Millenials or Generation Y are already making their presence felt in the workforce and will soon be a dominant force in the global economy. Born in the early 1980s to the early 2000s, they follow the relatively smaller Generation X, who in turn followed the enormous demographic post-war phenomenon, the Baby Boomers.
As true digital natives, the Millenials are leading the charge online. So much so that reports are now being released about their online behaviour that may well define the way all demographics interact online.
A report by Ipsos MediaCT Social Influence, Marketing’s New Frontier, has some interesting statistics that point to the influential role User Generated Content (UGC) plays in the decision process of this demographic.
UGC is everywhere you look, actually.
First up what is UGC? The short answer is that it is content devised by peers. Material generated by users rather than a corporate or brand is termed UGC and covers all digital assets such as posts, images and videos.
When you think about why business uses social media – i.e., engagement with stakeholders – you can see that UGC is an important measure of the success of any business-generated social media strategy.
For example, if users in your target community are generating posts based on input from your business, this is a measure of success of the process and justifies your social media efforts to a large degree. After all sharing equals engagement and if your business had created content that sponsors that secondary generation of digital assets then you have earned your keep as a marketer.
UGC = word of mouth
UGC can be said to be the digital version of word of mouth recommendations. Posts on various platform that express opinions are UGC. Businesses that want to target this demographic need to be aware with their high levels of online engagement Gen Y are big generators of UGC and spend some five hours per day with UGC.
The Ipsos survey showed that millennials put a lot of trust in UGC content – equal to the trust they place in professional reviews. UGC was shown to influence purchasing by 20 per cent more than other sources of information.
The survey showed the levels of trust placed on various forms of communication that carried product-related information.
TV – 34 per cent
Radio – 37 per cent
Print newspapers – 44 per cent
Social media – 50 per cent
Peer reviews – 68 per cent
Conversations with friends (posts) 74 per cent
Why is this important to your business?
To reach this emerging demographic you need to influence opinion in areas trusted by your target audience. Gen Y is more media savvy than any other before it. As UGC becomes easier to create through platforms such as Pinterest and Twitter more users will create material to share with their peers.
This puts UGC front and central as an influencer for this demographic and for others as the digital behaviour sparks digital marketing practices in reponse.