User-generated content (UGC). If you’re note sure what it is, think Wikipedia. Think Pinterest. Think Tumblr. Think GoPro. It’s a ‘does what it says on the tin’ term, in that, its when a company’s users or customers produce content.

To find out more ahead of the Digital Marketing Show in 2015, we spoke to Andy Mallinson, managing director EMEA and CMO at content marketing platform, Stackla.

What is your top tip for building a social media strategy that is relevant to your audience?

“At Stackla, we understand the value of using social channels as a distribution method but more importantly we feel that there is great user generated content out there that brands should be using to tell their own story.”

Why do you think user generated content is so important?

“One challenge with branded content and pushing that branded content out through the social channels is that the reach and the penetration of that content is minimal at best. Even if it does reach its target the engagement with that content is even smaller, and so Stackla’s perspective on this is to always start your social strategy with user generated content. That authentic and trusted content from the users that brands can pull in, cherry pick the best of the content, republishing that content wherever it is they want to republish in order to help broaden that story, at the end of the day, who’s better to tell a story than your customers.”

Are you seeing success out of using user generated content for branding campaigns?

“Well, our clients certainly are seeing great success, even in in the eponymous and retail space where user generated content is being used to drive social endorsement and social advocacy, we’re seeing 20-30% increase in purchase driven by the social content from their users and customers compared to any other content on their site.”