Adding User Generated Content to Your Marketing Strategy – A How-to Guide

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A research by TurnTo Networks1 revealed that user generated content influenced the buying decision of 90% of consumers. Interestingly UGC – User Generated Content influenced buyers were willing to pay more as well.

Now, something that not only influences the decision-making process but also encourages the customer to pay more is of utmost importance to a marketer. If you want to understand UGC, how to generate and effectively make it a part of your marketing strategy, read on!

What is User Generated Content?

user generated content

As the name suggests, it’s the content generated by the actual product user, someone who in any way is not associated with the business. The content is the experience of the buyer concerning the product. It can take any shape; the medium could be a video, a picture, a review or a social media post.

What makes User Generated Content Tick?

This idea of “anything to sell” has taken a toll on buyer’s confidence. The consumer now understands the difference between reality and marketing gimmicks & exaggerations. This is where UGC excels. Since it comes straight from the actual buyers and not from the marketer, it creates an authentic buying experience. Unboxing YouTube videos, Instagram photos, Product reviews by bloggers are unfiltered and unedited evaluations of a product that instils confidence among customers. In turn, it encourages them to engage with the brand.

Here are some remarkable user generated content examples and the success they derived:

GoPro’s YouTube Channel

user generated content

GoPro joined YouTube in the year 2009, and today the channel has 10.5 million subscribers and more than 3 billion views. This is one incredible example of user generated content marketing success. GoPro has its channel on Virgin American Airlines and the Xbox console where viewers can watch people skydiving, Rock climbing, skiing down the mountains and all kinds of videos.


Marketing Strategy

The ‘Go Madbury’ campaign by Cadbury asked its consumers to come up with their own variants. Participants were asked to get creative with the ingredients and produce something unique and tasteful. The best idea would be featured as the new flavour of Cadbury India.


user generated content

Apple Launched #ShotoniPhone campaign to regain the lost trust of its customers in iPhone’s camera capabilities. The campaign showcased the best-clicked pictures by iPhone users. This led to massive improvements in Apple’s community and helped it revive its status among the users.

How to Incorporate User Generated Content into Your Marketing Strategy?

The most important aspects are collecting and using UGC. You need to determine the following before launching a successful UGC campaign:

Determine the End Goal

If the goal is brand awareness, then a hashtag campaign on Instagram can help bring attention to the product or brand. If the goal is to increase sales, a campaign to encourage the buyers to post their experiences and reviews about the product will help establish its efficacy. The ultimate goal of any UGC campaign is to create content that can help the end consumer in their buying decision.

Build an Apparatus to Collect User Generated Content

A system needs to be put in place where the CGC can be stored and used for marketing purposes. It could be a dedicated website, an App or simply a branded hashtag. Collecting content on social media might create ownership issues, while portals and apps can help steer clear of legal hurdles.

Learn From the Critical UGC and Highlight Only the Positive Ones

Use the critical submissions for improvements and include only the best user generated content in your marketing strategy.

Monitor all the Submissions

Make sure you have a dedicated employee to monitor each submitted content before the public sees it. Not all UGC’s are created with the best of intentions. You don’t want to serve offensive content to your users.

Keep the Terms and Conditions Simple

Convey to your audience in clear and simple language; what is it that you require? And what are you offering in return? Make sure the reward is proportional to the effort involved in creating the content.

Seek Legal Help

It would be prudent to consult an expert in legal matters. Regulations differ based on location and method of content collection.


Now is the time to reap benefits from the valuable user generated content available to you. UGC is a testament to your offerings usefulness to the buyers. It not only influences your audience’s buying behaviour and tilts it in your favour but also adds value to the brand.

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