Your marketing budget is your nest egg, your baby. It’s precious, finite, and you don’t want to waste it on just anything. You’ve got to make the most of every penny.

You also need content, and you’re not alone. According to the Economist Group, 93 per cent of companies planned to maintain or increase their investment in content creation this year; while the Content Marketing Institute reported that the average marketing organisation spends over a quarter of its budget on content.

But the problem is, customers don’t trust marketers. Content created by the company themselves was ranked last by customers in a list of most reliable sources of product information, according to FlyResearch. So how do you create content that will not only be seen but also valued by customers?

Let customers create it. User-generated content (UGC) is a wonderful win-win for both your marketers and your budget. Not only does its production cost your company a mere fraction of what creating original content costs but it is also far more effective at reaching your audience. According to FlyResearch, a whopping 62 per cent of people surveyed would trust UGC about a product over the company’s own information. Why spend more on creating content that your audience doesn’t trust anyway? Give them what they want.

How do you create content that will be seen and valued by customers? Let them do it. - Highlight to share -

And speaking of giving them what they want, a staggering 81 per cent of consumers actively seek out UGC when browsing a company’s website. UGC not only builds trust with your customers, but it is their preferred way of learning about you. It works, too. According to Octoly, user-generated fan videos about brands receive an average of ten times as many views as brand-owned content. Every marketing department is desperate for as many eyes, ears and thoughts on their message as possible. By encouraging users to create your message, your money – and your message itself – goes further.

So don’t just spend more – spend smarter. Your brand reaches a larger audience by harnessing the power of your users. Not only that, but it makes customers and potential customers trust your brand more, so if you have a great product, why not let your customers say so! Your marketing department – and your accounting department – will thank you.

Happy customers, healthy budgets