What is User-Generated Content and How to Use It

Creating user-generated content is one of social media trends for 2020. While some big brands have already included it into their marketing strategies, GoPro have completely built their brand using user-generated content. Almost each of us has created such content by taking a photo with a can of coke with our names and tagging the account of the brand, or posting a pic of lasagne from our favourite restaurant with a tag of its Instagram account. 

Such content is always more profitable because it’s emotional, trustworthy and engaging. In other words, it’s authentic. 

What is UGC?

UGC (user-generated content) is any form of content, such as images, videos, text, and audio, that has been created and published by users, rather than brands.

Why is such content so important? The answer is simple. Because people trust people. We are more likely to trust other people, even strangers, rather than a company praising highly its product. This is because our fellow consumers share their experiences and show the product as it is, in its true colours. 

According to the survey stackla.com , 86% of respondents say authenticity is important when deciding what brands to choose, while 60% of consumers think that user-generated content seems the most authentic.

Even if a brand is mentioned in UGC, users will have more positive attitudes to it than to sponsored content.

What are the Benefits of Creating UGC? 

Minimum Cost. You don’t spend time and money on creating content, but you can use it on your account. 

Please note! Don’t forget about the copyright. Unfortunately, brands might not bother much about using other people’s content. It’s enough just to ask “Can I share your review in the stories?” As a rule, most people give an OK quite quickly.

Building Trust

Before buying goods or services, modern customers want to know what exactly they will get. They want to see and to feel the product as it is without filters or image editing. 

When buying a piece of clothing, consumers prefer to see how it fits ordinary people rather than models. The choice of a restaurant to eat out is based not only on the recommendations of people they know, but also on the reviews of other users on the Internet. That is why the first-hand experience and impressions of customers who have already interacted with products or services are of great importance. 


If brands use UGC on their accounts, it usually works better than any other type of content. It expands the reach and engagement. Moreover, you get additional engagement because when users tag your account on their photos, you get their followers as your audience. 

79% of clients say that they are greatly influenced by UGC when making a decision about a purchase. 

To sum up, taking into account all the previously mentioned advantages of UGC, it accomplishes the major task and results in a purchase. 

How to Motivate Users to Create User-Generated Content

Now that we know about UGC and its advantages, let’s look into how to encourage users to create it. 

There are several ways to do it.

  1. The simplest one is to ask clients to submit reviews after receiving goods or services. They can send you a message to Instagram Direct or send you a photo, tag your account on an Instagram post (if it’s footwear or apparel) or mention you in a story.
  2. Run contests and giveaways.  Make a post clearly outlining the entry requirements. Keep in mind that they should be few in number, simple and clear. If you want photos, apart from comments, make it an entry requirement. Ask your followers to share photos tagging your account. Later, you can repost the best shots to your Instagram feed or to stories, saving them in Highlights. You can give a discount for the next purchase as a prize in the contest or hold a prize drawing. 
  3. Create favourable environment. Make a beautiful installation or a photo zone in your shop, cafe or somewhere else where you can’t help but take a photo. A pretty coffee cup, takeaway packaging or anything, the main thing is to explain to your customers where to post the photo, who or what to tag, which hashtags to use. 

A lot of brands expect their clients to create UGC, but in total, they don’t do anything with it. Photos, videos, comments and reviews which are left unattended on the net won’t build brand trust or bring new clients. You must work with this type of content:

  • publish UGC on your account;
  • create Highlights with customers’ reviews or photos (better yet both);
  • create stories with UGC;
  • create ad campaigns with UGC;
  • use UGC on your website and in emails.


The number of UGC types is growing together with the development of social media. The more publishing tools there are, the more ways customers can use to tell about their interaction with brands. As for the methods of motivating your users to produce UGC, the only limit here is your imagination.