42 Reasons Why User-Generated Content Is a Must for Your Business

User-generated content rules the internet

If you’re wondering whether user-generated content matters to your business, you’re one of many. No matter who you are, authentic content from ordinary people is undoubtedly one of the pillars of savvy marketing. Writers and industry leaders have also covered the crop-up of user generated content extensively, featuring brands with brilliant UGC campaigns and hypothesizing about how we got here.

All in all, user-generated content is no trend. It definitely has a seat at the table. And at Scopio, it’s our mission to help companies, brands, nonprofits and media outlets tell stories through the lens of real people.

We’ll show you exactly how user-generated content works.



User generated content infographic

1. 30% of our brains are engaged in the task of processing visual information, as compared with only 8% for touch and 3% for hearing. (Discover)



User generated content infographic

2. When people hear information, they’re likely to remember only 10% of that information three days later. However, if a relevant image is paired with that same information, people retained 65% of the information three days later. (LifeLearn)

3. 85% of consumers surveyed find visual UGC more influential than brand photos or videos. (OfferPop)

4. Consumers between 25 and 54 create the most content — 70% of all UGC. (BazaarVoice)

5. Social Media contributors have risen by 176 million in the last year. (Social Media Today)



User generated content infographic

6. There are between two to four billion uploads of images on social media per day. (Scopio)

7. Not all images are iconic, but small pieces of authentic visuals can build trust and credibility over time.Images can produce a “seismic shock” in terms of change of opinion, in media, and civil society. (Visual Social Media Lab)

8. Mashvisor, a real-estate based startup, increased their click rate by 72% by using user-generated content instead of Shutterstock photos on their Facebook ads. They also lowered their cost-per-click. (Scopio)



User generated content infographic

9. 92% of consumers trust user-generated content over traditional advertising. (Nielsen)

10. 86% of millennials say that UGC is generally a good indicator of the quality of a brand, service or product. (BazaarVoice)

11. 59% of millennials say they use UGC to inform their purchase decisions about major electronics. That’s followed by cars (54%), major appliances (53%), mobile phones (46%), hotels (45%), and travel plans (40%). (CrowdTap)

12. 70% of people trust images taken from ‘people like them’ over brand created images, and place peer recommendations above professionally written copy. (Reevoo)

13. Content with relevant images get 94% more views than content without relevant images. (Kissmetrics)



User generated content infographic

14. Visual content is more than 40X more likely to get shared on social media than other types of content. (BufferApp)

15. 89% of people agree that websites using UGC instead of stock photos appear more relevant to their posts, and 34% of these respondents favored Scopio’s authorized photos. (Scopio)

16. 86% of people say that a UGC image of a national park is more likely to encourage a visit as opposed to a stock photo. (Scopio)



User-generated content of a beach scene
Photo by Tyler Johnson Creative/Scopio submission


17. 84% of people think a UGC photo was more trustworthy. (Scopio)

18. 61% of people think that a social media photographer would be more likely to give you an honest and unbiased review of food at a local restaurant. (Scopio)

19. 62% of people think that a beauty selfie is more engaging than a stock photo of makeup. We should extend this to showing faces in general. (Scopio)

20. Chobani increased its yearly revenue by 225.9% by sharing user-generated content its customers had uploaded. (New York Times)

21. Millennials trust UGC 50% more and also find it 35% more memorable than traditional media. (Crowdtap)


22. On average, user-generated videos are viewed 10X more often than produced video content on news sites and YouTube. (Octoly)



User-generated content on social media is more effective than stock photography
Photo by Jonathan Mendoza/Scopio submission


23. Articles with an image once every 75-100 words got double the number of social shares than articles with fewer images. (BuzzSumo)

24. 25% of search results for the world’s 20 largest brands are links to user-generated content. (Kissmetrics)

25. Web content increasingly is dominated by user-generated content. Pinterest pin creation is up 75%, and Airbnb reviews are up 140% year-over-year. (Kleiner Perkins Caufield Byers)

26. 46% of marketers say photography is critical to their current marketing and storytelling strategies. (CMO Council)

27. 86% of businesses use content marketing; of those, 70% are creating more content than they did a year ago. (Content Marketing Institute)

28. Brand engagement rises by 28% when people are exposed to both professional content and user-generated product videos. (comScore)

29. “An estimated 30% of campaigns underperform due to collaboration delays between creative and media teams” according to Social Code. This means that companies need social tools in order to collaborate in a real-time manner. (Social Code)

User generated content infographic

30. 40% of B2C marketers say visual content is the most important type of content. (Social Media Examiner)

31. 65% of senior marketing executives believe that visual assets (photos, video, illustrations and infographics) are core to how their brand story is communicated. (CMO Council)

32. Only 27% of marketers have a process in place to aggregate, organize, and manage the visual assets being used across their marketing teams. (CMO council)

33. 39% of marketers believe that more of their budget should be allocated to the acquisition or creation of compelling visual assets. (CMO council)

34. 73% of content creators plan to prioritize creating more engaging content in 2016, and 55% plan to prioritize creating visual content. (Content Marketing Institute)



User-generated content includes selfies like this one
Photo by egocheshire/Instagram


35. On Instagram, photos showing faces get 38% more likes than photos not showing faces, and 32% more engagement. (Georgia Tech)

36. 53% of adults ages 18–29 years old say they use Instagram every single day. (Pew Research Center)

37. Today, 32% of big companies in the U.S. will use Instagram for marketing this year. That number will increase to 49% next year before jumping to 71% in 2017. (eMarketer)

38. Companies that have launched Facebook and Instagram ad campaigns using consumer-generated photos have seen up to a 50% increase in click through rate over brand-created images, leading to a 5X return on ad spending. (Instagram Partners)

39. Facebook posts with images see 2.3X more engagement than those without images. (BuzzSumo)

40. Facebook remains the top social network for U.S. teens. Nearly half of teen Facebook users say they’re using the site more than last year, and Facebook has more daily teen users than any other social network. The majority of image content is created outside Facebook, and uploaded to Facebook. (Business Insider)



User generated content infographic

41. 34% of tweets are in English, followed closely by Japanese. In addition, users have increased six-fold since 2010, with international users holding the lion’s share. We take global content seriously, and can curate and license in any language. (Semiocast)

42. Twitter remains more powerful and immediate than instagram for real-time events and campaigns. (Scopio)

Scopio is the industry’s premier search and licensing platform for images and videos on social media. We help companies find and use the photos and videos that matter to their audience, from capturing content to evaluating the performance of their new campaigns. Wondering about what we can do for your digital marketing strategies?  Just email info@scop.io for more information. We’d love to field your questions. Featured photo by michellerousseeuw/Instagram.

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