User generated content (UGC) might be the biggest untapped resource in marketing history. It’s more trusted by consumers than any other type of brand content, it takes zero internal resources to create, and it’s “always-on” by nature.
Just another buzzword or an ace up your content marketing sleeve?
Plus, consumers create over two billion pieces of it every day. The only problem? None of it is accessible by traditional content management systems.
That’s because most brands use a CMS to manage long-term, professionally created content — like rights-approved photos, branded videos and blog posts — and stick with a social media management system (SMMS) to manage social content — like Twitter replies, Instagram posts and Facebook uploads. Until recently, that wasn’t a problem; the vast majority of UGC was being created and distributed on social networks, so it made perfect sense for brands to depend solely on their SMMS to manage it. But not anymore.
With organic social reach in a continuous downward spiral, marketers will allocate more spend on their owned properties — websites, microsites and communities. In order to attract and retain visitors to their websites, leading brands are investing in technology to build entirely new kinds of content experiences for their fans. From photo and video submissions to onsite reviews and interactive contests, these highly-immersive experiences are pushing marketers to think differently about user generated content.
UGC is no longer just another term for social content. In addition to third-party social content like Tweets from happy customers and the Instagram photos that fill campaign microsites, brands now have unprecedented access to their own UGC.
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