Video Marketing

User-Generated Content: What It Is and Why It Matters


What do unboxing videos, customer reviews, and shopping haul TikTok videos have in common? Well, they can all be excellent types of user-generated content!

User-generated content, or UGC, is a great marketing tool many businesses have added to their marketing strategies.

Chances are, your customers are already creating content with your products. It's time to put this content to good use.

Let's give into user-generated content, its importance, benefits, and how to use Animoto's online video maker to scale your UGC strategy with video marketing.

user generated content

What is user-generated content?

User-generated content is any form of brand-specific content that is created by your audience instead of you.

UGC is often digital media like pictures or videos, but even text or reviews are a form of UGC.

Examples of UGC could be shoppers posting photos wearing your latest spring collection or leaving a review of your restaurant.

Usually, UGC is posted online on social media or other channels.

Types of user-generated content

User-generated content can come in many forms. It can be:

  • Pictures
  • Videos
  • Reviews
  • Testimonials
  • Social media content, and more!

If it's a meaningful form of content featuring your brand in a positive light, it's UGC!

Some users will create UGC on their own without being prompted. But others need a little encouragement.

It's in your brand's best interest to encourage them because UGC is an essential part of your marketing strategy.

Why is user-generated content so important?

UGC can be an essential part of your marketing strategy. Let’s share a few interesting statistics:

  • 79% of people say UGC affects their buying decisions.
  • Click-through rates on your ads can increase 4x higher when using UGC.
  • UGC can boost engagement rates by 28% on social media.

And why does user-generated content have so much power for your brand? Because it has so many benefits.

6 top user-generated content benefits

User-generated content has a lot of benefits for your brand and your marketing. Let's dive into the top six benefits.

1. It's social proof

First, UGC acts as a form of social proof. When you reshare other people's content featuring your brand, product, or service, it gives you credibility. Credibility is so important when it comes to your brand.

UGC boosts your authenticity. When potential customers see positive content created by people like them, they're more likely to trust your business and your products.

2. It's influential

Using product reviews left by happy customers on your website can convince shoppers to hit the "add to cart” button.

Because of this, user-generated content can boost conversions by up to 29%.

3. It creates community

UGC also helps create a positive community for your business online. Brand loyalty can increase as your customers feel like they contribute to your business.

When you use UGC, you're putting customers in the spotlight. Sometimes, customers might even create UGC in the hopes of being shared on your brand’s social media page.

4. It humanizes your marketing

User-generated content can humanize your marketing. Consumers might tend to trust other consumers more than businesses.

48% of marketers believe UGC is a valuable tool for humanizing your marketing.

5. It's memorable

UGC is proven to be more memorable than other forms of marketing content.

There is an abundance of content online, available 24/7 at our fingertips. It's hard enough to catch consumers' attention and even more challenging to solidify a spot in their memory.

6. It's inexpensive

It's a cost-effective way to gather marketing material. It's much cheaper than influencer marketing or creating your own campaigns. Some brands' marketing strategies rely entirely on UGC, which significantly lowers their marketing budget.

By using UGC, you're getting authentic and trustworthy marketing content without paying for expensive creators or production teams.

8 user-generated content marketing tips

The hardest part about user-generated content is getting customers to engage with your brand online.

Some users will naturally generate great content, but others need a little encouragement. Here are eight tips to increase the likelihood of your customers giving you some great UGC.

1. Encourage your customers to create

Don't just hope customers will like your product enough to share it on their own. Actively encourage them to do so.

Include a postcard in every package that encourages them to leave a review or send you a photo. Customers who love your products and your brand will be happy to do so!

2. Create shareable experiences

If you want people to take a picture or a video, create a shareable experience. Ship your orders with beautiful packages, or present your restaurant's dishes in an aesthetically pleasing way.

Users will be naturally inclined to document their experience!

3. Share your social media accounts

Make sure people can find your social media accounts so that they can engage with your online community. If people are posting UGC, you'll want them to be able to tag you. Otherwise, how will you ever find their content?

Include your social accounts on your other marketing tools such as your website, flyers, brochures, packaging, and more.

4. Incentivize your customers

You can always persuade people with a discount or a prize.

Consider setting up a monthly giveaway for people who share UGC for your brand. For example, every month, you pick a winner for a $50 gift card from people who left a review for your business. Or, offer 10% off your services if people share a picture to their Instagram story.

Get creative and incentivize consumers to create user-generated content for your marketing strategy.

5. Ask for reviews

This one is obvious, but we can't go without mentioning it. Don't be afraid to ask customers to review your business, products, or services.

You can ask them in person, send an email after an online order, or include a message on your receipts. Get creative and ask people to review you!

6. Use your employees

You might think that user-generated content can only come from customers, but that's not the case! You can (and should) rely on your employees to help create content that can boost your brand.

Your employees have a unique lens that can help tell the story of your business. Sharing the content they create offers your audiences a new perspective to influence their purchasing decisions.

7. Share a variety of UGC

Another benefit of UGC is that you have access to various users who can tell your brand's story differently.

UGC is a great way to practice inclusivity and celebrate diversity. You can easily make your products and services more relatable to various audiences.

8. Always give credit

Make sure you tag the people creating your user-generated content.

First, it's the right thing to do. Make sure you are asking permission and giving credit to your content creators. Creative assets are time-consuming and require effort, so ownership is important.

Second, it can motivate people to share more UGC. Users who want a feature on your profiles and website will be more inclined to share UGC if they get a shoutout.

And third, it adds to the authenticity and credibility of UGC. Viewers can find the source of your content this way, improving trust!

10 effective user-generated content ideas

The user-generated content options are endless, but we're here to help you get started. So here are ten great UGC ideas to help boost your marketing.

1. Share product reviews

Pull product reviews from your website and share them all over your marketing. It's as simple as taking a screenshot of a 5-star review and posting it online!

By sharing reviews, you give social media users access to critical information that could help influence their shopping decisions. Choose valuable reviews that contain helpful details or address FAQs.

2. Share testimonials

A testimonial is similar to a product review, but it's usually longer and about the entire experience your business offers. Customers who are happy with your business are more likely to share a testimonial.

Scour your Instagram DMs, social media post comments, email inbox, and Google reviews to find users sharing positive experiences about your brand.

3. Host a contest

We mentioned it before, but people love a chance to win! Host a contest on your social media channels asking people to enter by submitting UGC.

A contest is a great way to get quality UGC, as people will put in more effort if there's a prize on the table. For example, offer a gift card to whoever posts the best video of your product after a launch!

4. Start a challenge or trend

People love to participate online. By creating a challenge or a trend, people can engage with your brand and create content for you at the same time!

Trends often go viral. If you're lucky, you could create the next biggest TikTok trend and have your products or brand at the center of it!

5. Do a takeover

Instagram Stories have seen a specific trend in recent years: takeovers. A takeover is when somebody significant takes over your business account's social media channels for a particular period.

You could have an influencer do a takeover and share their interactions with your products. Or, you could task an employee with a takeover to show behind-the-scenes content or what day-to-day life looks like at your brand.

6. Set up an ambassador or affiliate program

An ambassador or affiliate program usually rewards shoppers for sharing valuable user-generated content.

You can create partnerships with micro-influencers or content creators. They get discounts or free products, and you get content.

These programs are also great for getting quality content from experienced creators without shelling out money.

7. Use UGC in ads

Once you start collecting user-generated content, don't be afraid to use it for advertising. Use it for paid social ads, digital ads, print ads, and more! Just make sure you get permission from the creator.

8. Use UGC everywhere

You can use UGC everywhere you share content. On your website, on your packaging, in your email campaigns, in newsletters, on every social media channel, and more! The options are endless.

9. Create a Facebook group

Many brands have started utilizing Facebook groups to grow their online communities. And they can be an excellent resource for collecting and housing user-generated content.

A Facebook group dedicated to your brand can encourage people to share visual and text content.

Facebook groups are also a great way for past customers to influence potential customers by sharing their experiences and product reviews.

10. Make it shoppable

Instagram and Facebook have made it possible for users to shop directly from your social channels. When sharing UGC on these platforms, make sure you tag your products and include a shoppable link.

User-generated content examples and why they work

Some brands have mastered their user-generated content strategy. We'll focus on two: Lululemon and Glossier. Both of these brands have a different approach, so we'll highlight how they're killing the UGC game.


Lululemon is an activewear brand with a popular ambassador program. They foster a strong community with their program by encouraging collaborators to live an active lifestyle and sport their products.

They partner with relevant users to source their UGC, which helps boost their authenticity and grow their community.


Glossier is a skincare and makeup brand that has recently taken the beauty world by storm. They're known for diversity, body positivity, and celebrating natural beauty. They've also established themselves as a trending brand.

Their Instagram is full of user-generated content. And they use it to share product reviews, testimonials, and more.

Because of their large following, creators and shoppers are eager to be featured on their feed, encouraging them to create awesome UGC!

Many brands utilize UGC, including Lululemon and Glossier. Do a little research to find more brands that use it, and get inspired so you can plan your UGC strategy.

How to make a user-generated video with Animoto

Once your user-generated content strategy is in full force, and you're collecting media and text from your happy customers, it's time to use it!

You can make an excellent video for your marketing channels with Animoto, our online video maker.

Don't worry, you don't need to be a video editing wizard. It's easy to use! Here are four simple steps for creating a video with our video editor.

Pick a template

Our template library is full of great time-saving templates to get you started.

Compile your customer testimonials into a short video with this template:

Drag and drop

With our easy uploader, just drag and drop your content into the video maker. Trim your footage, crop your photos, and adjust the timing of your media. If you need any stock photos or videos, browse through our built-in stock library from Getty Images.

Edit, edit, edit

Now for the fun part! With Animoto, you can add text, animations, transitions, music, and more to customize your video. Make it entertaining and engaging with our creative editing options. Save your colors, logo, and font once, and bring every video on-brand with just one click.

Export and download

Once you've finished, just simply export and download your video. You can choose different aspect ratios based on where you plan to share your video.

Animoto makes it easy and fun to create incredible videos to implement your user-generated content marketing strategy.

Ready to create?

You now have all the tools to start taking advantage of user-generated content to grow your business.

With Animoto, you can take it one step further and make awesome videos with the content your customers give you. View our complete guide to getting started with Animoto if you’re looking for more video creation tips.

Try Animoto today, and share your brand, content, and happy customers with the world.