Showcasing authenticity

User generated content shows the human connection

The human connection: the new gold standard for digital marketing after Covid-19.

Today, we are all content creators. People are creating and sharing photos and videos across social platforms in record numbers, and it’s these unvarnished and personal brand experiences – commonly referred to as user-generated content (UGC) – that potential customers crave and trust.

(Story by Peter Cassidy on www.socialmediatoday.com 3 May 2020)

At every point in the post-pandemic buyer’s journey, authentic user-generated content can be a sustainable, cost-effective and influential source of content that brands will need to help build trust, grow sales and deepen their long-term relationships with customers.

With the world effectively in lockdown, people are now living online, and the vast majority of shopping and entertainment activity has shifted completely to digital channels. The closure of all non-essential stores has caused a surge in online shopping, accelerating the already growing consumer shift towards eCommerce, while actual social activity has moved to the virtual world with social media platforms more than ever before.

Trends that have been slowly progressing over the past few years are now suddenly upon us all at once, and it’s very likely that there’ll be no going back. Post-pandemic life will not look like it did pre-Covid-19.

With change comes challenges, but rapid shifts in market dynamics can also present enormous opportunities for growth. It’s time to throw out the old playbooks and take this opportunity to write new ones, with approaches that are increasingly centered around real, human stories.

Fortunately, the solution might be in the message so many have been sharing – we’re all in this together.

The Human Connection

Budgets have been reduced, resources have been slashed, yet demand for digital content is higher than ever before.

Given this, brands should also consider relaxing their definitions of ‘perfect content’ and instead look to embrace the ‘human’ element to better showcase authenticity, and foster connection.

One unintended, yet noteworthy side-effect of the current lockdowns has been the dismantling of the corporate facade. Ironically, when we’re all sitting in a meeting room together, we’re formal, stiff and ‘corporate’, yet when we’re doing Zoom meetings in pajamas, with kids wrestling in the background, there’s no choice but to embrace humanity again.

We’ve discovered that we’re actually all real people, living real lives, and this dynamic certainly extends to brands, liberating businesses to communicate more directly, honestly and transparently with consumers.

This is refreshingly wonderful news for brand marketers. It means that they can loosen their grip on perfection, and embrace humanity. Marketers can solve that widening gap between content creation and demand by embracing the content that their customers are generating (at greater rates than ever before), which can not only reduce content costs, but can also help to facilitate real, human connection, and dramatically increase performance on social channels.

Read the full article here.

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