Findings show consumers are more likely to trust and purchase products/services from brands who share content from real customers in marketing initiatives
EnTribe, the first-of-its-kind SaaS platform for community and content development, today announced the results of a proprietary survey designed to highlight how the implementation of user-generated content (UGC) within brand marketing initiatives can positively impact consumer engagement and purchasing decisions.
The heightened consumer demand for authenticity and representation from brands has phased out the traditional influencer marketing model, which centered on brand-sponsored content from high-profile social media users. As a result, brands are moving away from the larger, macro-influencers, and focusing on ‘micro-influencers’, or individuals with smaller, but more engaged audiences, to reach target consumers. However, what many brands are missing is that their very own customers are actually their best, and most impactful creators.
To capture the potential of user-generated content, the third party-administered survey polled 819 Americans in April 2022 to understand their attitudes towards traditional influencer content and how they’d respond to brands promoting content from actual customers.
Notable survey results include:
- 85% of those surveyed found influencers inauthentic and/or unrelatable
- What’s more, only 21% stated influencer content positively impacts their perception of a brand. Nearly one-in-three (29%) report it negatively impacts their perception
- The majority of respondents (85%) would prefer to see brands share content from actual customers
- If brands incorporated user-generated content into marketing initiatives, 84% of those surveyed report being more likely to trust the brand and 77% of respondents would be more inclined purchase their products or services
- Nearly two-in-three (65%) of respondents between the ages of 18-44 would be more loyal to a brand if they requested and used content from the respondent in marketing initiatives
These survey results highlight the opportunity created by the strategic use of user-generated content within marketing initiatives, especially as it relates to social media. 64% of consumers follow their favorite brands on social media, and that number is higher among Gen Z and Millennials, with 76% of respondents between the ages of 18-44 reporting they follow their favorite brands on social media.
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However, the abundance of brand sponsored content is starting to wear on consumers. 64% of respondents report seeing sponsored content almost every time or every time they open social media apps. This number is higher among Gen Z and Millennials, with 72% of respondents aged 18-44 reporting they see sponsored content almost every time they open their social media apps, and 29% reporting sponsored content negatively impacts their brand perception.
However, regardless of age, all respondents are in agreement that brands who promote content from real customers are more trustworthy and more likely to receive their business. While just seeing the user-generated content on their social media feeds is impactful enough for older generations, respondents aged 18-44 would like to be involved in the generation of user-generated content used in brand marketing initiatives. To go beyond just requesting content, brands can increase loyalty and repeated purchases by offering incentives to submit content, as 76% of those surveyed stated they preferred discounts or rewards points.
“This survey is evidence of a shift of consumer preference towards content that is authentic and meaningful. Consumers are now seeing through traditional influencer content, and want to know that the recommendation for a product or service they’re considering is coming from somebody who actually has experience with it,” said Adam Dornbusch, CEO of EnTribe. “User-generated content allows brands to provide new and existing customers with trust and confidence in their purchasing decision, knowing that a relatable, every day person is benefiting from this brand and that the experience being shared is genuine. The effect is similar to receiving a product recommendation from a friend or family member.”
“As marketers shift their attention to micro-influencers given the high levels of engagement from their smaller audiences, they should instead consider deploying a user-generated marketing strategy. Not only is it more cost effective, but user-generated content offers all the benefits of using micro-influencers with one large advantage — brands are not only engaging directly with consumers through UGC programs, but they are also building their own army of creators from their actual customers. This will not only strengthen their relationship with existing customers, but it will improve brand engagement and trust among new ones.”
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