Step aside influencers- UGC is back and booming

The power of social media influencers has capsized the world of digital marketing, with perfectly edited posts of avocado on toast that are almost enough to make it look tasty. But, with brands striving for consumers trust, there is great irony in relying on the same platform that brought Fyre Festival to do so.

Source: PHD Media

As consumers demand authenticity, companies are running into the arms of their familiar companion UGC (user generated content).

UCG is content created by unpaid contributors- from images, videos, hashtags, challenges and so on. UCG is 9.8x more likely to influence a purchase decision than influencer marketing.

Stop me if you think you‘ve heard this one before.

The year is 2014. The sun is shining. Your timeline is filled with videos of people throwing buckets of ice over themselves. #alsicebucketchallenge has taken over. 8 weeks and AUD$115M in donations later, the power of UGC had never been so apparent.

ALS Ice Bucket Challenge
Source: Youtube

UGC is nothing new. So why are we seeing a boom now?

Consumers are growing frustrated with the inability to find honest-to-goodness information online. Glorified bribes in the form of influencer posts are so mass-produced that consumers are shutting off from them.

What does this mean for marketers?

In the age of inauthentic marketing, UGC emerges as the light at the end of the tunnel. Providing trustworthy information to help purchase decisions is more aligned with the desires of consumers today and often cheaper than paying rent to an influencer.

Do you see a future where influencer marketing has no influence?

7 thoughts on “Step aside influencers- UGC is back and booming

  1. mahlih

    I definitely rely on UGC over influencer content. There’s been a few times where I’ve seen a product being promoted by an influencer but before making a purchase I would always do a bit more research into it and see what others have to say about it

    Liked by 1 person

  2. bejohnsonn

    Yes I agree. I usually completely look past it now when I see influencers promoting products, I’ve seen far too many articles showing how half of the time the influencers haven’t even used the products they’re promoting!


  3. blynch7

    As the number of influences continues to rise, I find myself relying on UGC more. This is because as you mentioned above, most of the time it is obvious an influencer has not actually used the product and instead is reading off a set script!

    Liked by 1 person

  4. bejohnsonn

    I feel the same! I find UGC much more reliable and trustworthy. The set script comment you made is a great point because while I was researching, I found a few articles on ‘influencer fails’ where in some posts influencers had very clearly just copied and pasted instructions from companies!


  5. clemencecouvreur

    Hi there, love your blog! I’m a huge fan of UGC – I think it is much more useful than influencer content, both for brands and consumers. It is more likely for us as consumers to buy something because we’ve seen great reviews from other non-paid members of the public, rather than an obviously sponsored influencer post. As a result, for brands, this means that more sales are derived from this ‘free advertising’ than from these (probably costly) influencers.

    Liked by 1 person

    • bejohnsonn

      Hey! Thank you so much. I definitely agree I think UGC is great for consumers and marketers in terms of it’s benefits. The stats do completely show that consumers prefer UGC and trust it a lot more. It’s definitely more time consuming and often can be out of the businesses control but as long as they’re treating customers well then they should get some positive content!

      Liked by 1 person

  6. callumgrosberg

    I’m a major advocate of UGC over influence based content. To me there can be a real lack of authenticity with influences talking about a product or brand. Vary rarely do I find an influencer who is really genuine with their audience over how they may be remunerated or otherwise paid for them even just talking about a product let along giving a glowing review. Totally agree that user are become more savy to influencer marketing compared to the authenticity that UGC generates.


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