Influencer Academy

What is User-Generated Content (UGC) in Social Media Marketing?

Aug 18, 2023
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If you’re anybody who works in social media marketing then you must have heard of user-generated content or UGC. UGC in social media marketing is any content, such as photos, videos, tweets, etc., that is created by people instead of brands or media companies.

By including it into your marketing strategy, you can not only build credibility and awareness, but also get more bang for buck out of your marketing budget.

In this guide, you’ll learn:

  • what UGC is and its benefits,
  • how small brands and creators use it for their businesses,
  • and how to leverage it to achieve your social media goals.

Let’s dive in!

Why Social Media and User-Generated Content Go Hand in Hand

blogger posting photo on instagram account

Social networks are very popular and that’s why they’re also a great place for brands, businesses, and marketers to place advertisements. However, advertisers use interruption marketing tactics to force their message across.

People visit social media to consume content in order to entertain themselves and feel a sense of connection with other people in the world. However, marketers constantly interrupt people from consuming content by bombarding them with ads. Users over time are becoming more aware of interruption tactics and have developed a sixth-sense to detect and ignore ads as soon as they pop up on their feeds.

That’s why the average click-through rate on social media has declined steadily over the past decade. Click-through rate is a percentage of people who click an ad as compared to people who see the ad. The current average click-through rate worldwide stands at a measly 1.21%. Due to this, marketers who use traditional advertising have no choice but to interrupt people even more at larger scales to achieve their business goals.  

Introducing User-Generated Content 

User-Generated Content 

User-Generated Content (UGC) is the most common type of content, making up 80% of all content on the internet. UGC is any type of content that is created by social media users instead of brands, businesses, or media companies. People create content for personal amusement, to interact with others on the internet, or to talk about certain topics.

Maybe you bought a new car? Got a promotion? Tried out a new resort or hiking spot? Chances are you’re going to take a photo and put it on Instagram. That’s UGC. As a company, you can use this to your advantage by encouraging people to put in a good word for you in their social media posts.

For example, ASOS, a fashion brand only posts UGC from creators and consumers on its Instagram profile:

This way, the brand looks more legit, since 92% of people are more likely to trust recommendations from friends, families, and influencers above all types of ads. This kind of content is authentic, believable, and human, that’s why it gets much more engagement than traditional ads or big budget media productions.

So, how can you leverage UGC as a business or marketer? By giving people exactly what they want – real and authentic content that resonates with their values, that doesn’t come off as aggressive, and helps build trust and credibility.

There are many ways to do it.

User-Generated Content Examples


Adventure video equipment company GoPro is notorious for using primarily user-generated content in most of its marketing campaigns.

The company encourages people to produce content using photo challenges and complete award shows. As of December 2021, the top three videos posted by GoPro, that had over 400 million views, were all created by users.

Well Traveled

UGC isn’t only for big companies like GoPro. Small brands like Well Traveled continue to build a loyal customer base by posting content from other members.

The company’s Brand Marketing and Partnerships Director, Laura DeGomez says, “no one tells our story better than our members. The Well Traveled community is the key here, whenever we can let their experiences shine, we do.”


AirBnb sources pretty much all of its Instagram content from users. 77% of all content posted by AirBnb in Q4 2016 was UGC. As part of its online strategy, the company encourages users to post photos of their AirBnb bookings on Instagram. The highest quality photos are then reposted on AirBnb’s Instagram page while giving credits to the users.


Canadian athleisure brand regularly creates hashtag events such as its famous #thesweatlife to get community-generated content.

By using hashtag events and challenges, Lululemon always has access to new content to post on Instagram. It also repurposes these videos for marketing campaigns via other channels.  According to research, 84% of Gen Z trust ads more if there are some real customers in them. Having access to customer-generated content and repurposing it for ads the way Lululemon does it can make marketing much more effective.

Where to Get User-Generated Content?

girl holding big smart phone like notification instagram

There are many ways to get user-generated content. The method you pick really depends on what stage you’re at in terms of community building and brand awareness. If you already have a strong relationship with your community, you can simply ask people to post content in exchange for shoutouts or some other member perks such as discount coupons.

However, if you’re still in the early stages, and need UGC to power your marketing campaigns, then you can always source content from UGC creators.

What are UGC Creators?

woman influencer creating her dancing video

UGC creators are different from influencers or content creators. They are usually unknown, don’t have a big following but are very good at creating content that looks just like UGC.

Brands partner with them to get a regular supply of authentic content that consumers find more human and real. The content isn’t necessarily high quality, but it gets the message across and makes the brand look much more trustworthy.

You can find UGC creators by reaching out to them on Instagram or you can use a UGC platform like Paysenger.

How to Use Paysenger to Get UGC For Your Brand


UGC has the most impact when you have a lot of it. It’s usually impractical to reach out to creators one by one, so a UGC platform comes in handy when you’re designing your marketing strategy.

Paysenger is a social marketplace where you can easily find creators using search filters and pay them to create UGC for you. 

The process is simple:

  1. Download Paysenger on iOSAndroid or try the Web version
  2. Create a free account
  3. Go to Creators
  4. Tap on the Search tool
  5. Filter using Industry, Reviews, and Country
  6. Visit Creator profiles to preview their portfolio
  7. Send paid requests to Creators whose content you like

Oh Zoe on Paysenger

Oh Zoe post on Paysenger

You can discuss potential long-term deals with creators that you enjoy working with. Every piece of content you produce in collaboration with a creator on Paysenger is partially owned by you. So, if the video goes viral on Paysenger, the income will get split equally between you and the creator. 

Paysenger actively rewards content creators and their sponsors with its utility cryptocurrency known as EGO. EGO tokens can easily be traded on any crypto exchange or withdrawn for any real-world currency of your choice.

Try Paysenger on iOSAndroid or Web

How to Get UGC Organically?


UGC works best when your customers keep posting new content on your behalf across social media. This requires you to create an environment where everyone gets rewarded for participating.

Be proactive

Actively reach out to buyers to ask for social media reviews or unboxing videos. You can either do it via email or create announcements on Instagram. You can also make UGC a part of the buying process. Some clothing companies, for example, send flyers with product packaging asking people to post reviews in exchange for rewards.

Give rewards

Reward creators for posting content for your brand. This could be a free package of products, discount codes, or something bigger like a free tour. Make sure to announce this on your social media and credit the original creator. When people see that you’re generous, they will happily participate in your UGC campaigns and post content in your favor.

Ask for consent

Always ask for permission before using someone’s content. Even if people use your hashtags, they might not be aware of your UGC campaign. 

Reposting someone’s content without asking for consent first is a surefire way to ruin your reputation. When reposting, make sure to show people how much you appreciate their content and don’t forget to tag them.

Clearly define your content requirements

Team of businessmen cartoon characters searching specification requirements

Many brands fail to offer clear instructions on what type of UGC they’re looking for. While a lot of UGC creators have a good style that aligns with your requirements, more than half of them need clear guidelines.

Brands sometimes add guidelines in their story highlights or create a page on their website to talk about their requirements. The goal is to make it as easy for people to create content for you as possible. Offer clear and specific guidelines so people can effortlessly start recording without any guesswork about whether or not you’ll like the content.


UGC in marketing campaigns makes your brand look down-to-earth and authentic. 45% of people unfollow brands if there’s too much self-promotion in their marketing.

So, the goal is to set yourself apart and be the people’s brand. And that can easily be achieved by using user-generated content.

Ready to source high quality user-generated content from UGC creators? Create a free Paysenger account and start meeting UGC creators from all over the world! Source large amounts of UGC and even pay creators to post content across social networks. Achieve your marketing goals quicker and much, much more!

Try Paysenger for free on iOSAndroidWeb

Jul 14, 2024
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