Creating valuable and click-worthy content for a brand is labor-intensive, time-consuming, and usually quite expensive. Despite these obvious drawbacks to content marketing, business owners and marketers understand this is something that needs to be done. If businesses expect to keep up in this digital age where social media keeps consumers attuned to what’s happening with their favorite brands 24/7, then it’s a game they have to be willing to play, to do it regularly, and to do it well.
Again, this brings many business owners back to this idea that content marketing is an all-consuming process, and may not be viewed as the ideal way to spend their time or money. However, many companies have started to see the value in adopting user-generated content (UGC) into their content marketing strategy. By using promotional material that comes directly from their customers, they’re keying into a number of benefits:
- The only labor and time spent are in finding the UGC online.
- The only money spent is in whatever sort of compensation they provide to customers.
- They gain greater loyalty from current customers by showcasing their content—photos, videos, testimonials, etc.—in front of a larger audience.
- They gain the trust of the general consumer population by showing off real-world examples of their products or services in action.
In fact, one of every four search results for the 20 largest brands around the world directs people to UGC. And do you know why this is? Because 78% of consumers trust what their peers have to say about a product or service over what the brand itself does. There is one slight problem with this strategy, however, and it’s one that 57% of marketers have expressed concerns about:
How do brands handle the copyright issue of using content created by consumers?
Social Native has developed a solution for this hiccup, and it’s one that companies like Walgreens, General Motors, and Starbucks have begun to use in their UGC efforts.
How Social Native Makes UGC Safe to Work With
The leaders of Los Angeles startup Social Native come from companies like Salesforce, Google, Microsoft, and Facebook. It’s this history of working with brands that are in and of themselves well-trusted and also at the front of making better experiences for consumers through consumers that help Social Native’s leaders truly understand the importance of marketing, lead generation, and the power that consumers have to inspire their peers to trust brands.
With a recent contribution of $8 million from SoftBank Capital, Social Native is now on track to bring the power of UGC content to businesses of all sizes and will do so in a way that benefits both the brand as well as the consumer.
Social Native has devised a way for brands to automate the process of procuring UGC from what they refer to as “creators” around the world. Social Native’s algorithm goes in search of these creators and then connects them with the brands they love and want to create content for. As the Social Native website explains, businesses “[g]et the best branded content in the world minus the hassle of looking for it. Social Native’s proprietary technology automates the entire creative process.”
In addition to the 14 million creators Social Native claims to have in their network currently; They are actively seeking applications from more. Users interested in submitting their content to brands’ marketing campaigns can submit their social profiles for consideration so that Social Native can determine who their content would be a good fit for. And, unlike the old way of doing it, brands now pay their consumers—either with money or with free products—in exchange for and with permission to use their content.
The Benefits of Content On Demand
What Social Native has done here may be a serious game changer for businesses and marketers who already understood how powerful a tool UGC was for their brand. But now they have a cost effective and labor minimizing way to get their hands on it.
Here are just some of the big business benefits Social Native touts on their website:
- 100% reduction in marketing costs.
- Access to over 700 images every day.
- Access to roughly 15 long-form videos every week.
- Content created by users that fit within business’s age and location requirements.
- New products can get into the hands of consumers early instead of having to wait until after launch to get the UGC.
According to Social Native, conversions go up by 87% on product pages when brands include content created by consumers. For business owners looking for a cost-effective shortcut that won’t compromise on quality, this form of marketing automation sounds like a pretty sound investment.
Brenda Barron is a writer from Southern California specializing in technology and business. When she’s not writing, you can usually find her outdoors with her family or knitting.