Is Influencer Generated Content the New UGC?

Tuesday Oct 3rd, 2017

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As social media continues to advance, traditional advertising and marketing become more and more stale to the hungry, tech-savvy consumer. In order to effectively build a strong brand, it’s crucial to connect with the customer beyond commercialization and start curating content that is both useful for purchasing decisions and enjoyable. Influencer marketing is a way for real consumers who have an actively engaged audience to generate significantly more exposure and return on investment (ROI) than your everyday shopper. For brands looking to reach a specific targeted market, be it an age range, set of interests, or gender, this social media heavy strategy can be tailored directly to the customer base.

Credible Content Over Annoying Adverts

Consumers want to do more than buy from a brand: they want to engage and connect with it. That’s where user-generated content (UGC) comes in. Any ordinary person who is passionate about a product is able to post digital images, blogs, discussion posts, and other media to generate buzz. UGC provides free promotion for a brand and forges an authentic interaction between the label and the audience. According to Adweek, a whopping 92% of buyers trust recommendations of other people—even those they don’t know—over traditional adverts. In the age of the Internet, everyone has a voice. When anyone can give an opinion, it’s all the more difficult to sift through the noise and find the most reliable recommendation. This is where influencers take over, posting high-quality, well-performing content to an audience of thousands of dedicated followers who are eager to buy. According to research by Experticity, 94% of people perceive influencers as more knowledgeable and credible, while 92% of consumers said influencers were better at explaining how to use the product.

You Get What You Pay For

One of the greatest benefits of UGC is that it’s free—users aren’t getting paid for their insights, which makes their endorsement all the more authentic and ultimately trustworthy. On the flipside, marketers have less control over the average user’s content, meaning it can stray away from the brand’s intended aesthetic, message, and audience. While UGC is great, your everyday consumer lacks the impact of a professional influencer for several reasons. First, even influencers in the “Up-and-Comer” range have between 5,000-20,000 followers. But it’s not only about numbers. The quality of an influencer’s content, be it photos, videos, or blogs, has to be exceptional in order to keep an such an avid audience. Without this established following and precedent for quality, UGC may lack the reach that most marketers are seeking. With astounding presences on Youtube, Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, and personal blogs, influencers can create a marketing ripple effect for the brand they choose to represent. With a broad reach on a range of platforms and the ability to connect to thousands of unique visitors, it’s no wonder why 61% of marketers believe influencers bring in better quality customers, according to research conducted by ApexDrop. With traditional TV viewership on the decline and social media showing no signs of slowing down, influencer marketing is projected to be a $5-10 billion market by 2020, according to Mediakix. Some YouTubers and bloggers rake in higher fanbases than celebrities from TV or Hollywood. For example, lifestyle and beauty blogger Zoё “Zoella” Suggs reaches an audience of 11.2 million Instagram followers every day, which is over double Modern Family actress Sarah Hyland’s 5.3 million. Influencers are more than just celebrities—they’re genuine trendsetters, sharing their passion in fashion, beauty, health and fitness, you name it.

Above the Influence

Ultimately, marketers want to create revenue and profits over short-lived buzz. According to ApexDrop, 59% of advertisers say sales figures are the most important influencer marketing metric over shares and click-throughs. While UGC might ignite fifteen minutes of fame for some, influencer marketing uses its established sense of leadership to inspire sales for companies. At ApexDrop, you won't find influencers being forced to promote products or services. In fact, all of our campaigns run on a “trade collaboration” where product samples are sent as compensation. This helps ensure every post is authentic and endorsements are completely genuine. By example, if an influencer doesn’t enjoy the product enough to post, then they will complete a customer feedback survey in order to both maintain a high level of trust with their audience and still help the brand. The use of influencer marketing continues to grow as brands recognize both the monetary gain of increased conversions and a newfound trust among consumers. Moveover, because micro-influencers have a particularly avid and niche following, it’s even easier to capture the attention of the precise target market brands are looking to reach. To boost your brand recognition and conversions, partner with a specialized micro-influencer marketing agency that will take care of the quality control for you. ApexDrop ensures the right content creators for you to fit your company’s unique aesthetic.

ApexDrop has helped thousands of authentic micro-influencers connect with quality brands through contextual product gifting (also known as trade collaborations). Imagine having an affordable and easy way to get your products featured by hundreds of influencers immediately on Instagram, but without all the extra work. ApexDrop offers an unparalleled service in campaign management from start to finish and can assure that their clients receive quality posts and authenticity. For more information, schedule a call with an ApexDrop Influencer Specialist today