Have you ever wondered how some of the most successful brands are able to curate and republish customer generated images, videos and text at scale? The chances are, they are using a UGC aggregator, also known as a UGC platform.
What is a UGC aggregator, and why does every brand need one?
In today’s noisy world, brands need to mix up their approach to marketing to get their voices heard. However, a saturated market is not the only challenge marketers are facing.
Steadily declining engagement rates and massively inflated advertising costs have meant that marketing teams worldwide have had to pivot. Online advertising is changing, and brands must seek out alternative ways to hold their ideal customer’s attention for long enough to convince them to click, find out more or purchase.
This is an incredibly daunting task for brands marketing to a population with diminishing attention spans. Gen-Z, who make up a large proportion of the social platform TikTok’s user base, has a particularly brief attention span and is quick to call out brands on their poor ethics or lack of authenticity.
So, what can brands do? That’s where UGC aggregators come in. These handy platforms are the ultimate secret weapons for brands in an era where dwell times are low, but the demand for authenticity in marketing is high. Read on to find out more about what UGC aggregation is and how it can be leveraged to engage influential audiences and make regularly refreshing your marketing materials possible without breaking the bank.
What is UGC?
UGC stands for ‘user-generated content’. UGC is any content created by users of your products that is relevant to your brand. UGC can include Tweets from real-life fans that mention your brand or even more creative content, from photos of them wearing your products to videos that show them enjoying and using your bestsellers. UGC covers content posted by real-life people to their social media accounts and content created at the request of a brand for marketing purposes. Essentially, it’s any content created by a brand’s everyday paying customers.
Is a UGC the same as influencer content?
User-generated content differs from influencer content because it is created by people who have paid for the product they are discussing or using rather than people who have compensated financially in exchange for their endorsement.
UGC is becoming increasingly popular due to consumer demand for authenticity. Trust is only becoming more influential in informing customers’ purchasing decisions, with consumers viewing influencers as less credible than their peers. That means they’re more likely to purchase a product because they see their friend using it rather than a paid influencer. In fact, only 34% of consumers consider an influencer with a large following credible, compared to the 59% who said they’d view a person like themselves as credible.
The bottom line is that brands can use UGC to leverage that sense of trust and credibility. Dove’s #ShowUs campaign is a fantastic example of UGC used in marketing; this campaign used images of everyday people to challenge beauty standards.
What is a UGC aggregator?
A UGC aggregator is a handy SaaS tool that pulls together the best and most relevant user-generated content from multiple sources, usually social media platforms.
Aggregators scour social media sites, like Facebook and Instagram, for mentions of your brand. They can search for posts your brand’s official social media have been tagged in, mentions in posts, or branded hashtags attached to a specific marketing campaign.
Content aggregation allows you to curate a feed made up of the best posts mentioning your products or services. This saves your marketing team time they otherwise would have spent trawling through social media sites, searching for positive reviews or images that show real-life consumers using your products.
Is a UGC aggregator the same as a UGC platform?
Yes! A UGC aggregator is often referred to as a UGC platform. In addition to collating UGC from external sources, they can also help brands generate their own UGC by partnering with their most engaged and loyal customers.
How do UGC aggregators help aggregate authentic content?
Setting your brand up with a UGC aggregator can help you increase your volume of content while embracing a sense of authenticity. Let’s look at how this works.
1. Reduce costs
Content creation is expensive. Commissioning artists or influencers to create original content on your brand’s behalf can easily use up your entire year’s marketing budget. Creating your own content, such as with a photoshoot, can incur even higher costs when model fees, equipment hire, photographer, editors, and licensing (plus more) need to be covered. UGC aggregators help you gather free-to-use imagery via an always-on source.
2. Save time
Manually trawling through social media platforms takes time. This is especially true when your brand has been tagged in thousands upon thousands of Instagram posts or mentioned a million times on Twitter. A UGC aggregator saves you precious time by pulling the most relevant and high-quality content into one place, allowing you to review this via an easy-to-use dashboard. That means more time for other critical marketing tasks.
3. Influence purchasing decisions
Ultimately, all marketing activity seeks to influence purchasing decisions. As UGC inspires trust in consumers by validating their choices through social proof, this is powerful in driving sales.
How can aggregated UGC be used by brands?
Businesses can use a UGC aggregator to collect content through one connected account. That means they can pull content from multiple social media platforms and display it in one cohesive feed, either on their own social accounts or on their website.
For example, a hotel chain may build an aggregated feed full of amazing UGC content for each of its hotel locations. That means when a customer is looking to book a room, they can see other customers enjoying the location, offering an engaging and compelling way to integrate social proof into your website. Alternatively, they could set up a live Twitter feed on their website that shares the best reviews they have received on Twitter.
Aggregate via social media APIs
Social media APIs allow information to be shared between different applications or platforms. They are what make it possible for you to view all the best UGC related to your brand in one place. Instead of having to go into each social platform separately, you can see this in one dashboard within your chosen UGC platform.
Collating UGC isn’t all about repurposing content on your own channels. It can also be helpful for getting a feel for how consumer sentiment is changing, understanding how your audience is engaging with your brand online and tracking trends. Social media APIs save you the time of searching through your mentions or comments, collating everything relevant in one place.
Aggregate directly uploaded content
UGC aggregators can also be used to collect first-party content that is sent directly to a brand. This is usually collected via a dedicated campaign microsite following a request from a brand for its customers to send in photos, videos or other content created for the campaign.
A UGC platform can make this possible with direct upload forms that include a section where the user gives the company the rights to use their content in marketing materials, a feed of all submitted content and a way to filter through the submissions to find the best of the bunch.
For example, a footwear brand may be looking for a new brand ambassador and ask their fans to submit photos of them wearing their shoes as part of the entry process. They can use those photos on social media and other marketing channels with consent.
Aggregate influencer content
Last but by no means least, we have influencer content. While UGC is different from influencer marketing, as we discussed earlier, there is still value to be found in influencer-created content.
UGC platforms can be used to discover relevant micro-influencers and find existing content produced by influencers that mention their brand. What marketers will find especially handy is that they can view UGC alongside content produced by any influencers they may have partnerships with, providing a holistic view of the content they have at their disposal.
How Miappi Content aggregates authentic and high-quality UGC
Miappi’s UGC platform helps you discover, curate and license rights-ready user-generated content. Smart AI allows you to consistently discover fantastic content and deliver engaging marketing campaigns at scale.
Collate relevant images, videos and comments from all social media platforms using tags and mentions, and collect first-party content from your most engaged fans via direct upload.
Moderate the content collected directly from your Miappi dashboard. Use AI Rules and filters to find the best content. Create dynamic folders that can be linked to UGC galleries on your site, providing regularly refreshed content.
Miappi Content also ensures you get explicit consent from creators to use their materials in your campaigns, giving you the peace of mind that you have covered all your bases.
Republish best aggregated content where it can influence propsective customers. Leverage Miappi to republish UGC to web pages, ecommerce product detail pages or to incorperate into paid advertsing. Miappi comes with with a purpose-built gallery tool, that enables marketers to embed various dynamic UGC galleries or lookbooks across a brand website.