What is User Generated Content?


If you are looking for unique methods of generating the content, this article may appeal to you. UGC, user-generated content is something to consider. We have compiled this article for your reading pleasure.

What is User Generated Content?

[1]User-generated content (UGC) is text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people rather than brands. And brands will often share UGC on their social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels.

User-generated content (UGC) is text, videos, images, reviews, etc.—created by people rather than brands. And brands will often share UGC on their social media accounts, website, and other marketing channels.

For many brands, Instagram is the primary platform for UGC. Users create and share posts featuring your brand, exposing your products and services to their audience. Better yet, you can share that content with your audience, boosting your credibility in the process.

This post will explain why you should create a user-generated content strategy. We’ll also explain how to incorporate UGC into your social marketing efforts.

Why user-generated content?

What’s the big deal about user-generated content, and why should your brand care? Here are three key reasons UGC is a crucial marketing strategy you can’t ignore.

Promote authenticity

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands. That offers brands a vital credibility boost since most people say less than half of brands create genuine content.

This cute image of a babywearing Warby Parker glasses racked up more than 15,000 likes and inspired comments like “I die of cute.” Had the brand staged this image with an actor and high production values, would the audience have been so moved?

Create trust

Whether it’s a product, a service, or an experience, modern consumers want to know what they will get before they order. For example, 30 percent of millennials would not go to a restaurant if the location’s Instagram presence was not up to snuff. They don’t trust that the experience would be what they are looking for.

Keep in mind that those diners check the restaurant’s profile and content from other customers.

It’s all about creating trust. A full 92 percent of consumers trust recommendations from people they know, and 70 percent trust online consumer opinions.

Burt’s Bees shares customer testimonials about their products along with UGC on Instagram. This helps to boost followers’ trust in the products and the brand.

Drive purchasing decisions

The primary benefits of user-generated content leading up to this one are the impact on purchasing decisions. And it’s a biggie. Nearly 80 percent of people say UGC has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.

Don’t forget Instagram Stories when sharing user-generated content designed to drive purchases. Combining the immediacy of Stories with the staying power of Highlights, you can create a lasting album that lets potential buyers keep watching for as long as they need to feel comfortable heading to your website to buy.

For example, The Horse has more than 70 user-generated content examples in their #thehorse Insta Story, showing their watches in different contexts.

[2]UGC Puts Customers Front and Center

Customer-orientated businesses are on the rise because companies constantly have to keep up with the changing trends of their audiences. In this fast-paced, digitally-run world, attention-spans can be snapped away with the click of a finger. If brands aren’t catering solely to their customers, their customers will find another brand.

Online users have become increasingly savvy in knowing which companies are using slimy marketing tactics and which ones are authentic and transparent.

People Don’t Trust Marketers, and They Trust Real People.

This brings us to the next point. In the past ten years, the idea of the sleazy marketer has risen to unprecedented heights. The average Joe in the street is no longer impressed by pushy sales tactics.

Instead, they crave stories, they crave connection, and they crave interaction with other humans, with real people (a byproduct, perhaps, of the increasing amount of time we spend in front of a computer screen?).

In reality, we’ve been buying into UGC for centuries, but there are now social media platforms to make it more accessible across the globe. And, when you discover that a whopping 92% of people are more likely to trust a recommendation from another person over branded content, it’s clear to see how far the trust between people and marketers has stretched.

UGC Creates Community

UGC brings audiences together. Instead of being an “us” against “them” situation, where brands are constantly trying to win consumers over, UGC brings everyone together in one big happy family.

People like to feel a part of something. In a 1986 theory penned by MacMillan and Chavis, four things encouraged people to feel like part of a community.

  1. Membership
  2. Influence
  3. Integration and fulfillment of needs
  4. Shared emotional connection

Points 2 and 4 are of particular interest to UGC. Influence has to work both ways – members also have to feel like they have power over the community, an element UGC puts on the table.

Shared emotional connection is pushed through UGC, too. MacMillan and Chavis stated that healthy communities have a story, which brings them together.

[3]What makes user-generated content so effective?

Unfortunately for us, marketers and advertisers are inherently untrustworthy. We’re tasked with positioning products and services in their best light, and in the process, we omit details that may negatively impact consumer buying decisions (and sometimes, we take it a little too far).

And with staged photographs, we “ruin the day of even the most enthusiastic kids,” all in the name of making the sale:

So we shouldn’t be surprised that a 2013 survey found that 76% of consumers think ads are “very exaggerated” or “somewhat exaggerated.” In that same survey, one in five respondents even went so far as to say they “refuse to make a decision” about a product based on its advertising (impossible unless you’re living under a rock, but still, the point is: people hate most ads).


We may not have realized that Google Reviews are UGC, and now apply that to your website, and you will have an instant supply of content.

Article compiled by hughesagency.ca

Article reference links:

  1. https://blog.hootsuite.com/user-generated-content-ugc/
  2. https://www.tintup.com/blog/user-generated-content-definition/
  3. https://instapage.com/blog/what-is-user-generated-content