How to Generate UGC Content

February 13, 2024

User-generated content (UGC) has greatly increased in popularity over the last few years. For one, viewers are 10x more trusting of your brand when you post UGC. And why? Because it promotes relatability, and is today’s version of “word-of-mouth”, one of the most compelling sales pitches. So, how do you generate UGC? We’ve got the tools right here for you.

Benefits of UGC Content

As noted above, UGC is one of the most relatable forms of content. Why? Because it is made by the customer for the customer. It’s an opportunity for your audience to see your product being used in action, and hear why it’s successful from the buyer. In fact, up to 85% of online consumers claim UGC is more influential in their buying process than brand marketing alone.

Adding to this, in a sense, you’re “collaborating” with your customers and truly involving them in your brand. People want to be seen in what you do so, by contributing to it themselves, feel this exponentially. A truly great foundation for building long-term relationships with your clients.

And, finally, generating UGC is a smart way to also generate more content for your brand to post and publish, at virtually no cost to you. There is a bit of effort in gaining and managing it, yes, but compared to the cost and time of full video production, it is very little.

Ways to Obtain UGC

Ok, you’re sold! Where to begin when it comes to obtaining UGC?

There are several ways, in fact, thanks to the nature of social media these days. To help you out, we’ve created just some of the approaches you can take to generate great UGC.

  1. Ask for customer feedback. This is the oldest one in the book, and can be collected in attached forms, links, or a follow-up inquiry after the customer’s purchase.
  2. Create your brand’s own hashtag. Once created, keep your eye out for your customers using it. If their content suits your brand, ask permission to use it on your own channels, always tagging its original source of course.
  3. Create a social media contest or challenge. Create a contest relevant to your product or service, and watch the contestants roll in!
  4. Pay attention/engage with happy customers online. While engaging with your audience online, approach satisfied customer comments and see if they’d like to contribute content, perhaps with an incentive for doing so as a way of saying thanks?
  5. Create an Employee Engagement Program. Your employees not only know your brand the best but also are another great way to generate UGC! Have an “employee takeover” day on your socials (as seen here with Hubspot), or run an office contest with a prize for the creator of the best brand content. A great way to also boost team morale, and keep it fun!
  6. Influencer collaboration. Social media “influencers” are ever on the rise. In fact, “micro” influencers are in the lead. So, keep an eye out for any customers with a larger following (15k-75k) who use your product, and might want to collaborate with you by promoting it!

Types of UGC Content

Another important factor to bear in mind when gathering UGC content is what type of content you’re receiving, and where to use it. To help, we’ve listed a few below to get you started:

  • Social Media Mentions/Tags. Obviously, these are found on social media. A consumer may share a personal post and tag your brand at the bottom. These are great to share on FB/IG stories, highlighting your product’s value while also “humanizing” your company.
  • Written Reviews. Over 92% of customers read reviews before purchasing, so the written word is always highly effective. Be sure to ask any satisfied clients if they’d be willing to leave a review post-project, on your Google Business page or brand website.
  • Video Testimonials. With up to 87% of polled marketers agreeing video has a positive ROI, it’s clear video is supreme when it comes to content. Plus, it’s shareable on most channels, including socials, websites, and the ever-growing YouTube.

Need some inspo to get started? Click here for some great UGC examples.

Once You’ve Obtained UGC

While UGC does save you time and money, there is still some effort involved when it comes to both obtaining it as well as managing it.

With any and all requests for UGC, always make sure to provide full disclosure about rules and usage of it, so as to avoid any legal issues. Permission is paramount, of course, so clear communication with any and all contributors is vital.

Along with gaining permission from UGC creators, be sure to tag them as the original source when you publish. Almost everyone appreciates extra exposure for their profiles, and you will have maintained brand integrity while establishing trust with your audience.

Lastly, be sure to continue monitoring any and all UGC. Your brand should have a distinct persona and identity, so maintain this as much as possible amidst all the varying customer’s styles, delivery, etc. At the end of the day, it’s still about quality over quantity.

And that’s about it! If you keep clear in your communication and expectations, engage and monitor along the way, you’ll not only be producing great content but also be building lasting relationships with your customers.