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User generated content (UGC): what is it and why is it important for brands?

■UGC is user-generated content, which includes text, images, videos created and distributed by ordinary consumers, not brands or advertisers.

■UGC has a high level of authenticity and credibility, building trust and loyalty among audiences.

■Examples of successful UGC are the Starbucks and GoPro campaigns, shown to illustrate the power and effectiveness of this type of content in attracting and engaging audiences.

Got some cool new clothes you’re ready to show the world? Are you excited to share with your friends and followers on social media? Maybe you’ve just received a fancy new product and feel you need to share your experience with the world via an unboxing video on your YouTube channel. If you find yourself in these situations, know that you are part of the world of user-generated content (UGC).

While scrolling through Instagram or other social networks, you may come across those authentic snapshots of everyday life, such as a friend proudly wearing their newest sneakers or an enthusiastic fan of a clothing brand, expressing their love for their favorite products through an enthusiastic caption. All of this is user-generated content (UGC), and its impact is significant in today’s marketing landscape. Why? Because, let’s face it, trusting a friend’s recommendation is far more powerful than any well-crafted ad.

But if you’re still not fully familiar with the term, don’t worry, we’ll guide you through the whole concept of creator-generated content.

In this article, you’ll discover what user-generated content is and why it’s so important in the digital marketing landscape. We’ll explore how UGC has become an essential component of brands’ interaction with consumers and how it can positively influence the perception of your brand.

What Is UGC?

User-generated content (UGC) is a form of content created and distributed by regular users, rather than by brands or advertisers. This type of content can be in the form of text, images, videos, reviews or any other form of digital expression. What makes it so special is its authenticity – it is created by real consumers sharing their personal experiences, opinions and views about products, services or experiences. UGC can be found on various social platforms, including social networks such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, online forums, blogs, review sites and more. This diversity of platforms allows users to express their creativity and share their content in a variety of environments and contexts, which contributes to greater diversity and authenticity in the digital landscape.

Over time, UGC has become an essential component of brands’ digital marketing strategies due to its multiple benefits. Brands can use user-generated content to promote their products or services in an authentic and credible way, thus building a deeper and more authentic relationship with their audience. In addition, UGC can drive engagement and interaction with audiences, generating real-time conversations and feedback that can be used to improve a brand’s products or marketing strategies. Thus, user-generated content is not only a valuable source of information and feedback for brands, but also an effective way to build and strengthen strong and engaged online communities.

Why is UGC important for brands?

Among the main reasons why UGC is essential for brands are:

1. Authenticity and credibility: User-generated content is often perceived as more authentic and credible than content created directly by brands. This is because it is produced by real consumers sharing their personal experiences with the brand’s products or services. This high level of authenticity can build trust and loyalty among audiences, as consumers can more easily identify with the experiences and opinions of other users.


2. Engagement and interaction: Users are more likely to engage and interact with content generated by other users than with content produced directly by brands. This is due to the human nature to connect and interact with other people and seek out similar experiences and opinions. By encouraging and promoting UGC, brands can foster engagement and interaction with their audiences, generating authentic conversations and building active and engaged communitie

3. Organic reach and virality: UGC can have a significant impact on the visibility and organic reach of brands on social networks. When users create and distribute content about a brand or product, it has the potential to go viral and be shared by others, leading to increased exposure and brand awareness organically. Thus, UGC can serve as a powerful amplifier of the brand’s message and help build a stronger and broader online presence.

4. Reduced costs and diversity of perspectives: Using user-generated content can help brands reduce the costs associated with content creation, as there is no longer a need for content production and editing by the brand’s marketing team. In addition, UGC offers a greater variety of perspectives and styles, as it is created by users with different experiences and visions. This can enrich brand content and provide greater diversity and authenticity in communicating with audiences.

Types of user-generated content

These are extremely varied and can be tailored to the specific needs and strategies of each brand. Here are some common examples of user generated content:

1. Reviews and ratings: One of the most common forms of UGC is reviews and ratings of products or services posted by users. These opinions are valuable to other potential consumers as they provide an authentic and objective perspective on their experience with the product or service. Reviews and ratings can significantly influence the purchasing decisions of other users and help build brand reputation online.

2. Product photos and videos: Another popular type of user generated content (UGC) consists of photos and videos showing products in a real context, used or worn by users. These images and videos provide an authentic perspective on the look, quality and use of products, which can be very influential in the buying decision making process. They can also stimulate aspiration and desire to purchase the products in question, as consumers can see how products look and behave in a real environment.

3. Personal stories: Personal experiences and stories about interactions with brands or their products are another important form of user generated content. Users can share authentic and emotional stories about how a brand’s products or services have influenced their lives or brought them satisfaction and happiness. These personal stories can have a powerful impact on audiences, as they convey emotion and authenticity and can build an emotional connection between consumers and the brand.

4. Give-aways and challenges: Brands can run various contests or challenges and encourage users to participate and share user-generated content in them. These contests and challenges can be an effective way to boost engagement and interaction with the audience, generate creative content and create an active and engaged community around the brand.

5. Collaborations with content creators: Brands can collaborate with influencers or content creators to promote their products in content generated by them. These collaborations may include reviews, demos, tutorials or other types of content in which influencers present and recommend the brand’s products to their followers. This type of user generated content, UGC can benefit from the audience and credibility of influencers and can help increase the visibility and awareness of the brand online.

The most popular examples of user generated content

Brands that have taken full advantage of the power of user-generated content (UGC) have succeeded in creating memorable campaigns and strengthening their connection with their audience. Here are some popular examples of user-generated content:

Starbucks and Cup of Stories: Starbucks has managed to create a strong emotional connection with its customers through the “Cup of Stories” campaign on Instagram. As part of the campaign, Starbucks invited customers to share their personal stories and post photos of their favorite Starbucks beverage using the hashtag #CupOfStories. This initiative was a remarkable success, as it allowed customers to feel part of the Starbucks community and share their unique experiences with the brand.


GoPro: GoPro is another example of a brand that has benefited enormously from user-generated video content. GoPro has encouraged users to share videos that capture extreme moments or memorable adventures filmed with their GoPro cameras. These videos have captivated audiences and demonstrated the power and versatility of GoPro products, helping to build the brand’s reputation among the community of adventurers and extreme sports enthusiasts.

Airbnb and #AirbnbExperiences: Airbnb focused on unique local experiences through the #AirbnbExperiences campaign. Airbnb users were encouraged to post photos and stories about their travel and adventure experiences using the hashtag #AirbnbExperiences. This initiative brought to the forefront the authenticity and diversity of the experiences Airbnb offers and helped promote local destinations and hosts. Through this user-generated content, Airbnb has succeeded in creating a global community of travelers and explorers who share and celebrate their unique travel experiences.

Read more about ➡️Content organic vs paid content

Useful tools for UGC content creators:

Canva: is a great platform for creating engaging graphics, images and designs for social media posts. With a wide range of easy-to-use templates and editing tools, Canva is perfect for content creators who want to create impactful visuals without advanced graphic design skills.

Adobe Spark: is another excellent option for content creators who want to create engaging videos or great images for their content. With intuitive templates and editing tools, Adobe Spark allows creators to easily create high-quality content and distribute it on various social platforms.

Hootsuite: For managing and scheduling posts across multiple social platforms simultaneously, Hootsuite is an ideal solution for content creators. With Hootsuite, you can schedule posts, monitor engagement and analyze the performance of your content, all from one easy-to-use platform. For content creators looking to find opportunities to collaborate with brands and other industry influencers, is a valuable tool. This platform allows creators to build profiles and portfolios, connect with other creators and find collaboration and sponsorship opportunities.

In addition to using these tools, here are some tips for UGC content creators:

Be authentic: Share your personal experiences and stories authentically and honestly.

Be creative: Find new and interesting ways to express your creativity and captivate your audience.

Interact with your audience: Respond to comments and questions from your followers and involve them in the content creation process.

Be consistent: Publish content regularly and maintain a consistent tone and style to build your brand identity.

Collaborate with other creators: Explore opportunities to collaborate with other content creators and brands to expand your audience and diversify your content.

Ultimately, user-generated content (UGC) is a powerful tool in any brand’s digital marketing arsenal. It provides authenticity, credibility and engagement, building a genuine connection between brands and their audience. By encouraging and promoting UGC, brands can create engaged and loyal communities, generating authentic conversations and strengthening their online reputation.

For those interested in maximizing their presence and impact on social networks, Instagram or TikTok, enlisting the services of a digital marketing agency like re7consulting can be a wise choice. With experience and expertise in social media marketing and advertising, re7consulting can provide tailored solutions and effective strategies to reach your target audience and achieve significant results. So, if you want to increase your presence and maximize your promotion on instagram or TikTok, don’t hesitate to contact re7consulting for social media services and specialized digital marketing consulting. A dedicated team will help you achieve your marketing goals and build a strong and memorable presence on social networks.

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