The Social Observer

The Social Media Marketing Blog by SNHU Students

User-generated Content Versus Original Content

User Generated ContentWe all know that content is King. From professional marketing gurus to novice bloggers, content is one of the main ways in which to communicate a brand’s purpose and identity. What is your brand? Who does your band benefit? Is your brand relevant to the target market? Ultimately, the content you choose to promote and create will and should answer those questions. However, when choosing what types of content to produce  marketers  have to weigh the pros and cons of user-generated content versus original content.

First,  let’s be clear. Everyone shares and recycles content. Many professional marketing websites re-use and re-post insightful content from their users. It’s convenient to publish “user-generated content” (material provided by unpaid contributors) along with “original content” (new material that is created by the site’s writers and media teams.)

Implement User-generated Content Wisely

User-generated content is usually very share worthy as long as it meets a few requirements:

Compile content that enhances brand identity .  Avoid going off topic  with shared videos, slide shows, and info-graphs that are not related to your brand. For example , you don’t want to have a blog focused on Marine Biology and  share content that highlights the benefits of gluten-free foods. The two topics are un-related and it will confuse and ultimately alienate your audience.

Build brand engagement. Having a thriving brand is more about building a place or several places where your audience feels heard.  Facebook can be a hot bed of information in which to guide your sharing habits. You want to look for complaints (improve feedback time). Also, look for suggestions sprinkled throughout website comment sections(make changes to layout and improve user friendliness.)

Become a Hub.  Brands should “use social platforms to collect the submissions, receive the proper permissions, and also obtain valuable marketing data. From there, brands can transform their websites into social hubs, using the user-generated content as a tool to power sales and product recommendations. Because user-generated content is such a powerful tool in terms of reach, authenticity, and relevance to one’s band, it has the ability to drive commerce if utilized properly” (

Offer An Authentic Experience

Whether you utilize user-generated content or original content, readers want to experience authentic stories and happenings. They want  first hand accounts from internal employees who are believed to have a greater insight and breadth of knowledge of their respective industries. However, user-generated content is great for attracting new customers  into your brand networks. User-generated content also bridges the communication lines to sustain healthy business relationships. Below you will find a guide and a few quick tips on how to maintain success whether you want to or are already publishing user-generated or original content.

Content creation does not have to be writing: The first tip is always the hardest. When you think of content creation the traditional manner to create is to write an article or a tip list. However, since user shared content is a little less beneficial try using audio visuals, photography’s, and short How To videos focused on giving your customers knowledge but also having fun at the same time. Lastly, have fun! Be engaging with your costumers.

Consumers want to learn: When posting content please remember that consumers want to learn from experts. this could be done by getting secondary resources to supplement your evidence. This could be done by using a Facebook post, or using Pinterest to visually represent the content and potentially have a mass appeal beyond your customer base.

Sit with your sales team to oversee where content can change: Working within a department is more than just having the occasional Monday Morning Meeting. Sales and marketing teams have to work together to reach a comma goal of increasing sales and raising brand awareness. As a result, sales should be able to speak intelligently about content, for example. However, from a marketing perspective social media should be used to create new opportunities of growth and to sustain the current team sales. Now, for a regular consumer sales don’t have to mean money. Sales can come in from increased Twitter followers and Facebook likes, heightened brand awareness and new business relationships.


Bobowski, Kevin. “How To Power Online Sales with User-Generated Content.” Business2Community. 20 May.2014. Retrieved 28 May, 2014 from!RfLFc

Dietrich, Gini. “User-Generated Content: Tips for That and Original Content.” Spin Sucks.  15 Aug. 2013. Retrieved 28 May, 2014 from

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Category: Advanced Tactics

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