User-generated content (UGC) is any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands. And brands will often share UGC on their own social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels.

For many brands, Instagram is the primary platform for UGC. Users create and share posts featuring your brand, exposing your products and services to their audience. Better yet, you can share that content with your own audience, boosting your credibility in the process.

In this post, we’ll explain why you should create a user generated content strategy. We’ll also explain how to incorporate UGC into your social marketing efforts.

Why User-Generated Content?

What’s the big deal about user-generated content, and why should your brand care? Here are three key reasons UGC is a key marketing strategy you can’t ignore.

Promote Authenticity

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. That offers brands an important credibility boost, since most people say less than half of brands create authentic content.

Create Trust

Whether it’s a product, a service, or an experience, modern consumers want to know what they’re going to get before they order. For example, 30 percent of millennials would not go to a restaurant if the location’s Instagram presence was not up to snuff. They just don’t trust that the experience would be what they are looking for.

Keep in mind that those diners are checking the restaurant’s own profile and content from other customers.

It’s all about creating trust. A full 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent trust online consumer opinions.

Drive Purchasing Decisions

All of the preceding benefits of user-generated content really lead up to this one: the impact on purchasing decisions. And it’s a biggie. Nearly 80 percent of people say UGC has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.

Don’t forget Instagram Stories when sharing user-generated content designed to drive purchases. Combining the immediacy of Stories with the staying power of Highlights, you can create a lasting album that lets potential buyers keep watching for as long as they need to feel comfortable heading to your website to buy.

3 Key Ways to Use User-Generated Content on Social Media

  1. Create Brand Desire
  2. Showcase (and inspire) Brand Loyalty
  3. Build a Content Library