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User-Generated vs. Brand-Pushed Marketing: Which Content Do Audiences Prefer?


Marketing is an important part of any business, big or small. The field used to be dominated by mostly brand-pushed or company-generated content.

Today, however, the rise of the internet has ushered in the era of user-generated or customer-centric marketing strategies. In this article, we’ll break down what these concepts mean, then finish up by answering the key question: which one do audiences gravitate towards.

What Is Brand-Pushed Marketing?

Simply put, brand-pushed or brand-generated marketing makes use of the traditional advertising strategies you’re used to seeing. Think of commercials, radio jingles, billboards, magazine and newspaper ads, and other forms of marketing like that — even the dreaded pop-up ads of the early internet.

Despite the fact that we’re in the internet age, these are still powerful tools used by big brands. Companies like Facebook and Google made their fortunes selling ads that display on your newsfeed or when you search.

However, there are some downsides to running this type of campaign. For one, it can be expensive to reach a wide audience. Also, you’re almost guaranteed to have low conversion compared to the number of eyes that potentially see your campaign, even with targeted ads.

People feel a lack of authenticity when they know they are being sold to.

What Is User-Generated Marketing?

As the name implies, this type of strategy involves making use of content produced by the customers and users themselves. These can be Twitter or Instagram posts, YouTube videos, and more. It makes use of the “word-of-mouth” concept to build sales and generate leads.

However, these campaigns can actually be brand-backed too. Company-mediated testimonials, product reviews, and other techniques can achieve the same results. User-generated content is powerful because people are more likely to trust the opinion and belief of someone with whom they identify.

Today, this model is one of the driving forces behind organic growth among some of the biggest startups and companies — names like GoPro and LuluLemon. It provides a level of social proof that can’t be reached with brand-pushed marketing.

It’s also extremely cost-effective. The right campaign strategy requires very little upfront capital if any.

One of the biggest benefits is that this type of advertising allows a business to develop more customer-focused products, services, and marketing strategies by taking advantage of the unique insights brand ambassadors can bring to the table.

Which Type of Content Do Audiences Prefer?

While commercials and traditional ads will always have their place, there’s no doubt that audiences prefer to consume user-generated content. There are a few key reasons why:

  • It’s more relatable
  • It provides social proof for choices and purchases
  • It feels more authentic (and often is)
  • It helps foster feelings of community
  • It can be more engaging, educational, and entertaining

That’s why more companies and businesses are focusing on combining traditional marketing efforts with user-generated content.

Need help deciding which strategy is right for your goals or want to start taking advantage of user-generated marketing yourself? Then look to Net Profit Marketing! Contact us today, and we can bring your vision to life.

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