9 Types of User-Generated Content for Brands
In the fast-changing digital marketing landscape, user-generated content (UGC) has become an essential part of successful marketing campaigns. According to the latest search logistics statistics, brands that utilize UGC have seen 29% higher conversion rates and 50% more engagement. While being more cost-effective than traditional ads, UGC also offers better authenticity through real customer experiences and increased engagement with customers.
If you're interested in the growing world of UGC, then you’re in luck! In this Collabstr article, we’ll provide you with a comprehensive understanding of the different types of UGC that can help you better interact with your customers and drive traffic.
9 Types of UGC
1. Social Media Content
As a platform for UGC, social media reigns supreme. User-generated material abounds on platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, and YouTube. So social media is a treasure for brands, with everything from personal anecdotes to creative expressions like images, videos, and memes.
Brands such as GoPro have capitalized on this opportunity with unique initiatives such as the Million Dollar Challenge, which encourages audiences to contribute their finest GoPro footage for a chance to win big.
With a chance to become a millionaire in a day, many joined the contest and submitted their best GoPro films. Out of over 25,000 submissions, the top videos were showcased on GoPro's social networks.
There are a variety of ways to create and share UGC on social media, which often includes the following:
Social Media Posts
Customer posts are common examples of UGC on social media. These can include discussing their interactions with a brand, publishing product images, or mentioning the brand in a post to pique interest.
Take this tweet from @NikTheGeek, for example. He's neither a marketer nor an influencer, he's just a regular person. He enticingly expresses his preference for the Amazfit smartwatch to the Apple Watch, while highlighting its unique selling points. This makes an excellent example of UGC due to its authenticity and straightforward messaging–Amazfit smartwatch is better and cheaper than Apple Watch.
This word-of-mouth strategy helps boost brand authenticity, credibility, and encourages interest among potential customers.
On social media, users upload photos to express themselves, share experiences, tell stories, and give their unique perspectives. More specifically, user-generated photos are particularly popular on Instagram and Pinterest. These images, taken by ordinary people, often show authentic moments, feelings, and experiences. So, compared to professionally staged brand photos, their honesty makes them more relatable and intriguing to other users.
Take Glossier, for example. This cosmetics brand relies on customer-submitted photographs to consistently spread the word about their products. They post photographs of people using their products as well as heartfelt stories from clients who discovered confidence in their skincare range. These stories shared how cosmetics helped real people restore a sense of attractiveness and self-assurance after being without it for years.
When Glossier released their Mega Greens Galaxy Masks, thousands of customers shared images of themselves wearing the masks with the hashtag #MaskForce. Glossier capitalized on this by reposting these photographs, which greatly increased user interaction.
Videos, from YouTube to TikTok, are powerful forms of user-generated content. The videos can be personal vlogs, hilarious snippets, or tutorialswhich are all created by people rather than official brand channels.
Video UGC on social media can take several forms, including:
Personal Vlogs: Users share video snippets of their day-to-day experiences, musings, and hobbies.
Product Reviews: People make videos to review items they've purchased and share their opinions and recommendations.
Tutorials and How-To Videos: Individuals or experts provide instructional videos on a variety of topics, ranging from cosmetic tutorials to DIY projects.
Comedy and Entertainment: Users create interesting skits, parodies, or other entertainment to engage their audience.
Challenges and Trends: Participating in trending challenges by creating and uploading videos that correspond to the trend's theme.
Travel and Adventure: Displaying video clips from excursions and adventures, giving viewers a glance into various locations and experiences.
Short Films and Storytelling: Making short videos, storytelling clips, or artistic works to tell stories or express imagination.
The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge is a popular example of video UGC. This challenge, created by Pat Quinn and Pete Frates to support those with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), made waves. The idea was simple: capture and distribute videos of people pouring ice water over their heads to raise awareness.
This campaign took off like wildfire, dominating social media for months. It amassed 2.4 million tagged videos on Facebook alone, raising an incredible $220 million for ALS groups. The ALS Ice Bucket Challenge stood out as a remarkable example of impactful UGC marketing as the movement gained momentum and became an online sensation.
Customers can share personal, behind-the-scenes glimpses on Instagram, Facebook and Snapchat stories in a comfortable setting. This may be the first look at new products, or a day in the life of a customer who is completely involved in your brand.
This type of content does not require a lot of polish. Consider the case of IKEA Canada. When a user tagged IKEA in a photo taken at their cafeteria, the company responded by sharing the photograph with an engaging sticker. It's a break from IKEA's standard Scandi-cool look, but it's fun and genuine. This also acts as a subtle type of social affirmation, informing followers that other users enjoy IKEA's meatballs.
2. Reviews and Testimonials
Customer reviews are a popular type of user-generated content that promotes a company and encourages enthusiasm through word-of-mouth promotion. According to research, product reviews and ratings have a significant role in customer purchasing decisions.
In fact, According to BrightLocal's survey, 76% of shoppers "regularly" browse internet reviews while researching local businesses. This emphasizes the critical significance that positive evaluations and ratings may have in pushing your company's sales.
3. Blog Posts and Articles
According to the findings of the State of UGC 2023 Report, a sizable 93% of marketers believe that content created by customers is more trustworthy than content created by brands. Essentially, human confidence is placed in fellow humans.
Blogs emerged as a significant subgroup of UGC. They give a platform for users to create content based on specific topics. Users can share their ideas, recount their experiences, or provide useful insights to their readers. Brands can leverage user-generated blogs by collaborating with bloggers to support their products or services.
4. Video Content (including live streaming and AR lenses/filters)
Video content has been on the rise recently, and its impact on UGC marketing will only grow in the future. As technology advances and smartphone cameras improve, more people are creating and sharing short and long videos on social media networks.
Brands can capitalize on this trend by encouraging customers to contribute video testimonials, product reviews, or creative content that promotes their brand.
Live video streaming offers a new level to video UGC and is quickly gaining popularity too. Live video UGC provides an authentic and dynamic way to connect with customers, whether it's hosting Q&A sessions, giving behind-the-scenes insights, or presenting live product demonstrations. Platforms such as Instagram Live, Facebook Live, and TikTok Live enable marketers to interact with their customers in real-time.
5. Q&A Forums (including comments)
Currently, many brands interact with their customers to curate Q&A segments. This method assists in identifying the questions that are truly important to customers, broadening the understanding of their audience, and providing valuable solutions to their communities.
Every month, 300 million unique people visit Quora, a popular Q&A platform. It answers a wide range of highly specialized questions from online users on a variety of topics. People use the platform to learn about everything from theoretical and scholarly topics to commercial products or offerings from large corporations.
6. Case Studies
Crafting a case study for your brand, albeit more serious in nature, can serve as a helpful arsenal of your product's merits and cons, assisting in attracting the attention of potential new buyers.
These case studies serve as real evidence, providing verifiable results from satisfied consumers. They combine feedback from prior customers who have used your product or service, perhaps influencing prospects in the process.
This type of UGC is very useful for targeting specific thriving markets. For example, if your product is infant formula, you may claim that 7 out of 10 mothers trust your brand—as long as you have the necessary research and audience feedback to back it up.
Case studies can help you gauge the profitability of your products with relevant statistics and data, such as sales numbers and the ratio of favorable to negative customer evaluations. This can help you craft an appropriate campaign targeting the right audience.
Skillshare is an online learning platform that offers a variety of courses to help people learn and master real skills.
Skillshare launched a referral program with a two-tiered incentive scheme in an effort to increase online sign-ups. Each referred student receives 14 days of free premium class access, while the referrer receives a $10 return.
That was a clever move. In this sense, referral marketing becomes more than just motivating customers to refer others to a brand or product; it goes a step further by encouraging the creation of UGC.
This means that when customers are encouraged to refer their family or friends, they often share their experiences, feedback, and recommendations on social media. This UGC serves as authentic and valuable testimonials for the brand, as it reflects real experiences and opinions.
8. Webinars or Podcasts
Webinars and podcasts are powerful ways to engage in UGC exchanges. Hosting your own podcast or webinar, or appearing as a guest on another's show, allows you to share your expertise and build trust with prospective consumers.
9. Crowdsourcing and Contests
Incorporating UGC from contests or crowdsourcing initiatives can increase your brand's visibility and reach to a wider audience. This strategy can also encourage your followers' creativity, resulting in unique and imaginative user-generated material.
Lay's is a perfect example of a successful crowdsourcing initiative. Lay's encouraged customers to submit their chip flavor proposals for a chance to win a gift through their "Do Us a Flavor" campaign.
This contest received over 14 million entries and resulted in the addition of three new chip flavors to Lay's product selection.
How To Choose a UGC Type For Your Brand
When choosing UGC, it’s important to focus on what fits your brand’s identity. Make sure the content you choose aligns with your objectives and appeals to your target audience. For instance, if your goal is to establish credibility and trust among your audience, a customer review is the most appropriate UGC type.
Understand Your Brand Identity
Begin by establishing your brand's core values, objectives, and target audience. Conduct a thorough market investigation to determine what resonates with your target audience and complements the personality of your business.
Examine and evaluate current user-generated content related to your niche because this helps you choose content formats that produce positive results. Then, create a succinct UGC structure that reflects your brand's tone, manner, and ideals. This approach simplifies the process of discovering material that is consistent with your brand's identity.
Define Tour Target Audience
Create detailed buyer personas that include important details such as:
Geography and Location
This data will act as a guidepost for choosing the best type of UGC that will resonate with your brand in the future.
Set Clear Marketing Goals
Before requesting certain content types, it is critical to understand how UGC content fits into your advertising strategy. While being tagged in visually appealing photographs is advantageous, using that content to support your marketing objectives necessitates a deliberate strategy.
Begin by reviewing your social media strategy to discover areas where UGC aligns with your current marketing objectives. Do you want to expand your reach, generate leads, increase sales, or improve your reputation?
Identify The Platforms Where Your Audience Is Most Active
Recognizing the primary platform your audience uses allows you to tailor your material to their preferences and practices on that channel.
Consider this: if your audience is more engaged on Instagram, then creating visually appealing and dynamic content like photographs, stories, and Instagram reels will provide better results.
If they're more active on Twitter, they'll prefer compact yet captivating text-based content or short videos. Following this technique ensures that your user-generated content is compatible with your audience's preferred platform, increasing engagement and encouraging meaningful relationships.
Conducting competitor research provides essential insights into the UGC that resonates with its target audience. This procedure aids in the identification of trends, preferences, and opportunities for content strategy.
You may zero in on the content formats, subjects, and engagement strategies that result in optimal user engagement and conversions by analyzing their victorious UGC. With actionable information, you can fine-tune your UGC strategy to fit with your audience's desires, outperform your competitors' initiatives, and produce more relevant and appealing UGC. This, in turn, increases engagement and user satisfaction.
Leverage Customer Insights and Trends
Staying on top of client trends is critical in determining the best UGC variety for your company. Here's how it's done:
Customer trends provide critical insights into the UGC content that connects with customers, as well as the subjects, motifs, or forms that motivate customers to create and share UGC.
Navigating client trends in a timely manner entails:
Content Analysis: Invest time in determining what content your customers are likely to share. What features of your brand do they value the most?
Social Media Keyword Research: Follow hashtags relevant to your sector and look for terms linked with your brand to find these solutions. This method aids in the analysis of current trends and customer preferences.
Survey Your Audience
Conducting surveys is an excellent method for determining the best form of user-generated material. Surveys provide immediate insight into audience preferences and tendencies. A clear understanding of the audience's requirements, expectations, and content consumption patterns can be gained by properly designing surveys and gathering feedback.
Choose The Best Type Of UGC For Your Brand
UGC is all about authenticity and interaction. It goes beyond simply promoting a product or service; it entails building a community and publicizing genuine consumer interactions. Analyzing your audience, objectives, and brand essence may help you determine what form of UGC will resonate with your customers.
At the same time, it is important to have an overview of the UGC creator rates charged by different content creators. This allows you to make informed decisions and align your budget with the type of content that matches your brand. There is no fixed rate for UGC Creator services, but on average, most creators charge $340 for user-generated content in 2023.
Monitor And Adapt
Track the results of your UGC ad campaigns on a regular basis. Consider dedicating greater attention to a single content category if you see regular success with it. Prepare to change your campaign strategy in response to changing trends and audience preferences.
User-generated content has evolved from a marketing trend to a critical component of successful brand interaction in the digital age. You may develop a stronger connection with your audience and foster brand loyalty by adopting multiple UGC forms and aligning them with your brand identity, target audience, and marketing objectives. Harnessing the potential of user-generated content has never been easier with Collabstr as your partner on this journey.
Lucky for you, Collabstr is your entry point into the world of user-generated content influencers and content providers. Collabstr makes it simple for companies and agencies to get unique content, whether it's sponsored articles, testimonial videos, product pictures, or anything else. Feel free to learn more at Collabstr.