November 17, 2021 Azka Munir

The Ultimate Guide on User-Generated Content

92 percent of people value recommendations and around 70 percent trust opinions by consumers. Hence, there is a rise in User-Generated content in the form of reviews, images and videos created by the consumers.

People are increasingly buying and making decisions based on social proof. UGC provides social proof that encourages people to put their trust in a brand. Brands post the content on their socials to showcase it gaining trust as well as sales. In this article, we discuss the benefits of UGC and how you can use it in your campaign.


What is User-Generated Content?

Any content by contributors, fans or users of a brand is User-Generated Content.

Basically, it is not the content by the brand itself but by the users that they get in the form of posts, reviews, videos and more.

Your audience will usually find content by the users more authentic and trustworthy than that by the brand itself.


With rising social media users (4.8 billion at present), it is easier to spread the word.When UGC provides social proof through their posts, people gain trust in the brand and are more likely to buy from it because they value a recommendation.

For instance, Coca-Cola’s campaign “Share a Coke” is an example of UGC.

The campaign allowed people to have a personalized experience and then post it on their socials.

Hence, leading to sales and promotion at the same time.

It can also be simply sharing about a brand’s product and reviewing it as a social media influencer.

However, it does not always have to be content that promotes a product or service.

Rather it can simply be content that also aligns with the ethos of your brand showing lifestyle and values.

As well as content that shows as an authentic representation of the brand’s values.

When you share that content as a brand, your audience will refer to it to make purchasing decisions.

However, there are some things that you should not do with UGC too.

You should not repost any content without the permission of the user.

Even if a user gave a small review after purchase, ask them if you could share it on your posts or stories.

The same applies to perfectly curated content, it is best to build a relationship on trust and good relations.

That does not mean you need to pay them for it.


User-Generated Content Benefits

UGC is very powerful for brands and contributes to their success.

But what makes it so successful?

Let’s find out below!

user-generated content benefits

Creates Trust with The Brand Through The People

Let’s face it, it is easier for people to trust people than to trust brands when they know they are marketing a product or service.

People are not as likely to give in the marketers.

Instead, they want connection, authenticity, stories and interaction with humans rather than a product.

Therefore, they do not want a brand to persuade them to buy a product or service.

Rather they refer to a trustworthy person.

In fact, around 30 percent of millennials do not try a restaurant if their Instagram presence is not up to the mark.

They check not only the social media presence of the place but also the customer reviews and make decisions relying on that.

Hence, customer testimonials help to build trust in the audience and influence their decisions.

Moreover, as the trend changes customers need more attention.

UGC primarily focuses on the customers which gives rise to customer-oriented businesses.

If your brand loses on focusing on its customers, they will go for your competitor instead.

Thus, you need to provide them with what they like and UGC helps in giving them details of the products and services of your business.

roi from user-generated content

Higher ROI and Cost-Effective

The return of investment is higher with UGC.

There is about 28 percent more engagement with the brand when the content is a mix of UGC and the brand’s promotional materials.

An example o of user0generated content on Instagram is the Starbucks White Cup Contest.

Users doodled their cups for a contest.

Contest and giveaways encourage user engagement with over 4000 people submitting entries and then those being posted on socials.

As users engage with the brand, post it on their timelines and share it with friends then they spread the word resulting in more customers.

Now contests, giveaways and reviews are usually unpaid.

Yes, the users may get something out of a giveaway but the costs are considerably less than creating a campaign that has an equal chance of working or not.

Users simply may want to share their views, experience or build a connection with people having similar interests.

However, that helps the brand in promoting their products for free.

UGC lets the users run marketing for a brand while the brands do not have to spend tonnes out of their pockets.

Suggesting Authenticity Leading to Purchases

Any content made by brands looks like an advertisement to the audience.

However, UGC looks more authentic and trustworthy.

In fact about 2.4 times more authentic.

Thus, it gives the products and services of your brand a credibility boost as well as social proof.

The reaction is stronger from the audience too resulting in more likes and comments.

More people are now active consumers rather than passive ones.

They cannot be moved by passive TV Commercials.

Rather they need the opinions of real people and have a say in what they want to buy or not.

Brands that they can connect with on a human level through UGC is what today’s audience values.

UGC helps consumers connect with the brand making a community.

It is an experience shared together rather than a one-sided communication whereby brands try to sell their products to the customers.

Influence and shared emotional connection help to build the community.

The brands have influence over the consumers but through UGC, so do the consumers.

Moreover, when there is a story that builds an emotional connection then people are able to relate and form a community.

All of this then impacts their buying decisions.

That too of a large amount, nearly 80 percent of people are influenced by UGC while making purchases.

Moreover, you can keep the UGC on your pages, Instagram highlights or stories so that your audience sees it and can revisit it while making purchases.

Now that you know the benefits of UGC, let’s find out how you can use it to drive sales and create brand awareness.


User-Generated Content Strategy

The three types of UGC are:

  • Reviews
  • Visual content through Photos and Videos
  • Comments and Testimonials



Numerous consumers will prefer to check out reviews before they make any purchase.

Plus users can conveniently leave a review on your pages, comments or in messages.

In fact, some can also tag the business and post it on their own stories.

On an e-commerce website, users can simply post reviews on the product pages.

Thereby someone who is willing to add the item on the cart can quickly check the reviews and then purchase the item if they seem fit.

Moreover, you can also ask your customers to leave a review when you know they purchased from you already.

visual content

Visual Content

Sharing images and videos on your socials are very common.

If a person is taking pictures of the hotel they are staying in then that’s UGC for the hotel.

Similarly, if there are contests or giveaways, they are usually in the form of photos, videos, or rarely texts.

Thus it results in engagement and creates visual UGC.


User testimonials come after purchase.

They can be in the form of makeup tutorials or comments on your posts.

Testimonials are also a type of review meant for happy customers.

This can work for products as well as services.

For instance, if a user purchased a product and thought to recommend it can help your sales.

As future customers see the testimonials and read the comments too, it can lead them to make a purchasing decision.

All three of the UGC types are good for creating brand desire, showcasing your products, making content and showing your brand loyalty among customers.

Now the question arises, how do you get the UGC.

getting ugc

Getting UGC

You can get UGC by asking them for submissions for contests, reviews after purchase and making testimonials with influencers.

You can simply motivate them to share their experience with your brand and products.

However, they will want a call to action to finally take the step to make a UGC.

You can give it to them right after their product, at the time they make a purchase or once they have the results from the purchase.

It can be as simple as posting it on their story, sharing a tweet or just responding to you in the messages or comments.

Though, you can also ask them to create content in return for a prize or opportunity.

For instance, a makeup brand can ask makeup artists to use their products and create looks in order to become their ambassadors.

Or you can give a simple giveaway and ask people to like, comment as well as share their stories to spread the word.

The campaign participants contribute to brand awareness.

However, you cannot run it throughout the year and have to rely more on testimonials and reviews.

Still, whenever you use this strategy, the engagement is high.

Other than that UGC can also come from providing experiences.

The “Share a Coke” campaign did just that and people shared the content of their will.

You can also make physical spaces catered to your campaign, or organize events such as unboxing events that will allow people to visit and share their experience on socials.

Hence, getting you UGC from the attendees.

But always remember to ask permission before sharing and also give credit to the creator.

If you want to build a long-term relationship with people who give you UGC then you can also offer them something in return, like a small discount on their next purchase.


User-Generated Content can promote your business without additional expenditure.

Moreover, your consumers are also likely to trust reviews and testimonials by ordinary folk like them rather than the brands themselves.

Hence, never let go of an opportunity to get UGC and create ways to get it through contests, giveaways and events!

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