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Investing in UGC for Instagram

Despite the news, Instagram and UGC on Instagram is still very much alive! Instagram has become a source of fact checking and trust. Find out how your company can use UGC on Instagram!
Parker Dietz
September 26, 2022
April 11, 2024

Let's be real: in this age of influencing on social media, we're all looking for a bit of authenticity. That's why trends in user generated content have been on the rise in the past few years, especially on social media platforms such as Instagram.

Professionally crafted content can be great - it's well tailored for a more polished, put together look and can even help establish your own voice as a brand. However, the problem for many users is exactly that - it's a bit too polished.

Integrating user-based voices into your traditionally sourced content is a great way to get rid of brand-based biases, grow your brand, and create a conversation between your company and your customers. Its real users with real results.

What does UGC look like?

Incorporating user generated content (or, UGC) into your advertising strategy can be a great, attention-grabbing way to boost your brand and create relatability between you and your customers.

User generated content comes in a variety of forms that can be implemented differently according to the needs of your project. Essentially, UGC is any content that is created by the users, customers, or audience themselves rather than the brand. This content could be in the form of blogs, articles, reviews, videos, images or even podcasts.

In your ad campaign, this could be as simple as asking your customers a question on your brand’s social media page, quoting their answers, and then featuring them in your next blog article. Or you could take a more interactive approach by asking all your customers to share an image on social media with a clever hashtag of your choice, and reposting or sharing those customer photos on your own social media accounts.

Why use Instagram for UGC?

With so many social media platforms out there, it can be tough to choose which to target your efforts. There always seems to be a new platform trending, but Instagram has consistently been named the "it" girl of social media. Plus, Instagram is among the top platforms for UGC specifically because it allows you to connect to your users through visually engaging photos, videos, and audio content.

Instagram not only allows you to generate visual organic content, but also gives you an opportunity to build brand awareness, reach your target audience and beyond, and boost overall brand visibility. Using Instagram for your next UGC campaign can allow for an interactive experience that lets you meet your customers on their level.

Check out some other reasons why we love UGC Instagram marketing campaigns:

  • Diversity in content (photos, videos, reels, graphics)
  • Build a better following for your brand
  • Reach new users outside of your general wheelhouse
  • Higher engagement rates
  • Non-intrusive ads
  • Plethora of interactive tools to utilize such as hashtags, stories, polls, and more!

Ways to generate UGC

The key to any user generated content is connectivity. You'll want to be able to understand your audience's needs from their perspective so you can create a campaign that your users can actually trust. Customers value transparency, and especially content they can relate to. So how do you get started?

Our favorite ways to generate UGC on Instagram:

  • Contests or giveaways: Creating a contest or giveaway is a fun and motivating way to get people engaged and excited in your brand - get customers talking by asking users to repost a brand image, share their stories through a hashtag, comment below, or submit a tagged photo to encourage social sharing.
  • Customer reviews: Incorporating raw reviews from your customers can create transparency between you, the customer, and even future customers. Reviews can come in the form of a comment, post, or even other formats across different platforms such as a tweet or website star-review. Replying to comments can also be a good way to encourage a positive brand image by thanking praise or resolving issues - there's nothing more frustrating than an unresponsive brand customers can't reach!
  • Share customer stories / testimonials: People want to hear from real people, not just the brand they're buying. Sharing how your company has impacted your audience's lives by sharing their stories and testimonials is a great way to boost trust in your brand among consumers.
  • Hashtag campaigns: #duh! Creating a hashtag campaign can promote your followers to share and post about your brand. Plus, hashtags are a great way to easily find and track photos, so you can see how users interact with your company. It's the perfect way to encourage your audience to share stories on how your product or brand fits into their everyday lives.
  • Reposting your audience's posts: Showing off your products in the wild is a great way to increase user generated content from likes, comments, and follows. When your customers tag your company in a post, give it a repost on your page! This can encourage others to tag your brand and increase visibility.

If your company is new to UGC, it can be a bit overwhelming on where to begin. Know that it's totally okay to mix user generated content with traditional, brand-generated content so your eggs aren't all in one basket, and you can monitor how your brand is performing.

How Cohley can help

Cohley is your go-to platform for high-quality user generated content. We're here to help grow your brand through visual, organic content and build a marketing campaign to get your company the return it deserves.

With UGC, Cohley can help you create trust with the customer, showcase authenticity of your brand, increase user engagement online (and in store), drive revenue, and influence purchasing decisions.

Using user generated content that comes straight from the voices of your customers rather than the brand is one of the most effective ways to meet your audience and build trust with your customers.

If you need help sourcing user-generated content contact us to see how Cohley can help!

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.