The Value of Consumer-Generated Content [UPdated for 2019]

July 17, 2017

Businesses today use consumer-generated content (CGC) in a multitude of ways. From boosting business to improving brand-consumer relationships, usage of CGC in your business’s marketing strategy can be as creative as ordering a build-your-own burrito (without the guac upcharge).

Whether consumer-generated content is embedded into the marketing strategy, an extension of your business’s social media engagement or used as an incentive, the value of this content works for everyone.

Take a look at how...

It spreads the word

Consumer-generated content is the digital version of word-of-mouth marketing. Marketeers used to include room for word-of-mouth marketing tactics in the game plan. Today, those tactics are all social- as a friend of a friend’s #foodie post on Instagram is more valued than a dated 5-star review at the bottom of a webpage. In fact, 92% of consumers trust content and recommendations that comes from peers over any other form of marketing.

“We decided a long time ago to let our guests record video and take pictures of our magic show. A lot of magic shows don't allow this for certain reasons but we decided to do it because it helps spread the word about the show, it's a type of free advertising,” Erik Dobell from the Gatlinburg, TN magic show Impossibilities - Magic, Mindreading and Mayhem says.

Erik is right. Allowing your guests to capture moments at the business cost next to nothing for both the customer and venue. And in return, the guest’s post travels between social media networks incredibly fast, generating word-of-mouth about your business and increasing turnout.

“People take a great picture or a fun video and post it on our page, we can then share that post on our page but also, the friends of the person who originally made the post will see it and that brings them one step closer to seeing our show,” Erik said. 

It adds variety to your social assets

Nothing gets more authentic than the representation of a business through the eyes (and camera lens) of its customers. In our visual world, consumer-generated content that includes stunning imagery is valuable to fans and also the marketing team.

Erik claims that after the marketing team allowed for the sharing of the CGC, guests feel even more part of the experience.

The Booster Club, a marketing company that connects brands with the consumer, utilizes consumer-generated content for further promotional material. By posing CGC as a contest during larger events, The Booster Club collects this social imagery to build up the business’s presence during later events.

“This allows for great social imagery that our social team can use for upcoming programs,” Lauren Doyle, Founder and Head Booster, said.  

With permission from your customers, using consumer-generated content for your business’s own marketing strategy is like the ultimate social media recycling. Plus, consumer-generated marketing assets add an extra layer of authenticity to your content.

It makes your customers feel valued

The easiest wine-and-dine strategy your business can employ is CGC. It’s a relationship tool for businesses to let guests know their value. This next step in utilizing consumer-generated content is all about what the marketeers choose to do with the content after it’s posted. Rather than letting the guest post hang around in the social media sphere, the business should take the opportunity to make a meaningful, one-on-one connection with the account-owner. This can come in the form of a like, love, comment or incentive.

At My Gym Children’s Fitness Center in Layton, Utah, owner Jamie Dicks sees the repurposing of guest posts as a way to highlight the business’s belief in them over us.

“Capturing a small moment with a mom and tot is a great gift to them, with the bonus of the mom sharing that moment to her page - nearly every time!” Jamie said. “Our customers are our heroes and we highlight that by making our business about THEM not US,  this alone makes all the difference.”      

The Booster Clubs adds that customers feel extra special when their posts give them a deal or free item, like a tee shirt.

“We utilize our customer's social media as a contest for free prizes like T-shirts and other giveaways,” Lauren said.

Recommended Resources
17 Examples of Enticing, Informative Digital Signage Content
What’s the Difference: UPshow vs. Buzztime
What Is Interactive Digital Signage, And Why Do I Need It?

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