How to get user-generated content

User-generated content (UGC) is a catch-all term for when your customers talk positively about your brand on social media. It might be in the form of an Instagram post or reel, something they’ve shared on Facebook or Twitter, a video on Tik-Tok, or a pin on Pinterest. 

The reason so many brands strive for user-generated content is that prospective customers trust it more than marketing that comes directly from the company itself. Neilsen’s Global Trust in Advertising Report stated that 92 per cent of consumers trusted UGC over all other forms of advertising. In a survey done by consumer experience company Nosto, 79 per cent of respondents said that UGC highly impacted their purchasing decisions.

Because UGC is so beneficial, companies have developed some inventive ways to encourage their customers to create it. 

User-generated content gold

One of the most famous examples is Coca-Cola’s “Share A Coke” campaign, where the soft drink company printed bottle labels with hundreds of different names on them, each replacing the usual Coke logo. It instigated a frenzy of people trying to find “their bottle” and posting it on social media with the hashtag #ShareACoke. 

As far back as Christmas 2006, Animated eCard company Jib Jab created a hugely engaging campaign when they launched “Elf Yourself”, allowing people to digitally add their heads to a short video of dancing elves. It was so successful that it returns each holiday season.

Red Bull’s award-winning #PutACanOnIt campaign encouraged customers to use perspective tricks to take photos of Red Bull cans in inventive and amusing scenarios, resulting in some extremely creative shots.

Here are some ways that you can gather UGC for your brand.

  1. Ask people to share a story about how your product helped them
  2. Run a contest for the best photo of your product being used 
  3. Ask people to nominate someone to receive your product as a prize
  4. Offer a reward for the best Tik-Tok or Instagram Reel about your product
  5. Ask for before and after photo of your product’s results

You can publicise your UGC request on your social media channels, your website, your store location and even your product packaging – anywhere where your customers are likely to see it and engage with it. 

Make note

It’s important to do a few key things when asking for UGC. Firstly, tell your customers what you want them to create. It could be a photo, a video or a short piece of written content. It’s a good idea to provide an example. Secondly, let them know which tags or hashtags to use and how to do it. Thirdly, try to engage with each piece of UGC to acknowledge your customers’ submissions.

Once you’ve gathered some great UGC, it’s time to sort through all of it to pick out the gems you’d like to use in future marketing campaigns. Be sure to reach out to the creator and ask for their permission to share their work. Most people will be delighted to be recognised for their efforts.

Use your great content on social media and on your website. Still figuring out how to do the website thing? Give us a shout and we can help you!