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Do different kinds of user-generated content in online brand communities really work?

Antonia Estrella-Ramón (Department of Economics and Business, University of Almeria (International Campus of Excellence in Agrifood (ceiA3)), Almeria, Spain)
Fiona Ellis-Chadwick (Department of Marketing and Retailing, School of Business and Economics, Loughborough University, Loughborough, UK)

Online Information Review

ISSN: 1468-4527

Article publication date: 13 November 2017




Due to the fact that user-generated content (UGC) and online brand communities (OBCs) are gaining popularity, the purpose of this paper is to identify the type of UGC that has a real effect on product success, in terms of the number of owners, within a popular OBC associated with video games.


Different types of UGC for 205 video games were manually collected (the number of positive and negative comments, discussions, screenshots, artwork, videos, guides developed by users and the presence of a workshop) to test their influence on product success. The proposed hypotheses were tested using multiple ridge regression analysis.


Results show that users look for simple and quick reviews and content about products in OBCs (i.e. guides developed by users, comments, artwork and screenshots). However, results also show that users do not guide their purchases based on UGC when the process of gaining understanding is more time consuming (i.e. reading discussions, watching videos) or requires more active involvement (i.e. workshop presence).


Limited research has been conducted on the type of UGC found in OBCs. This study contributes to the understanding of the potential influence of different types of UGC on product success. In addition, it offers managerial insights for companies into how to manage content in online communities.



This work was supported by the Spanish Ministry of Economy, Culture and Sports, within the State Framework of Talent Promotion and its application in R&D, Subprogram of Mobility, from the State Plan of Scientific, Technical and Innovative Research 2013-2016.


Estrella-Ramón, A. and Ellis-Chadwick, F. (2017), "Do different kinds of user-generated content in online brand communities really work?", Online Information Review, Vol. 41 No. 7, pp. 954-968.



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