UGC Guide

Unsure about what UGC is? Let us help you.

What is UGC?
User generated content (UGC) refers to any type of content (photo, video, text – you name it) created by a company’s own customers, featuring, and thus promoting, the brand. Your first thought might be that this exclusively means influencer photos, but UGC actually includes any content contribution by anyone, both organic and paid.

Ever heard of earned media vs. paid media? UGC is kind of like earned content, and that product photoshoot you had is paid content.

What UGC essentially entails is having your customers, in a way, do the work for you. By posting photos with your products, tagging you, or engaging with your brand in other ways on social media, they are acting as advertisers on behalf of your brand.

Why is UGC important?
One of the main reasons that user generated content has become so immensely popular in digital marketing strategies is that it helps give brands a strong sense of authenticity and trustworthiness. Think about it yourself, what would you trust more – a stock photo of an industry-typical model, or a recommendation from someone that’s more or less in the same position as you and most likely resembles you more?

Not only does it give off a more genuine vibe, but UGC also provides additional information about the products that the customers can’t get from the brand alone. You could think of it as a product review.

For example: does your protein bar taste good? You say “yes, indeed it does”, but no matter how good you say it is, it’s still going to be biased because you’re the one selling it. However, if a customer creates a post saying how much they love it, it’s way more believable, because they didn’t have to say that.

Ultimately, when a brand uses content created by their own users, it inspires and drives both existing and new customers to make purchases.

Long term, you’re building a strong trust between your brand and your customers when using UGC. As you hopefully already know, customer loyalty is everything, and using the content that your users generate for your brand helps you get there.

Still not convinced? Contact us and let us tell you more about the wondrous world of user generated content marketing.

How do you use & work with UGC?
Ok, so now you know what UGC is. But how do you actually work with it? If you hadn’t guessed it already, one way is to use a user generated content platform, such as ourselves. Flowbox helps brands gather and distribute their customers’ content (with consent, of course). Click here to read more about Flowbox and how we can help you with your content marketing strategy.

You can of course do it on your own and manage everything without tools like Flowbox, but once you reach a certain point, it’ll be a lot more work for you and your team, and/or you might not reach the same results as you could with the right guidance.

So, how do you collect content from your community? Well, there’s many ways to go about it, but the most important one is to encourage your community to engage with your brand by tagging you in their posts, and possibly using a designated hashtag. Then, of course, there’s the question of how you get people to do this, which in turn also has many different options, one of which being to offer shoutouts by reposting. For some brands’ followers, that’s all it takes, and for others you might need to tempt your followers with a bit more, by for example hosting a competition with prizes.

Once you have access to it, UGC can be used pretty much anywhere you want: on your website, in emails/newsletters, in dynamic ads, you can even use it in print. The sky’s the limit of user generated content usage, and we at Flowbox are constantly working on new, creative ways for your brand to incorporate UGC.

If you ask us, UGC is a must-have in your social media marketing strategy.