Top User-Generated Content Trends to Know in 2018

  • 3 July 2017
  • Dean Schmid

Content isn’t created in a vacuum.

It’s consumed by real people with real lives, real opinions, and real ideas.

Let’s dig deeper than bland aphorisms to learn about user generated content, a significant content marketing trends that’s been gaining momentum for a few years now.

It is based on a simple premise.

People want to hear from previous users, visitor, and customers. They want communities built around brands that they can engage with. By empowering the customer’s voice and creating a place where they can talk, post, and send photos of products, they organically generate high-quality content. The best part is that customers want to contribute this content.


Trust, is the simple answer.

According to Business Insider, shoppers who interact with UGC are 97 percent more likely to convert with a retailer than customers who do not.

Take a look at this graph. You aren’t the company’s best salesperson. The customer is.

Everyone is a publisher now.

Brands are taking advantage of this, and they getting buyers to create their own journey and tell their own story?

This article is going to take an in-depth look at how. Hopefully, you will find this informative and learn something you can apply to your own strategy.

Trend #1:  Social Media is Leading the Charge for User Generated Content

Reviews and testimonials are the most basic UGC, but they aren’t the end goal. You want your users creating high-quality content. You want to run campaigns, communities around trending hashtags, and create customer relationships.

People use Instagram, Snapchat, and the new Facebook live and stories to generate high-quality photo and video content because they want to. Most people are promoting, well, themselves, but it doesn’t take much to convince people to upload branded content.

Take a look at this popular feature account Passion Passport

While Passion Passport has a team of skilled photographers, they would never have the time to take all these photos. How then, have they built an audience of over 800k followers? UUser-generatedcontent. Travelers and photographers submit photos for Passion Passport to feature on their site.

Where is the value?

The first question you need to ask yourself. In Passion Passport’s case, the 800k followers are there for the incredible photography, that much is obvious, but the photographers are submitting their photos to try tap into that same audience. Isn’t that just beautiful? It is a self-perpetuating cycle of consumer and publisher.

Trend #2: The #Hashtag Community

Central to the idea behind a feature account and all Instagram user-generated content is the hashtag community. An Instagram post with a hashtag has on average 12.6% more engagement than one without.

Using a hash tag to reach a wider audience isn’t a new idea Twitter began the # in 2007. What is new and noteworthy, is the way that brands are building communities around hashtags, encouraging them to send uuser-generatedcontent with the hashtag, and prioritising this content on their account to build customer advocacy.

This customer is creating user generated content that promotes KitKat’s new product. All they had to do was build a hashtag that their customers would remember and consistently feature user generated content to create brand advocates.

Trend #3: Video is the King of User Generated Content

A 2014 report found that the amount of video from people and brands in Facebook’s news feed had increased 3.6 times. According to specialists, by 2017, 70% of all Internet traffic will be online videos.

Embedded Facebook videos, Facebook live, Instagram and Snapchat stories, all of these social platforms fuelling the move towards video content. User-generated videos on YouTube get 10x more views than content created and uploaded by the actual brand.

Trend #4: Campaigns Encourage User-GeneratedContent

If you have eaten KFC recently, you might have noticed #HowDoYouKFC printed on the side of your bucket. Customers are asked to send in photos of how they eat KFC. Some customers won years of free chicken but most people just shared photos of themselves because they wanted to be featured in front of KFC’s large audience.

KFC kicked off their campaign by getting the ball rolling with influencers. X Games Moto gold medallist Bryce Hudson, doing a backflip while eating KFC chicken got a lot of attention but this was just publicity to promote the ongoing stream of user generated content.

Trend #5: Mobile Devices and User Generated Content

Mobile is a trend for the internet as a whole. 50% of people surveyed, said they would leave a site if it was difficult to access from a mobile device. The same is true for user generated content. People can’t contribute if they don’t stay on the site, and they are less inclined to if it is difficult.

The creation of applications that encourage users to generate content has taken off. Popular news outlets, Fox News, and The Guardian both have applications that let people send in photos and stories.

Of course, every social media platform has a mobile application that makes it easier for us to create and share our own content. Most brands will continue to use social platforms rather than make their own applications and platforms.

Trend #6: Taking the Campaign Offline

Popular campaigns like #ShareACoke expanded around the world and the company attributes the campaign to a 2% increase in U.S. sales after over a decade of declining revenues. All Coke did was print people’s name on coke cans but we fell in love. Facebook was painted coke can red as people sorted through the piles of supermarket cokes trying to find a bottle with their name on it.

Image result for share a coke with

I can’t tell you exactly why this was so successful without resorting to my base assumptions of what makes people tick, but I can tell you that this campaign was the proof of concept that offline hashtags had been waiting for.

Now we see hashtags on all kind of offline products. For Snapchat, which doesn’t have a search function, users search for an exact handle. Initially this stumped marketers, but businesses are slowly learning that they can draw traffic to their Snapchat accounts by promoting it on other channels.

About Dean Schmid