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What is User-Generated Content and How to Use it?

Our society is changing rapidly month after month and year after year. In this day and age, marketing and building brand awareness using user-generated content (UGC) is a MUST. If you’re not already familiar with user-generated content, don’t you fret! We have put together a guide, just for you, so you can get familiar with what it is, how to use it, and why to use it. 

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content is exactly what it sounds like. It is any form of content that is created by a consumer or user of a product. User-generated content can be in the form of blog posts, video testimonials, social media posts, forums, or even podcasts. 

Why is User-Generated Content important?

User-generated content helps your customer go through their journey from discovery all the way to purchase. User-generated content can be used to bring about brand awareness as well as to urge customers to take the final plunge into conversion. 

Helps to establish brand loyalty and community

Because user-generated content is made by users and is often shared by other users, it is a great tool to create engagement and start a conversation about your brand. 

User-generated content allows a customer to feel like they are an integral part of the growth and success of the brand which encourages them to stay loyal to your brand. 

Additionally, user-generated content creates connections between customers. It gives customers the opportunity to interact with each other as well as the brand itself. This increased interaction and engagement builds community surrounding your brand. 

Showcases product in an honest and organic way

Customers are a lot more likely to trust their peers or word-of-mouth than they are to trust a brand’s marketing efforts. User-generated content is viewed as organic and genuine. 

We all know that Macdonald’s hamburgers do not look in real life like they do in the commercials because companies work hard to market their products by stretching the truth, but this problem goes away when marketing content is user-generated. 

In fact, according to a survey done by Nielsen upwards of 60% of users lack trust in or have no trust at all in ads they see in search engine results, online video ads, ads on social media, and ads on mobile devices. However, according to the same survey, 92% of consumers trust word of mouth recommendations from people they know and 60% trust the opinions of other consumers. 

Increases conversions

User-generated content is highly influential to consumers during their journey down the marketing funnel from start to finish. 

Using user-generated content in your brand’s marketing strategy can increase content engagement by 6x, grow conversion by 7%, and increase return on investment by 10x! 

Cost effective

User-generated content is incredibly cost effective. Rather than spending thousands of dollars with a professional agency to produce content for you, with UGC platforms like VideoPeel, you can customize your campaigns based on your brand and audience to collect user-generated marketing content at no additional cost to your brand! 

User-generated content is an effective and cost efficient alternative to traditional marketing because you’re essentially able to leverage your consumers to do the marketing for you!

What are the Different Forms of User-Generated Content?

User-generated content can be produced in multiple different forms from written reviews to video testimonials. It is important to always consider your audience and your brand when leveraging UGC for your brand’s marketing strategy. Here are some forms of UGC along with some user-generated content examples. 

Written Reviews

When you’re about to buy a product on any online platform, what is the first thing you do before pressing “add to cart”? 

You check the reviews! 

Written reviews are integral to any product page, having high quality positive reviews for whatever product or service your brand is selling is critical. Think of yourself when you consider making a purchase from an online store. If the reviews are obviously fake, non-existent, or negative, you are not likely to continue through the checkout process and will remember the negativity associated with the product and brand. 

Social Media Posts

Social media is one of the most common places for UGC to ciruclate. Whether the Kardashian sisters are promoting diet products on Instagram, a live streamer is tweeting about a cool new game they tried, or your grandma is sharing a recipe she tried and loved on Facebook, social posts like these influence consumer decisions in a big way.  

Consumers are likely to trust the people they follow even if they don’t know them personally. In addition, user-generated content on social media is the most likely to spread through shares, retweets, and other forms of engagement. 

Videos Testimonials 

Video testimonials are a very valuable form of user-generated content because they can be utilized in multiple different ways. Video testimonials can be both shared on social media and embedded into product pages on your brand’s website to foster trust between your brand and customers. 

Additionally, using video testimonials can increase conversions. According to WebMad, videos on landing pages can increase conversions by up to 86%. 

User Generated Content

Best Practices When Using User-Generated Content

When UGC is a part of your brand’s marketing strategy it is important to ensure you are using it correctly and intentionally, here are a few things to keep in mind as you utilize user-generated content for your brand: 

Determine Your Goals and Stay Intentional

As with any marketing strategy, using UGC requires goals and intentionality. Ask yourself what purpose UGC might serve for your brand. Some questions to consider include:

  • Who is my audience?
  • What are my priorities?
  • Brand awareness
  • Community engagement
  • Increased conversions? 
  • What is the pain point I am trying to solve?

Once you have decided what your goals are, you can then make strategic decisions about how you use your UGC, where you use it, and what you use it for. 

Credit the Original Creator

Because UGC is user-generated, it is best practice to give credit to and thank creators for the content they create for your brand. These creators are playing an important role in your marketing strategy and deserve to be credited for their contribution. 

Creators of UGC are the lifeblood of user engagement for your brand so it is important to ensure they are treated fairly. The last thing you want as a brand manager or marketing expert is for someone who once advocated for your brand to lose trust in it and spread their story to other potential users. 

Always Request Permission

No one likes to find out that their work has been used and spread without their permission, not to mention the potential legal consequences that come along with using content without the creator’s permission.

It is common for brands that utilize user-generated content to have their creators sign agreements that prove they have given permission for the brand to use their content. Thankfully, VideoPeel takes the hassle out of this process. With VideoPeel, creators are required to agree to the terms and conditions and give permission to use their content before they are able to submit it. 

Learn from Negative UGC

User-generated content is unique in that it allows your customers to give you valuable and actionable feedback. When collecting UGC it may be easy to focus on the positive and ignore the negative, but it is critical to take feedback with stride, and leverage it to improve the consumer experience. 

How to Begin Collecting User-Generated Content

Collecting user-generated content may seem complicated, but VideoPeel makes it easy. With VideoPeel, you can collect, manage, and share your UGC all in one easy to use platform. 

VideoPeel allows you to customize campaigns for your brand so you can collect the UGC that best fits your brand’s strategy. VideoPeel allows you to create a custom landing page with assets and messaging that are specific to your brand that you can send to your customers to collect your user-generated content. In addition, with VideoPeel you can request and collect UGC in the form of written reviews, images, and videos.

In addition to making the collection process effortless, VideoPeel also makes managing your UGC simple. VideoPeel’s platform is simple and easy to use so you can filter and sort through your campaigns to find the perfect piece of UGC quickly.

Lastly, as previously mentioned, VideoPeel requires that users give you permission to use their UGC before they can even submit it. This makes sharing content quick and easy so you don’t have to stress about any legal repercussions. 

Start Building Your Brand with UGC

Now that you know what user-generated content is and how to use it, you can get started on requesting, collecting, and sharing your UGC with VideoPeel! 

Don’t miss the opportunity to connect with your consumers in a meaningful way through UGC. If you want to increase conversions, engagement, build trust, and community with your audience it's time to start collecting high quality, customized, and intention user-generated content.

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