Mar 18, 2022

What is User-Generated Content, Where to Get It, and How to Use It?

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What is UGC or User-Generated Content?

User-generated content, or UGC for short, is any content related to brands – images, videos, texts, reviews, etc. – created by shoppers/users rather than brands themselves. This article will talk about visual UGC, such as images and videos.

UGC Stats That Will Make You Rethink Your Marketing Strategy

  • 90% of people will make a purchase decision based on UGC.
  • 93% of people find UGC helpful in their purchase decision process.
  • Ads based on UGC have a click-through rate that’s 400% higher than traditional ads.
  • Ads made with UGC content cost 70% less than traditional ads.
  • 31% of shoppers say that ads created with UGC are more memorable than branded content ads.
  • 85% of consumers say that visual UGC is more influential than branded content.
  • Visitors spend 90% more time on websites that include UGC.
  • Consumers say that UGC is 9.8x more impactful than influencer content when making purchasing decisions.
  • 45% of consumers will unfollow a brand on social media if it’s too self-promoted.
  • 86% of the brands use some form of UGC as a part of their digital marketing strategy.
  • 41% of marketers say that UGC is their top-performing KPI.
  • UGC in email marketing gets a 78% more click-through rate.
  • Websites that include UGC have a 20% increase in returning visitors.
  • Engagement increases by 28% when consumers are exposed to UGC.
  • User-generated content on product pages

What are the Key Benefits of User-Generated Content?

UGC is Better at Converting Prospects Into CustomersThan Professional Images

User-generated content will boost your conversion rates and thus generate more sales for your business. Most shoppers believe that images and videos provided by other customers are more influential on their buying decisions than the professional content created by brands.

Visual UGC is Cost-Effective

Professional images and videos require a lot of time and effort and will cost you thousands of dollars to produce. In contrast, content made by customers can cost you close to nothing, thus saving your money, time, and marketing resources. UGC can supplement branded visuals, and this combo works very well.

UGC Will Boost Your Social Media

Don’t know what to post for your brand on Instagram, YouTube, TikTok, Pinterest, Amazon Posts, etc.? Just collect UGC, and you will never run out of content. Moreover, people are more likely to engage and react to image and video posts created by other customers rather than by professional photographers.

UGC Will Add Credibility and Authenticity To Your Brand

People trust other people more than they trust brands. Real customers showing your product in their pictures or videos make your brand more relevant and trustworthy to potential customers.

UGC Stands Out

It’s getting more and more difficult to stand out from your competition. Shopify reported that UGC ads received 4x higher click-through rates than traditional ads. So, instead of increasing your advertising budget and investing in more professional content, simply add some UGC to your marketing strategy.

How Do I Get Visual (images & videos) UGC?

Audit existing customer photos and videos

Before elaborating a complex UGC strategy, you can search for the content your customers are sharing organically. If you see that your customers share content related to your brand, you’re in luck – you’ve already got some UGC that you can use. You can search on Instagram, Google Images, YouTube, Amazon reviews. Search for your brand’s name, a hashtag, or product name(s). A word of caution: you have to get explicit permission from your customers to use content that they created.

Contact creators and influencers

Target influencers and creators that are similar to your core audience. Contact them directly and offer compensation for creating content. Avoid prominent overpriced influencers. Go to micro and nano-influencers that are likely to make content for you at low cost or even free in exchange for a free product.

Incentivize UGC with contests and giveaways

You can create contests and hard-to-resist giveaways where users submit their best photos and videos in exchange for a free product. You can run such contests manually using hashtags or automate them using Gleam tools that let users upload their content and information.

Use a UGC platform to get content on autopilot

At JoinBrands, creators are willing to create content (pictures and videos) for brands in exchange for a free product and a small compensation. These creators are rigorously filtered to avoid low-quality content. Also, the platform takes care of the process of approval and payment, which makes it a “fire and forget” system for brands. All you need to do is define specific parameters (such as the amount of content, type of content, type of creator), launch a campaign and then come back a week or two later to download your UGC. The best part is that creators are likely to upload more than the instructed amount of content; you will have a whole library of pictures and videos that you can later use for anything you want. Also, the legal part is taken care of, and this content is yours for perpetual usage.

Ideas for leveraging User-Generated Content

Add videos and images to your Amazon and/or Shopify product listing

You can add visual UGC directly to your listing as secondary lifestyle images or videos.

Post UGC on social networks

This is the easiest way to leverage UGC. Post images and videos in your social media mix, sharing them with your core audience. If you sell on Amazon don’t forget about Amazon Posts.

Use UGC in your ads

Customers are getting better and better at spotting and ignoring commercial video ads. On the other hand, UGC pictures and videos grab attention as they are more authentic and made by real people. Remember, people don’t trust brands; they trust other people. Plus, UGC videos will cost you a fraction of the cost of a commercial video ad.


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