When it comes to input on which product to buy, who do shoppers trust most? Their friends and family. Sure, they are influenced by ads and marketing, but they are more likely to trust the people around them than the brands themselves.

That's why one of the fastest growing trends in marketing is user-generated content (UGC). Whether marketing in print or digital, leveraging content created by your audience turns your customers into brand advocates.

What are some examples of user-generated content?

  • Customers posting pictures on Facebook of their kids wearing your brand's swimsuite on their family vacation.
  • Customers doing TikTok videos on how much their dogs love your new line of pet treats.
  • Customers posting Instagram pictures of their birthday parties held at your restaurant.

UGC provides an authentic perspective on your brand, fostering trust among your audience as they see real people engaging with your products or services. Data from Adweek shows that 85% of shoppers say they're more influenced by UGC than content a brand produces itself.

But isn't UGC only for digital channels? Not at all. Anything in the digital realm can be repurposed for print.

  • Add positive customer online testimonials and reviews to print materials like direct mail, brochures, catalogs, and even packaging.
  • Run photo or video contests, then curate and display the entries in your print materials (with thumbnails of the videos), as well as on digital channels like your wensite, email, and social media.
  • Pick a "winning" image from one of your UGC campaigns to feature on the cover of your monthly newsletter or quarterly catalog.
  • Use in-store by creating a collage of customer images for your signage or adding instagram photos to point-of-purchase displays at the checkout counter.

For a powerful multichannel approach, use UGC in your print materials, then use QR codes to link to videos or other dynamic content on your website or social media channels, where users can interact with and share it.

user-generated content has evolved into a cornerstone of modern marketing, breaking down the barriers between brands and their customers. By strategically incorporating UGC into your multichannel marketing campaigns, you not only harness the power of authentic storytelling, but also cultivate a community—and strong customer loyalty—around your brand.