UGC Marketing: User-Generated Content Meaning & Types

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User-Generated Content(UGC) marketing has become an increasingly popular strategy in the world of digital marketing.

UGC refers to content created and shared by individuals on social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and Twitter rather than by the brand itself.

UGC campaigns involve encouraging content creators to share their experiences with the brand and using that fresh content to promote the company.

This approach not only results in a broader reach but also increases brand credibility by providing social proof that other people enjoy and endorse the product or service.

Influencer marketing is another aspect of UGC, whereby social media influencers are compensated for promoting a brand on their social media accounts.

To create UGC, a company’s marketing team may launch a campaign, such as a hashtag challenge or a contest, that encourages customers to share their experiences.

The marketing team can then collect and share this user-generated content across their social media platforms and website, creating a cycle of content creation that benefits both the brand and the customer. 

Now, let’s get started!

User Generated Content: Meaning

User Generated Content is created by customers and used by businesses in their marketing. It might include customer reviews or pictures posted on social media.

Companies use UGC to attract more customers and get people interested in what they have to offer.


Why Is It Important to Leverage User-Generated Content?

It is essential to leverage user-generated content (UGC) as it provides authentic and relatable content, which enhances the quality of the content strategy and digital marketing strategy.

Brands use the content every day to showcase their products and services in a more interactive way, increasing engagement and brand loyalty.

UGC marketing is an effective way to boost customers’ trust since the content shared comes from real experiences and opinions. As a result, users can feel more confident purchasing the product.

Incorporating user-generated photos is a no-brainer for any content marketer or brand strategy.

To improve the effectiveness of UGC marketing, it’s necessary to share UGC across various channels to reach a broader audience.

Ultimately, incorporating UGC is a must if a brand wants to have a dynamic digital marketing strategy and remain authentic and relatable. 

Here are the different reasons that show the importance of using user generated content:

1. UGC Marketing Is Credible

User-generated content (UGC) is important because people don’t want to see perfect messages from brands. Instead, they want something that feels more real.

Studies show that 90% of consumers think it’s important for brands to be authentic, and 60% of them believe UGC is the most genuine form of content.

People are more likely to trust another person’s opinion than what a company says about itself.

About 56% of people said that content made by everyday people was more interesting than brand content; only 15% liked the brand-created content better.

This is because most people can relate better to real day-to-day people than to company messages, which can seem fake or untrustworthy.

A study showed that 70% of the time, people could tell whether an image came from a consumer or a brand.

2. UGC Marketing Campaign Establishes Brand Loyalty 

User-generated content (UGC) lets customers join a brand’s journey instead of just watching it. This strengthens loyalty and creates a bond between people and companies.

It also leads to conversations between brands and the people who support them, growing their community even more. Plus, when audience content is shared, it helps build relationships that lead to even more loyalty.

3. User-Generated Content Marketing Is Cost-Effective

User-generated content is valuable because it’s cost-efficient. Rather than spending a lot of money and effort on marketing campaigns, companies can source content from customers who are already passionate about their brand.

This helps to save time and money compared to having to constantly create new content from scratch.

Brands that don’t have enough content and money can use User Generated Content (UGC) to fill the gap for less money.

One perfect example here is Busabout, which replaced most of their online visuals with UGC and saved 65 percent on their content costs.

Since morecreate people willingly creating positive content at no cost, UGC is an easy and inexpensive marketing plan.

4. Provides a Trust Signal

User-generated content is invaluable for companies because it acts as a trust signal. People don’t usually trust marketers and ads, especially in light of the recent ‘fake news’ epidemic.

Companies must make sure customers see them as honest and trustworthy, so using user-generated content is an excellent way for brands to do this since 93% of marketers agree that consumers find customer content more dependable than branded content. 

Consumers rely on User Generated Content (UGC) for guidance when making purchases, just like they would seek advice from their loved ones.

More than half of millennials are influenced by feedback from their network when deciding what to buy, and UGC offers that kind of personal endorsement.

5. Leverage UGC as It Is Flexible

UGC can be used outside of social media and integrated into other marketing campaigns.

For instance, emails with user-generated images can encourage sales, and the content can increase conversion rates on landing pages.

Calvin Klein even created an entire page devoted to customer photos, providing real examples of successful product use instead of relying solely on models.


Types of UGC Content

1. Image 

User-Generated Content, or UGC, can be posted in the form of photos on different platforms like Facebook, Instagram, or Pinterest.

Brands can take advantage of this content to show off their products or services. People like seeing real people use their products – it makes them more interested in what the brand has to offer.

2. Video 

Video UGC grabs people’s attention, helps them learn more about your brand, and gives viewers a behind-the-scenes look.

Unboxing videos, product reviews, and other types of video content are great ways to engage customers and create interest in your products or services.

Video content is becoming an increasingly important tool in the marketing industry. In a recent survey, 93% of marketers reported that they had acquired new customers as a result of video content posted on social media.

Video content provides viewers with a better understanding of a brand’s message and values, helping to create an emotional connection with a potential customer.

Not only does it allow audiences to easily grasp complicated concepts or messages, but videos also help to make brands more memorable and can even lead to increased purchases.

Thus, if you’re looking for a way to engage your audience, using video content is an effective strategy to consider.

3. Product Review Blogs

People who know a lot about something can write about your product, even if it’s not what you want them to say.

This is the essence of user-generated content and includes blog posts and reviews. It works for many different kinds of things like travel, tech, fashion, and food.

4. Amazon Wish List

User-Generated Content (UGC) can be found on Amazon in the form of Wish Lists. These lists contain products people want to look at or purchase in the future.

Amazon then takes this data and puts it together as a ‘Most Wished For’ list. With 156 million Amazon Prime members worldwide, brands can see what people like by looking at star ratings and using that information on their own website.

Examples of Case Studies to Show the Power of User-Generated Content

1. GoPro

GoPro is a company that makes video equipment. By asking their customers to take videos, they have created lots of free content for their YouTube channel.

These videos now have 400 million views! To encourage even more creativity, GoPro runs an awards show and daily photo challenges.

2. CeraVe

CeraVe experienced an increase in popularity after a skincare influencer named Hyram began talking about their products on his platforms. Even without any formal agreement, users were drawn to the product due to their positive experiences.

Data from Google Trends showing an increase in brand searches in 2020, around the time that Hyram started sharing content about it, supported this.

Also, according to Marc Toulemonde, President of L’Oreal’s North America Active Cosmetics division, the success of CeraVe is due to its social media impact, which has led to a boost in sales.

3. Toyota 

Toyota wanted to show off their new Aygo car to a young crowd, so they started the “Feeling the Street” campaign.

They partnered with The Other Tribe for a special song called “We Should Be Dancing” and made a music video featuring people dancing in different cities around the world.

They also asked people online to share videos of themselves dancing using the hashtag #feelingthestreet.

The campaign was successful because it helped Toyota create an emotional connection with their target audience and showed their commitment to creativity and innovation.

4. JentayHome

JentayHome, a furniture store, uses user-generated content to showcase their products. All you have to do is post pictures of their furniture with the hashtag #jentayhome on social media, and you will be featured on their product pages.

This is an easy way for customers to have their furniture recognized and shared with others.

5. Well Traveled

Well Traveled is a great option if you’re looking for a unique travel experience. They use content created by their members to show why joining them is worth it, how great the places they work with are, and what amazing deals they offer.

Join Well Traveled and get ready for an unforgettable journey!

Laura DeGomez from Well Traveled says that the pictures taken by members show how great their service is. Posting these photos helps people learn more about the brand, and it builds a community of people who love traveling.

Nobody can tell their story better than the members themselves, so when they share their experiences, Well Traveled wants to show them off! 

6. Butternut Box 

Butternut Box wanted to spread the word about their nutritious dog food, so they encouraged people to share pictures and stories of their pets by using a special hashtag.

These photos and stories helped create a community of animal lovers and positive reviews of the product on social media.

They featured the best user-generated content (UGC) on their website and social media channels, including a profile of the dog and its owner.

OOH advertising was used to increase web traffic and sales, with digital screens, bus shelters, and billboards featuring dogs enjoying Butternut Box’s food.

The campaign was very successful, with over 10,000 UGC submissions and increased web traffic and sales. It showed how UGC can be used to build an engaged community of advocates and authentically promote a product.


Best Strategies to Create Content Using UGC for Marketing

1. Solicit the Customers to Share

Encourage customers to share their experiences and insights. Make it easy for them by giving helpful suggestions.

When asking your customers for user-generated content, make sure to reach as many people as possible: share your ask on social media, your website, physical locations, and even packaging.

Here are some ways to do it:

1. ELF Cosmetics created a hit song called ‘Eyes. Lips. Face’ with iLLWayno that took off on TikTok, leading to over five million user-generated videos.

To create engagement and excitement among your own followers, consider launching a competition or challenge. Competition can be a powerful tool to get people involved.

2. Urban Outfitters keeps their customers involved by using the hashtag #UOCommunity. They post photos and stories from customers, and also create content to share on their community blog.

This helps bring people together, encouraging conversation, collaboration, and creativity.

Make sure your customers know the type of content you want them to post on social media. Then, you can see how creative they are and get great posts that show off your products.

2. Set Clear Goals

To know what kind of user-generated content to request, decide how it works with your campaign plan. You want people to share nice pictures, but make sure they help reach your marketing goals too.

So start by looking at your social media plan and seeing how UGC matches with your current targets; use this to tell users what types of posts you are likely to feature.

Also, decide if you want to raise brand awareness or increase sales (or both) and tailor your strategy accordingly.

3. Take Permission

When you want to use someone else’s content, make sure to get their permission first. Don’t just share it without asking, because that can hurt your relationships and get you into trouble over copyright laws.

It’s better to always ask for permission; it shows that you respect their work and appreciate it, and it can even get them more excited about sharing it with others.

4. Be Consistent

Brands often find it tough to come up with new content for their marketing campaigns. To tackle this, using social proof can help; when people see others sharing content about your brand, it urges them to create content too.

This helps build a steady flow of content for your marketing efforts. Brands can use hashtags for campaigns and contests to get people to share their own content.

It lets brands show off user-generated content and spread the word about them more easily. They can also ask customers if they can reuse their content for marketing, like making it part of ads, website pages, or email marketing campaigns.

5. Quality & Relevancy of User Generated Content

When it comes to user-generated content, quality and relevance can vary. To make sure your marketing campaigns are successful, it’s important to maintain the quality of your UGC.

The best way to do that is to choose a social media aggregator with a content moderation tool so you can find relevant content and filter out irrelevant and repeated material.


Thus, User-Generated Content (UGC) marketing is a great way to leverage the power of social content and connect with customers. There are many benefits to UGC, including increased engagement, improved brand loyalty, and better SEO.

It can be used across various marketing channels and can complement a broader content marketing strategy.

Brands can encourage UGC by providing incentives, hosting contests, or featuring great UGC on their social media channels. UGC can also be displayed on a dedicated UGC platform.

The power of UGC videos in particular can be leveraged to create compelling visual content that resonates with viewers and showcases the brand in an authentic way.

Overall, UGC is a valuable marketing tool that can help brands build stronger relationships with their audience and drive measurable results.

Good luck!

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