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Is User-Generated Content Still a Winning Strategy for Brands? Let's Talk

Updated: Jan 30

A woman drawing up a UGC chart on a whiteboard

Ever splurged on a new pair of heels and flaunted them on your social media? Or simply snapped a pic with your go-to cup of coffee and shared it online? 

That my friend, is known as User-Generated Content (UGC), the driving force in our social media-centric world.

I mean, let's be real, if it's not on social media, did it even happen? 

Influencers are a thing for a reason– people observe them using products and, inevitably, get 'influenced.' But here's the deal—while influencer content has its advantages, many people are skeptical because these influencers are paid to promote the products. 

User-generated content (UGC), on the flip side, is a different type of advertising, but it comes across as more genuine. (We’ll dive more into that later)

Why is UGC so effective? Simple – people trust it more. They’re not being paid to post. In fact, they PAID for the product, loved it and decided to share it! It doesn’t get any more real than that!

So, the short answer is yes. UGC content is and will always be relevant. If you haven’t started incorporating UGC content into your strategies, now's the time, and we’re here to show you why!

What Is User-Generated Content (UGC)?

A woman snapping a picture of her salad to post it on social media

User-Generated Content (UGC) is basically when regular people, like you and me, create and share content online. This content could be anything from photos and videos to reviews and posts on social media. 

It's not made by companies or professionals; it's made by the users or consumers of a product or service.

The special thing about UGC is that it's authentic – it's not someone getting paid to promote something; it's someone genuinely sharing their thoughts or experiences. People often trust this kind of content more because it feels real and relatable. 

What Are The Types Of User-Generated Content (UGC)?

A woman promoting UGC content via a podcast session

User-Generated Content (UGC) shows up in various ways, offering brands chances to be talked about, shared, and recommended online.

Here are the main types of user-generated content:

Videos: Like those unboxing videos where people show themselves opening new products. It could also be videos of people just talking about and demonstrating a product. This kind of content on social media helps more people know about the brand and trust it.

Selfies with Brands: Ever seen someone take a selfie with a product or in front of a store? That's another way people share their love for a brand on social media.

Reviews and Testimonials: You know those reviews you see on Google, Yelp, or a brand's website? That's real people giving their honest thoughts about products. Some even make videos talking about their experience.

Podcast: Sometimes, hosts and guests on podcasts chat about their experiences with brands. Slipping it in conversations helps listeners get to know and trust the brand.

Articles and Blogs: Some people choose to write about their experiences with a brand or topics related to it. It could be on their personal blogs, in reviews, or on community forums. This kind of content helps spread the word about the brand.

Contests: Brands sometimes run contests where people can create and share photos or videos for a chance to win cool stuff. It's a fun way to get people involved and spread awareness about the brand.

Why Is User-Generated Content (UGC) So Effective?

A woman taking pics of make up brushes and products for UGC content purposes

We've talked about what UGC is and how brands should make it part of their business. Now, let's get into why you really need to use UGC in your strategy.

Shaping the Buyer's Journey: The Impact of Social Proof

Alright, imagine you're thinking of trying out a new product, like a cool gadget or a pair of sneakers. Now, instead of just hearing the company say, "Hey, our products are awesome," you see regular people – maybe friends, or even strangers online – saying, "I tried it, and it's great!"

That's social proof. It's like having others vouch for a product. People tend to trust the opinions of regular people more than what a company says. When you see people who are just like you enjoying or using a product, it makes it feel real and relatable. And that can really push you to decide, "Yeah, I want that too!" 

It's a way for brands to connect with consumers through the experiences of real people. 

A More Personalized Approach

Humans naturally want to feel a sense of belonging, right? Well, User-Generated Content (UGC) taps into that by creating a community where people with similar interests can connect. 

Imagine this community as a space where everyone is chatting about a product or service. When people see and hear others genuinely happy about something, it sparks their interest. They want to be part of this growing excitement. 

This desire to join in leads to a variety of creative content – pictures, reviews, discussions – that not only boosts website visits and user interactions but also enhances brand visibility and increases the chances of turning interested people into customers.

In essence, UGC is like cultivating a digital space where people share their enthusiasm for something they love, and it creates a ripple effect that draws more people in.

Cost Effective

Hiring influencers? Crazy expensive – we're talking thousands sometimes. Here's what you can do instead: ask your customers to share pics or posts about them loving your stuff. Costs you almost nothing!

User-Generated Content (UGC) is a budget-friendly strategy to grow your business. There's no necessity to invest heavily in high-end agencies for advertisements or content creation. Just tap into your audience. Most of them would be thrilled to show up on your page!

Especially if you're a smaller brand or just starting out, UGC is way cheaper than going all out on those big brand campaigns. Easy on the wallet, big on the impact.

Blends Seamlessly with Social Commerce

A man talking about UGC content strategy with his colleague while drawing an arrow on the whiteboard

As you probably already know, Meta has launched Meta Shop, and TikTok has its own version too. Meaning, you can now purchase items directly on your favorite social media. The best part? You don't even have to leave the app!

Imagine this: You're on Instagram, spot a cute blouse, click on it, decide you want it, and boom, buy it right there in the app. That's social commerce doing its thing.

Now, here's why UGC and social commerce are like the perfect duo: UGC has a magnetic effect, drawing people towards making purchases. Nearly 80% of people say they're influenced to buy when they see what others are posting. So, when you mix User-Generated Content (UGC) with social commerce, it's like a shopping dream team. 

You see something cool and it's just a click away from being yours. Easy, right?

Adaptable and Versatile

Here’s another reason why we love User-Generated Content (UGC). It doesn't limit itself to social media; it easily fits into various marketing plans, making it a smart all-around strategy.

Here's a practical example: you could slot in UGC images into those reminder emails for abandoned carts, nudging potential buyers to complete their purchase. 

Another effective move is placing user-generated content on your site – it can significantly increase the chances of more people hitting that 'buy' button.

Final Words

To wrap it up, UGC is not just a tool for today; it is a timeless and relevant approach that humanizes brands, instills trust, and amplifies their presence in the digital world.

If you haven't incorporated UGC into your marketing strategy, now is the time to tap into its potential and connect with your audience in a way that goes beyond the transactional, nurturing lasting relationships and brand loyalty.


Well, aren’t we glad you asked! We at DigiCom are obsessive data-driven marketers pulling from multi-disciplinary strategies to unlock scale. We buy media across all platforms and placements and provide creative solutions alongside content creation, and conversion rate optimizations. We pride ourselves on your successes and will stop at nothing to help you grow.

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