What Is User-generated Content? Everything You Need to Know

User-generated content (UGC) has reemerged as a buzz-worthy topic on social media recently — especially with the rise of UGC creators

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User-generated content (UGC) has reemerged as a buzz-worthy topic on social media recently — especially with the rise of UGC creators (more on that, later). 

Creators aside, traditional UGC is still a killer asset for brands looking to grow and make sales online. 

Case in point: in a 2021 study, 80% of respondents said UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.

Why? Because UGC is the social media equivalent of a word-of-mouth recommendation. 

But how can you leverage the power of UGC marketing? We're breaking down what it is, how to find great UGC, plus some tips to get you started.

What Is User-generated Content? 

In a nutshell, user-generated content (UGC) is content created organically by a brand’s followers or consumers — which is then shared by the brand on its own accounts.

This means no money is exchanged! It’s simply a genuine and honest recommendation system that brands are no doubt, huge fans of.

It can be as simple as someone tagging a product in an Instagram feed post, reviewing a brand on TikTok, or creating a Reel.  

Types of User-generated Content 

User-generated content can come in various shapes and forms, and will generally include:

  • Images (e.g. photos on Instagram) 

  • Videos (e.g. TikTok or YouTube content) 

  • Blog posts

  • Tweets 

  • Testimonials and reviews

  • Case studies

What Is a User-generated Content Creator? 

The difference between UGC and a UGC creator is simple: $$$.

user-generated creator is a content creator who specifically creates content that looks like UGC — but it's been paid for. 

“Unlike influencers who need to grow their community before they start working with brands, UGC creators don’t need tons of followers nor are they obligated to show their face. 

 

Here at Later, our content marketing team defines UGC creators as:

Freelance content creators who specialize in creating UGC-inspired content for brands — whether it’s photos or video.

 

6 User-generated Content Best Practices 

To help you strategically think about UGC, we’ve outlined six tactics to serve your audience in the best possible way:

  1. Set Goals

  2. Credit the Source

  3. Strive for Authenticity

  4. Encourage Video

  5. Share a Variety of Users

  6. Make it Memorable