Repost from taggbox

6 Advantages and Challenges of User-Generated Content




User-generated content on websites or UGC on social media in general is of utmost importance today as it is authentic and original in nature. UGC has numerous pros and cons attached to it.

We are taking this blog forward where we highlight the benefits and challenges faced by brands for using user-generated content-

Advantages of UGC

1. Increased Dwell Time

When accounting for SEO results, then dwell time becomes an important SEO metric to consider. Dwell time is the amount of time people spend on your website after clicking through from the search engine results. The key detail to remember here is that when visitors leave the website, they return to search engines.

It is desired that the user spends the maximum of his time on your website so as to remember your business while making a purchasing decision or for a recommendation. Dwell time will only be increased when a user genuinely finds useful information and worthy product and services on the website to invest his time and money in.

Here, allowing UGC content in the form of customer images, comments, or reviews, Q&A section on the website can increase website dwell time. Encourage your former customers to express their thoughts by writing website reviews, sharing their feedback and pictures. UGC helps in conversions and a potential customer is given to trust its authenticity.

25% of search engine results for the world’s top 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content.


2. Improves Trust & Results in Conversions

User-generated content has authenticity and reliability attached to it. It is UGC content that buyers trust and rely on. Images, videos, and reviews that come straight from previous purchasers rather than branded content by marketers is trusted more by people.

  • 92% of customers trust UGC on websites over deliberate and cleverly designed marketing advertisements.
  • People look for customer reviews instead of product descriptions while making purchase decisions. People consider UGC reviews to be representative of actual product/service quality and durability.

Example: A ‘room-view’ picture shared by a traveller depicts the real form and quality of the room and is relied upon by interested travellers instead of bright-lit pictures shared by the hotel administration on their website & by other travel websites.

  • 46% of people trust online reviews posted by other customers.
  • Brands see 25% increase in conversions when user-generated photos are used instead of professionally clicked product shots.
  • Online stores experience 4x higher click-through rates when user-generated content is included in advertising.
  • 82% of shoppers believe UGC content to be a crucial deciding factor for making a purchase.


3. Reduce Your Content Crunch

Creating great content is a big challenge for content marketers. The web is a vast library of information and it is difficult to devise creative content continuously. Here, using user-generated content reduces the burden on content marketers to produce engrossing content frequently.

UGC content is from real people depicting their real experiences with brand products and services. Such user-generated content is highly relatable too to online readers and shoppers.

36% of content marketers face creative content crunch due to over-explosion of content on the web.

A simple user-generated review or a picture can provide ‘real’ and detailed insights into your product or service. Your very own customers can be your brand advocates and aid in website conversions considerably. The bonus here is- people sometimes can be very creative, even more creative than your marketers. Hence, tapping on this powerhouse of innovativeness is a lucrative idea.


Challenges of UGC

1. Content Moderation

Content moderation is one of the biggest challenges faced while using user-generated content on websites. When companies allow users to post content on their website, they are giving control to them to post a variety of content online. This content may or may not be positive necessarily and may tamper the brand image.

Oftentimes websites are victims of abusive and offensive content online. Users have the authority to discuss and upload images they see fit (which otherwise may not be ideal and positive for public viewing and sharing), and express opinions in ways they desire, but, monitoring and moderation of user content are utmost necessary today. People often turn nasty online, and a healthy discussion about your product/service can quickly turn abusive.


2. Legal Issues

User-generated content primarily belongs to the person sharing it. It’s important to understand the relevant legal issues attached to UGC content. Example: Consider a user-generated content contest that encourages people to share images of them using your brand product or service. Such content belongs to the person who uploaded it first and foremost. As a brand, you need their express permission if you want to share their content on your business social media pages and website.

At the very least, you need to provide direct acknowledgement stating it clearly that the content does not belong to you and additionally mention the original creator of the content.


3. Confronting Fake/Spam Sources

UGC contests and campaigns or UGC content in general gives control to the users, but the spam and fake profiles that sneak through the internet and social media create the risk of getting information from unreliable sources. Some customers may doubt the authenticity of the users who have been submitting content.

The solution to this is to send an invite to those within your database or email list, and provide “verified review” badges to them to make them a dependable source of information, as is done by quite a few popular websites nowadays.