group.

We must never forget that every company needs to show what it does. And it’s even better when customers show it themselves.

To return to the previous examples:
Online trainer (personal development): Uses video testimonials from clients to reassure prospects about training content. Students also record a video presentation before and after the training to show the benefit. The trainer gains credibility.

Petite Boutique (fashion): Customers take photos of themselves in their outfits and tag the boutique on Instagram. The store gains in visibility and customer loyalty.

E-commerce (online sofa): Customers post video reviews of the store to reassure them of the merchant’s reliability. On Instagram, customers show a before/after that makes other people want to buy. E-commerce increases conversion rates.

Freight transport (global group): Ask employees to tell us about their day-to-day work. The group brings more authenticity to its employer brand to boost recruitment

For each company, UGC can meet very specific objectives.

Conclusion

What we mustn’t forget is that UGC is above all about authenticity and, by extension, honesty and transparency.

More and more content creators are offering to do “UGC” for brands. This poses an ethical problem, as they are not customers and are paid to follow a brand script. The authenticity that originally characterized UGC is totally lost.

It’s a false authenticity. And the major risk is that the same content creator will do the same with a competing brand, discrediting you in the process.

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