The Voice of the Consumer: User-Generated Content

welocalize May 22, 2022

User-generated content (UGC) contains a treasure trove of information that companies can leverage. 

UGC can uncover customer complaints, experiences, and praises of a company’s product or service. Sharing UGC encourages conversations about your company or product, boosting awareness and consumer engagement.  

The Rise in User-Generated Content 

User-generated content is any form of media or content created and shared by online service or system users on social media platforms, websites, and other channels.  

Common UGC includes blogs, social media posts, wikis, ads, chats, discussion forums, and digital audio files, videos, and images.  

With more people relying on technology and spending more time online, multimedia is changing the way we reach global audiences. Companies and industries are turning to digital content and UGC solutions, to influence more engagement from their audiences and target markets.  

Social media provides a key opportunity for global marketing and product development. Leveraging UGC within your marketing campaigns means you can carefully curate media content to create targeted feeds for users, regardless of their language, providing a more effective customer experience. However, UGC is not limited to the entertainment and media industries. 

The medical industry is seeing a surge in wellness wikis, treatment journey blogs, and health-related testimonial videos. This increases connectivity, allowing consumers to easily access and filter what other people think and feel through UGC. 

Influencing Perception + Engagement 

UGC can help facilitate the growth of online support groups, from blogs detailing someone’s fight against cancer to videos of people sharing their opinion on a trending product from a fashion retailer. 

These online support groups through UGC provide a safe space since some consumers find it easier to share their experiences on digital platforms than face to face.    

For the healthcare industry, online support groups can help patients better understand their illnesses; allowing patients to hear from other people with the same condition. It can also provide insights, information, and encouragement for a patient’s loved ones who want to learn more about the illness and the experiences of other families going through similar situations. 

When used correctly, UGC can be a powerful source of comfort, encouragement, and support for consumers. It might even influence others to seek advice or treatment, improving their health-seeking behaviors. 

Adapting UGC to the Metaverse  

UGC contributes to the growth and expansion of content and experiences in virtual reality spaces. 

Effectively adapting UGC to the metaverse can lead to the following: 

  • Greater inclusivity. Virtual worlds that allow and encourage freely sharing UGC provide plenty of opportunities for anyone to participate in an event, activity, and community, regardless of race, ethnicity, or sexual orientation. It fosters a space where anyone can become part of a community while keeping their individuality. 
  • Provides a constant source of information. Most virtual environments are social spaces. This means users constantly interact and generate many forms of UGC, including user comments and other shared content within the platform. This provides a steady stream of information, such as consumer sentiment, to help develop content, experiences, and virtual communities across industries, from e-commerce to healthcare.   

The Impact of UGC on Marketing 

One of the biggest advantages of tracking UGC is its natural capability to nurture trust through social proof. After all, many people prefer content from unsponsored sources, because it comes off as more relatable, inviting, and trustworthy. 

For example, medical content that comes from doctors or established medical organizations can sound scholarly, therefore difficult to understand for people who have not undergone medical studies. 

On the other hand, UGC is more relatable and easier to understand, because it comes from regular people with similar problems and struggles. 

When using healthcare UGC, be mindful of confidentiality and the regulations. Ensure you don’t violate legal requirements on reusing content. This includes avoiding infringing on the creator’s privacy and intellectual property.  

For instance, before sharing UGC, consider the following: 

  • Obtaining consent from the source or owner of the content 
  • Factors that can lead to a personal privacy breach 
  • Strict compliance with regulations, such as GDPR, patient and consumer confidentiality, and the Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) 

Learn more about UGC laws and regulations so you can remain compliant with user-generated content. 

Culturally Adapt and Localize UGC 

If you want to reach global audiences effectively, you need to go beyond simply translating your content.

Write and design with localization in mind for owned content to ensure proper translation, localization, and cultural adaptation. Translation and localization also apply to UGC developed by consumers.

The key is to work with a reliable language service provider. They can provide high-quality multilingual content and UGC while ensuring you respect ethical and legal boundaries associated with healthcare marketing.  

Download the Welocalize Guide to User-Generated Content for insights into how to leverage content published by your global customers. 

Supercharge Your Marketing With UGC 

Global brands trust Welocalize with their multilingual user-generated content and digital marketing initiatives.  

We have a global team of localization, marketing, and language technology experts who work closely with our clients to develop and implement global content marketing strategies.    

Get in touch with us today to learn more about our UGC solutions and digital marketing initiatives for your global content.