The What, Where, When and How of UGC

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October 3, 2022

Never before have your customers been so quick to skip past anything that remotely resembles an ad. This is increasing as the human attention span decreases. Nowadays, when people come across anything slightly resembling an ad, they’re very dismissive, and this can be decided between 1-4 seconds. 

So, how do you ensure your business makes the cut and produces quality content?

This is where User Generated Content (UGC) has become increasingly valuable and a powerful marketing tool, as this media appears to be a genuine form of informative content. Consumers have been very clear that they want original and authentic content from real people. 

What it does: Promotes the Authenticity of the Brand

As consumers of products, we naturally tell those around us about particular products that we are impressed with and become an indirect ambassador of the brand. As it’s coming from a trusted source, the likelihood of purchase is much higher than if it came directly from the company. Consumers find UGC to be almost 10x more successful than influencer marketing and 2.4x more authentic than if it was produced by the brand. 

Where to use it?

Customers trust content from a brand when they don’t realise it’s from a brand and if it appears authentic they will continue to view it.


When selling a product people like to see the authenticity of a product. In some cases companies have added customer images below the product, which speaks to the reputability of the brand. 


UGC generates more engagement on Instagram, which means more comments, likes, and shares on posts. Engagement is critically important to the success of the business on Instagram because the more users engage with the content, the higher your posts are prioritised in the Instagram feed, and the more likely new users will find your brand. 


Tiktok is very appealing to brands as this is the fastest growing platform. After all, the goal is to get your brand in front of as many (relevant) users as possible, so you can essentially drive more business. 

When to use it?

The customer is on a journey with your product from the top of the funnel, 

1. Awareness of the product and brand 

2. Interest in the product/service

3. Deciding whether to purchase

4. Purchase

to the bottom and brands can control how people move down this funnel considering our product /service. 

Use UGC during the awareness phase of the funnel as it is a powerful tool to gain attention and interest in an audience that is unaware. It is powerful as UGC can identify key pain points and provide a solution with genuine content. 

It is great during the middle-of-funnel as it shows people how it works. Therefore, it feels organic to the consumer, and they can visualise themselves using it and are more likely to purchase it as it’s an emotional trigger. 

How to plan: Incorporate UGC into your marketing plan.

Like any new marketing method, it is important to set goals for collecting and using UGC. 87% of marketers claim to use UGC but only 27% have a plan.

Determine your goal

The effect UGC has on your business depends on the initial plan to collect UGC and how it’s used. Your goals could be to boost brand awareness, for a campaign, but overall the goal of any UGC campaign is to create content that your customers benefit from and will use to inform their buying decisions.

Create a system 

The way you collect the UGC doesn’t need to be highly technical, ensure that there is one and that this system is continually managed, and thank people for their contribution. Some companies have previously used a branded hashtag, but this can become harder with earning ownership can be harder. 

Be clear about what you want and what you will offer 

If you run a campaign to collect UGC, make sure that the rules are made clear to your audience and that you offer a reward for the effort involved in creating the content. Some companies have built it into their product design, for example, GoPro to ensure they always generate UGC. However, ensuring a prize is an appropriate reward for the effort involved in content creation. 

Be prepared for anything

UGC allows consumers a more authentic buying, content that criticises or attacks your brand should be considered, definitely not ignored but certainly not spread. 

Monitor the submissions regularly and pick only the best pieces. 

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