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Digital Skills Blog

User-generated content for your brand

8th June 2016

Content for your brandWe have touched on User Generated Content in a number of blogs we have written in the past, but it is becoming such a valuable form of content that it certainly deserves more focus in its own right.

It is abundantly clear whilst looking through my social media channels that the majority of brands are now incorporating UGC in their content – and not just sporadically. A number of brands are relying on UGC to form the majority of their content. But why should this be the case, and what will it bring them, that their own content won’t?

Firstly let’s look at some stats that may help you understand the power of UGC and why it is being reported as ‘transforming B2C marketing’.

  • Visitors to websites that include UGC galleries spend 90% more time on the site
  • Social campaigns that incorporate UGC see a 50% lift in engagement
  • Ads with UGC generate 5-times greater click-through rates
  • UGC drives a 73% increase in email click-through rates
  • Brands see 25% increase in conversions when user-generated photos are used instead of professionally made product shots by brands
  • 82% of shoppers say that user-generated content is extremely valuable when deciding on purchases
  • 50% of shoppers find UGC more memorable than content produced by brands.

We have spoken about how important Advocate marketing is when building your brand, and there is no better way than encouraging UGC. We are surrounded by it constantly on social media, and it is reported that UGC is a content magnet for millennials, who by 2030, will comprise of 75 percent of the global workforce, so it is crucial that a brands relationship is solid and trustworthy with this 18 to 33 year-old demographic.

So, what exactly is UGC and how can you access it for your brand?

User Generated Content is a content strategy that encourages consumers to share their experiences with a brand which in turn can be shared by the brand to show other consumers the success of their product or service. Content can be images, videos, podcasts, text or memes for example.

UGC is being embraced by a number of larger brands, but it is also being used by smaller business, with 78% of B2C companies encorporating it within their content strategy in the last year.

It makes so much sense to use UGC in your own online activity, so think about how you can approach this. Do you offer a product that you want to encourage customers to take a photo of in their own environment? Do you want to run a competition asking for a certain image to be uploaded? How about a selfie competition with a particular hashtag? Try to think about what will engage your followers, something that hasn’t been done before and will get people hooked. What is trending, is it seasonal? Is it location based? It is industry based? Try to look at your marketing plan and see if anything sits well that you can access. Ultimately, by encouraging UGC and then using that within your feeds, it reduces the amount of content that you yourself need to generate, which in turn saves us time!

A few examples of brands who have used UGC extremely well in my newsfeed are Lotta From Stockholm – a UK based shoe company who share customers photos on their timelines. The photos are bright, colourful, effective and sum up the feeling of the company. I for one have purchased more clogs based on the UGC that this brilliant company shares.

User Generated Content - Lotta from Stockholm

Urban Outfitters are another brand that use UGC very effectively. Like Lotta, they ask their customers to share their purchases which UO share on their own community page. It’s a win win situation, as it’s a huge boost for the consumer to see their own image used on a big brands website, and they in turn gain more followers on their account. 

Urban outfitters user generated content

Innocent smoothies have an incredibly successful marketing strategy, and none more so than when they asked for woolly hats to be used for their smoothie bottles. This was a different form of UGC in the fact is was an item that was given, rather than an image – but these woolly hats added another dimension to the Innocent products, made them more appealing, but also raised a huge amount of money and awareness for Age UK.

The contributors not only knitted little hats for the bottles, but also shared images of them all over their own social media, resulting in a huge amount of engagement for the campaign.

Innocent smoothies user generated content

What this shows us is that instead of creating our own content, what we need to focus on is creating opportunity for our followers to create content. Whatever channel works best for you, how can you engage and encourage these opportunites?

I’d love to hear your thoughts so please do get in touch with me at