Decoding User Generated Content or UGC Meaning: The Best Leverage to Increase Trust

user generated content

Imagine eagerly waiting for your latest obsession – a brand-new smartphone. You’ve heard amazing things about its advanced features, stunning design, and impressive performance.

Finally, the delivery arrives, and you can’t wait to see what’s inside the sleek package. With anticipation, you unwrap it, revealing the modern and futuristic smartphone inside. 

As you explore its incredible camera, speedy processor, and captivating display, you feel an overwhelming sense of excitement. You can’t contain your satisfaction, so you decide to share your joy with the world. 

You quickly head to the website where you purchased it, leave a glowing review, and take to social media to show off your new phone. You might even visit the company’s page and leave a comment about how you feel. This act of sharing your experience is a good example of user-generated content.

Now it’s time to understand the meaning of UGC and practical ways to use and enhance your business performance with the help of user-generated content. 

User generated content UGC meaning

First, we need to clarify the meaning of user-generated content and answer this question: What is UGC?

User Generated Content refers to any form of content, such as text, images, videos, reviews, or testimonials, created and shared by users of a product or service. 

It is a reflection of their personal experiences, opinions, and interactions with a brand. UGC is voluntarily generated by customers and offers an authentic perspective on a product or service, often influencing the purchase decisions of others.

In the UGC meaning, there is an important condition: The content should be created voluntarily. However, it does not mean that you can not entice, motivate, or even Nudge your customers to interact with you.

Read more about how to nudge your customer’s actions in the “Choice Architecture Ultimate Guide: How to Control your Customers’ Decisions” article.

What are the four types of UGC content?

After understanding the UGC meaning It is time to take a look at different types of UGC.

User generated content comes in various forms, each offering unique opportunities for businesses to connect with their customers. Let’s explore the four primary types and understand how they can be leveraged to build trust and engagement.

UGC Testimonials and Reviews

Customers share their opinions, experiences, and recommendations about a product or service through reviews and testimonials. These can be found on websites, social media platforms, and dedicated review platforms.

Reviews and testimonials from customers offer powerful social proof and can significantly influence the purchasing decisions of others.

Responding to reviews promptly and addressing any concerns further demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction, fostering stronger engagement and loyalty.

Showing a girl writing Reviews and Testimonials to show types of ugc content.

Social Media UGC

Users create content related to a brand on various social media platforms, including posts, comments, photos, and videos. This can range from sharing experiences, showcasing products, or participating in brand-specific campaigns and challenges.

Responding to reviews promptly and addressing any concerns further demonstrates your commitment to customer satisfaction, fostering stronger engagement and loyalty. Social media UGC can be your most powerful tool to engage your customers and a great solution for free advertisement. Look at what Barbie movie UGC did for this movie.

Showing a man sharing social media content to show ugc social media and types of ugc content.

Community Forums UGC and Discussion Boards

Online forums and discussion boards allow users to engage in conversations, ask questions, and provide answers. These platforms enable users to share their knowledge, offer advice, and discuss topics related to a particular brand or industry.

By actively participating in these forums, addressing queries, and providing valuable insights, you can establish your brand as an authority and build trust within the community.

Engaging with users in a genuine and helpful manner fosters a sense of loyalty and creates an environment where customers feel valued and connected.

Showing  ugc forum as types of ugc content.

Blog Comments UGC

Blog comments are another form of user generated content where readers leave comments on blog posts, expressing their thoughts, opinions, and experiences. 

By facilitating meaningful discussions through blog comments and actively responding to readers, you create a sense of community around your content. 

Encouraging readers to share their insights and experiences helps build trust, as it shows that your brand values and appreciates their input.

Showing a boy blog comments as a kind of UGC.

UGC Examples

Like always, giving UGC examples in the real world is one of the best ways to comprehend this concept. Read the following examples and think about how can you use these examples in your business:

  • Product reviews and ratings on e-commerce websites like Amazon or Best Buy.
  • Social media posts featuring customers using or showcasing products they love.
  • YouTube video testimonials and unboxing videos.
  • Blog posts or articles written by customers about their experiences with a brand or product.
  • Online forums and discussion boards where users discuss and recommend products or services.

UGC Creator Meaning

Recently, UGC creators play a pivotal role in the world of user-generated content. These individuals produce content, including videos, images, or text, to promote a brand. What distinguishes a UGC creator is their ability to infuse a sense of personal authenticity into their content, even when it’s sponsored by a brand. They craft their content in a way that resonates with their unique style and connects with their audience on a genuine level. UGC creators play a vital role in bridging the gap between promotional content and relatable, authentic engagement.

UGC Marketing

By now you should be familiar with the User Generated Content concept. Many companies try to use this powerful tool to improve their brand image, sales, and marketing performance.

UGC marketing has become a key component of many successful marketing strategies. Brands can leverage it to amplify their message, increase brand awareness, and drive customer engagement. The most recent UGC marketing example is the newly coined word: Barbenheimer

By encouraging customers to share their experiences, businesses create a sense of authenticity and build trust with their audience.

user-generated content is often used in social media campaigns, and influencer partnerships, and is even incorporated into traditional advertising channels.

UGC Video Meaning

When it comes to UGC, nothing captures attention quite like videos. user generated videos involve customers creating and sharing videos that highlight their experiences, opinions, or interactions with your products or services. These videos can range from unboxing and reviews to creative user stories and tutorials.

UGC videos provide an authentic and relatable way to showcase your brand’s value proposition. When customers share their experiences through video, it adds a personal touch that resonates with other potential customers. This connection goes beyond text-based content and can evoke emotions, making your brand more memorable and persuasive.

Key Advantages of UGC Videos:

  1. Authenticity: videos capture real moments and genuine reactions, adding authenticity to your brand’s narrative.
  2. Engagement: Videos are inherently engaging, and UGC videos encourage viewers to interact and relate to the content on a deeper level.
  3. Storytelling: user-generated videos often tell compelling stories about how customers use your products or services in their daily lives, creating relatable narratives that resonate with others.
  4. Visual Appeal: Videos provide a visually appealing way to showcase your offerings, helping potential customers understand their benefits better.
  5. Social Sharing: videos are highly shareable on social media platforms, allowing your customers to become advocates for your brand.
  6. Influence and Inspiration: videos can inspire potential customers by demonstrating how others have successfully integrated your products or services into their routines.

Encouraging UGC Videos:

  • Launch video contests where participants create videos related to your brand for a chance to win prizes.
  • Share guidelines on creating user generated videos, including tips for filming, editing, and storytelling.
  • Feature the best videos on your website and social media channels to inspire others.
  • Collaborate with influencers or brand advocates to create videos that align with your brand message.

UGC pricing examples

Let’s see a few UGC pricing examples to understand how incorporating user-generated content into your marketing strategy can be both impactful and economical:

Collaboration with UGC Creators
Collaborating directly with UGC creators who are passionate about your brand can result in authentic content creation without significant financial investment. It can cost you from €50 to €500 and more depending on the creator.

Incentives and Rewards
Offering discounts, coupons, or exclusive offers to customers who generate UGC can be an effective way to stimulate engagement without incurring hefty costs. These incentives not only encourage UGC creation but also drive sales, creating a win-win situation for both your brand and customers.

Contests and Competitions
Running user generated contests or competitions can yield a treasure trove of content at a fraction of the cost of producing it internally. By setting up themes or challenges that resonate with your audience, you can generate a wide array of content while rewarding participants with prizes or recognition.

Collaborations with Influencers
Partnering with influencers or micro-influencers can provide access to high-quality content without the expenses associated with producing traditional marketing content. While there might be a fee associated with influencer collaborations, the cost-effectiveness comes from the generated content’s authenticity and reach.

Product Reviews and Testimonials
Encouraging customers to leave reviews and testimonials in exchange for small incentives or loyalty rewards can accumulate a substantial amount of UGC over time. These reviews not only act as social proof but also contribute to better SEO for your website.

User-Submitted Visuals:
Requesting customers to share photos or videos of themselves using your products or services often requires little more than providing them a platform and incentive. The cost of offering small rewards or featuring their content on your channels can be significantly lower than producing professional visuals.

Shared Experiences:
Simply encouraging customers to share their experiences on social media using a branded hashtag can create a steady stream of UGC without direct monetary expenses. Reposting and engaging with this content can enhance brand loyalty and trust.

How to boost your customers’ trust and engagement with UGC?

User-generated content holds incredible potential for strengthening the bond between your brand and your customers. By leveraging it effectively, you can not only build trust but also foster higher engagement levels. Let’s explore practical strategies and techniques that can help you maximize the impact of user generated content and create a thriving community of loyal customers.

Encourage and Incentivize

Actively encourage customers to share their experiences through incentives such as discounts, rewards, or exclusive access. Make it easy for them to create and share content by providing clear guidelines and platforms for submission.

Showcase UGC

Highlight the best content created by your visitors on your website, social media channels, and other marketing materials. This not only demonstrates the positive experiences of your customers but also encourages others to contribute their content.

Engage and Respond

Show appreciation for the content created by your customers by responding to their comments, sharing their posts, or featuring them on your brand’s channels. This level of interaction builds trust, encourages further engagement, and strengthens the relationship with your customers.

Collaborate with Influencers

Partner with influencers and advocates who align with your brand values. Encourage them to create and share content that showcases their positive experiences with your products or services. This can greatly amplify the reach and impact of UGC.

Besides user generated content, using “branded content” and “sponsored content” can be a great way to maximize your brand’s trustworthiness and engagement. You can read more in these articles:

Branded content: A comprehensive guide with examples of  Facebook, Amazon, and Instagram branded content

Sponsored Content: an ultimate guide with Examples

Benefits of User Generated Content

User-generated content offers numerous advantages that can significantly impact your marketing efforts. By harnessing the power of content, you can tap into authentic experiences and amplify your brand’s reach. Let’s explore the key benefits of incorporating user generated content into your strategy and discover how it can elevate your business to new heights.


User-generated content plays a crucial role in building trust with your audience. People feel more confident about your brand or products when they see real people share their positive experiences. User generated content demonstrates the quality and authenticity of your offerings, leading to increased trust and credibility.


Authenticity is a key element in today’s marketing landscape, and user-generated content delivers just that. Unlike traditional marketing content, UGC is created by real customers who genuinely enjoy your products or services. This authenticity resonates with your audience, making them more likely to trust your brand and engage with your content.

Social Proof

One of the most powerful benefits of UGC is its ability to provide social proof. Positive UGC acts as a form of validation for your brand, demonstrating to potential customers that others have had positive experiences with your offerings. This social proof reassures hesitant buyers and helps build trust, ultimately leading to higher conversion rates.

Engagement and Interaction

UGC has the remarkable ability to foster engagement and interaction between your brand and your audience. By encouraging customers to share their content, you create a sense of community and encourage active participation. Engaging with UGC, such as responding to comments or sharing user-created posts, further strengthens the relationship, increases loyalty, and drives ongoing engagement.

Cost-Effective Marketing

Integrating UGC into your marketing strategy offers a cost-effective solution for creating engaging content. Instead of solely relying on producing expensive in-house content, UGC allows you to leverage the creativity and passion of your customers. By showcasing their content, you can reduce costs while still maintaining a high level of quality and authenticity.

Extended Reach

user-generated content has the potential to expand your brand’s reach far beyond your own marketing efforts. When customers share their positive experiences and content related to your brand on social media platforms, it can reach a wider audience through their networks. This organic sharing helps expose your brand to new potential customers, increasing visibility and attracting more people to your offerings.

UGC SEO for your Website

UGC can contribute to improving your website’s SEO. When customers leave reviews, and comments, or generate discussions on your website, it creates fresh and relevant content that search engines value. This can positively impact your website’s rankings, making it more discoverable to potential customers and driving organic traffic. having regular UGC on your website shows the engagement of your audience which is a powerful indicator for search engines and will improve your SEO ranking. UGC SEO is a great complimentary help for the ranking of your website on search engines.

Creating a User Generated Content Strategy

To implement a successful user-generated content strategy, first, you have to make sure that your UGC strategy is aligned with your content marketing strategy. Then you need to consider the following steps:

Define Goals

Start by clearly defining your goals for utilizing user generated content. Are you aiming to increase brand awareness, drive conversions, boost sales, or foster customer loyalty? By identifying your objectives, you can align your UGC strategy accordingly and measure its success.

Target UGC Audience

Understand the target audience and their preferences to tailor your UGC efforts accordingly.

To understand your target audience and decide how to improve your target UGC, you can use the “Persona” tool. You can read more in the “How to create an accurate Buyer Persona” article.

Choose the Right Platforms

Select the platforms where your target audience is most active. Whether it’s social media platforms, online forums, or specific community-driven websites, choose the platforms that align with your audience’s preferences. This ensures your UGC efforts are seen by the right people and maximizes engagement potential.

Design Your UGC Incentives

Develop compelling incentives to motivate customers to create and share UGC. This can include giveaways, contests, exclusive discounts, or recognition opportunities. By offering meaningful incentives, you encourage participation and increase the likelihood of users engaging with your brand.

Create Clear Guidelines

Establish clear guidelines and instructions for creating UGC. Provide users with specific themes, prompts, or challenges to ensure their content aligns with your brand values. Clearly communicate any rules, format requirements, or content specifications to maintain consistency and relevance.

Monitor and Moderate

Implement a system to monitor and moderate user generated content submissions. Regularly review and curate the content to ensure it aligns with your brand’s guidelines and standards. Engage with users by responding to their UGC, providing feedback, and showing appreciation for their contributions. This helps build a sense of community and encourages ongoing participation.

To gain a better perspective, you can use relevant KPIs to control the performance of your UGC incentives activities. To understand what is KPI and how to use it, you need to read the OKR vs KPI: What Are the Differences article.

Key insights 

  • User Generated Content means content created and shared by users, reflecting their personal experiences and opinions about a product or service.
  • UGC plays a crucial role in building trust and authenticity, as it provides social proof and demonstrates the quality and credibility of a brand.
  • By incorporating user-generated content into marketing strategies, businesses can foster higher engagement levels, increase brand awareness, and drive customer loyalty.
  • UGC offers cost-effective marketing solutions by leveraging the creativity and passion of customers, reducing production costs while maintaining quality and authenticity.
  • user-generated content expands a brand’s reach through organic sharing on social media platforms, reaching new potential customers and increasing visibility.
  • User-generated content contributes to better search engine optimization (SEO) for websites, as it generates fresh and relevant content that search engines value.
  • To implement a successful user-generated strategy, it is important to define clear goals, identify the target audience, choose the right platforms, design incentives, create clear guidelines, and implement monitoring and moderation systems.

Frequently Asked Questions about UGC

What is the meaning of UGC?

User Generated Content (UGC) refers to any content, such as text, images, videos, reviews, or testimonials, that is created and shared by users of a product or service. It represents their personal experiences, opinions, and interactions with a brand. Most of the times, it is voluntarily generated by customers and provides an authentic perspective on a product or service, often influencing the purchasing decisions of others.

What is UGC social media?

UGC on social media refers to content created and shared by users on social media platforms that showcases their experiences with a brand’s products or services. This can include posts, comments, images, and videos. user generated content on social media serves as a powerful form of social proof, offering genuine perspectives on a brand’s offerings. It can significantly impact a brand’s visibility, engagement, and overall credibility among its target audience.

What is UGC creation?

UGC creation involves the production of content that resembles User Generated Content but is intentionally sponsored or paid for by a brand. A UGC creator is a content creator who specifically crafts content that maintains the genuine and relatable qualities of user generated content, even though it’s financially compensated. This content aims to appear personal, authentic, and aligned with the creator’s unique style while promoting a brand’s products or services. It is a strategic way for brands to bridge the gap between promotional content and the authentic engagement inherent in user generated content.

Image credit: Freepik


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Seyed Morteza Mortazavi
Hi! I am Seyed Morteza, the content expert of the ECN company. I love to share my knowledge and expertise in the E-commerce field with curious businesses or individuals. Visit my LinkedIn profile to get in touch.