Are UGC Ads Right for Your Brand? You Bet They Are
User-generated content (UGC) is content that someone other than a brand creates.
If one of your customers creates a video on TikTok talking about how much they love your product, that’s UGC. If they write a Facebook post about your product, that’s UGC. If they leave a review about your product on Google or Amazon, that’s UGC.
UGC is probably the most valuable type of content out there. That’s because potential customers see UGC as more authentic than brand-generated content.
They treat it almost like word of mouth, like a recommendation from grandma for the best restaurant in the city.
It’s something customers will listen to and not see as a clear attempt to sell you something. In fact, customers are 2.4x more likely to say UGC is authentic compared to branded content.
This totally makes sense. As a brand, you can’t give an objective opinion — you always want to show the best of your products/services.
Customers, on the other hand, are objective. They are more likely to be trusted by other customers because they believe they’re hearing the truth.
Here’s everything you need to know about using UGC for your brand.
Who Generates UGC?
UGC can come from a variety of sources — not just customers. However, customers are, of course, one of the biggest sources of UGC. They’re who you want to target most when trying to get UGC (we’ll explain some methods below).
Other sources of UGC include influencers. Influencers are a great source for UGC because they’re often happy to generate it if you send them a product/service to try out, but some will ask for payment on top of the product/service.
Influencers can help you reach a wide audience, which is especially important for new brands, but even established brands that have struggled to break into a target market can suddenly find themselves thriving thanks to a few influencers and their content.
Another source of UGC is your employees. Your employees are going to be some of your biggest fans after all, and if they’re happy and love where they work, they’re going to be happy to generate some content for you.
How to Get UGC
Getting UGC can seem like an impossible hill to climb, especially for a new brand. After all, how do you get users to create content when they don’t even know you exist? Even existing brands can struggle to get UGC.
People who are happy with your product are less likely to create content than someone who is unhappy, so you often have to give those satisfied customers a little push.
There are a number of tactics you can employ to get that sweet, sweet UGC.
Contests are a fantastic way to generate UGC. Of course, there are rules that must be followed, but when you’re offering a discount, free product, or gift card as the prize, many users are going to be more than happy to create the content you want.
To be most successful, you need to have not just a compelling prize, but you need a campaign that’s fun. Don’t just ask users to review your product/service in exchange for a chance to win. That can work, but it’s not that interesting.
Some of the most successful UGC contests get the users excited about the product/service by giving them something fun to do. For example, one of the most successful UGC campaigns ever was when Coca-Cola created the #ShareaCoke campaign.
What they did was pretty clever. They created a bunch of labels with some of the most common first names out there, and then they told users that they should share a coke with someone with the name on the bottle and then post that on social media.
The result was tons and tons of UGC.
But there are other kinds of contests that can be effective, including a contest that requires the user to leave a review to be entered for a chance to win. This can be especially valuable to new brands that need to get a lot of reviews quickly.
As mentioned, influencers are a great source of UGC. They can help you reach audiences that you wouldn’t have been able to otherwise, and they can help you penetrate a market more fully.
What’s great about UGC from influencers is that it is usually much higher quality than what the average consumer is going to put together. For example, unboxing videos are hugely popular, but the average user isn’t going to take the time to put one together — and if they do, it won’t look great because they just don’t have the equipment necessary to make the content shine.
However, an influencer who does nothing but unboxing videos is going to have a great setup. Their content is going to be high quality, which means your product/service is going to be shown in a favorable light.
Influencers are also heavily trusted by their audience. If an influencer gives your product a big thumbs up, their audience is going to be more likely to buy.
Another thing to consider is that influencers are already great at what they do. With the average customer, you’re not going to get a great writeup of a product — you’ll get a decent one. But a professional blogger knows how to write well. They are great on camera. All you have to do is get the product in their hands, give them a general outline of what to cover, and let them work their magic.
Influencers also have a trickle-down effect. When an influencer puts out a video or blog post about your product and customers buy it, they’re going to be more likely to generate content of their own about the product.
Microinfluencers will also be inspired to jump on the bandwagon, creating their own content around the product/service.
For a small investment, you get a big return.
Take It to the Pros
If you’re having trouble getting influencers or customers on board, you still have options — bring in the pros.
This is great for new product launches or new brands where time is of the essence, where you just need to get the content out there.
One of the methods we use is to hire models and actors and have them review your product/service. We walk them through your brand, your product, how it works, and what to talk about, and then we coach them through the process of reviewing the product.
Though not quite as effective as naturally occurring UGC, it still comes across as more authentic to potential customers than brand-generated content.
Need Help With UGC? We’ve Got You Covered
Getting UGC is tough, but we’re tougher.
If you need help getting UGC, you need someone in your corner who understands how to help you generate UGC and use it to your advantage.
Let’s talk about what we can do for you.