Online users set the pace for the cultural conversation. Marketers listen to what people are creating and saying online because it tells them what people want or don’t want.
UGC is so deeply valued that marketers have a toolbox of tactics to encourage people to engage online with their brand. (Did you know? Only 1% of online users create UGC. The other 90% lurk. So even if all you do is follow us on Instagram, then congratulations! You are in the top 10% of online users.)
Content creates more than culture. Culture also creates a real, marketable value and social value.
Content is so valuable, that online platforms will harvest your content. They then take your content and sell it to advertisers. Your content is valuable to advertisers because it is invaluable insights and information into you, the consumer. This allows advertisers to sell more to you by personalizing ads they think will catch your fancy.
Instead of online platforms harvesting our content, what if we had full control over our content? We choose who uses our content and which bits of content they can access.
Content has a social value too. Content is actually how we create, exchange, and distribute trust and credibility online. We create content to communicate and form digital identities and maintain a reputation. The creation and sharing of content fills social needs and creates social currency, too.