10 Examples of Top Brands Leveraging User Generated Content
What is UGC?
Before we give examples of top brands that are already using UGC well, let’s talk about what UGC actually is. UGC, or User-Generated Content, is content for your brand that is created by individuals who are not a part of your company. Their content is unique, and can be posted on multiple types of platforms (like social media or your website), using different methods of content (like videos or images). Especially as more consumers (nearly 76%!) are using social media to discover products and brands, now is the time for your company to consider how to leverage UGC to level-up your company.
10 top brands to inspire your UGC campaigns
You already know that UGC can boost your brand, let’s take a look at some real-life examples of companies that are doing it right. We compiled 10 of our top picks to give you ideas for your own branded UGC campaigns.
To get the word out about its revolutionary footwear — which has been billed “the world’s most comfortable shoe” — Allbirds turned to its enthusiastic customers. The brand invites customers to share photos on social media with the hashtag #weareallbirds (with over 15k tags on Instagram!) and features the highlights across its online platforms.
Lifestyle brand ban.do knows that putting customers first is key. In its emails, the brand regularly combines testimonials and visuals from its UGC campaigns. Together, the heartfelt statements and images hit home with customers, making a much bigger impact than branded marketing campaigns alone can.
3. Fenty Beauty
Since launching in 2017, Fenty Beauty has celebrated its wide range of foundation shades by asking Instagram followers to tag #FENTYFACE and @FENTYBEAUTY when sharing makeup photos and videos. In just over two years, the hashtag has garnered a whopping 3.5 million posts, allowing Fenty Beauty to re-share UGC images that feature everything from tutorial videos to stunning finished looks.
4. Hot for Food
When vegan food blogger Lauren Toyota of Hot for Food released her debut cookbook, Vegan Comfort Classics, she encouraged her Instagram followers to try her recipes and tag them with #HotForFoodCookbook. Two years after the cookbook’s launch, the hashtag has nearly 4.9k posts and continues to generate UGC that Toyota uses to market the book regularly.
Clothing and accessories brand Modcloth sells everything from dresses and skirts to jewelry and shoes, relying on its customers to show off how its products look in the wild. The brand invites customers to tag photos with #MyModcloth, which has generated over 19k Instagram posts. Modcloth features UGC images on social media regularly and has even integrated UGC imagery above the fold on its website, highlighting just how important authentic content is to the brand.
Nutrition company Olly makes everything from multivitamins and wellness boosts to protein powders and bars — but all of its products have one thing in common: fun. To showcase this aspect, the brand invited customers to share Instagram images with the tag #happyinsideout. For a bit more creative control in their UGC, Olly leverages the Cohley platform to generate tons of UGC content including photos, videos, and boomerangs while still incorporating the aesthetic they’re looking for. Olly then repurposes the imagery in their marketing channels, mixing in UGC with in-house content. This is especially evident especially in their social ads and feeds.
7. Angle (FKA Shoot My Travel)
Angle (FKA as Shoot My Travel) schedules themed photoshoots for customers traveling to locations around the world. Rather than add even more images to its photo-heavy mix, Angle focuses its UGC efforts on gathering compelling testimonials that are published on their social media accounts. In its emails, the brand features detailed customer reviews alongside a photo from the shoot to add an extra personal touch that potential customers can connect with easily.
8. Warby Parker
Glasses maker Warby Parker has never let its initial lack of physical shops stop the company from reaching customers across the nation. Since its launch in 2010, the brand has been famous for shipping customers frames to try on at home before purchase, a service the company continues to promote via an ongoing UGC campaign. The brand has launched series of high successful social ads using different formats of UGC content including video testimonials, camera phone photos, and stop motion GIFs. They also encourage their followers to tag posts with #WearingWarby, making UGC a multi-purpose tool for their digital marketing. These UGC campaigns have allowed Warby Parker to highlight both its stylish frames and its convenient home try-on option in a genuine way.
To market its furniture and home goods, Wayfair sought an outside-the-box solution. Rather than sticking with internally produced marketing campaigns and risking sounding too salesy, the brand added a UGC campaign to its mix. Thanks to the #WayfairAtHome hashtag, the brand has collected nearly 57k UGC submissions that showcase its furniture and home accessories in actual customers’ homes, adding an extra touch of authenticity to the campaign. The brand often highlights top UGC submissions on Instagram to get even more mileage out of these posts.
In 2014, Aerie made headlines for launching its AerieREAL campaign, which focused on inclusion and body positivity, through unretouched photos and diverse talent representation. From there, they have continued to encourage shoppers to upload authentic and unedited images of themselves with the hashtag #AerieREAL, now boasting an impressive almost 382k posts on Instagram. In addition to continuing to highlight UGC content through their social media accounts, Aerie has also expanded the campaign to a permanent location on its website, #AerieREAL Life, in which customers can be a part of the larger AerieREAL movement encouraging body confidence and inclusion.
Ready to launch your brand's UGC campaign?
From social media and email to your website and beyond, UGC can amplify your brand’s marketing campaigns and allow you to connect with customers in a valuable new way. Read more about generating your own UGC here and talk with our team to find out how you can get started with a UGC campaign today.
Written by Tom Logan
Our CEO and Co-Founder Tom is no stranger to the Cohley blog! With four years under his Cohley belt, Tom is our go-to on all company updates, new tech initiatives, and data focused trends. Tom helps to dictate our direction, monitor and emphasize our culture and put colleagues in the best possible positions to succeed. Tom is a self proclaimed Tech guy, Sports Writer and Lover of Rom-Com's.