UGC and IGC: You don’t need to break the bank to increase your reach
When it comes to digital marketing, think of user-generated content (UGC) and influencer-generated content (IGC) as your trusty companions on a journey to brand success. But instead of emptying your pockets on high-ticket influencer campaigns, why not consider a marketing crescendo that begins with the authenticity of UGC, scales up through micro-influencers, and culminates in IGC?
Starting with UGC: The Foundation of Authenticity
UGC is the bedrock of consumer trust. When your customers share their experiences — good, bad, and everything in between — they’re not just talking to friends; they’re broadcasting to potential new customers. It’s a modern form of word-of-mouth that can drive your brand’s reach and credibility without a single dollar spent on ads.
Consider these statistics:
- A whopping 92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know.
- 79% of shoppers allow UGC to influence their buying decisions.
- UGC is deemed 9.8x more impactful than influencer content in purchase decisions.
It’s clear why 74% of consumers use social media to guide their purchases. Millennials, who account for over 70% of UGC and find it 50% more trustworthy than brand content, are a testament to UGC’s power. Not to mention, word-of-mouth marketing doubles the sales of paid advertising, which makes UGC not just effective, but efficient.
Micro-Influencers: Your Next Best Step
Once you’ve established a UGC foundation, stepping up to micro-influencers can help you connect with specific audiences without a hefty price tag. These influencers have smaller, more engaged audiences. They are seen as relatable figures, and their recommendations are akin to a friend sharing a good find.
Their content, while more curated than UGC, still carries a personal touch that major influencer content sometimes lacks. Brands often report that micro-influencers deliver higher engagement rates, and these smaller-scale partnerships can provide a healthy ROI as you dip your toes into the influencer pool.
Incorporating IGC: The Big Leagues
Now, let’s talk IGC. While UGC is about authenticity, IGC is about aspiration and reach. When you’re ready to scale up, partnering with influencers can catapult your brand into new markets.
Here’s the juice on IGC:
- 60% of marketers report that IGC performs better than branded content.
- Influencer campaigns are as effective, if not more so, than other marketing channels, with 90% of marketers agreeing to the sentiment.
- An influencer’s content can rake in an ROI 11x greater than traditional forms of digital marketing.
- The average earned media value (EMV) on IGC for brands is $12-18 for every dollar spent.
- Influencer whitelisting, where influencers give brands the right to use their content for ads, outperforms standard social ads by 20-50%. It’s a strategy that combines the finesse of influencer content with the authenticity of appearing on a personal influencer’s profile.
Building Your Strategy: UGC to IGC
Your strategy should have the flexibility to incorporate both UGC and IGC. Start by encouraging and curating UGC — this not only boosts your content library but also provides social proof that can enhance trust in your brand. With just 16% of brands having a UGC strategy, there’s a wide-open opportunity for you to stand out.
As you build that trust, weave in micro-influencers whose ethos and audience align with your brand values. They can serve as the bridge between genuine user experiences and the polished appeal of celebrity influencers.
Finally, as your brand and budget grow, consider selective IGC partnerships to amplify your message. Keep in mind, though, that the relatability of UGC should not be overshadowed by the gloss of IGC. Finding the right balance is key.
Boost Your Reach Affordably with Joseph Studios
Expanding your brand’s presence doesn’t have to cost a fortune. Start simple with user-generated content, tap into micro-influencers, and then grow into influencer-generated content.
If this still sounds daunting, don’t worry — you can turn these strategies into reality with Joseph Studios. Let’s create your UGC plan, optimize your budget, and write your brand’s success story. To learn more and start building your own bespoke marketing strategy, just reach out to our team today!