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Reasons to use user-generated content in your marketing campaign

User-generated content, or UGC, is one of the most important tools you can use to market your brand. UGC comes in a variety of forms (we’ll get to those later) and each one can be implemented differently according to the needs of your project. But generally speaking, UGC is any piece of online conte
Parker Dietz
May 10, 2022
April 11, 2024

User-generated content, or UGC, is one of the most important tools you can use to market your brand. UGC comes in a variety of forms (we’ll get to those later) and each one can be implemented differently according to the needs of your project. But generally speaking, UGC is any piece of online content about your brand that comes from your users. Your selected UGC should create a positive impression of your brand that increases awareness and engagement.

What is User-Generated Content (UGC)?

UGC has proven to be highly effective and speaks to people in a unique way. As consumers become more savvy in their interpretations of marketing material, sometimes the most effective voice comes from other consumers. 

To maximize your marketing potential, your company should be on the lookout for quality material made by your customers. Whether it be through comments on social media posts or product reviews, your customers may be doing the content creating for you. This solves a major problem for many companies. 

Across marketing fields, content is king. There is a higher demand for content than ever before, with 55% of company respondents saying that they struggle to meet content volume demands in a recent survey. But despite these recent issues, 59% of respondents reported that they are still primarily attempting to meet demands internally. 

When used well, UGC can be a powerful solution to the content problem. By finding high quality UGC partners and harnessing the marketing power of their consumers, companies are able to produce content at a rate that would be otherwise unattainable. 

But while your company may have a great deal of untapped UGC available, the key is knowing how to find and implement it. 

How Does UGC Work?

The function of UGC varies based on the type of content, but its basic advantages remain consistent across the board. It’s well established that consumers are more likely to buy products and engage with brands if other users/consumers are pitching it to them. However, that “pitch” appears in many different ways with some being direct and others not seeming like a pitch at all. 

To find and implement UGC, companies can either find user comments and testimonials through their online presence or they can seek out UGC partners. These partners are not to be confused with influencers. 

UGC partners are typically average users or consumers, whereas influencers have a large audience and a certain level of celebrity. Both influencer and UGC based marketing utilize a personable face for promotional value, but they’re quite different. UGC leverages the unbiased opinions of existing customers, influencer marketing leverages the influencer’s brand and celebrity. 

UGC is proving to be the more successful marketing strategy, being that it is more affordable and reads to consumers as more authentic. That authenticity translates to profit, which we’ll touch more on later. 

User-generated Content Examples

What does great UGC look like? The best examples capitalize UGC’s unique ability to position the individuality of each consumer front and center. This pushes a company to prioritize product quality and consumer relations, while still maximizing their cost efficiency. There are some plenty of companies using UGC in clever ways that utilize its strength to grab the consumer eye. Let’s explore some examples of the creative ways your company can use UGC. 

Have Fun with Testimonials
Testimonials will greatly benefit how your products sell. Studies show that consumers are a dozen times more likely to buy a product that has consumer reviews on its product page. And with good reason. People like to know what they’re buying and reviews help establish the trust they need to make purchasing decisions. 

What Types of UGC are there?

Let’s explore the different types of UGC your marketing campaign has at its disposal!

Product photos or unboxing videos

Product photos or unboxing videos have proven to be some of the most popular forms of UGC from a consumer perspective. Product photos are pretty self explanatory but not everyone is familiar with unboxing videos. 

This content is created independent of a company or sometimes with a company contacting a consumer to create a video. The consumer films themselves unboxing the product and discusses the various kinds of packaging and product features as they are revealed. 

It’s not always clear what exactly is going to come in the mail when a consumer buys a product online. Unboxing videos provide a friendly walkthrough of what I consumer is purchasing that removes any uncertainty about the product.

Product reviews

Put product reviews on your product page to increase the likelihood of consumers buying your product. Purchases are built on trust. By providing an easily accessible place for consumers to see what other people have to say about a product, you create transparency that will build trust. 

Comments on your webpages or social media posts

A strong social media presence will improve your UGC generation. Many consumers will comment on a company’s webpage or social media posts, but not all companies understand the value of comments as content. 
Comments that your customers make on your online platforms are usable UGC that are generated quickly. Create posts that prompt consumer engagement to maximize opportunities for user content.

Testimonials

Testimonials function similarly to comments and reviews, but serve as more formal praise for your brand. Curated quotes from customers are a powerful tool that will draw your customers attention. 

Why Use UGC In Marketing?

Create Trust with the Customer

UGC is highly effective when it comes to building trust with your customers. People connect much more easily with other people than to a brand. While influencer marketing has its own benefits, UGC shows consumers that people just like them are buying and engaging with your product. 

Showcase Authenticity of the Brand

UGC adds a personal, everyday authenticity to your brand. Your customers are essential players in the makeup of your brand. They are what keep your company going so why not showcase them in your advertising?

UGC shows other customers who you are by emphasizing that your brand is a community. 

Increase User Engagement Online and In Store

Would you rather engage with a formless entity or another human being? The friendly face of a fellow customer is much more likely to invite user engagement. UGC is an inviting tool that will get customers talking on social media and in your store. 

Drive Revenue

With greater trust and engagement comes greater revenue! Adept implementation of UGC has proven to increase profit through its effectiveness as a marketing tool and its cost-effectiveness. 

Influence purchasing decisions

UGC dramatically influences purchasing decisions. According to data from Stackla, 80% of consumers may buy a product because it was paired with UGC. In the same study, 81% of consumers reported that they would pay more for products paired with UGC.

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.