One factor that often gets lost during the discussion of a content marketing strategy is the compelling value of user generated content (UGC).

User generated content includes messages shared by your business users, often in the form of testimonials, blog posts, social shares and online reviews. These all contribute to the perception of your company and solutions in the marketplace.

The following is a look at key benefits of user generated content in lead generation, that highlight why you should intentionally seek to drive or obtain it.

Increased Awareness

The simplest and clearest benefit of user generated content is that you have more people talking about your brand. The more non-paid exposure you can gain, the greater your potential return on investment from lead generation.

User blog posts, social messages and external reviews may reach prospects that would otherwise not know about your brand.

You could also increase the level of exposure to prospects that are familiar with your solutions but haven’t thought about them as they move closer to a need or purchase decision.

Objective Messages

Consumers and business buyers are naturally guarded when seeing or hearing promotional messages delivered by a firm. However, buyers tend to trust the perspective shared by objective users through testimonials or reviews.

When a satisfied customer tells others about his or her positive experience, it supports the credibility of your own brand statements. An unsolicited or honest product review speaks volumes with interested buyers as they research.

Relief from Uncertainty

Again, because marketing messages are perceived as biased, they don’t necessarily remove a prospect’s uncertainty. Along with product demonstrations, user generated content goes a long way in reducing risks of a new purchase.

Prospects listen to customers who share their own experiences and they become more familiar with what to expect.

When users post videos, pictures and supportive messages, they help paint a vision for prospects that allows them to envision their own customer experience.

Increased Purchases

Increased buyer engagement and purchases are among the most direct benefits of user generated content.

Recent research from Econsultancy reported that 61 percent of buyers read online reviews before a purchase. Therefore, just having user reviews on your website or participating with external review sites can improve lead generation.

Additionally, the Econsultancy research compilation showed that 63 percent of people are more likely to buy from a site that has reviews. This statistic illustrates that people likely find companies that support, encourage and enable user generated content to be more transparent and trustworthy.

Wrap Up

User generated content not only enhances your potential reach with prospects, but it adds strength to your messages.

People feel more certain about purchases supported by user experiences, and find businesses that promote UGC more transparent and credible.

As a leader in content strategy and syndication, Internal Results can help you achieve these UGC benefits.