Why Content Created by Users is More Valuable than Content Created by Brand

Updated: January 29, 2021
by CyberCash Worldwide

Nobody is going to doubt the fact that consumers love their content to be featured by their favorite brand. It gives them an immense sense of pride and gratitude for being recognized by a brand that means so much to them. 

But, sometimes contributing content to a brand can even change a consumer’s life. 

Why Content Created by Users is More Valuable than Content Created by Brand

Here’s a little story time. Back in 2014, Starbucks launched a White Cup Contest. 4,000 participants worldwide were given a blank Starbucks cup and asked to submit their designs. 

From 4,000 entries from the U.S. and Canada, the competition was won by Brita Lynn Thompson, an art school student from Pittsburgh. However, the reward that she got was not a complimentary cup of coffee – Starbucks funded her designer business. Brita shared this news on her Instagram:

This example describes a perfect case when user-generated content can be a win-win both for a brand and a customer. A participant gets a meaningful reward, and a brand gets more recognition. 

But is content created by users more valuable than content created by a brand?

Let’s take a look at a few points that speak in favor of user-generated content over branded content. 

1. Your Brand Gets More Loyal Customers

This is an obvious one – the more you involve your fans in campaigns with UGC, the more loyal customers you get. 

The statistics prove this point – people trust user-generated content 1,200% more than commercial content. There are three reasons why this is happening:

  • there is no commercial interest in content created by customers
  • user-generated content is raw and authentic
  • such content also often provides useful, realistic reviews of the product

The last point is also extremely relevant, and here’s why. When a brand posts unedited customer reviews, this brand becomes more trustworthy in the eyes of other consumers. As a result, it retains loyal customers and gets new ones as a reward for honoring the opinion of its fans. 

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2. User-Generated Content Boosts Revenue

Speaking about getting new customers, user-generated content can help brands increase their profits from campaigns. 

Adweek has proven that UGC can boost revenue in its study from a few years ago. According to it, user-generated content brings 29% more conversions if it gets featured during a campaign or on a landing page of a website. 

If you’re looking for real-life proof that user-generated content, in fact, can bring you more money, look at Daniel Wellington’s experience. 

Daniel Wellington first tried to boost its revenue using influencer marketing, which brought the brand outstanding online recognition. Then, Daniel Wellington continued its efforts with user-generated content and managed to sell over one million watches in one year as a result. 

Indeed, if you go to Instagram and search for content by the #danielwellington, you’ll see almost 2.4 million posts:

danielwellington hashtag on Instagram

After launching its first influencer marketing campaign, Daniel Wellington recognized that simple fans of the brand could bring as much benefit to their content marketing strategy as any influencer. 

The reason?

Product reviews submitted in the form of user-generated content are perceived as social proof that the brand is trustworthy since so many people give it so many positive reviews. As a result, the likelihood that you will acquire more customers significantly increases. 

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3. Youngsters Grow Fond of Your Brand

Sooner or later, every brand, no matter of size and experience, wants to reach new audiences. Often they try to target a younger audience who’s just entering that age or phase when they might develop the need for the brand’s product. 

However, these efforts don’t always pay off, and here’s why:

  • failing to perceive the problem through the worldview of the younger generations
  • sticking to the stereotype that young generations have always been and will be the same
  • not showing them how they would directly benefit from the product

How can user-generated content help here?

Let’s consider this hypothetical situation. 

You’re a teacher at online courses where people can learn French and other foreign languages. You want to target the younger generation who are most likely learning French in school. You can involve user-generated content from the customers you already have who also belong to the same demographic as your target audience. Boom – you have a competitive advantage in your hands. 

Statistics also prove that user-generated content is a powerful tool for attracting millennials and Gen-Zers. According to the stats round-up by Pixlee

  • 84% of millennials report user-generated content helps them make a more informed purchase decision
  • 86% of millennials also say UGC is an indicator of a brand’s high quality and trustworthiness
  • user-generated content is 20% more influential to millennials than any other content produced by the brands

On top of that, using UGC in your campaigns helps you speak the language of your younger audience. So, you could say that involving user-generated content in your campaign will help you avoid all those mistakes we mentioned a bit earlier. 

So, Is User-Generated Content Better?

It’s relative. 

In terms of engagement, it’s a definitive yes, and multiple stats we shared with you prove this point. 

Sure, user-generated content can bring you more revenue since it’s more trusted by the consumers. And, you’ll have more chances to become a popular brand among youngsters, as UGC helps you speak their language. 

But should you staff your content marketing strategy just with UGC? 

Probably, no, since it could create a feeling that you’re feeding off your fan’s creativity. It’s better to find a golden middle where the content created by users and your own branded content co-exist in harmony.  

Ryan Pell

Author Bio:  Ryan Pell

Professional writer who contributes articles to various sites including this site, mainly on digital marketing and business, careers in general.

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