UGC (user generated content), sometimes called UCC (User Created Content) is content created by people who use your product who then make the content public.
Most often when marketers talk about this, they are talking about reviews of the product. Even images of the product are seen as a type of review- showing how the item actually will be used in everyday use. It has had a resurgence in popularity with drop shipping services from China appearing largely into the US market- people no longer trust the product shot of the photo. The reason people pay a lot of attention to reviews is because of how drastically it effects SEO. The part I think that is often forgotten about is how much it helps reducing buyer hesitation. Online might never get the same knee jerk impulse buy exit stands at super markets will, it’s a good way to help people to finish their check out.
There are two real motivations for users to create UGC:
Implicit Incentives: These incentives are not tangible, but can be seen as social signaling. They let others know their values and what communities they belong to. It can also be a way to try to help others to prevent- or encourage- a purchase, assuming they believe a customer is like them.
Explicit Incentives: This is where the user is offered a tangible reward for promoting the brand.
- Engagement with its users, and doubles the likeliness that the content will be shared.
- It Builds Trust with consumers. With a majority of consumers trusting UGC over brand provided information, UGC can allow for better brand-consumer relationships.
- SEO Benefits for brands. This in turn means more traffic is driven to the brands websites and that more content is linked back to the website.
- Reducing Buyer Hesitation which will keep customers shopping. With UGC, the conversion rate increases by as much as 4.6% (I’ve never attained above a 3.3% increase).