The Voice of the User: User Generated Content

Juliette Agay
Juliette Agay

What is user generated content?

User generated content (UGC) refers to all content created by people who are not professional content creators or associated with a particular brand. It can be photos, videos, comments, or reviews.

When it comes to social media, this generally means your fans and followers.

User generated content is evergreen, proven to work, cost-effective, and authentic. The potential that user generated content offers many brands is huge!

Many companies have been relying on the power of UGC for years, while others are just beginning to realize its benefits.

As the name suggests, the content is mostly created by users or consumers of a product, service, or platform.

UGC can be found everywhere, from web content such as review sites or portals such as TripAdvisor, Capterra or Yelp to various social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, and all the rest.

Especially the "visual" social media networks like Instagram, Pinterest and TikTok are a very suitable environment for UGC.

Important: User generated content should not be confused with branded content or influencer marketing! While branded content is usually paid content and involves cooperations with paid testimonials or influencers, UGC is being created by ordinary users or customers, who voluntarily share their content publicly and free of charge.


User generated content isn't the only way to work with people to create great content that converts. To help you work with your humans, we've created a free guide with a ton of info about corporate influencers and employer branding, and we'd love it if you took a look!

Why is user generated content so important?

  • User generated content can be a real boost to credibility and authenticity, as the content is created by real users.
  • UGC can help increase brand reach and strengthen customer loyalty. Your followers have the ability to reach an exponentially larger audience than your page can alone.
  • The content can help build trust in the brand and additionally convince potential customers to convert.

What can UGC be?

User generated content is as diverse as marketing itself!

There are many ways to use user generated content. The most popular are often simple reposts and shares from customers or users via social media.

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One of the best-known examples is Apple. Apple used the hashtag #ShotoniPhone to encourage their followers to produce content. Apple collects their customers images and decorates its own Instagram account with them.

The special thing here is that Apple's Instagram account consists almost exclusively of user generated content.

In addition to reposts on social media, there is another very popular format: user generated content in online shops.

Companies in the e-commerce sector like to use this option to present their products in a more authentic way. One prime example of this is fashion giant H&M.

Below its own product images, the Swedish company also shows pictures from their community and how they have combined the garments. Like Apple, H&M also uses a hashtag to collect content from customers.

HMQuelle: hm.de 

There are even more types of UGC, for example:

  • Customer reviews
  • Case Studies
  • Tweets
  • Live-Streams

Why should your company use user generated content?

First, it's important to figure out whether and how UGC can be most effectively integrated into your marketing strategy. Much as with any other content strategy, think about how content can be used outside a single purpose.

Not all UGC needs to be shared directly on your social media page. Instead, content can repurposed for things such as:

  • Social Ads
  • TV advertising
  • Online & print magazines

To make sure you're taking full advantage of your user generated content, a clear strategy is essential. Without a plan and with disorganized content in different places, the success of your UGC campaign may be limited.

Now back to the "why"

Using UGC offers many advantages to social media marketers.

UGC creates authenticity for brands and connects them to their communities. By using content from their own followers, it strengthens their relationship with them.

User generated content can also show how diverse a company’s customers are.

Caution! Before you start with UGC:

Despite its value, you should always make sure you own the rights to the content and that you are not using copyrighted material.

Especially if you actively encourage your customers to create and share content, the amount of available content can grow quickly. Many, if not most, day-to-day users are not aware of how copyrights work, don't believe they apply to them, or are otherwise simply unaware. Or they may simply not care.

As a business, unfortunately, the onus of responsibility falls more heavily upon you.

But we've got you covered! Collecting and scanning the content can be a challenge for your marketing team – especially in smaller teams.

So, to help you keep track of the flood of UGC and manage the process of obtaining image rights, there are special platforms for managing user generated content.

If you are already a facelift customer and are interested in optimizing your social media marketing with the help of UGC, we have the ideal solution for you! In cooperation with our partners, we can enable you to easily integrate user generated content into your marketing strategy without hassle.

Our solution involves helping you create an easily manageable, holistic overview of your user generated content, and we'd love to discuss how we can tailor it to your needs specifically and show you how to integrate your UGC campaigns with your facelift account.

If you're ready to give UGC a try, contact us here so we can get started.

Juliette Agay
Juliette Agay

More about the author

Juliette is Online Marketing Manager at facelift and focuses on customer marketing. Juliette provides our customers with interesting insights and updates.
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