How User-Generated Content Moves the World Through Authenticity of Self-Expression

Many kinds of digital marketing strategies such as advertising and the use of influencer marketing services have been utilized by various brands to convey their message to users. On one side, if the promotion is attractive enough, people will be intrigued to purchase the product.

However, on the other side, there are customers who are skeptical of the authenticity of experiences in using or consuming these products, so promotions carried out through advertisements and influencers could create a biased impression for these customers.

How User-Generated Content Moves the World Through Authenticity of Self-Expression
How User-Generated Content Moves the World Through Authenticity of Self-Expression

Smarter and more sophisticated consumers are growing heavily skeptical in skin lightening products which are probably never being used by the influencers endorsing it in the first place. They also despise weight loss gels post which promise in losing several pounds just in several weeks with before and after photo which most likely to be stolen elsewhere and edited. In the case of advertisements, the use green screen effects to create more dramatic and out-of-the-world effects are hard to relate with daily life.

Imagine now that you’ve created a product like no other. It has been through multiple trials and errors and its performance is on its best based on the tests you’ve conducted. The price range and the market target have been determined. Then, you think about the next step: what should you do if you want to build consumer’s trust to invest in your product? Give them the liberty to communicate through your product voluntarily, or as known as user-generated content (UGC) marketing strategy!

The main reason why communicating your brand through UGC instead of hiring an influencer or brand ambassador perceived to be more honest and engaging is because of the spotlight you’ve given to consumers in whether posting photos of them using your product in their Instagram or making TikTok videos using your product as a gimmick.

How User-Generated Content Moves the World Through Authenticity of Self-Expression
How User-Generated Content Moves the World Through Authenticity of Self-Expression

UGC campaigns are the best way to increase engagement. In fact, product users like to share their creativity on social media to reach more people to like on their social media pages. Brand owners harness this trend to level up using interesting campaigns or challenges to reach other users beyond the initial market target.

The brand message is communicated through individuals instead of company, thus encouraging more people to share the content to their followers. How about the benefit of UGC for you as the brand owner? You can get diverse promotion materials for your feeds, as long as you ask for permission to re-post their content.

Let’s put an example of UGC application in social media. Maybelline, a famous global cosmetic brand incorporates UGC to promote its product. What is the best way to deliver a message of diverse beauty if not through the faces of various race and ethnicity in doing a makeup tutorial and photo shoots? By using strong visual content of specific facial parts, people are talking nonstop about Maybelline as their holy grail cosmetic, both online and offline.

Makeup artists are also using Maybelline product line to enhance the facial features of their clients—and all of it are posted in Instagram! From foundations, concealers, dadu online, lip creams, mascaras, eyeshadows, all the way to finishing face spray, everything own specific content on its own.

UGC is also used for social movement campaigns. The most famous example of social campaign in 2014 is the Ice Bucket Challenge. The aim of this campaign was to raise public awareness about amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) disease.

This viral trend is gaining attention from millions of users to do the same, which was posting videos of spilled buckets filled with ice water into their heads. In addition to being rapidly viral, the social impact was far greater: People donated more than $ 120 million and it was distributed for ALS treatment research, the patients, and community services.