DAM in the Age of User-Generated Content (UGC)

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These days, businesses are operating in a world where advertisements are rampant. Customers are becoming more and more aware of the ways in which they are being targeted for ads. In this fast-paced and crowded digital market, savvy customers can easily spot an ad and choose to ignore it.   That’s where user-generated content (UGC) comes in. Consumers find content made by other buyers like them to be 9.8 times more impactful compared to influencer content. So, it’s high time brands start focusing on UGC as a part of their digital marketing strategy.  

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Understanding User-Generated Content (UGC)

User-generated content, or UGC, is the content that users of a product or service make. It could be selfies, reviews, captions, videos of people using a product, or pictorial reviews. 

UGC is a powerful and authentic way to build trust with potential customers. It gives real people the mic, letting them share their experiences with your brand or service in an organic way.

An example is Sephora’s Community Gallery, where the beauty retailer features user-generated content. Similarly, Crocs has a #MyCrocsEra social media campaign. Customers upload pictures of themselves in Crocs using this hashtag, and Crocs features their pictures on its social media accounts and website.

The Role of Digital Asset Management (DAM) Systems

UGC seriously drives the hype around your brand, but it also comes with a challenge: the massive amount of data. When Starbucks started its Red Cup UGC campaign, the company reported a red cup being posted on Instagram every 14 seconds! This was back in 2014. 

Now, Internet users have become even more active, and the amount of data being generated is staggering. Businesses need a digital asset management (DAM) system to manage and organize all this data.

Digital asset management software becomes the repository for all your DAM data. Not only that, it also lets you set access controls and compliance checks to ensure the pictures and videos you post are compliant, approved, appropriate, and brand-aligned.

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Challenges in Managing UGC with DAM

Although a digital asset management system could be the go-to way to manage UGC, it doesn’t come without challenges. Knowing about these issues is the first step toward their resolution.

  • Volume of UGC: Depending on your brand’s reach, you could be looking at thousands or hundreds of thousands of pictures and videos. Look for a DAM system that can handle the volume of your data.  

  • Content Diversity: UGC content isn’t limited to pictures. It could be in the form of videos, text, or even audio recordings. You must optimize your DAM system to house each data type separately to avoid mix-ups and confusion.

  • Content Legality: As we said earlier, you can’t just post anything that has the hashtag your campaign is using. Ensuring the legality of the content is a must. 

  • Metadata and Tagging: Let’s say you receive 10,000 pictures for your UGC campaign. But since your audience is mainly Gen Z women, you want to post images where your brand is represented by a woman, or even more specifically, a visibly working woman. Unless you’ve tagged each post with appropriate metadata, you’ll have to go through each one of the 10,000 pictures manually.

Leveraging DAM for UGC Workflow Optimization

Here are some ways to leverage a DAM platform to optimize your UGC workflow:

  • Automate UGC ingestion and categorization: Integrate your DAM system with social media platforms so that all content you get with the relevant hashtags or brand tags is automatically ingested into your DAM, eliminating manual work. Also, set rules for content categorization. 

  • Streamline approval: Digital asset management software has features like version control and centralized approval to minimize friction in the content approval process. 

  • Automate tagging: Set up automatic tagging using metadata so that each item is classified correctly according to your predefined tags.

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Maximizing ROI with DAM in UGC Environments

DAM system implementation in a UGC environment can help you maximize your ROI in many ways. First, it cuts costs that would otherwise go to manual content management. 

You can also enhance brand value by ensuring the right tone and representation in all your user-generated content. The more consistent you are with the brand messaging, the better the message will penetrate the target audience. 

Choose a DAM platform that also has an analytics dashboard. You can then measure your user engagement metrics and content performance from a centralized platform. 

Monitoring your UGC campaigns is extremely important since this gives you insights into your audience’s preferences and behaviors. You can determine if the UGC campaign is working or not. If yes, you can extend the campaign’s lifespan; if not, you can make necessary changes to improve its performance.

Even if you have to pause the campaign for the time being, it’s not an issue. The DAM holds the data for you, so you can use it at a later time, too.

Frequently Asked Questions

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