Pros and cons of User Generated Content (+useful tools)

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Pros and cons of User Generated Content (+useful tools)

Customers rely on genuine, unpaid endorsements from real users more than any other form of content. 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.

User Generated Content has been a top marketing trend for many years, and its popularity is not wavering. UGC can have a huge impact on your marketing outcomes, however, there are still some drawbacks that are worth noting before you embark on implementing it into your marketing strategy. In this article, we’ll describe both the positive and negative sides of User Generated Content as well as discuss some useful tools. 

What is user Generated Content (UGC)?

User Generated Content, often abbreviated as UGC, is a term used in marketing that usually captures the genuine experiences and opinions of the customers.

It includes a variety of content forms, including reviews, testimonials, images, and videos, created by users who voluntarily share their feedback with a brand. These work like word-of-mouth recommendations. 

When you use UGC, that means you are capturing the wisdom and perspectives of a diverse audience, which fosters trust and engagement. In a world saturated with traditional advertising, UGC stands out as a testament to people’s real-life interactions with products and services.

The pros of User Generated Content

User Generated Content has a lot of different benefits. Here are some pros of integrating social media into your website:

Boosts authenticity

The first benefit of User Generated Content is that it boosts the authenticity of a business by providing real and unfiltered perspectives from actual customers. This acts as a form of social proof.

When users share their experiences, reviews, and testimonials, it creates a genuine and trustworthy image for the brand. This transparent and organic form of promotion builds credibility, as consumers often trust the opinions of their peers more than traditional advertising.

Moreover, UGC humanises the brand, showcasing its impact on real lives. The diverse range of voices in User Generated Content also reflects the broader customer base, making your business more relatable and inclusive.

Improves website engagement

User Generated Content also plays a significant role in boosting website engagement for businesses. When you feature customer reviews, testimonials, and visually appealing and interactive content, such as images, comments and discussions, a website becomes a dynamic platform that encourages active participation.

UGC adds a personal touch, allowing visitors to connect with authentic experiences and opinions from their peers. This engagement not only keeps users on the site longer but also increases the likelihood of them exploring various pages.

Furthermore, UGC provides a continuous stream of fresh and relevant content, which can attract more organic traffic.

Enhances website SEO

Providing a constant influx of fresh and relevant material, User Generated Content has a great impact on website SEO.

Search engines always prefer dynamic and updated content, and UGC, such as customer reviews, testimonials, and comments, contributes to this ongoing stream. The diverse keywords and phrases users use in their authentic content naturally improve the website’s search engine rankings, making it more discoverable to potential customers.

Moreover, user engagement with UGC signals to search engines that the site is valuable and credible, further boosting its ranking. Social sharing of UGC also extends the reach of the content, creating valuable backlinks and increasing the site’s authority.

Increases conversion rate

Lastly, User Generated Content serves as a potent driver for boosting the conversion rate of a business. When potential customers share their experiences, it builds trust and confidence in the product or service. This leads to helping prospective buyers make more informed decisions and clears away doubts. 

The relatable nature of User Generated Content creates an emotional connection between the brand and its audience. As a result, the authenticity expressed in User Generated Content not only diminishes concerns but also shapes a positive perception, which ultimately increases conversion rates for the business, making visitors more likely to become customers.

The cons of User Generated Content

User Generated Content is a successful part of many businesses’ marketing strategies, however, there can be some cons associated with User Generated Content, all of which many brands out there overcome. Take a look at the cons below: 

Risk of negative content

One significant drawback of User Generated Content is the inherent risk of negative content. While UGC provides an authentic representation of customer experiences, it also opens the door to potential negative reviews, comments, or feedback.

And we all know negative content can harm a business’s reputation, and how it influences potential customers negatively and deterring them from making a purchase.

Even with moderation, negative content might slip through, posing a challenge for brands to control their online image. To show you care about customers, you should use strong plans to quickly handle and respond to negative user-made content.

Requires monitoring

The next downside of User Generated Content is the necessity for continuous monitoring. While UGC offers valuable insights and engagement, there are also chances of misuse, spam, or inappropriate content.

It becomes obvious and essential to maintain the quality and relevance of UGC regularly, to ensure it aligns with your brand’s values and guidelines.

You have to remember, that if you fail to monitor UGC adequately, it can result in the dissemination of misleading information, which will harm the brand’s reputation and even expose your business to legal issues. So, even though it’s helpful, you need to keep a close eye on things. Ignoring this important task can make the content on their platforms less effective and trustworthy.

Additional costs

Although using User Generated Content is seen as a way to save money in marketing, it requires a lot of resources for managing, moderating, and following the rules, which can be a big amount.

Also, when companies want people to create content, they have to spend more money on campaigns or rewards. You might need to put money into promotions, contests, or prizes to get users involved. Plus, keeping up with user content and talking with users takes time and manpower.

So when you’re planning to get User Generated Content, you also need to know and plan for the costs that come with it. This helps make sure that using the User Generated Content works well and can continue over time.

Unknown and potentially unreliable sources

One problem with content made by users is that we might not be sure where it comes from, and it could have information that isn’t reliable. Because different people create User Generated Content, the truth and accuracy of what they say can be very different.

Sometimes it is hard to check if the information shared by users is real because it could be personal, unfair, or even on purpose not true. Trusting User Generated Content without checking carefully can spread wrong information, hurting how people see a brand and making customers trustless.

To make this problem better, you need strong plans to check content, make sure it’s true, and give users clear rules. You may also need to request User Generated Content permission which can be an additional step before displaying user content. 

Well, with all the pros and cons, there’s a need for tools that help us make things easier. We’ve mentioned the best choices for your businesses:

UGC Solution for eCommerce: Flowbox

Flowbox is a great tool that helps businesses use content made by users on the internet. It’s like an all-in-one solution for User Generated Content – businesses can easily get, organise, and show UGC in different forms like social media and reviews. You can put this curated content on websites, in emails, in ads, or on social media, making your online presence even more engaging.

This User Generated Content platform improves the visual appeal of your online presence, creating dynamic and authentic customer experiences. Additionally, its analytics tools provide valuable insights, which will enable your business to measure the impact of UGC campaigns and optimise your strategies.

UGC solution for WordPress: WP Social Ninja

WP Social Ninja is a feature-rich and go-to superpower tool to enhance the way you showcase User Generated Content and manage your social media presence. This WordPress social media plugin empowers you to exhibit User Generated Content from various social media platforms, including images, videos, and hashtag feeds.

Furthermore, this tool serves as an all-in-one social media solution for WordPress websites. It’s user-friendly and comes equipped with advanced features such as Chat Widgets, Notification Popups, Shoppable Instagram Feed, and more, making it a complete solution for managing your social presence effectively.

Final words

So, is using content made by social media users a good idea? Definitely! And, we hope you have found this article useful. Just like anything, using things from users has its good and not-so-good sides, but we think the good parts outweigh the not-so-good ones. 

If you’re thinking about using user-made things in your next project, follow our tips and try the tools we talked about earlier; everything should turn out great!