User generated content can immensely influence how a brand is perceived by the public. When real people give testimonials about products they love, or negative reviews of products they hate, it can influence other potential customers.
This type of content seems more trustworthy because consumers know (or at least hope) that the person speaking about the brand isn’t being paid and is sharing their actual opinions about their products.
Businesses may want to capitalize on user generated content, but they might need permission from the content creator before using it. For example, imagine a very active person using their GoPro to video what it looks like on their trip down a ski hill. This person posts the video on a social media platform, which gets some attention. If GoPro wanted to share that video on their webpage and use it as a testimonial to how great their cameras work, they would need permission. If they get the permission they need, they can share an authentic experience with their product, which is great for potential customers to see.
However, GoPro doesn’t necessarily need to post the video on their site for it to make an impact. Organic users can see videos like that one all over social media and use them to see how well GoPro cameras work. The beauty of user generated content is that even if the brand isn’t aware of it, they are getting exposure to possible customers without even trying.