User Generated Content: Letting Your Audience do the Marketing

You witness it every day, you may do it yourself, with or without meaning to – but user generated content (UGC) is becoming an indispensable marketing tool for brands.

User Generated Content is defined as any type of content that has been created by anyone and everyone, but it is not paid for or sponsored by the brand. It can be anything from pictures, videos, social posts to blogs. Essentially, the brand ambassadors creating this content are doing the advertising for the brand, instead of the brand itself.

Typically, in the B2C world, UGC is playing a key role in marketing strategies, perhaps knocking more traditional tools such as television, radio, magazine’s down the pecking order.

You can see why – Olapic recently just completed a survey to over 4,500 active social media users across Europe. The results showed that a staggering 76% of responder’s view content that is posted by other consumers   in contrast to advertising and 1 in 4 people have brought a product after seeing it featured in UGC.

Download the full report here:

Tap into the ego of your customers to create advocacy

Social sharing is now commonplace, and it could be suggested that family and friends do it for recognition and pride. By harnessing these stories, brands are able to connect with customers in a more authentic and personalised way, having a positive effect and driving an increase in sales.

There are big brands out there using UGC to create advocacy, such as the likes of Coca Cola, Starbucks and Calvin Klein – the list is endless. Let’s be honest, for anyone on Instagram, it’s hard to not see an image of a Starbucks cup feed each day.


Take a read of a previous blog from our PR & Social Media Exec Emily, who looks in more detail at some great  UGC brand examples: Is it #instaworthy? 5 Top User-Generated Content Campaigns (that really worked…)


As mentioned earlier, UGC isn’t just social imagery and it covers much more than that, but in the events world, how can UGC be utilised to engage better with audiences? Our recent blog post ‘How to create an effective event #hashtag’ plays a part in this. Promoting a hashtag and encouraging your audience to use it during an event can have great success in raising awareness and advertising the event/brand. The world is a social place and audiences want to share their experiences, whether that be good or bad.


Internal UGC

As a communications agency, user generated content is something we are being asked about more and more by our clients, and it’s an area we are using to deliver successful results.

The examples above all refer to global external audiences, and if you do a quick internet search, most of the examples will also be based around large brand campaigns. However, UGC is not restricted to an external audience – it can play a part in engaging with internal audiences, which of course, is equally important.

An example of this is our recent work delivering a product launch for a leading automotive manufacturer. It was realised that the internal audience could play a key part in delivering a successful launch, as ambassadors and advocates of the business.

Team members had the opportunity to take part in a range of short, fun and engaging videos that aligned to the external launch. These videos were shared to friends and family via many social media channels, such as Facebook and Twitter, which delivered exceptional results.

To summarise…

UGC has opened up a huge amount of opportunity for brands to build brand advocacy, and be in a position to have customers better engaged and increase revenue. It doesn’t have to be on a global scale. Simply, it could be staff members sharing products via their personal social media channels or customers’ sharing images when visiting your venue…


David Lewis – Marketing & Social Media Executive


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