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What is User-Generated Content (UGC)?

User-generated content (UGC) is a powerful marketing tool that can help you reach new audiences, increase engagement, and build trust with your customers. But what exactly is UGC and how can you leverage it for your brand?

UGC refers to any form of content, such as images, videos, text, testimonials, and audio, that has been posted by users on online platforms such as social media, discussion forums, and wikis. It is a product consumers create to disseminate information about online products or the firms that market them. UGC is used for a wide range of applications, including problem processing, news, entertainment, customer engagement, advertising, gossip, research, and many more. UGC is an example of the democratization of content production and the flattening of traditional media hierarchies.

UGC is important because it is original, brand-specific content created by customers (at no cost to the brand) and published on social media or other channels. When consumers post about a brand on social media, they can influence their followers’ buying decisions. 85 percent of people say UGC is more influential than content made by brands directly, according to Adweek.

ugcSo how can you use UGC to boost your brand’s online presence? Here are some tips and best practices to follow:

  1. Encourage your customers to create and share UGC. You can do this by creating hashtags, contests, challenges, surveys, polls, or incentives that motivate them to post about your products or services. For example, you can ask them to share their stories, reviews, feedback, tips, or photos using your products or services. Make sure to provide clear guidelines and terms and conditions for your UGC campaigns.
  2. Curate and showcase UGC on your website, blog, social media pages, newsletters, or ads. You can use tools like Bazaar voice, Curalate, or Pixlee to collect, moderate, and display UGC from various sources. You can also embed UGC widgets or galleries on your website or blog to showcase customer reviews, ratings, photos, or videos. This can help you increase conversions, retention, and loyalty by providing social proof and enhancing the customer experience.
  3. Engage with your UGC creators and thank them for their contributions. You can do this by liking, commenting, sharing, or reposting their UGC on your own channels. You can also feature them on your website or blog as customer stories or testimonials. You can also reward them with discounts, coupons, freebies, or recognition. This can help you build relationships with your customers and turn them into brand advocates.
  4. Monitor and measure the impact of your UGC campaigns. You can use analytics tools like Google Analytics, Sprout Social, or Hootsuite to track the performance of your UGC campaigns across different platforms and metrics. Some of the key metrics you should track are:

Reach: The number of people who have seen your UGC campaign or posts.

Engagement: The number of likes, comments, shares, clicks, views, or reactions your UGC campaign or posts have received.

Conversion: The number of leads, sales, sign-ups, downloads, or referrals your UGC campaign or posts have generated.

Sentiment: The tone and emotions of your UGC creators and consumers expressed through their posts or comments.

Advocacy: The number of positive reviews, ratings, testimonials, recommendations, or mentions your UGC campaign or posts have received.

You can also use sentiment analysis tools like Brand watch or mention to gauge the tone and emotions of your UGC creators and consumers. This can help you optimize your UGC strategy and identify areas for improvement.

  1. Learn from successful UGC campaigns from other brands. You can get inspired by how other brands have used UGC to boost their online presence and reputation.

For example:

– Starbucks launched the #RedCupContest campaign in 2015 to encourage customers to share their creative photos of their holiday-themed red cups on Instagram. The campaign generated over 40,000 entries in three weeks and increased Starbucks’ Instagram followers by 8 percent.

gopro-logo– GoPro created the GoPro Awards program in 2015 to reward customers who submit their best photos and videos captured with GoPro cameras on various categories such as action sports, animals, travel, music etc. The program has received over 30 million submissions so far and has helped GoPro showcase its products’ capabilities and features.

airbnb-ugc– Airbnb launched the #OneLessStranger campaign in 2015 to promote its community of hosts and guests who share unique experiences around the world. The campaign asked users to perform a random act of hospitality for a stranger and share it on social media with the hashtag #OneLessStranger. The campaign generated over 3 million social media impressions in three weeks and increased Airbnb’s brand awareness and trust.

UGC is an asset that can help you grow your brand’s online presence and reputation. By encouraging, curating, showcasing, engaging with, measuring, and learning from UGC from your customers, you can leverage their authentic voices and stories to attract more prospects and retain more loyal customers.



Tim is a senior content writer with over 10 years of experience crafting compelling and engaging content. With a passion for the written word and a talent for creating content that resonates with audiences. Has a unique ability to take complex subjects and make them accessible and interesting to her readers. He loves to swim and cycle. You can find him on most of the social media platforms.

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