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How to Use UGC on TikTok: Tips, Tricks & Examples

Wondering how to use UGC on TikTok? This guide is for you! We cover everything from the benefits of TikTok UGC to how to develop a strategy. Check it out!
Jenn Wang
May 16, 2023
April 11, 2024

User-generated content (UGC) is a must-have marketing tool for any brand. Now more than ever, consumers are looking for authentic and trustworthy brands to support. And one powerful way to showcase your brand's authenticity is by using UGC across social media platforms.

There are many social media platforms you can choose from. However, TikTok is one of the best for showcasing your products and services. Its large user base, ease of use, and other characteristics make the platform a great choice for brands ready to connect with their audiences.

In this guide, we'll cover the basics of UGC, how to use UGC on TikTok, and how to develop a campaign. Ready? Let's get started.

Table of Contents

What Is User-Generated Content?

Simply put, UGC refers to any content that is created by users of a product or service. This can include videos, photos, reviews, and influencer posts. UGC is different from traditional marketing content in that it is created by the user, rather than the brand. This can make it more authentic and engaging, as it reflects the real experiences and opinions of consumers.

UGC can take many forms, from a simple review or testimonial to a full-blown marketing campaign. In recent years, TikTok has made it easier than ever for users to create and share UGC, leading to a surge in the popularity of user-generated content marketing.

Types of UGC

UGC can take many different forms, from text-based reviews to video-based challenges. Here are some of the most common types of UGC:

  • Videos: TikTok has popularized short-form video content, which has become a go-to format for UGC. Videos can range from simple product demos to elaborate dance challenges and can be a great way to showcase a brand's personality and creativity.
  • Photos: Static content persists as an important component of brands' UGC strategies. Brands can encourage users to share their own photos featuring their products, or host photo contests to showcase user creativity.
  • Reviews: Customer reviews are one of the most important types of UGC, as they provide social proof and help to build trust with potential customers. In fact, 71% of customers say user reviews make them feel more confident about buying the discussed product, while 83% of shoppers claim they trust user reviews. Brands can encourage customers to leave reviews on their website or social media pages, or even host review contests to incentivize participation.
  • Influencer posts: Influencers are social media users with large followings who can be powerful advocates for brands. Brands can partner with influencers to create UGC in the form of sponsored posts, reviews, or even brand ambassador programs. Influencer posts can help to build credibility and reach new audiences.
  • Challenges: TikTok challenges have become a phenomenon in their own right, with users coming up with increasingly creative ways to showcase their skills. Brands can create their own challenges and encourage users to participate, which can help to build engagement and drive brand awareness.
  • Testimonials: Testimonials are similar to reviews, but often provide more detailed feedback about a user's experience with a particular product or service. Brands can feature testimonials on their website or social media pages, or use them as part of advertising campaigns to build trust and credibility.

Why Should You Use TikTok for UGC?

There are many different platforms you can leverage for UGC, and TikTok is certainly one that shouldn't be ignored. TikTok's unique format and culture provide an opportunity for brands to get creative with their UGC campaigns.

The platform encourages users to experiment with different video styles and editing techniques and to showcase their personalities in a fun and engaging way. Brands that can tap into TikTok's culture and create content that's both on-brand and authentic can build deeper connections with their audience and stand out in the crowded digital landscape.

Large User Base

TikTok has over 1 billion active users worldwide, with a particularly strong presence in the Gen Z and Millennial demographic. By leveraging TikTok for UGC, brands can tap into this large and engaged audience, and build brand awareness and loyalty among younger generations.

Compared to other social media platforms, TikTok provides a unique opportunity for brands to differentiate themselves and build brand awareness among younger generations.

By creating UGC campaigns that align with their brand messaging and showcase their personality, brands can build deeper connections with their audience and establish themselves as relevant and relatable.

Easy to Use

TikTok's simple and intuitive interface makes it easy for users to create and share content, even for those who have little to no experience with TikTok or video editing.

TikTok provides a range of editing tools, including filters, effects, and text overlays, that can help users create professional-looking videos with just a few clicks. Additionally, the platform's built-in music library makes it easy for users to add music to their videos, enhancing the overall quality and appeal of the content.

From a brand perspective, TikTok's user-friendly interface makes it easy to launch UGC campaigns and incentivizes users to share their own content. Brands can create branded hashtags or challenges that encourage users to create and share their own videos, and even provide prizes or recognition for the most creative and engaging content.

Authenticity and Connection

These are two key elements that make TikTok a powerful platform for UGC. The platform's algorithm is designed to surface content that's engaging and authentic, with a focus on creating a space where users can connect in a meaningful way.

TikTok users are encouraged to be themselves and share their unique perspectives, talents, and interests with the world. This creates a sense of authenticity and vulnerability that's often missing from other social media platforms, where users may feel pressured to present a curated and perfect version of themselves.

By using TikTok for UGC, brands can tap into this culture of authenticity and connection, and create content that resonates with users on a deeper level. When users see that a brand is willing to be vulnerable and showcase its human side, it can help build trust and connection with potential customers.

TikTok's unique culture of creativity and experimentation provides an opportunity for brands to showcase their personality and engage with users in a fun and playful way. This can help humanize a brand and make it feel more relatable and approachable to users.

How Does UGC Work on TikTok?

UGC is a fundamental part of the TikTok experience, and the platform has developed a unique ecosystem to support the creation, distribution, and engagement of UGC. Here's a look at how the UGC lifecycle works on TikTok:

  1. UGC creation: TikTok users can create UGC in a variety of formats, including short-form videos, photos, and text-based content. Users can use TikTok's built-in editing tools to add music, filters, and other effects to their content, making it more engaging and visually appealing.
  2. UGC discovery: Once UGC is created, it enters TikTok's algorithmic recommendation system, which determines whether to show it to other users. TikTok's algorithm considers factors like video engagement, user behavior, and trending hashtags to determine which UGC to promote to a wider audience.
  3. UGC engagement: When UGC is surfaced to other users, they can engage with it by liking, commenting, sharing, or following the user who created it. This creates a cycle of engagement that helps UGC spread and become more popular over time.
  4. UGC brand amplification: Brands can leverage UGC on TikTok by partnering with creators to create sponsored content or by encouraging users to create UGC using branded hashtags or challenges. This can help amplify brand messages and reach new audiences on the platform.

TikTok's UGC ecosystem is designed to support and promote authentic and engaging content from users, while also providing opportunities for brands to engage with users and leverage UGC for their own marketing purposes.

Best Practices for Developing UGC for TikTok

Creating effective UGC on TikTok requires careful planning and execution. By following the below best practices, you can create engaging and authentic UGC on TikTok that resonates with their target audience and helps to build a strong brand presence on the platform.

1. Stay True to Your Brand

One of the most important aspects of developing UGC for TikTok is to ensure that it aligns with your brand's values and messaging. UGC should reflect your brand's identity and be consistent with your overall marketing strategy.

It's essential to communicate clear guidelines and expectations to users when requesting UGC to maintain consistency and ensure that all content stays true to your brand.

2. Offer Incentives for UGC

To encourage users to create and share UGC on TikTok, it's important to offer incentives. Brands can run giveaways, and contests, or reward users who share their UGC with discounts or free products. Offering incentives not only encourages more UGC creation but also helps to build brand loyalty and engagement.

3. Create a Branded Hashtag

A branded hashtag is a powerful tool for sourcing and promoting UGC on TikTok. A unique and catchy hashtag that represents your brand can help users discover and engage with your content. It's essential to include the branded hashtag in all UGC requests and to encourage users to use it in their content.

4. Always Ask for Permission

When using UGC created by TikTok users, it's important to ask for permission before sharing their content on your brand's channels. You can ask for permission by commenting on the user's post, messaging them directly, or using a third-party platform like Cohley that streamlines the process.

Respecting users' privacy and rights is important for building trust and fostering a positive relationship between you and your audience.

5. Use Professional Content Creators

While UGC is meant to be authentic and raw, using professional content creators can elevate the quality of your content and make it more visually appealing.

Cohley helps connect you with professional content creators who can produce high-quality UGC that aligns with your brand's messaging and values. Working with professional content creators ensures that your UGC meets your standards and resonates with your audience.

6. Collaborate With Influencers

Collaborating with influencers can help your brand reach a wider audience and increase engagement on TikTok. Brands can work with influencers to create UGC that aligns with their brand values and messaging. When collaborating with influencers, it's essential to establish clear guidelines and expectations to ensure that the content aligns with your marketing goals.

7. Monitor and Engage With UGC

Monitoring and engaging with UGC is important for maintaining a positive relationship with your audience. When users create UGC for your brand, acknowledge and engage with their content. Responding to comments, reposting UGC, or featuring it on your brand's channels can help build brand loyalty and foster a positive relationship with your audience.

It's also essential to monitor UGC to ensure it aligns with your brand's values and messaging. If you come across any inappropriate or offensive content, it's important to handle it quickly and professionally.

How to Create a TikTok UGC Campaign

Leveraging user-generated content (UGC) is a simple yet powerful way for brands to connect with their audience on TikTok. UGC campaigns can generate buzz, increase brand awareness, and drive engagement.

However, creating a successful UGC campaign requires careful planning and execution. Let's dive into how to create a TikTok UGC campaign that will resonate with your audience and help you achieve your marketing goals.

1. Set Campaign Goals

The first step in creating a TikTok UGC campaign is to define your campaign goals. Do you want to increase brand awareness, drive sales, or launch a new product? Once you have defined your goals, you can develop a strategy that aligns with them. Your goals will also help you measure the success of your campaign.

2. Know What Type of UGC You Need

The next step is to determine what type of UGC will help you achieve your campaign goals. Will you need videos, photos, or reviews? What kind of content will resonate with your audience? Understanding the type of UGC you need will help you define your campaign strategy and ensure that you get the most out of your campaign.

3. Tell Your Audience What UGC You're Looking For

Once you know what type of UGC you need, you need to communicate that to your audience. This can be done through a contest or challenge, where you ask your audience to create and submit content that meets your campaign goals.

Be sure to provide clear instructions on what you're looking for, as well as any guidelines or restrictions. If you're working with creators for paid content, you can create a detailed creative brief.

4. Measure Your UGC Campaign Results

Measuring your UGC campaign results is important for understanding how well your campaign is performing. You can track metrics such as engagement, reach, and conversions to evaluate the success of your campaign. Analyzing your campaign results will help you optimize future campaigns and make data-driven decisions.

5. Repurpose UGC

The best way to maximize the ROI of your content is by repurposing UGC across different platforms and campaigns. For example, a UGC video that performed well on TikTok can also be shared on Instagram or Facebook to maximize reach. The content can also be tested in email newsletters, website galleries, or even in-store displays.

You can even add your own spin to the UGC by editing or enhancing the content. For instance, you can add captions, music, or visual effects to make the UGC more engaging. You can create a montage of multiple creators' videos to feature several voices in one asset.

Pay attention to how swapping out the creative for UGC affects your marketing metrics. Do your emails get higher CTRs when you use a UGC photo instead of a studio shot asset? Do you have higher conversion rates on PDPs where a UGC video is on the page? The ROI you can get from repurposing a piece of content is often much larger than a one-time social post.

5 Inspiring TikTok UGC Examples

If you're looking for inspiration on how to create successful user-generated content (UGC) campaigns on TikTok, look no further.

We've compiled a list of five brands that have nailed it with their TikTok UGC campaigns. Each brand has taken a different approach to its campaign, but all have seen impressive results.

#1. Allbirds

@weareallbirds Finding the perfect gym fit is half the battle… but we’ve got you covered with the Tree Dasher 2. #gymfits #gyminspo #workoutfit #sustainableshoes #sustainablefashion #allbirds ♬ original sound - Allbirds

This Allbirds TikTok capitalizes on the Get Ready With Me (GRWM) trend with snappy video transitions that capture users' attention quickly and compels them to keep watching. It also tells a story of how and where the product is worn without the creator having to deliberately explain through verbal messaging.

#2. Nike

@nike @definitelytai’s fit is approved ✔️ #nikefitcheck ♬ Nike Fit Check - Nike

In this Nike TikTok, the creator speaks to product messaging and product fit while showing him trying on the pieces in his own home. By starting with a visually compelling transition into the Nike outfit, and showing users how the clothing fits on his body, this video captures users' attention quickly while also showing the creator's authentic perspective.

#3. Pepsi

@pepsi Delicioso! ♬ Same Cycle Different Day - xJ-Will

This Pepsi TikTok does an awesome job of showing a creator's genuine reaction while incorporating the product in an organic way.

Instead of using typical sales messaging and rattling off product benefits, this video gives users an idea of how to drink Pepsi in a new way. This may inspire them to purchase the product without having to overtly tell people to buy.

#4. Kingsford

@kingsford How to make the PERFECT spatchcock chicken every. time. #cooking #grilling #kingsford #foodie #cookingtips ♬ original sound - Kingsford

This Kingsford TikTok is a great example of highly savable content. As a tutorial, it inspires people to try a new recipe using the product and save the video to reference the step-by-step instructions at a later date.

#5. Orajel

@orajelofficial Set the stage for a lifetime of healthy smiles by brushing together with the pediatrician-recommended Orajel™ Kids 👪 #OrajelKids ♬ original sound - Orajel

This Orajel Kids TikTok shows real, raw moments of a family incorporating the product into their everyday routine. The creator can sprinkle product messaging throughout the video in an organic way as she shares her experience trying the product.

Get UGC for TikTok Easily & Quickly With Cohley

In this blog post, we covered how to use UGC on TikTok and why you should. We discussed the benefits of UGC, the best practices for creating a UGC campaign, and shared eight inspiring TikTok UGC examples from top brands.

However, we understand that developing and executing a successful UGC campaign on TikTok can be challenging. That's where Cohley comes in. Our platform provides brands with access to thousands of content creators who are ready to help you create authentic and engaging UGC.

Cohley's platform simplifies the process of UGC campaign development, making it easier for brands to access and leverage the power of UGC on TikTok. Our team works with each brand to ensure that their UGC campaigns align with their brand voice, messaging, and goals.

So, if you're interested in taking your TikTok marketing efforts to the next level and leveraging UGC to drive more engagement, then schedule a consultation with Cohley. Let us help you create the best UGC campaign for your brand.

UGC for TikTok FAQs

What Is a UGC Creator on TikTok?

A UGC creator on TikTok is an individual who generates content about a brand or product, whether paid or unpaid. Brands can also work with UGC creators specifically to source and produce high-quality content for their own campaigns. And in many cases, a social post isn't a requirement like it is in a traditional influencer partnership.

UGC creators who generate content without posting are valuable for their creative abilities and authenticity, not necessarily their follower count. Working with creators can increase diversity in creative concepts, filming locations, and people featured in the content without stretching the bandwidth of your internal creative team.

When working with UGC creators, it's important to establish clear guidelines and expectations for the content they produce. Brands should communicate their brand voice to ensure that the UGC created aligns with the brand's messaging.

It's also important to compensate UGC creators fairly for their work and to give them credit for the content they produce. By doing so, brands can build strong relationships with UGC creators and foster a sense of community and collaboration around their brand.

Is UGC Worth It?

Yes! UGC is worth it for brands looking to increase their reach, engagement, and authenticity on TikTok. By sourcing content directly from users and creators, brands can create more relatable and memorable content that resonates with their target audience.

UGC is also a cost-effective way to produce high-quality content that can be repurposed across multiple platforms and campaigns. Additionally, UGC can help brands build a community and foster brand loyalty by giving their customers a voice and platform to share their experiences with the brand.

Overall, leveraging UGC is a powerful strategy that can help brands stand out on TikTok and achieve their marketing goals.


Jenn Wang
VP of Enterprise Strategy
Jenn is all about challenging the status quo of content generation and creating a flawless system that works for Cohley's customers. Outside of work, Jenn can be found planning her next vacation, eating seafood, or patting every dog she sees.