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Two Things You Need to Know About User-Generated Content

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User-generated content might seem like the next best thing in the marketing world. However, it’s not just a trend. By all accounts and forecasts, it’s here to stay. Companies of all sizes can’t ignore the positive impact and cost efficiency of UGC content. The power of content creation is at everyone’s fingertips. People post about their favorite (or least favorite) brands, whether or not they have official influencer partnerships with those brands.

The content your current or former customers share with their followers reflects on your brand and directly impacts your sales and customer satisfaction metrics. Instead of treating UGC as a fad, it’s time to take advantage of its benefits for your company and your customers.

UGC Comes in Many Forms

The first thing you should know about UGC is that not all of it is the same. The reason UGC works so well in increasing awareness and trust in brands is that it is original, authentic, and unique to its creator. That said, there are popular types of UGC that often appear on social media and in marketing campaigns.


You can’t overstate or disregard the importance of positive reviews. They boost your website’s performance and act as social proof of the quality of your products and services.

Most customers state that reading product reviews is essential to their shopping ritual. Many go as far as to say that the five-star reviews from verified customers were the deciding factor in their purchase. You can create and disseminate reviews by soliciting customer feedback (perhaps by offering incentives such as promo codes). You can also improve your brand’s reputation by responding to Yelp reviews, expressing gratitude for their comments, and resolving customer issues. 

Not only do reviews generate respect for your brand, but they also allow you to understand the customer experience and improve your products and marketing approach as a result.

Tutorials and Blogs

Thanks to social media channels like YouTube, tutorials have become an art form. Viewers receive insights and inside scoops from trusted content creators to learn which brands are worth buying from and how to best use their products. 

Regular customers without influencer-level followings can also share tutorials and blogs outlining their experiences with your products. Reposting these tutorials and snippets of their articles on your social media channels can improve your customer experience, especially if your products generally require user guides.

Photos and Hashtags

Sometimes, user-generated content is as simple as posting a selfie with a bag of chips or a pumpkin spice latte in a limited edition cup. You can encourage UGC by promoting contests and giveaways. For example, you might give away a new product you’re launching to select customers who post photos of your products and use your hashtags. 

Influencer Partnerships

The most inexpensive form of UGC is informal. However, if it fits your budget and brand needs, you can arrange official, legal agreements with influencers who post brand-related content regularly or for a set amount of time. Influencers receive compensation (brand ambassadors often receive discounts or free products), and brands receive access to an established customer base and consistent promotions.

Not all UGC Has the Same Impact

While all forms of user-generated content have significant benefits, not every piece of UGC is worth reposting. Quality matters as much with UGC as it does with content created by brands. You can’t set parameters for content posted by everyday customers as you can in influencer partnerships, but you can control which content you advertise.

When reposting UGC, you have the right to be selective. Videos, images, and audio must be clear, non-pixelated, and recognizable. Lighting should be natural, and the creators or products discussed should be in focus in every frame. 

Part of what makes user-generated content so effective is that brands don’t control it. UGC isn’t supposed to read like an advertisement. It’s meant to tell authentic, relatable stories from people that have used the products or services they’re promoting. Select the content that shows how your products and services solved real customer needs. It’s the strongest form of social proof you will find. 


UGC is a cost-effective tool that yields a high return on investment and boosts your brand reputation. You can find samples of it to use in your social media posts and marketing campaigns by searching for tags, mentions, and contributors related to your brand and industry. When you repost, remember to give credit to the original creator. 

With diverse, authentic UGC, you can learn what calls to action and stories resonate with your target audience, and you can directly test and track the KPIs you set for your marketing strategy.