Consumer Generated Media

What is Consumer Generated Media?

Consumer Generated Media (CGM), also known as User Generated Content (UGC), is any customer or user created media, such as photos, videos, podcasts, customer Q&As, or consumer generated reviews.

CGM is the “word-of-mouth” of the internet, conveying a customer’s advice, online shopping experience, feelings, and opinions about a product, providing prospective buyers with relevant information without directly attempting to sell to them.

CGM is typically collected by brands and redistributed on social media and product pages, and is overwhelmingly more trusted by consumers than brand-generated media, due to a psychological phenomenon known as social proof.

Humans are programmed to respond positively to what others enjoy and approve of, and avoid things that other people caution against.

Consumers at the top of the marketing funnel – those who are just beginning the consumer decision-making process by performing buying research, who have the greatest uncertainty – are most impacted by CGM.

If they know little about a product, the ideas and opinions of others are more likely to sway them.

Those who have already begun to form an opinion or preference are more difficult to influence.

Why is Consumer Generated Media Important?

For Marketing Creative:

CGM is more effective than even the best marketing department created content, because no one understands a customer’s pain points better than those customers themselves.

CGM displays a product for what consumers appreciate about it, what that customer loved about it so much that prompted them to snap a pic and share.

This is more unique and effective than any brand-created media.

On Social Media:

Brand images are typically scrolled over in social media because they stand out distinctly from other content in a user’s feed and thus feel like advertisements.

CGM integrates seamlessly into social media, since it was created and published by someone looking to share with friends to begin with.

Consumer Generated Media is much more likely to catch someone’s eye – and attention.

On a Brand Website:

CGM images can be collected and displayed in a photo gallery on a brand’s website, which:

  • Adds an air of authenticity to the site.
  • Encourages customers to share their own photos so they might be featured.
  • Creates a feeling of exclusivity for those spotlighted, increasing their brand loyalty.

On a Product Page:

CGM alleviates buyer uncertainty or anxiety that stems from not being able to hold or try out a product before making an online purchase.

Consumer generated reviews, especially those with images or video, give prospective buyers a peek at what the product could be like in real life by showing them its successful application in the lives of others.

Common Features of Effective Consumer Generated Content

The most successful consumer generated media:

Targets a specific audience:

Consumers are most impacted by CGM posted by users similar to themselves.

If they personally identify with a happy customer, they are more likely to trust that person’s opinion.

Good CGM displays customers similar to a brand’s target audience, in terms of demographics, style, appearance, or other factors.

Features people:

The most successful CGM displays a product being used and enjoyed by people.

Images that show a customer’s face are even more effective than those that do not.

Is requested:

Even major eCommerce brands ask their customers to review after purchase, and these days these requests ask for pictures or videos as well.

Brands can also run themed contests, encouraging customers to post photos with a certain hashtag.

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