As social media platforms have come to represent a wider community, more people use them to flaunt a new product or share opinions about a service. And if it is an aspirational product like a new MacBook or a visit to a fancy restaurant, then a snap here and a story there – and that’s your user-generated content, right there!

With the content creator market recording persistent growth, an increased number of user-generated content is gaining popularity in the market driving the growth of up-and-coming brands.

Continue to read to learn all about it and the several benefits of incorporating user-generated content into your marketing strategy. and how you can leverage it to promote a lasting brand impression in the market.

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What is User Generated Content (UGC)?

In short, UGC is any type of content created by the user about a business or an organization. It may appear in various sizes and forms including texts, videos or audio.

These types of content are mostly posted on social media platforms which end up promoting a brand’s products and services without any direct intervention from the company itself.

From an individual’s comment on a brand’s social media handle to uploading a photo by tagging a brand, all these are effective UGC that increase a company’s reputation and authority online.

But why do businesses go after user-generated content marketing? Well, the straightforward answer is that UGC allows companies to create a buzz around their services and products. This works as an impactful trust signal which ensures increased business.

While long established brands have come to enjoy the momentum created by organic user-generated content, up and coming brands often leverage this marketing technique to solidify their foot in the market.

What are the Types of User Generated Content?

Types of UGC can be categorized into organic and paid user-generated content. Organic UGC means leveraging the existing popularity and audience base of the company and encouraging them to create content.

As opposed to organic, paid UGC can be reviews, promotions and news created by digital creators in exchange for payments.

types of UGC

How to Create Organic UGC?

Organic user generated content may be the result of encouragement from the brand or the consumer creating content on their own. This type of UGC content may come in the form of feedback, review, criticism or ideally an appreciation post. Organic UGC may appear in the following forms:


Comments in social media posts are among the most prevalent types of user generated content. This is where consumers leave their feedback: both positive and negative of particular products and services.

2. Reviews

Reviews through blogs or YouTube channels are arguably the most impactful UGC strategy for businesses. Social media influencers have the capacity to guide and sway the decision-making of not only their audience group but may also serve a wide spectrum of audiences looking to find general perceptions about a product or service.

3. Photos

Social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat and Pinterest feature millions of user generated content in the form of photos. User interaction with the brand, in the form of shared stories or featured products, strengthens the value and market reputation of the brand.

4. Videos

Since the internet boom, video content has become widely popular. So it is a little surprising that it would play a major role in shaping popular opinion. Videos that strategically feature products are more likely to help drive up the reputation of a particular product with quality UGC.

5. Social Media Posts

Content on social media platforms like Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn, and X offers considerable weightage to businesses. While positive posts enhance your market reputation, a few negative posts are also useful to showcase professionalism and agility in handling negative feedback.

How to Use Paid UGC?

As the name suggests, this type of user-generated content is typically transactional in nature. Paid user generated content offers businesses more control over the message being spread in the market. Here, consumers or creators are encouraged to share a product with their audience in exchange for some fees. The following are popular UGC strategies that you can implement with social media channels:

1. Brand Collaborations

Collaborating with other personal brands can be a helpful user generated content creation strategy. Apart from creating opportunities for creative marketing, it allows a business to attract potential customers from the collaborators’ network.

2. Paid Reviews

There are professional UGC creators dedicated to this service. They pass themselves off as your customers by submitting unique content across multiple platforms. You can find both individuals and agencies dedicated to creating user generated content for brands to get the mileage required to get popularity.

3. Content Creation

Paid content creation can be a helpful strategy to create new users across different domains and industries. As a business owner, you can get help from a professional content writing agency to create different kind of content which is value-driven and able to serve the users. This should let you create the buzz to spark conversations around your product and services.

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4. Influencer Marketing

Collaborating with influencers can give you access to a wide network of potential clientele. By enhancing your marketing efforts, it ensures to solidify your brand identity by spreading topical and brand-optimized content.

5. Affiliate Marketing

One of the oldest digital marketing strategies, affiliate marketing can be a good way to ensure brand mentions on fellow users’ websites to create a buzz around your business. It also provides the opportunity to strengthen your off-page SEO strategy, creating a win-win situation across the spectrum.

Why UGC is Important for Brand Development?

User-Generated Content (UGC) is one of the most underrated digital marketing strategies. Consider it yourself, what is the first thing you look for when buying something online? Reviews, right?

For any business, customer reviews and feedback play a major role to shape its reputation in the industry. Especially when you are just beginning in the industry, social media content created by customers is how most users come to learn about your services. The following are some of the benefits of incorporating user generated content into your marketing strategy:

1. Claims Trustworthiness

As discussed already, consumer-generated content sends important trust signals to users looking to avail your product and services. It positions the company or brand as a trustable entity to potential consumers. Especially in a critical market like India, user trust is vital to sustain a business.

2. Strengthens Brand Awareness

Both organic and paid UGC have one thing in common – they allow a business to emerge as a strong brand. Posts, reviews and videos published by individuals allow their network of friends and followers to discover the brand. That is why a content strategy is useful when you want to ensure maximum engagement and establish goodwill about your company.

3. Helps with SEO

One of the benefits of leveraging user generated content is its ability to increase organic rankings. Using UGC drives the necessary engagement for businesses to climb the SERP ladder and become more visible to audiences.

4. Offers Social Proof to Potential Customers

Informative and helpful media content can be a form of social proof which is vital for businesses. When you are new in the market, without an established reputation and credibility people may show reluctance to perform transactions. In such cases, user reviews and posts serve as the foundation that persuades people to trust and opt for your product and services.

5. Yields Cost Effective Results

Keeping in mind the fact that some user-generated content needs some type of payment, in spite of that, UGC is impactful enough to drive quantifiable results for a business. The amount of returns outweighs the meagre investment needed to hire content writers.

Examples of User-Generated Content

You might be quite surprised to learn that there are many popular companies around the globe to leverage this user content creation strategy. Historically, the organic content generation strategy has allowed brands to emerge as market leaders to strengthen their position in the industry.

Check out the top 3 brands that have integrated user-generated content to better engage with their customers.


starbucks user generated content
Starbucks User Created Cups

The iconic coffee chain did not always have the same amount of online popularity it enjoys today. It all changed in 2014 with the #WhiteCupContest launched by Starbucks. The contest encouraged users to draw doodles on a white cup and share it with Starbucks for limited edition Starbucks cups with the same doodles.

The campaign received much popularity in the US market for Starbucks to subsequently launch the Red Cup Art contest which featured 13 customer-created doodles from around the world. The focus on user generated content has allowed Starbucks to emerge as the aspirational brand for consumers. This enabled the company to venture into newer markets to create a global reputation.


iPhone User generated content
Source: Amani Willett

The largest tech company, Apple launched its #ShotOniPhone campaign back in 2014 with the launch of the iPhone 6. The user generated content creation campaign turned iPhone users into unofficial ambassadors of the brand. Still ongoing, the campaign fostered a spirit of community among iPhone users while also highlighting the major value proposition of iPhones – its camera.

This campaign endured in the global market and generates hashtags to this day on Instagram. Overall, the hashtag has amassed almost 30 million mentions on Instagram and it keeps growing. The company also worked with celebrities like Selena Gomez and Lady Gaga to gain further momentum to create the iconic UGC campaign.

Coca Cola

Coca Cola user generated content strategy
Source: Medium

Coca-Cola may be considered one of the popular brands that convinced each of its customers to promote the brand. It was Coca-Cola’s ‘Share A Coke’ marketing campaign that personalized each bottle to contain a name. The idea was to find a bottle with the name of a friend and share a picture with it on social media by tagging them.

Started in 2011, the campaign got Coca-Cola to identify itself with the spirit of celebration and fraternity. This created one of the legendary social media marketing campaigns. Apart from enhancing the brand value, the campaign contributed to millions of social media posts by consumers. It ended up producing an effect that surpassed national boundaries to create a whole new voice and identity for Coca-Cola.

How to Create Organic User Generated Content?

Having discussed the UGC strategy adopted by popular global brands, let us look at some of the ways we can implement it. Keep scrolling to learn the top 5 tried and tested strategies to ensure a flow of organic user-created content:

1. Launch Contests

This is one of the popular and effective ways to persuade users to create content for your brand. Launch quizzes and ask social media users to respond by tagging your brand on platforms like Instagram. The strategy to create games, quizzes and contests has made creating UGC so much simpler for companies.

In order to create a memorable campaign, consider creating a contest or program that simplifies brand recall. By associating the campaign with the intended experience or effect of the brand one can drive engagement while drawing more attention to the brand value itself.

2. Leverage the Internal Team to Produce UGC

For any successful user content creation campaign a company needs the initial spark to gain the momentum. You could produce the same by leveraging your internal team to produce different types of UGC.

Offering samples of your products to employees and asking them to share impressions online can be a good place to create more content and engage with more audiences. This way, a business can get the initial flow of content created by users which paves the way for further organic content creation.

3. Share Customer Stories on Social Media

Ask your loyal customers to share their experiences of associating with your brand. In the form of short-form content or video, ask the customers to share their experiences of availing your product and services.

Once they have shared their opinion, you can now go ahead and share content on your social handles across different platforms. This way you can seamlessly incorporate user-generated content into your marketing strategy. Keep in mind that as a business you need to take care of your customers’ privacy. So be sure to redact sensitive information while resharing the posts.

4. Collaborate with Creators

Collaborating with creators in the domain presents another opportunity to feature user-generated content. Hosting events with influential creators who also happen to be a user of your product and services can help to inform your potential customers about your value propositions.

The key is to keep the conversations candid and natural without too much moderation. This ensures that users get the real perception. You may also encourage creators to make content around your business by introducing an incentive scheme for them.

5. Introduce Rewards against Reviews

Any new business trying to make it big in the market can attract user reviews by introducing reward models. Typically, these models reward the users with cashback or some sort of coupon against reviews. It can be useful to draw in new customers and kick-start your user content generation campaign.

User Generated Content Tools

The tools to handle user-generated content effectively are,

1. UGC Rights Management

This software can help to preserve the copyrights and policies of content. Therefore, for any security issues regarding UGC, one can help with this.

2. UGC Display Tool

Display tools can help to present the reviews interestingly in front of the users. With the obvious benefits, it can help in social reach.

3. UGC Content Software

It can help share content, organise content and manage the whole process effectively.

Thus, user-generated content can be a real-time solution for digital marketers to market their business properly. The benefits of UGC are as follows:

  • It is a social proof
  • UGC is an example of great visuals 
  • It gives better ROI
  • It helps to build credibility.


In short, user-generated content is considered to be a game changer for business and rightly so because of its impact. What may seem like a trivial marketing strategy has a big impact on influencing consumer buying decisions.

For a new business, launching and receiving effective results from a UGC campaign may be difficult so you may try the strategies mentioned above. So that you can receive maximum organic growth with your value propositions.

Frequently Asked Questions

1. What is a UGC content example?

Whenever a customer shares a post on social media platforms about a product or service from a particular brand it is considered as user-generated content which has the potential to increase the reputation and visibility of the brand in the market.

2. How to create user-generated content?

You can create user-generated content by featuring customer reviews and feedback on your website.

3. Is YouTube a user-generated content?

Since YouTube is a video-sharing platform where users can upload their videos, it is a type of UGC platform. With user reviews and feedback videos, YouTube plays a major role in shaping consumer behaviour in the modern economy.

Links that are posted in user-generated content such as a social media post, comment, or forum post are called UGC backlinks.

5. Is user-generated content paid?

UGC can be both organically created as well as paid. In organic UGC the users produce content on their own accord. Contrarily paid UGC compensates the user in one form or another to post the content.