The ways of advertisement are shifting. A company needs more than a couple of messages on the social networks to reach their target groups. Paid advertisement is not as effective as it was before. Especially not those on the social media. People find a personal, funny or remarkable item on the social media far more interesting than mass advertisement. Therefor UGC is a successful marketing tool in general
User Generated Content (UGC) is the concept of using customers as a marketing tool. In this way, UGC provides authentic contents and entertains the target group via marketing tools which are not provided by the business itself. In today’s social media culture, customers turn to online product feedback, social media and blogger reviews. ‘Experts agreed on the fact that UGC has become an essential for brands that increasingly build direct, authentic and transparent relationships with customers.’
‘UGC is a content strategy then encourages consumers to share their experiences with a brand which in turn shares the experiences with other consumers through digital channels.’ The Australian Marketing Institute CEO, Lee Tonitto said also that, ‘consumers trust content produced by their peers far more than what is created by marketers, and they reward brands that deliver UGC with engagement.’
In term is Customer Engagement Management, UGC is an effective strategy to be used to engage more customers. ‘Since it is often found more trustworthy and memorable than other sources, a strategy like this will increase transparency and honesty that empowers clients and users to be heard by the business,’ a managing director of a global production company, Bo Thorp said. What makes UGC so successful is that the followers of the ‘online influencers’ have chosen themselves to follow these content creators. As follower you are aware that those people make UGC for companies. But since many people feel connected to these ‘online influencers’ the advertisements become far more personal and not as annoying as ads you didn’t chose for to see.
This new strategy will reduce costs of expensive advertisement campaigns and will therefore create more profit for a company, which is after all the final goal of a commercial enterprise. According to Tonitto, ‘online influencers which a dynamic content range who make the advertisements interactive and personalised are the best trick for successful UGC.’ A UGC campaign increases brand recognition for a higher Return On Investment.
An entrepreneur in the hotel industry should use the knowledge of this CEM strategy because the hotel industry is service and experience focused. A good example for a successful UGC campaign is the Loews Hotels. They have replaced their models by real time hotel guests. By a first person perspective, the content is more seen as a personal story, and therefore people can identify more easy than with ‘normal and oldfashioned’ marketing techniques. UGC offers a unique perspective which can’t be reached by the business itself.
Tonitto, L. (2016). Australian Marketing Institute. Retrieved September 2017
Williams, A. (2016, August). (CMO) Retrieved September 2017, from CMO: https://www.cmo.com.au/article/605551/why-it-time-your-brand-leveraged-user-generated-content/