Arguments For and Against User-Generated Content

Digital Content/Media

Many marketers often struggle finding the time to create a variety of engaging content. Are you feeling a crunch, too? There’s one strategy you can use to create more content without carving out extra time: Ask your audience to create it for you.

While Lexicon agrees that user-generated content can be effective, we also believe it comes with some degree of risk. Here are our arguments for and against it:

Why We’re For It:

  • It’s “free.” Using user-generated content can be cost-effective. Not only can it cut down the time spent developing content, but it also can save money on hiring someone to create it.
     
  • It can improve metrics. Having an influx of new content to share online can improve traffic to your website or blog. It also can boost engagement on social communities like Facebook, Twitter, or Instagram.
     
  • It can build community. User-generated content adds a personal touch to your marketing. Plus, it can be a testament to your brand. If someone cares enough to interact, this can reflect positively on the quality of your products and services.

Why We’re Against It:

  • It’s not really free. Content always comes at a cost. In order to get your audience excited about sharing content, you must offer something in return — even if it isn’t a tangible benefit.
     
  • It can affect quality and consistency. When you add more voices to the mix, you risk convoluting the message, tone, and style of your branded content. Maintain some editorial control if you decide to use user-generated content. Have a plan for reviewing, moderating, and approving content your audience provides.
     
  • It can sacrifice your credibility. Some subjects are better suited for audience input than others. User-generated content must have a purpose. Ask your audience to weigh in on subjects that benefit from their insight and engagement. Leave other topics to experts who are knowledgeable about the topic.

Lexicon is an award-winning firm in Des Moines, Iowa, that specializes in content marketing. 

  1. blogging
  2. content marketing
  3. digital media
  4. editorial content

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