June 24, 2022

UGC vs Influencer Marketing

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Modern e-commerce brands use several marketing strategies to boost conversion rates and build an online reputation. Today, two of the most popular approaches include influencer marketing and user-generated content (UGC) advertising.

Unfortunately, some digital advertisers today are uncertain which of the two strategies would give them the most value. You can read this brief article to know the key differences between UGC and influencer marketing. After reading, you will discover the best approach to improve your brand's online marketing campaigns.

What Is User-Generated Content?

UGC is any form of media created by individuals and published on social media platforms. In this strategy, marketers treat their audience as brand advocates or brand ambassadors who promote their products and services online.

Initially, brands were cautious about relying on UGC to represent their brand because, at first, it was hard to justify trading professional-looking content for raw consumer content.

But, as technology evolved and social media channels have made consumer-made content easily accessible, UGC became a factor that e-commerce brands can no longer afford to ignore.

Because UGC is unbiased and made without an agenda, consumers see these types of content to be trustworthy and authentic content. It allowed brands to build credibility and reputation without investing too much time and money.

What Is Influencer Marketing?

Influencer marketing is a simple yet effective advertising strategy that involves collaborations with an online content creator to market products or services. With this tactic, the goal is to improve brand recognition.

Influencers are more accessible than celebrities. They can be anywhere, and they can be anyone. What makes them influential is their massive following on social media. It can be on Twitter, Instagram, or even video streaming platforms, like Twitch or YouTube.

You can team up with micro-influencers or someone who has a larger following than a regular person's but smaller than a celebrity's. You can also work with nano-influencers or an influencer with a follower base between 1,000 and 10,000.

An influencer can be a well-known gamer, a fashion photographer on Instagram, a cybersecurity blogger, or a marketing executive on LinkedIn. Regardless of your industry, you can find an influencer with a following whom you can target and market your product.

Image source: unsplash.com

User-Generated Content vs. Influencer: Which One Is Better?

If you want to know the best tactic to add to your marketing content campaign, you need to determine the pros and cons of using them. To help you figure out if UGC or influencer advertising can help your brand, we outlined the advantages and disadvantages of the strategies below.

Pros and Cons of UGC

Advantages

Here are some reasons your brand should try UGC marketing:

Promotes Audience Engagement and Boosts Conversions

Consumers trust user-generated content more than high-quality social media posts that marketers generate. They trust customers will be truthful when reviewing a product or service because they want to help those looking for the exact solutions they want.

This is why encouraging your clients to leave reviews or testimonials can boost engagement. Getting an influx of reviews can inevitably drive more conversions and serve as social proof for a brand.

Reduces Content Creation Tasks

One of the most useful advantages of user-generated advertising is that you will produce less branded content yourself. By using your audience’s posts, you can put less effort into establishing a regular online presence and brand awareness.

Furthermore, UGC also creates a source of content ideas for a marketing team. You can turn to your audience for inspiration if you are ever out of ideas.

Relying on your audience for consistent content output can be lucrative because it lets you save time and money. By reducing the workload of your content team, you can focus your efforts on different aspects of your business.

Regardless of your industry, consumer-generated content can lower costs significantly and keep your brand relevant online.

Improves Your SEO

UGC can also help support your SEO efforts. Here are the three ways it can help your site rank higher on search engines:

  1. It can boost your site’s dwell time.
  2. User-generated content, like reviews and comments, can be filled with keywords relevant to your industry and brand.
  3. With high customer review scores in your site’s rich snippets, you can help your website rank higher on search engine results pages (SERPs). This advantage can also help boost your clickthrough rates.

Additionally, since UGC is more appealing to your audience, they will often visit your site. Dwell time pertains to the time spent by a user analyzing a web page before going back to search results. It is one of the many factors that search engines like Google take into account when determining the user experience of a website.

Builds Trust

In a survey of more than 2000 consumers, visual content platform Stackla found that 84 percent of the respondents want more authenticity from e-commerce brands. The figure highlights how important UGC is for businesses that seek to establish trust.

Instead of churning out content after content, try featuring consumer-generated media to help build brand trust and credibility. You should also pay attention to your product descriptions and reviews because these are the places potential customers will first look.

Disadvantages

Like other marketing strategies, UGC advertising also comes with limitations and disadvantages. Here are several cons you need to consider before trying this approach:

Features Negative Content

Because this strategy provides a myriad of content relevant to your brand, you may also see some damaging content. This can be negative or inappropriate comments, poorly written blog posts, or mediocre product reviews.

If you plan to rely on UGC to carry your online presence, you have to make sure to remove negative content from your branded tags. But remember to keep some bad reviews alongside excellent ones to make your brand look authentic.

Furthermore, negative reviews can provide a learning opportunity for your business. Reply to negative feedback to show your audience that you acknowledge them and seek to improve your brand’s image.

Unreliable Sources

Another disadvantage of using this approach is that it can be easy to abuse the system and user reviews with fake accounts due to so many different sources of content. Because of this problem, some people might not be inclined to trust UGC.

Poses Potential Legal Concerns

If you decide to invest in UGC campaigns, you will have to be familiar with all the legal aspects that come with them.

For instance, you start a social media campaign and ask your followers to take pictures of themselves with your products. You may not be allowed to use the photos yourself without permission from the owners of the images. This could be true even if they were using your hashtag.

Pros and Cons of Influencer Marketing

Advantages

Read on below to discover the reasons you should use influencer content marketing.

Helps Brands Reach Relevant Audiences

Partnering with influencers can help your brand reach relevant audiences. Once you’ve gotten over the difficult part of finding the right influencer who is relevant to your industry, you can engage with their audience and see if there are potential customers among them.

Establishes Trust and Credibility

You can quickly build trust and credibility by working with an influencer who already has an excellent reputation. They already have followers who trust them. So, if they speak positively about a brand, their followers would believe them.

But to establish credibility and trust, you must collaborate with genuine influencers who are famous and respected in their industry.

Cost Effective

When working with an influencer, you can spend less time creating content and more time focusing on other marketing tasks. If you are collaborating with a good influencer, they will know the best content to produce, which will engage their followers.

Disadvantages

Investing in influencer marketing can come with the following disadvantages:

Collaborating With the Wrong Influencer Can Have Significant Consequences

It can be difficult for brands to find the right influencer for their marketing campaigns. If you do not partner with the right person, it can cause significant damage to your company’s reputation.

To address this problem, try to stay active in social media and keep an eye out for influencers who you think will work well with your brand.

Measuring Results Can Be Challenging

Even with the right influencers and the proper content strategy, your efforts can be in vain if you do not have the means to monitor the performance of your campaign. You need to have a way to know if an influencer can deliver the desired results. Otherwise, you need to stop working with them.

Unfortunately, measuring results can be challenging when it comes to influencer marketing. You may not have a way of knowing how many people responded positively to your campaign.

UGC or Influencer Marketing?

So, which strategy should you be using?

Ultimately, your strategy should depend entirely on your goals. But, if you want to achieve the best results, you can try using both.

UGC and influencer marketing can help you build trust and credibility for your brand. Additionally, having the infrastructure to encourage UGC can provide time to develop your influencer advertising strategy actively.

The two methods are both necessary to achieve a successful marketing plan. With a combination of the two, your customers will find your marketing content more trustworthy and authentic than typical brand posts.

Pro Tip: “Remember, you can always combine UGC and influencer marketing strategies for the most impact. Choosing one shouldn't stop you from using the other if it seems worthwhile.”

How To Drive UGC Through Influencer Marketing

Today, UGC marketing is getting as much attention as influencer advertising. To help you effectively use both, here are some tips for using influencer marketing to drive UGC.

Encourage Inspiration

While UGC is free, brands cannot control who is sharing content or how it is presented. But, with influencer marketing, e-commerce businesses can work with influencers whose message and audience align with theirs.

Influencers know what resonates the most with their audience. They can share brand messages in a particular style familiar to their followers.

After the followers see their influencer post something about a brand, the audience will share their own pictures and videos.

Ask Questions

Asking questions can be an easy way to encourage user-generated content for your brand. Influencers can ask their followers to join the discussion with prompts related to your product or service.

The activity can boost engagement and demonstrate how your brand fits into the lifestyle of your targeted audience. You can highlight the most interesting responses on your website, social media accounts, and email marketing.

Hold Contests

Contests and giveaways can be good strategies for driving engagement and gaining exposure. These events can be specifically designed to produce more user-generated content.

For instance, influencers could try to ask their followers to enter a contest by sharing their content under a branded hashtag.

Use Your User-Generated Content With Archive Today!

Both UGC and influencer marketing can be essential additions to a brand’s advertising campaign. Although the two methods have disadvantages, they can boost conversion and drive engagement.

If you want to get the most out of your digital marketing strategies, download Archive App today and improve your advertising efforts!

Archive establishes digital community marketing infrastructure for brands. With our help, you can harness the creativity of your communities with ease.

Influencer marketing and user-generated content are new ways to create content. Contact Archive to learn more about leveraging your UGC marketing strategies!

FAQs on UGC vs. Influencer Marketing

Is user-generated content the same as influencer marketing?

UGC and influencer marketing are different from each other. UGC advertising uses content created by consumers published on social networks like TikTok or Instagram. Meanwhile, influencer marketing involves collaborations with online influencers to market products,

How do I do a UGC campaign?

After developing a strategy, you need to curate UGC content from social media platforms or review sites. Before posting them, you will need to get content access permission from the original owners of the media you want to use in your campaign. After getting approval, you can share the images, videos, or other consumer-generated content. The only thing you need to do after is to monitor and analyze the campaign performance.

What is influencer-generated content?

Influencer-generated content is a by-product of influence marketing. It mainly refers to the images, videos, and other content that influencers produce, usually in partnership with a brand.

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