Should retailers and brands pay for user-generated content?
Fifty-nine percent of online shoppers say that user-generated content (UGC), such as images and videos from other consumers, is the most authentic type of content, according to a recent survey. By comparison, only 10 percent indicated the same about influencer content and 19 percent about brand-created content.
The survey of 2,042 consumers across the U.S., UK and Australia from content marketing start-up Stackla further showed 58 percent of respondents would grant a brand permission to use an image/video they had posted of clothing or accessories to use in its marketing, with nearly half of Gen Z (47 percent) saying they would be more likely to continue engaging with a brand if it shares their photo/video.
As an example, the hashtag of Trek Bicycle’s GoByBike campaign encouraging individuals to share a post of their ride had been used 112,000 times and the bike manufacturer gained the rights to thousands of pieces of UGC. Haley Ludwick, Trek’s communications manager, said in Stackla’s statement, “People are far more likely to implement a behavior if they see other people participating — whether it’s for a social cause or a buying decision.”
The negative findings around influencers’ effectiveness contrasts with eMarketer’s July prediction that influencer marketing spending will grow more than 30 percent this year to exceed $3 billion and then surpass $4 billion in 2022. According to eMarketer, the pandemic initially interrupted influencer spending but then accelerated with many creator-driven social trends including short video and social commerce.
Adweek’s Social Media Week LA event held in July found brands increasingly using influencers with fewer followers because they come across as more authentic. Ivonne Aldaz, a marketing specialist at TINT, said, “With micro and nano-influencers, it’s all about engagement. People are sick of not having really quality connections with the people they’re talking to.”
When asked which type of influencer shares the most authentic/genuine content, a recent global survey of over 9,000 consumers from Bazaarvoice found “everyday social media users” (38 percent) and subject matter experts (39 percent) ranking neck-and-neck, while celebrities (14 percent) and social media stars (9 percent) lagged much further behind.
- Stackla Report: Online Shoppers Want More Authentic Visuals Than Pre-Pandemic – Stackla
- Shopping Habits: Authenticity, Personalization and the Power of UGC – Stackla
- US Influencer Marketing Spend to Reach $4 Billion in 2022, eMarketer Predicts – eMarketer
- How Micro and Nano Influencers Drive Big Change – Adweek
- The ‘Everyday Influencer’ reigns supreme, but consumers demand stricter rules for edited content – BazaarVoice/Globe Newswire
- What influence do influencers have? – BazaarVoice
DISCUSSION QUESTIONS: What are the upsides and limits of free UGC versus paid UGC? Is payment to incentivize content sharing necessary in most cases?