An example of user-generated content as an Instagram post.

Can User-Generated Content Help Build Your Brand?

User-generated content (UGC) is one of the most influential types of content to come out of the rise of social media. Open up any social media platform, and it won’t take long for you to find examples of user-generated content in your feed. Whether it’s made by big influencers or regular people like you and me, UGC has become a huge part of social media marketing (that’s right, social media marketing is more than having a catchy hashtag).

But does that mean UGC is the right move for your business? While no one can deny UGC’s impact, that doesn’t mean it’s the best course of action for every business to build brand awareness. First, you need to understand the different forms of UGC you may find on social media.

Types of User-Generated Content

There is no “one size fits all” approach to implementing UGC into your content marketing strategy. First of all, different types of user-generated content are more prominent on different social media channels than others. For example, video content is most likely going to be a TikTok or Instagram post before it’s found on Facebook or X (aka Twitter if you’re old-fashioned).

Understanding the different types of content that fall under the UGC umbrella is key to understanding how to implement UGC into your content campaigns.


Any form of video of a user showing or talking about your products falls under this category. Common types of video UGC include unboxings, live streams, product demonstrations, and video reviews. This is a very common type of UGC content that influencers use — and is very useful in influencer marketing campaigns.

Reviews & Testimonials

Reviews and testimonials are a crucial part of any marketing campaign, especially for ecommerce businesses. Customer reviews are one of the best ways to convert potential customers into loyal customers.

Being able to prove that you can provide a high-quality customer experience is what makes social proof, such as product reviews, excellent for improving a brand’s image and increasing brand loyalty. This type of UGC has one of the highest and strongest effects on purchasing decisions.

Reviews can be especially important when launching new products. If you’re trying to get more people to try your next big thing, people are more likely to listen to real users than any other type of marketing campaign.

Articles & Blogs

Many users talk about products and brands on forums or blogs (whether they are guest posting or have their own site). These individuals can foster a type of brand community, or even put themselves in a position where they indirectly serve as brand ambassadors.

User-generated articles and blogs that talk positively about your product can easily be implemented into your marketing efforts. It can even be as simple as linking to them within the content on your site or reposting them to your social networks.

Contests & Competitions

Companies often encourage users to make UGC by prompting them with a contest. Often done in the form of giveaways or sweepstakes, companies encourage users to share content that the business can use to attract new customers. Businesses also have more control over the type of customer content they receive with this method.

Sponsored UGC

Many businesses elect to use sponsored UGC when needing more control over the content. Sponsored UGC is when a company pays an individual, or individuals, to emulate user-generated content. Businesses choose this route in favor of others in the hopes of reaping the rewards of curating content while still getting to control what the content looks and sounds like.

Benefits of User-Generated Content

There is no question why businesses feel compelled to use UGC. The benefits can be incredibly rewarding, with the return on investment (ROI) on UGC often being very high, and the costs associated with user-generated content are extremely low (because you aren’t creating any content yourself).

Users Feel Like They Are Part of a Community

People always trust the words and opinions of their peers more than those of a brand, no matter how strong and trustworthy that brand is. This is why word-of-mouth marketing has always been so effective. UGC is the modern version of word-of-mouth in this way. When you post user-generated content on your platforms, your audience doesn’t see the brand speaking to them; they see someone just like them.

This sense of community that you can foster via UGC is extremely valuable. When you not only allow but encourage these independent content creators to speak about your brand and your products, a bond is formed between the brand and the consumers. People want to buy from real people, not corporate entities. UGC shows that you care about real people and your relationships with them.

Cost Effective

Arguably, the greatest benefit of user-generated content is the low cost. It can save your business a large amount of money by utilizing the vast amount of UGC on the internet as opposed to taking the time and resources to go into content creation.

Given how low cost it is to use user-generated content instead of creating content yourself (and the high yields you can achieve with UGC), the ROI you can see with UGC is often very high. Even if you still create your own content, it still is worth it to use UGC in conjunction with your own.

Potential to Go Viral

As with any type of social media post you may use in your content marketing strategy, the potential to go viral is real and exciting. While social media strategy should not be contingent on going viral, you should always be trying to appeal to your target audience with your posts — and UGC is a great way to do this.

The more your audience enjoys your content, the more likely they are to share it with others. What better way to make sure your audience is enjoying your content than to post the content they made on your behalf? This is what makes a UGC strategy so effective with metrics like click-through and conversion rates.

Should You Try a UGC Campaign?

Whether you have a small business or a large corporation, nothing is more important than making your customers feel included and cared for. While UGC is not the end-all-be-all of achieving this, it can definitely be a step in the right direction. Posting your audience’s social media content shows them that you are listening to what they have to say and that you care about their input.

If you are unsure where to begin with user-generated content (or just need some help along the way), iSynergy is here to do just that! We have content marketing experts who can take your campaign to the next level. Reach out today, and let’s get started!