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Research: The State of Earned Content

The proliferation of channels through which retailers and brands can connect to their customers has fundamentally changed both how retailers and shoppers communicate.

One of the most significant changes in consumer behavior has been in their shift away from being “sold to,” and a shift towards wanting personalised interaction with brands through meaningful engagement. Driven by the rise of mobile technology and the growth of social media platforms, modern consumers want to align themselves with brands that represent their interests and values.

As a result, many retailers have turned to new methods of marketing to invigorate and relate to their customer base. One of those strategies is through the adoption and activation of user-generated, or earned, content (UGC). Why? Because by incorporating earned content into your marketing strategy, brands can:

  • Relate to their customers better by showing an appreciation for user content
  • Dedicate the company to an open dialogue with customers
  • Showcase authentic imagery and videos that resonate with customers and impact purchase behavior

Recently, we commissioned a report from Internet Retailing UK to analyse how marketers think about and activate earned content in their programmes. In a whitepaper detailing the research, we examine the options and opportunities for retail brands to create and deploy an earned content strategy and outline how to curate, activate, and analyse this content.

In our research we surveyed marketers to learn how they understand and leverage earned content. We asked them what their KPIs are for earned content and on which channels they’re leveraging earned content. See the results below:

Brands that wish to succeed now and into the future require a new approach to build better customer experiences, one which involves co-creation and shared ownership over the brand identity. It is clear from this report that we are at a critical moment in the maturity of earned content, and while some brands are already excelling, many still require education to maximise their potential. After working with many of the world’s leading retailers, we have seen the overwhelming impact that user-generated content can have on increasing engagement, driving conversions, and building long-term customer loyalty.

To pick up more stats on earned content and 12 actionable takeaways about integrating UGC into a successful visual marketing strategy, download the full whitepaper here.


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