Oleh: Annetta Gunawan, SE, MM (Faculty Member of International Marketing)
Nowadays, Internet users are not satisfied by only browsing from one Web site to others in order to seek for information. They want to actively participate in shaping the content of the sites they visit. People are creating User Generated Content by posting a comment on a Web Site, uploading photos to share, or creating Facebook survey (Propek, 2011).
On the other side, from the companies’ point of view, brand management has been facing two opposite tendencies in recent years: brand authenticity and consumer empowerment. This situation appears to be the breeding ground for the increasing creation and distribution of brand-related User Generated Content in a Web 2.0 environment (Arnhold, 2010). Since the first Internet ad came into being, the family of Internet advertising has continued to expand, from static banners to animated banners to Web commercials, from pop-ups to pop-unders, from branners to sponsorship to product placement in video games, and recently, User Generated Content (UGC).
Consumer-generated advertising (also known as User Generated Content) is perhaps the newest form of advertising and refers to various kinds of content created by consumers in the form of online testimonials, product reviews, user-generated commercials, etc (Rodgers, et.al in Stacks and Salwen, 2009). Christodoulides et.al (2012) define brand-related User Generated Content as consumers creating content that is made available through publicly accessible transmission media such as the Internet; reflects some degree of creative effort; and is created for free outside professional routines and practices. They (Christodoulides et al., 2012) also validate the motivating factors for creating brand-related UGC as follows:
- Co-creation, that consists of co-customers as a social benefit factor and risk reduction
- Empowerment, that consists of changed perceptions and influence people, feelings of power and control, increased willingness to engage online/ reveal personal information, filling a void left by conventional media, and forum to request greater choice.
- Community, that consists of knowledge-sharing, advocacy, social connections/contact, wanting to be heard, desire to interact and collaborate, and social networking.
- Self concept, that consists of personal documentation, self-expression, creativity, social function—expressing attitudes/ behaviors that are agreeable to others, self promotion, identity shaping, ego defensive—minimize self-doubt, create a sense of belonging.
Brand-related User Generated Content has been already proven to influence customer’s purchase intention. To read more about the influence of brand-related UGC on purchase intention, please take a look at my previous article: The Importance of Brand-Related User Generated Content for Brand Equity and Purchase Intention
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