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How can you increase user generated content on TikTok?

When it comes to user-generated content, TikTok has a lot to offer. Find out how to increase your brand's UGC on TikTok today!
Parker Dietz
December 5, 2022
April 11, 2024

From long-form videos on YouTube, to the fall of 6 second videos on Vine, the landscape for online videos is ever-changing and powerful. Since 2018, the viewership of online videos has nearly doubled, and TikTok has played a significant role in this number. After its debut in 2016, TikTok has grown to become one of the most popular social media apps on the market and is predicted to continue to increase its users by 15% year-over-year.

What makes TikTok so unique is its influence in a consumer's buying journey through ads but specifically, through user-generated content. TikTok UGC is any and all content created by real people to promote or share a brand and their products authentically. Because of this element of truth, TikTok UGC is 22% more effective than a brand-created video. It is important to note that user-generated content is not exclusive to TikTok; this marketing strategy can be executed differently on a variety of platforms.

At Cohley, UGC is our speciality. Our services and team are a great guide to creating effective and efficient user-generated content. For TikTok specifically, we offer a creator-generated video service, ensuring your brand is promoting themselves in a way that makes sense and is within your budget and timely. Being one of TikTok's first Creative Exchange partners, Cohley has created over 50,000 short-form TikTok videos for brands, successfully tapping into new audiences and increasing their brand awareness.

Creating content on TikTok

First and foremost, if you are not familiar with TikTok and are wondering why brands should use this app, check out our blog post on all things TikTok marketing. In this article, you will learn what TikTok is, how it works, and who uses it, as well as different marketing strategies via TikTok and specific examples of great brand work.

TikTok makes creating content on their app easy with TikTok's Business Center. TikTok offers a variety of in-app marketing tools that can inspire UGC including TopView, Brand Takeovers, In-Feed Videos, Branded Hashtag, and Branded Effects. What's more is that you are able to track performance metrics and make immediate changes to your campaign right on TikTok's Business Center.

Can you post UGC on TikTok?

Yes! UGC takes up the majority of the For You Page. There are three ways you can take advantage of all this content at your fingertips:

  1. Stitch - The stitch tool allows users to use up to 5 seconds of someone else's video post in their own content. TikTok Stitch is ideal for when you want to use another user's content, but only a small portion of it.
  2. Duet - Duetting another user's video is when your content appears side-by-side to someone else's content. This is often used for reactions and commentary. 'Duet chains' are also a popular trend on TikTok, where duets are made one after another, all linking back to the same original video.
  3. Repost - Reposting someone else's video is the same concept as the Share button on Facebook or a Retweet on Twitter. This feature allows you to share another user's video with your own followers by boosting it on your profile.

Why build brand UGC on TikTok?

The answer is simple: 93% of users have reported taking immediate action after viewing a video on TikTok. TikTok has become a hub for finding and buying trending products because seeing them in-use on a real customer, rather than the model online, is affirming. This is because people trust people more than people trust brands. The undeniable power of TikTok's influence can be illustrated through the hashtag #TikTokMadeMeBuyIt. Even if you are not a user on the app, the chances that you have seen this hashtag in stores are high. Specifically, Trader Joe's locations across America dedicated entire displays to Emily Mariko's trending "salmon rice bowl". Within days, rice, salmon, seaweed snacks, sriracha sauce, and furikake rice seasoning dwindled on shelves due to a single TikTok video. Influence like Mariko's is exactly why you need to take advantage of the landscape of TikTok.

How to increase UGC on TikTok

The best way to increase TikTok UGC is encouraging it yourself. It's that straightforward; just ask for it! Camouflaging your request for content by utilizing TikTok trends and features are great approaches to inspire users to create their own content.

What type of UGC is possible?

What makes TikTok unique from other social media platforms are the new and creative ways to create UGC. Check out 7 popular approaches below.


Branded Hashtag Challenges are a great way to drive consumer participation and build community. A BHC is when a brand creates a new hashtag that encourages a TikTok user to perform a certain action in their own way. This can be anything from participating in a dance trend, to telling a story, to trying out the brand's product and sharing how it makes you feel.

The #PepsiChallenge got users off their feet to show off their best European football skills alongside their favorite player by using the duet feature. Over half a million videos were created using the challenge's hashtag, resulting in a 9% increase in purchase intent and a 13% lift in brand awareness worldwide.


A contest or giveaway is a fun way to increase brand loyalty and reward a consumer who values your brand. A TikTok contest asks consumers to submit their own content for the chance to win free gifts. This can look quite similar to a TikTok challenge; the consumer is being prompted to film a certain type of video and typically, must use a branded hashtag, but in the case of a giveaway, the brand selects their favorite submitted content and rewards the winner(s) with brand gift cards or free products.

Crocs #ThousandDollarCrocs Challenge is a notable example for how to setup and manage a successful TikTok contest. Inspired by their partner Post Malone's song lyrics, "Richard Mille my watch; thousand dollar Crocs", Crocs asked their followers to post a video sharing what their "$1,000 Crocs" would look like. The best submission would receive a pair of $1,000 Crocs. In the first 24 hours of this contest, Crocs increased their TikTok following by 18%. This is just one example of how out-of-the-box, yet simple, contest ideas drives TikTok UGC.

Reviews and Unboxing videos / Try on videos / Hauls

As mentioned earlier, consumers trust the thoughts and recommendations of their fellow consumers. In fact, 92% of consumers trust information they learn from word of mouth-such as reviews- more than any style of advertising. Because of this, watching customer reviews on TikTok has become a part of many consumers' buying journeys.

Similarly to in-depth product reviews, an increasingly popular form of user-generated videos are unboxing, try-ons, and hauls. On TikTok, it is very common for everyday consumers to return home from a shopping spree, or get a package in the mail, and film themselves unpacking their new purchases. In these videos, the consumer may test out or try on the product, and give their initial thoughts, rather than a complete review. These types of videos are so influential because they are completely unprompted by the brand and they capture raw first impressions. As we all know, first impressions are so important, and if it is a positive one, the viewer may feel enticed to go buy the product for themselves.

Stitch, Duet, Repost!

As mentioned earlier, stitching, duetting, and reposting are three internal TikTok tools that can be used to interact with and respond to other people's content. Some brands that have successfully used these tools to spark UGC are Adidas and McDonalds.

Adidas: Adidas asked their followers to show how they #RunForTheOceans by inviting them to use the stitch tool to reply and share their workouts on TikTok. Every 10 minutes of running tracked on the Adidas App or Strava helped clean up 1 plastic water bottle from our beaches. This TikTok Stitch campaign encouraged over 6 million participants to tally up 7.71 million minutes of running, cleaning up 500,000 lbs of plastic waste.

McDonalds: McDonalds has been known to do to some wacky and casual things on social media recently, and this is no different on TikTok. Rather than asking their followers to create content, the brand has used the duet feature to respond to already existing UGC filmed at McDonalds' locations. The approach to these are humorous; they use the "Green Screen Eyes and Mouth" effect to create videos from the POV of their own menu items such as a McCafe caramel iced coffee or McNuggets.

Use Creators

Taking advantage of the power of influencers is another great way to drive UGC. As we've discussed multiple times throughout this article, consumers trust authentic word of mouth recommendations, and this includes the opinions of creators. Why? Influencers straddle the line somewhere between a friend and a celebrity, keeping their followers up to date with every major and minor detail of their lives. Because of this, consumers trust influencers nearly as much as they trust their closest friends.

Dunkin Donuts partnered with creator, Charli D'Amelio to boost their brand through UGC. D'Amelio was already known to love Dunkin's coffee, so the Dunkin took advantage of her affinity for the brand, and named a new cold brew drink after her: The Charli. D'Amelio announced the new drink via TikTok and inviting fans to try the drink out for themselves. The day the drink was released, Dunkin's sales soared. Cold brew purchases increased by 20%, and the second day, they rose an additional 45%.

When it comes to user-generated content, TikTok has a lot to offer. From new hashtags encouraging users to create their own content, to offering features such as the Duet tool, where business's can engage with already published UGC, you are bound to find something that works for your brand on TikTok. Not sure which strategies and tools are best for your company? Book a consultation with Cohley, and we will make the hard work easier by helping you figure out the right way to create and manage your TikTok content.

Parker Dietz
Head of Content
With a wealth of knowledge about competitors and pricing, Parker is all about exploring the best way to communicate Cohley's benefits. Outside of work, Parker enjoys poorly playing guitar at parties, watching every Adam Sandler movie ever made, and eating Arabic food.