User-Generated Content (UGC) is essential it is to a successful marketing strategy. As social media usage and marketing has exploded, so has so UGC. This is especially true on Instagram.
The explosion in content has led to a corresponding explosion of content creators, both large and small.
These are accounts that dedicated themselves to creating a truly curated account that usually has a very specific aesthetic and niche. The accounts can be fairly small, with just a few thousand people following, or have a huge community of millions of followers.
Of course, there are good content creators and bad content creators.
Not everyone puts the same amount of effort, attention to detail, and skill into what they create, and the result is that there’s a broad range of content. Some of it can be outstanding, professional-grade material while other UGC can be pretty terrible.
Of particular interest are accounts that produce high-quality content and have a large audience. These accounts have broken through and become their own category – influencers.
Altogether, this has pushed content creation and, more importantly, user-generated content and influencer-generated content as an important marketing tool that smart brands are leveraging.
Of course, to successfully leverage this it’s important that brands cultivate real relationships with creators.
The connection between user-generated content and influencer-generated content
User-generated content is a great starting point for any brand. But UGC is also random and cannot be controlled. At the end of the day, it can truly be created by anyone that’s using your product.
This means UGC can be done by a great amateur photographer that really wants to share the great new snake she discovered, but also your grandfather who barely knows how to use his iPhone’s camera.
IGC allows a brand to ensure that the content is being produced more closely matches their aesthetic and voice and thus can be used in marketing. Influencers have a track-record of creating high-quality content that clearly encapsulates a brand. That means that when you work with them to create IGC, you can be sure the results are worth it.
To be clear, brands are not controlling the entire process in-house with a photo shot. Instead, they give influencers a few clear guidelines about what they would like to see and let the influencers take care of the rest.
That’s actually the beauty of IGC: a brand ends up with dozens of pieces of content that are all “the same” (same product, similar talking points) but that have been interpreted in a million different ways by the influencers to match their aesthetic and voice.
The result is an amazing stack of diverse UGC that can be used in a myriad of ways.
Why do brands need content from product users
You may be wondering what are the ways you can use the content.
Well, the simple answer is basically anything! Millions of posts are uploaded to Instagram every day.
To stay relevant and top of mind with followers and potential customers it’s crucial that you are constantly uploading content every day. This means at least a post or two to your feed and multiple stories throughout the day.
That alone is about 20 pieces of content week.
Apart from that, you of course need to add to your website, newsletters, ads, and special promotions.
That’s a lot of content to create, not to mention the time and money it would take. The beauty of influencer-generated content is that you’re able to outsource this process. You generate dozens of professional-grade images a week at a fraction of the time and cost that it would take you.
Why brands need to start looking at influencer-generated content specifically
Like we mentioned previously, UGC is hard to control. You’re at the mercy of anyone taking a picture. Sometimes that turns out great, but a lot of times it doesn’t.
Influencer-generated content allows you to shape the narrative by ensuring content is generated that fits your voice and aesthetic. This content can then be incorporated into your marketing strategy.
At the end of the day, it’s your brand, so shouldn’t you be able to frame it whoever you want?
IGC is a surefire way to generate high-quality content. In other words, it is an unrivaled approach to quickly and efficiently acquire the UGC you need to keep fueling your brand’s marketing efforts.
Influencer- generated content is also UGC, but not all UGC is influencer-generated content. That’s basic UGC is produced at random by product users. You have no control over what it being said and there’s no guarantee the content will even be good.
Influencer-generated content, just like UGC, is uploaded to social media platforms and is displayed in a brand’s tagged posts. But crucially, the content was created by a hand-picked group of talented creatives that will make your product shine, like in the posts above.
And at the end of the day, this is another essential benefit of influencer-generated content. IGC gets people talking about your product and can motivate more people to buy and share experiences about your product
How influencer networks can help create IGC at scale
Influencer networks, like Trend, are especially useful to generating this content at scale. If a brand is only looking to generate a few pieces of UGC a month, they can probably get away with doing everything (influencer discovery and outreach, negotiations, acquiring the content, etc) manually.
However, for those looking to take it to the next level, such as consistently cranking out 20 or 30 pieces of content a month, influencer networks are the best approach.
Not all networks are created the same though. Similar to a health insurance plan, which doctors are in-network are what determines if the plan is actually useful. You want the best doctors possible, a reasonable copay, and a short distance away.
Trend is the influencer version of that. It’s the only curated influencer network, which means we can guarantee high-quality content due to vetting. We’ve also eliminated price negotiation, which saves everyone time, and allow brands to download the content straight from the platform.
Of course, seeing is believing. Instead of talking some more about Trend, here is some amazing content our network of creators generated for premium brands:
Overall, influencer networks are a great way to kick start UGC, because at the end of the day it’s actually influencer-generated content.
Basically, it’s a win-win for brands.
So, how do you get started?
Influencer networks like Trend are the best way. Apart from the benefits mentioned previously, the service also comes with an account manager and rich support options so you’re not flying blind. Just check out what others are saying about us.
At the end of the day, brands need IGC to help control the narrative, drive more UGC, drive more brand awareness, and ultimately drive more sales.