What is User-Generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) is content pertaining to a particular brand or product that is created by fans, customers, or employees for free. Also referred to as user-created content (UCC), UGC can take many forms including, but not limited to: blog posts, social media posts, product reviews, and testimonials.
One of the main defining characteristics of UGC from other forms of social proof is that those who create this form of content are not paid for the work. Rather, UGC is a form of earned media.
Benefits of User-Generated Content
Here are the reasons you should consider building our your UGC library:
- Social proof: UGC is a great source of social proof and can be used to not only convince customers to make a purchase but also optimize your website for conversions.
- Brand awareness: When people post about your brand or product online this can help you build brand awareness organically which can save you money on advertising dollars.
- Build trust: People tend to trust UGC over branded content. In fact, according to Adweek 47% of millennials and 36% of baby boomers trust UGC, but only 25% of both demographics say they have confidence in branded content.
- More visuals: Creating compelling visuals of your products can be a costly endeavor. When users create photo and video content for you in the form of UGC you can save money by using these visuals.
Below you will find an exhaustive list of types of UGC as well as examples of each:
Types of User-Generated Content
Blog posts are a particularly popular form of UGC for ecommerce brands that sell products with a strong online community like skincare, clothing, and cosmetics. Customers who have had a memorable experience with your brand may go out of their way to share about your products via a written format. Sometimes your customers will write blog posts that focus solely on your brand, and other times they may mention your product in a “listicle”. But, blog posts are not just prominent in the world of ecommerce—many B2B customers tend to write blog posts about their experiences with brands as well.
User-generated blog post examples:
- Best Beauty Products of 2021
- The Fall Trend I’ll Be Wearing this Season
- Using Zapier to Make SMS Idea Input Seamless
Social Media Posts
Social Media sites are rife with UGC! Major social networks like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and Instagram are filled to the brim with discourse surrounding the latest and greatest products and services—from B2B to D2C and beyond!
Using these sites, customers can share information about your brand via a short form post or even just a simple photo! While this form of UGC is largely used to convey information about consumer-facing brands, all companies including B2B organizations should invest time into understanding what customers are saying about them on social media.
User-generated social media post examples:
Because 81% of online shoppers agree that brands with no reviews are less trustworthy, it’s no surprise that product reviews are a key component to many UGC programs! While ecommerce brands tend to incorporate reviews directly on their product display pages (PDPs) many B2B companies focus on gaining positive reviews on external websites like G2 and Capterra.
Of course, reviews can be a double edged sword as customers may leave both positive and negative feedback about your product. Be sure to keep a close eye on all of your user-generated reviews to understand what people like and dislike about the items you sell.
User-generated product review examples:
Testimonials are a form of UGC wherein happy customers provide powerful quotes regarding their experience with a brand. Widely used by both B2C and B2B brands, testimonials allow companies to showcase success stories through a customer’s own words.
User-generated testimonial examples:
Through video content, customers can walk their audience through their experiences with a particular product or brand. People use websites like YouTube and TikTok to share their opinions about different companies through a video format.
User-generated video example: