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What is user-generated content and why is it important?

UGC-Customer Review

If you’ve been in the marketing scene, then you’ve very likely heard of the term UGC or user-generated content. The reason it’s one of the most bandied-about terms in this field is simple: it’s one of the best assets a marketer can have. 

If you want to learn more about UGC, what it is, and how to make it work to your advantage, hang tight. We’re going to go over everything you need to know about it today.

What is UGC?

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any type of content made by users or consumers instead of businesses. 

Note that we say “any type”, so UGC can be video, images, sound clips, and even testimonials! What matters is that it’s made by real consumers, perhaps even brand advocates. 

So, where can you find UGC? You can find UGC examples easily online. Google Reviews are considered UGC as they’re written by the actual customers, for example. Social media posts from users about businesses they don’t work for count as UGC too. 

That gives you an idea of how ubiquitous UGC actually is nowadays. It’s all over the Internet!

customer taking a photo of a cake they bought

What’s the importance of UGC in modern marketing?

The reason UGC matters so much in modern marketing is clear: it comes from real consumers. 

Audiences these days have just about reached saturation point with commercial advertisements. Many have gotten jaded about brands’ proclamations and are more likely to view them with scepticism than before. 

But most of these same people are likely to believe in other customers’ statements about brands. That’s because they see them as human and relatable – they’re real consumers, after all! 

So, UGC is a great way to overcome consumers’ scepticism. It’s essentially social proof of a brand’s statements and credibility, especially when organic and authentic testimonials are shared.

In a study surveying 1,000 shoppers, for example, 90% said that UGC affected their decision to purchase something. Another, this time surveying 2,000 shoppers, found that UGC affected the decision to purchase for 80% of respondents.  

There’s clearly something to be said about UGC’s credibility and impact for consumers. In addition to that, there’s the bonus opportunity to go viral, as great UGC does. 

The benefits that can bring to a brand are easy to imagine, but let’s take an actual example. Remember this video showing the effects of a particular eye cream on TikTok? Well, 5.7M likes and 1 week later, the eye cream was sold out. Imagine that happening for your brand!

What are the benefits of using UGC?

Now, if what we’ve already said about its impact on shoppers’ buying decisions hasn’t convinced you to give UGC a go yet, consider all of the other benefits it offers.

business accounting with saving money with hand holding light bulb concept financial background

1. Cost-effective content

First, it’s among the most cost-effective ways to get content. Among other things, it saves you the trouble of having to find and pay a professional content producer! 

The best part is that at the same time, it’s even more likely to get you the attention you want than polished, high-production-value content. With up to 84% of consumers trusting peer recommendations over other types of advertising, UGC is definitely winning in this area!

Customer Experience Concept, Happy Client Woman giving a Feedback with Happy Smiley Face Card

2. Credible source of customer insight

There’s also the fact that UGC is a fantastic way to get valuable insights and feedback on your products or services. UGC is typically provided with real consumers’ opinions – in other words, this is your actual customer base talking when you see UGC!

This means the things they say are worth noting. What do they like? What don’t they like? What do they recommend? What do they want more of? Noting all of those things can help you improve your offerings by adjusting accordingly.

one sign glove finger cheer up

3. An easy way to build brand loyalty

This is something that can arise both from using UGC and reacting to it as described in the previous note. 

It’s because when done right, incorporating UGC into your brand’s marketing and engaging with it can show consumers that you value them enough to recognise what they say about you. It’s a way of acknowledging who they are and how they fuel your business.

Responding to their opinions too by improving your offerings as we suggested deepens this acknowledgement. It can be a fantastic way of building strong relationships with your customers and establishing brand loyalty through that community.

How can you use user-generated content in your marketing?

There are many different ways to use UGC in your brand’s marketing. That really deserves its own article, but for now, here are some easy tips on how to do it!

Start making the most of your UGC now!

If this has gotten you excited about the idea of using UGC to bolster your marketing, good. It can have amazing effects when employed the right way.

But if you’re still not sure how you can incorporate it into your marketing strategy, don’t worry. We can help. 

From identifying the best UGC sources and content for your brand to actually putting together marketing plans with it, our team will be more than happy to simplify this process for you. Simply reach out to us and we can chat about your digital marketing needs.


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