What is User-Generated Content [And How it Works]

What is User-Generated Content?

Hootsuite defines user-generated content (UGC) as “Any content—text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people, rather than brands.”

We see UGC most often on Instagram, YouTube, and TikTok.

Don’t confuse this with influencer marketing, though. Rather than endorsing someone with a large following, UGC relies on the genuine reviews of social media users.

It Promotes Authenticity

Users can easily sway the opinions of their audience by sharing honest reviews.

From good friends and relatives to people we actively follow on social media, we are more likely to trust recommendations of people we know rather than a marketing strategy. 

Content Generation

The more likes a post gets, the more people will see it. Brands use this to their advantage by sending the users a free product or service for them to review. As a result, a UGC cycle is formed.

Giveaways and prizes offer an incentive for people to promote a company on social media. By using hashtags, location tags, or company tags to participate, users increase awareness and recognition for the brand.

Content can also be created without an incentive. If someone is a strong advocate for your products, services, or company as a whole, they will encourage their followers to buy from you. 

It is Cost-Effective

Instead of a paycheck or endorsement, the brand provides the user with free merchandise and credits them for the content. As a result, the user could see a spike in followers and engagement. Without financial motive, the user comes across as more authentic while simultaneously instilling brand loyalty and desire among their audience. 

Some Things to Keep in Mind

  • Always ask permission before reposting
  • Tag original creator
  • Offer clear guidelines on how to participate 

Looking to implement UGC into your marketing strategy? Let’s chat.