User-generated content (UGC) is as old as content itself. Simply put, we've always wanted to chime in—from the Oxford English Dictionary, which was compiled from slips of paper, to letters to the editor, to fan fiction. We now flock to participate on our favorite online platforms.

With digital forums, comments sections on blogs, and the ability to publish content for free, at the click of a button, UGC is at an all-time high. America's Funniest Home Videos has morphed into YouTube, to which 300 hours of video are uploaded to every minute.

If harnessed properly, UGC can be a huge asset to content marketers. Smart marketers have recognized that UGC is hot—with good reason. According to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than they trust traditional advertising.

And according to Curata research, content marketers consistently cite insufficient resources as their greatest content marketing challenge. UGC can save your organization time, financial resources, and boost your credibility, by outsourcing content creation to users.

But wait, there's more. Here are six other benefits of user-generated content, and what you can do to profit from them.

1. Take advantage of content curation

Good news: UGC falls within the content curation family. A content curation strategy involves sourcing, annotating, and sharing the best and most relevant third-party content with your audience.

If you're not already familiar with some of the benefits of content curation, here are a few to get you up to speed:

  • Build brand awareness
  • Establish credibility as a thought leader
  • Streamline lead nurturing
  • Boost social media metrics
  • Support lead generation

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image of Pawan Deshpande

Pawan Deshpande is the founder and CEO of Curata, a leading provider of content marketing software. He is an accomplished entrepreneur, marketer, and technologist.

LinkedIn: Pawan Deshpande