It’s been said that digital marketing has more acronyms than the military and it’s kind of true. One that you’re probably quite familiar with – UGC – stands for User Generated Content. Put simply, this is content that your customers create. It might be a photo, video, blog, social media post – when people talk about what you do, and post it to the internet – that’s UGC!

Why getting UGC is important

So now we know what it is – why should we care about it? UGC can be hugely powerful for a brand because it is seen as more authentic, trustworthy and reliable by your audience. It’s one thing for you to say that your product/service/thing is great – when an independent user says it, that’s seen as far more likely to be the truth.

Seeing other people talking about a product or service, sharing their experiences, and offering recommendations does lots of great things for your brand reputation, and the level of trust people have in you and your offer. There’s a reason that “word of mouth” is still the make-or-break metric for most businesses – and a steady stream of high-quality UGC can make all the difference to your bottom line.

It can be used to make all types of copy more compelling, on your landing pages, product pages, your social media ads – everywhere you’re trying to sell something. The addition of your customer’s authentic voices adds value and social proof.

How to get consistent, high-quality UGC

The key to getting plenty of UGC that you can actually use is in understanding what stops people from doing this for you in the first place.

The number one reason? Is simply that they haven’t thought of it – and this is usually because you haven’t asked them. It’s your job to ask your customers for UGC, give them every reason to produce it, and make it as easy as possible. If you also make it rewarding, that’s even more enticing.

When a customer is deciding whether or not to buy from you, they are usually thinking, “What’s in it for me?” – it’s the same when they’re deciding whether to post content about you.

By removing all the technical barriers, incentivising your customers, and giving them a clear call to action – your chances of getting UGC go up exponentially. Let’s break it down.

1 – Ask

Don’t ask, don’t get – many customers who might be more than willing to talk about you simply don’t think to. As any kid knows – when and how (and who!) you ask can have a big impact on the answer you’re likely to get. For product businesses, a card that lets people know how and where to post UGC (and offers them a reward if they do) that arrives with their parcel is perfect – when they’re full of the excitement of finally getting that delivery.

For service businesses – knowing the time in your customer buying cycle when they’re likely to be the happiest (when you’ve achieved a great milestone together? When they’ve had a big win thanks to you?) is the right time to fire off that email with your ask.

2 – Make it worth their while

Rewarding people for sharing is a no-brainer – with the right offer, the amount of UGC you get is going to increase straight away. While offering vouchers or discounts is an easy win, there’s plenty of other options on the table. You can enter them into a giveaway or showcase their experiences. This can be a compelling offer because customers often crave a spotlight and love to be made to feel special with “money can’t buy this!” propositions.

3 – Make it easy

By giving clear instructions, and/or having a dedicated app/plugin to collect UGC, you can remove the technical barriers. Sometimes people are willing, but too many steps or an error message at the wrong time can see them lose motivation. Not all of your customers are going to be digital native, so it’s a great idea to make it easy for them. 

Strategies To Get More UGC Content

There’s plenty of ways to make the collection of UGC easier – for you and your customers. Here’s a roundup to get you thinking:  

  1. Use platforms like Billo or Tribe
    There’s a variety of platforms that allow you to put out a call for UGC, attach a price and pick and choose the best content. These are content creators that will generally produce videos in exchange for free products. Billo charges $59 per video to facilitate the arrangement. The benefit is you get loads of creators to choose from and can select the most suitable to use. You can also give them some direction on which areas to focus on in the review. Sure, it’s not ‘authentic’ UGC, but in many ways it’s better. Just a note, the creators are mostly from the USA.
  2. Content Creation Agencies
    Using dedicated agencies that do all the work for you costs more, but it does increase the likelihood of you receiving professional looking, high-quality content that matches your brief. Basically, you get what you pay for.  
  3. Influencer Programs
    Finding creators amongst your existing customers with an influencer program can be a good way to create UGC – but you need the right processes in place to select, negotiate and work with your key content creators. Depending on your niche, product/service and the capacity you have to manage it well, this can be a great option. This is time intensive though. Make sure you have a system to track your leads and where you’re at 
  4. TikTok Creator Marketplace | Meta Brand Collabs Manager
    There are people whose job it is to make content and working with channel experts can produce great results. Find creators that are looking to find brand partners.

Our #1 recommendation – SocialJuice

We’ve used SocialJuice on a number of successful UGC campaigns for our clients – we liked it so much we became their affiliate (and now we can offer you a great deal on it too!) Check it out here.

The key advantage is that it’s an all-in-one solution that allows customers to record a video directly on a landing page, and all the permissions/releases are sorted out too – so you get access to content you can use straight away in landing pages or ads.

You can offer voucher rewards automatically to everyone who submits a review, and with a reminder email sequence in place you can encourage your customers to get involved.

If you find some content producing superstars amongst your submissions, it’s a great opportunity to reach out to them and offer them products for regular reviews and content – that’s a win/win!

Investing some time and effort into getting your UGC acquisition sorted out can make all your offers more compelling. Ultimately, people buy from people and having your customers speak about how good your products or services are is more authentic and engaging than doing all the talking yourself.

If you need some assistance getting this in the mix, we can help.

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