Social media has dramatically changed the way people communicate with each other, and even the way they interact with and utilise businesses. A recent study from Stackla shows the differences between what types of content consumers want to see from businesses and their marketing teams, and the content they are actually seeing.
As part of the study, the visual content company surveyed 150 business-to-customer marketers and around 1,600 consumers from the UK, Australia and the US, and found that there is a gap in what consumers want to see and what companies are spending money on to produce.
The survey found that as many as 90% of consumers surveyed stated that authenticity is one of the most important factors they look for when they decide which brands to like, support and use. This is an increase compared to 2017, when 86% stated the same. Marketers are on the same page as consumers in regards to this point, with 83% of marketers agreeing that authenticity is essential to a brand, with 61% believing it is the most important factor.
However, when it comes to evaluating current content, there is a difference of opinion between marketers and consumers. The survey revealed that 92% of marketers believed that the content they were producing was authentic and resonated with consumers, However, just over half of consumers (51%) disagreed with this statement.
What is authentic content?
According to consumers, the most authentic type of content available is user generated content (UGC). This view is shared by 58% of surveyed consumers. Marketers, on the other hand, appear to be on a different page.
The study shows that consumers view UGC as almost 2.5 times more authentic than brand-created content, with marketers viewing brand-created content as 2.1 times more authentic.
This shows that while both parties agree that authenticity is crucial for a marketing campaign, what the two groups view as authentic is completely different, and this will present an issue with the success of the marketing campaign if the content being created is not hitting the right spot with the target audience.
Furthermore, as well as viewing UGC as authentic, consumers believe that this type of content is the most influential when it comes to making decisions about purchasing a particular product. The majority of consumers have stated that they have made a purchasing decision based on user generated triggers. For example, 57% stated that they made plans to visit a particular restaurant, and 52% booked a trip to a specific destination, based on UGC, whether this was an image, blog or video.
The report shows that 79% of consumers stated that UGC has a high impact on the decision to purchase, which is a huge rise on the 60% that shared the same view in 2017. This compares to 13% saying brand driven content is impactful on their decision.
What do marketers need to do?
It would seem that in order to make their campaigns more effective, marketers should listen to what it is that consumers look for and what influences their decisions. User generated content is clearly more important to the consumer, so marketers should look at incorporating this into their marketing strategies. As the statistics show, the more it appeals to the consumer, the more likely it is to influence them to purchase a particular product or service.
Will UGC become the next big thing in marketing?