4 Reasons Why Influencer-Generated Content is so Powerful
By now, we all know that influencer marketing works to increase brand awareness, sales, and brand affinity for businesses across the board. While these will always be what makes influencer marketing the fastest-growing customer acquisition method, influencers’ value doesn’t end there.
Today, instead of solely focusing on influencers’ ability to generate brand awareness and sales, the best marketers also look at their influencer programs as a way to source high performing content that can be used on all of their various brand-owned marketing channels.
Why? Because we’re marketers, and what’s better than a never-ending goldmine of branded content that compels people to buy your product in a way that you could never replicate?
Besides the fact that there’s hundreds of thousands of influencers that can potentially create jaw-dropping content for you with the snap of their iPhone, why has IGC proven to be so powerful?
First, let’s answer the obvious question–what is influencer-generated content in the first place? Well, IGC is the images, videos, or other creative made by social media influencers, usually in partnership with a brand. In other words, it’s the by-product of influencer marketing.
Besides the fact that the content social media influencers create is comparable to the quality of studio-shot content, it has a few more perks that make it a no brainer when it comes to your content sourcing strategy.
1. IGC is an inexpensive, fast way to scalably create highly effective content for all of your paid, and owned channels
Because influencers are single person production teams well-versed in creating engaging, eye-catching content for social media, they can move quickly. In comparison to professional photoshoots, turnaround times can be measured in days and weeks, not months.
Not to mention, it costs a fraction of the price to source. Elexsis McCarthy, Co-Founder of MakeupEraser recalls spending “$3,500 for one video to be created professionally. Now, for $3,500 [she can get] 10 videos and 30 pictures” by partnering with influencers.
Additionally, brands using influencer marketing platforms can easily manage many creators at scale, often working with dozens of influencers per campaign and receiving hundreds of images in quick batches.
2. IGC is diverse
Different messages resonate with different audiences–it’s no longer a single slogan world. In order to avoid leaving money on the table by not appealing to wide range of consumers, it is important to understand why representing a diverse group of people, places, and things in advertisements matters. Not only must to subjects of your content be diverse, but different marketing channels call for different types of content, whether that be images, videos, or content optimized for mobile.
By partnering with influencers from different walks of life, you are able to source large amounts of content that is diverse in every way. With all of the time and resources that traditional content creation processes require, you would never be able to replicate the volume and variety of content that you need to truly resonate with all of your various target markets, especially when it comes to paid ads.
When IGC is used for paid social ads, ads teams can request iterative changes with each successive content batch, further increasing performance. For example, if ad teams need to advertise in a new region, demographic, or language, they can tap into this well of content creators to fill a repository of high-value ad-ready creative tailored to that audience. Based on how those ads perform, teams can improve their next content request.
3. IGC performs better than studio-shot creative
Users prefer IGC over traditional ad creative because it can be jarring for users to see heavily branded, studio-shot content in their news feed when it’s sandwiched between the picture of their coworker’s lunch, and their distant cousin’s wedding announcement.
But you don’t have to take my word for it, studies find that IGC frequently outperforms studio-shot creative:
- Influencer content on social media earns more than 8 times the engagement rate of brand-directed content according to Forrester.
- Social campaigns that incorporate influencer-generated content see a 50 percent lift in engagement per research by Salesforce.
4. IGC is authentic
In this world where consumers have developed banner blindness and nearly one in three use ad-blockers, your customers don’t want to feel sold to. They want to see genuine content from people like them.
Marketers spend thousands of dollars on market research, studies, surveys, analytics, and focus groups to try to isolate and replicate ‘authenticity,’ but IGC offers a much simpler approach. Influencers are their customers, and through influencer advertising, brands can explicitly commission their most creative consumers to create the ads they themselves want to see. For each unique audience, voice, and perspective, there is an influencer who can help brands tell their story authentically.