21 (Now 27) Stats That Prove Your Brand Needs More User Generated Content (Updated May 2021)

user generated content

Earlier this year, we published one of our most popular blog posts to date. It was a short list of our favorite statistics on the effectiveness of advocacy marketing, a topic near and dear to our hearts, since it’s literally what we do. Literally. Since then, we’ve had a couple of clients ask us to put together a list of statistics that focused on one of the most popular aspects of a successful advocacy marketing program: user generated content (UGC). In honor of their request, we donned our finest research hat (complete with tassels), scoured studies, busted open tomes, and compiled the below list of 21 of UGC statistics.

So when we wrote this in 2018, we already knew that UGC (user-generated content) was a powerful method for cultivating engagement, fostering audience trust, and driving sales. But in 2018, we were all under the impression that the best UGC content could only be crafted by influencers with massive followings.

You know, the ones with hundreds of thousands of followers and digital fans.

Today? The heavy hitters just aren’t hitting in the same way the little guys are. Nano and micro-influencers are changing the way brands and users view UGC.  As such, we’ve updated this post to be more relevant for 2021 marketing trends. All new content is in bold.  

UGC and Influencer Tiers Explained 

Nano: 0k-10k

This is your everyday person. When they started their account, they may not have had intentions to have such influence, but because of their savvy and exquisite taste, they have curated an image of a tastemaker. Their audience, followers, and fans listen to what they say and follow their lead. The nano-influencer is one of your most important assets as a brand or organization. 

Micro: 10k-100k

Slightly larger than the nano, the micro-influencer has some of the same pull as the nano, but now they consider their accounts more of a job than a personal social feed. These users are starting to get paid for some of what they post, which can reduce their pull as other social media users recognize their posts as ads.  

Mid: 100k-500k

The sweet spot of the higher-end influencer, mid-influencers are aspirational yet attainable for many brands to partner with. They’re the users who are often gifted or contracted to post and share one-of-a-kind products, services, and experiences. While their followers and fans understand that many of the product and service posts they share are paid, they trust and respect their opinions.

Macro: 500k-1M

When Andy Warhol said that in the future, we’d all have our 15 minutes of fame, he wasn’t wrong. The macro-influencer is a celebrity in their own right. Having carved a platform in a niche where they are respected and revered as a voice of authority, these users have moved beyond just being an “influencer” and more a content creator and curator role. These people can help you strategize and execute creative marketing campaigns that speak directly to your target audience. 

Mega-Macro (Celebrity): 1M+ 

The mega-macro influencer is a total celebrity. These are beyond your average people. Think Addison Rae, Jeffery Star, Huda Kattan, Kim K, etc. While these people will cost you a pretty penny, they also come with an army of loyal “stans.” These people ride and die by the mega-macro influencer. If the influencer says jump, their fans ask, “how high?” 

Employee UGC

Your employees are already on social media. So why not incentivize them to post? Employee user-generated content is like an internal amplifier that can reach way more eyes than your brand’s account alone. Why? Because, well, people are invested in the lives of your employees, including their work lives. 

Traditional UGC 

Similar to Influencer marketing, UGC is content created and shared by a fan of yours. However, the difference between UGC and influencer marketing is that you never asked the user to post nor did you tell them what to say. The user who shared your brand, product or service genuinely just loves you and your brand and wanted to shout it from their platform! 

Still not convinced UGC is something your brand should be incorporating? Check out these 27 stats that prove UGC marketing is the superior form of marketing. 

User Generated Content & Advocacy Marketing

User generated content and advocacy marketing can provide the one-two punch your marketing strategy needs. When it comes to UGC, more than 50% of consumers want a brand to tell them what type of content to create and share. However, studies show only 16% of brands have a system in place to effectively initiate and manage UGC. Your customers stand ready to create UGC on your behalf. Do you have the tools in place to meet their demands?

We’re proud to offer SocialToaster as the UGC management and advocacy marketing platform of choice for brands of all sizes. Through SocialToaster brands can:

  • Easily distribute content that advocates can share to their social profiles
  • Make it easy for their fans to share simply by clicking the “Share” button from their email
  • Award points and rewards for participating and creating UGC
  • Create opportunities for fans to submit UGC through Instagram contests, survey completions or even fun quizzes

Now onto the stats.

UGC Supports All Aspects of Your Marketing Efforts

1. More than 86% of businesses are utilizing UGC as part of their marketing strategy.

2. UGC posts shared to social channels see a 28% higher engagement rate than standard brand posts.

3. UGC-based ads get 4x higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click than average.

4. Videos created by (and featuring) users get 10x more views on YouTube than content created by brands.

  1. In 2017, only 86% percent of people cared about authenticity when it came to deciding which brands to support. Today, 90% of people want the brands they support to be authentic. 
  1. Word of mouth marketing generates twice the sales of paid media.

7. 75% of brands know that adding UGC to their marketing mix makes their brand content more authentic.

UGC Can Also Support Your B2B Marketing Efforts

User generated content isn’t just for consumers; B2B and other large brands can leverage the power of their employees to create amazing content and strong ROI.

8. Brand messages are reshared up to 24x more when disseminated through your employees versus published to your brand page.

9. Employee-shared content gets 8x more engagement.

10. According to one study, an employee advocacy program with 1,000 participants can generate up to $1,900,000 in advertising value.

11. Employees tend to have up to 10x more followers than a brand’s corporate account.

12. 53% of decision makers have eliminated a brand or vendor from consideration because of something they “did or did not” find out from an employee online.

13. 98% of employees are already on social media. 50% of those are already posting about their employer.

User Generated Content & Your Website

Alright, so we know that UGC can help with your marketing, but did you know you can also use UGC to strengthen the performance of your website?

14. 25% of search results for the world’s 20 largest brands are links to user created content.

15. Sites with featured UGC saw a 20% increase in return visitors.

16. Those sites also saw a 90% increase on the time spent on the site.

17. 48% of customers say that UGC is a great way to discover new products.

18. Brands can see up to a 26% increase in site traffic when they share customer reviews on Twitter.  

  1. UGC increases conversions by 10% when included in a purchasing path
  2. 20. Want higher conversation rates on your website? UGC results in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns or websites without it.

UGC Helps Consumers Pull The Trigger

Most important of all, user generated content is statistically proven to help drive conversions and sales.

21. UGC is shown to result in a 29% increase in web conversions than campaigns or websites without it.

22. 84% of Millennials say that the user generated content on company sites has at least some influence on what they buy.

23. 70% of consumers will check UGC reviews or ratings before deciding to buy a product and at least 41% of them will read four to seven UGC reviews to gain information on your product. On-site consumer reviews can increase conversions by 74%.

24. 64% of customers will not only value online reviews but will actively seek them out before making a purchasing decision.

25. 71% of consumers say online reviews are important when considering making a purchases in categories like electronics, appliances, home décor, and others.

26. 93% of consumers find UGC to be helpful when making a purchasing decision.

27. UGC is 20% more influential than any other type of media when it comes to influencing Millennial purchases.

In Conclusion: UGC Works!

Whether it’s employees taking selfies at work, or happy customers sharing their love for your product in a short video, UGC is a powerful medium for driving consideration, awareness, and sales.

To get the most out of your UGC efforts, use an advocacy marketing platform (SocialToaster) to manage all aspects of the program, from solicitation, to curating, dissemination, and even rewarding those fans that take the time to create great content on your behalf.

Ready to start building a stockpile of quality UGC to help with your current and future marketing efforts? Let SocialToaster help get you started today!

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