The Power of User-Generated Content

It’s one thing for a brand to say they’re great — it’s a completely different thing for someone else to vouch for your brand.

Mickey Markoff
3 min readJan 26, 2021
Choosing between UGC and PGC may seem like 2 paths. You can take both. Photo by Jon Tyson on Unsplash

“Marketing” — like many industries, it has gone through several changes over the years. Like most things, it has adapted in order to survive. Innovations have moved the goalposts for marketing to the point where one could easily say the industry is unrecognizable when compared to just a few short decades ago.

The 1990s was not that long ago in the grand scale of human history, but when it comes to technology, it may as well be the stone age. Today, our mobile phones fit in our pockets and provide a gateway to millions of people around the world, a far cry from the car phones of yesteryear.

Why is this important? The invention of the Internet, mobile phones, and social media have transformed what it means to reach an audience. The world has ‘flattened’ in a sense. We are no longer limited to the audience that may live nearby our brick-and-mortar business, nor are we limited to the brick-and-mortar business model.

Reaching your audience means, instead of following ‘traditional’ marketing approaches, we need to get more creative. ‘Old school’ marketing certainly isn’t dead by any stretch, but it begs to be complemented with digital marketing, too. Buy billboard space and radio time, but consider the power of social media, too.

There are countless examples of big brands getting big exposure on almost no budget, simply through different channels. User-generated content (UGC) is a perfect example. UGC or UCC (User-created content) flips the traditional concept of Professionally Generated Content (PGC) on its head.

Where PGC comes from the brand itself, UGC empowers users to share their own stories about a brand. This can great for a brand seeking to raise awareness, brand engagement, customer acquisition, etc. Users create their own content and share, often in the form of photos and videos on social media. This means brands get content and engagement at the same time. And this can also be great for increasing brand authenticity. It’s one thing for a brand to say they’re great — it’s a completely different thing for someone else to vouch for your brand.

Of course, UGC is not a panacea. PGC definitely has its benefits — one of the largest being quality control. No one understands the mission, vision, or brand of the company like the brand itself. It makes sense to retain some of your content creation in-house. Ultimately, choosing the right mix of the two is a strategic choice best made after weighing the variables for your brand. But knowing the power of both is the first step.

About Mickey Markoff

Mickey Markoff is best-known as an executive producer of the Air and Sea Show. Markoff is also President of MDM Group, an innovative South Florida firm that develops effective multidimensional marketing campaigns. Learn more about Mickey Markoff , and the history of the air and sea show here.

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