User generated content is not new, it’s been around for years. But it got overshadowed in favor of big influencers with large audiences. Now as the influencer era starts the die down, UGC offers massive opportunity to brands.
Now you might be wondering what I mean about the decline of influencers. So let’s address that first, in order to better understand why UGC offers a more effective alternative.
Simply put, influencers don’t really influence much anymore.
Sure, if you can pay Kylie Jenner or Bella Hadid to post your product, obviously that’s still effective, but they’re not really influencers as much as they are big celebrities.
But except for the cosmetic industry, influencer marketing offers horrible ROI.
Why? Well, for starters, there’s just so many of them now that it’s become saturated. Also, having a large following doesn’t really equate to engagement or influence, that’s not even factoring in how many so-called influencers have completely faked their audience.
It’s not hard to find an “influencer” who has a 100k + audience yet hides their like count on posts and suspiciously only gets 50 comments.
Aside from that, there’s another important reason. Influencers are considered and cringe now. Yeah they were cool in 2015 maybe, but the world has changed.
This is especially true for Gen Z, who find the whole influencer thing ridiculous. This is why the self-absorbed influencer posts that work on Instagram would easily get mocked on TikTok.
Speaking of TikTok and influencer cringe, this brings us to why user-generated content is such an opportunity.
Here’s what you need to know about Tik-Tok marketing, Gen Z has little to no tolerance for the cliche marketing fluff that’s gotten so prevalent on other social media platforms. They also detest traditional ads.
Interruption ads were still effective on Millennials because we grew up with cable TV. I remember having to sit through commercials as a kid watching old sitcoms. Gen Z on the other hand, has no patience for that.
Don’t get me wrong, digital advertising will still play a role. Also the principles of advertising will always be effective because they work on psychology. However, the format of it needs to adapt, especially for Tik-Tok.
This is where UGC comes into play, it’s the short form video content version of native advertising articles. They allow brands to get content that promotes their product and service without annoying younger consumers with boring ads or cringe influencers.
User-generated content especially works for Tik-Tok because it fits the format of content users like to consume on there. It’s not an ad, it can provide value or entertainment while building brand awareness.
Best of all, you don’t need to waste your entire budget on a sponsored post from an influencer. Instead, you can maximize your budget by getting a lot of content by hiring content creators with small, micro-audiences.
Instead of paying $5,000 for a single sponsored post from an influencer, you could literally get 10 or more individual pieces of UGC content for half that and then put the rest of your budget on boosting the content they make for you.
Or, if you want to be truly authentic, you can just offer some freebies to actual fans of your brand in exchange for UGC. This is especially effective since influencer marketing is starting to really lose the trust of audiences on social media.
Without a doubt, some influencers will continue to thrive and earn big brand deals, but marketers for brands small and large should really start to consider the benefits of UGC and what an opportunity it presents.