Today, our lives revolve around user generated content (UGC) as we cannot fathom picking a restaurant where we will eat tonight if we didn’t read reviews from people who dined there before. We wouldn’t dream of buying an expensive appliance like a refrigerator without checking how it works for hundreds of people who purchased it before. Wouldn’t stay at a hotel that doesn’t have reviews from fellow travelers. We are completely surrounded by UGC and have come to rely on it as the most trustworthy source of information.
What is user generated content and how did this form of content became so prevalent? User generated content refers to any material created and uploaded to the Internet by non-media professionals, whether it’s a comment left a blog, a video uploaded to YouTube, or your friends’ profile on Facebook. UGC has been around in one form or another since the earliest days of the Internet itself, but in the past few years, thanks to the growing availability of high-speed Internet access and smartphones, it has become one of the dominant forms of content creation.
74% of US Internet users agree that their choice of companies and brands is due in large part to customer care experience information shared online. This is an enormous shift for companies as previously they had a lot greater control over what information about them was distributed to the public.
Plenty of companies are embracing this trend by leveraging positive UGC content in their marketing and branding efforts. Nickelodeon uses Pinterest photos of consumers with Nickelodeon product to sell you more merchandise.
Nike encourages women to take photos of themselves in Nike gear and promotes these images to inspire others to look just as awesome in Nike clothes.
This trend has now shifted to mobile apps centered around UGC. Instagram and SnapChat are some of the most successful apps propelled by this trend. All the content on their platforms is user generated and it is extremely easy to share it across other social media platforms, which are all user generated as well. One of the most innovative UGC-based newcomers into this space is Birthday Box app: Crowd-sourced user generated birthday videos to create personal birthday movies (Download link: http://bit.ly/BBoxUGC).