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User-Generated Content: Underrated but Effective

The rise of User-Generated Content, or UGC type of content, in digital marketing in Cambodia is undeniably elevated and progressively toward more success, which helps the brand to increase revenue, retain customers and gain many more customers. User-Generated Content allows brand and business owners in Cambodia to quickly adapt with what are the best strategies to boost brand visibility and build trust with their customers. 

User-Generated Content strategies have been used by brands worldwide and are still one of the best practices to recommend. It gives a glimpse to the new customers/consumers who are on their journey of exploring or comparing products, and your user-generated content will influence their decision-making later. 


So what is user-generated content, or the so-called UGC?

You must have seen this type of content or strategy floating on your social media feed at least once. User-Generated Content is the content that is created by real users, which we normally see from fans, loyalties, or employees. It can be both paid and unpaid information publishes on social media that can be contributed in various forms to reflect the brand’s quality or authenticity. UGC creators are those creators who are paid by the brand to make content that looks authentic for a specific product.     

User-Generated Content comes in many forms such as images, videos, reviews/testimonials, blog posts, live streams, youtube content, or a podcast. We will highlight some campaigns with the practice of UGC to promote their product or campaign.

ប្រិយមិត្តសួរ សហគមន៍ឆ្លើយ

Another good form of user-generated content is from កាក់សេន-Kakcent. Kakcent is a social media platform with the main focus to enhance the financial literacy of Cambodians to achieve a better status quo. Kakcent has a dedicated segment for their audience to share their financial difficulties or seek any advice by letting the people in the community answer the question or share their thought in the comment section. The owner of the question or story will remain anonymous without worrying about the personal attacks or criticism that may cause later. This segment allows Kakcent to generate diverse content while keeping it relevant to their field of expertise.

How it works: Engagement, Up-to-date content, Building community

(Image source: Kakcent’s Facebook Page)

Ice Bucket Challenge   

Ice Bucket Challenge was started by Pete Frates and Pat Quinn in 2014. More than $115 million was donated to the ALS Association to combat the disease and help provide care services to those who are living with ALS. Join the challenge and record your video then post it online. You can either endure the cool water dumping on your head or donate but preferably both. You can nominate in the video or caption by tagging the next person and following the same instructions. Ice Bucket Challenge showed us the virality of this challenge and the real positive impact contributed to the ALS Association. Back then it was a huge internet sensation on Facebook that people who want to join the challenge were willing to do for good causes. 

How it works: Intensive awareness, Engagement, Virality

(Image source: NBC News)


iPhone users especially those who like to take photos and preferably buy an iPhone because they like iPhone’s camera quality, must know this worldwide campaign that Apple invites users to share their best photos and use the hashtag #ShotoniPhone. This campaign allows iPhone users to share their creativity in photography that a phone can do. #ShotoniPhone has its own glorious on Instagram with 28 million posts and 3.6 million posts on Facebook to date. Apple also posts the best photos from each category such as using the macro lens, wide angle lens, portrait mode, and other techniques. Apple also mentions clearly if the photos are commissioned by them as a paid sponsor so people can differentiate it accordingly.     

How it works: Building community, Authenticity, Engagement and trustworthiness

(Image source: Apple’s Instagram Account)

Run with Sai

A similar case study in Cambodia gather mass involvement and encourage people to raise donations to help Angkor Hospital for Children​ located in Siem Reap province. Sai and his team created the campaign and commit to run across Cambodia (2408 Km). After completed his running, he asked for contributions for money from some people that he mentioned in his post. Some people join the running and still volunteer to donate money to the hospital. After donating, they shared the screenshot of their transaction on their social media, tag Sai and put hashtag #មូលនិធិកុមារអង្គរ. 

How it works: Awareness, Engagement, Virality

(Image source: Sai’s Facebook Account)

Why User-Generated Content is important?

This question is important for the brand and business owners, and marketers because user-generated content has a lot of benefits to offer:

  • Get free content from the users: In this digital world, your customer or buyer is willing to share their opinion easily. Some customers spend money from their pocket and still leave a good review if they are really satisfied with the quality of your product. Thanks to advanced technology, people can access the internet almost everywhere, and with just a few clicks some reviews or maybe more than that is already up about your product.  
  • Cost-effectiveness: Since your customers are making content for you, all you need to do is distribute it on your social media channel. In addition, you are bringing your customer closer to your brand by valuing their opinion.
  • Turn your loyal customers become your brand ambassador: In this competitive market full of brands that already doing well ahead of you, you need to stay close and maintain a strong community. By posting or sharing your customer’s content, you show them that you value their opinion and make them feel that they are a part of your campaign. Once you get their loyalty, their word of mouth will automatically spread to their relatives or friends. 80% of consumers are more likely to shop with brands that show how well they understand their consumers based on the result of a research study conducted by Dynata in 2021.
  • Increase conversion and purchasing decisions: For new customers, it will be hard for them to decide whether to buy your product or not if you only have traditional/branding content. User-generated content is highly influential in the final stage of the buyer’s journey. Stackla conducted a study and showed that 90 percent of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support and 79% say user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
  • As proof that customers are the main focus: It will be boring and it is highly that customers will unfollow your brand if you only have branding content. User-generated content makes your customers see a deeper connection with your brand and doesn’t see your advertisement as too pushy toward sales without considering the customer’s experience.

Should you include User-generated content in your marketing strategy?

The answer is yes. However, you are required to understand how much your business needs user-generated content. A study showed that customers highly seek to see user-generated content with 90-65% of the brand in the field of traveling, restaurant and dining, health care and beauty products, beauty & accessories, and lifestyle & vehicle

Now that you are decided to include User-generated content in your next campaign’s strategy, you might need to consider the points below as well:

  • Just tell them what you want from them: Your customers will never know that you are seeking their feedback or their generous easy contribution to your brand. Believe it or not, all you need to do is just tell or ask your customer.
  • Always ask for permission to share their content: Never take your user-generated content for granted because you can do so much more than just share their content on your social media. You might compel their videos and include them in your video campaign, you can turn their single photo into a carousel and showcase it on your website or include it in the email marketing campaign. To be fair, you will have to ask for their permission if needed.
  • Offer value to get your customer talking: If you have a marketing budget, you should allocate a package to provide incentives to your customer who contributed to making content your brand. Though, in some cases, we can predict the high amount of content we might get from the customers, you can use the randomly selected method to avoid backlash from your customer. Extra gratitude will go a long way with your customer!

Final Thoughts        

User-generated content is one of the most powerful marketing strategies that you should incorporate in your next marketing campaign. You may consider it as a modern word of mouth in this digitally driven world. 

With these benefits that user-generated content can bring to your business, will you give it a try?