3 Smart Ways to Use User-Generated Content in 2024

11 Jun 2024

User-generated content (UGC) is any type of content created by your customers (text or videos). This can be reviews, Get Ready with Me videos, unboxing videos, and other forms of social media posts about your products or services.

For example, in 2023, TikTok user Danielle's Stanley Quencher went viral after her car caught fire and the cup's ice remained unmelted. Her video ignited a marketing buzz for Stanley, with revenue growing from $75 million in 2021 to $750 million. This form of unexpected marketing showed that the product worked and gave the company massive publicity that increased revenue.

This form of user-generated content increases brand awareness, shows the efficacy of a product, and convinces others to try the product.

While your UGC may not start with an accident, you need a system that encourages customer reviews to contribute to your word-of-mouth marketing, and this article will show you how to achieve that.
Image showing Daniel Disney's quote "Don't sell products, solve problems.

What Does UGC Mean For Your Brand?

According to Stackla 2020, 79% of people believe UGC content significantly influenced their purchasing decisions. Many more believe that UGC is more authentic than brand video or content. Here's why:

  1. It Authenticates Your Brand

Imagine this: Jane and John, popular Instagram influencers, post a reel showcasing their incredible honeymoon footage, all captured with the GoPro Hero 10 vlogging camera. Their reel, highlighting the camera's portability and image quality, becomes free and incredibly effective marketing for GoPro.

In essence, John and Jane are saying, "We tried this product, loved it, and recommend it to you." UGC provides genuine social proof, reinforcing the usability and quality of your product (or service) directly from a user's perspective. This type of organic endorsement is gold for brands.

  1. It Builds a Community Around Your Brand

UGC is the content your customers and fans share. This means they talk about your brand in TikTok product reviews, industry blogs, YouTube reviews or comparison videos, and on other social media platforms. People can see and engage with this content, which may lead to visits to your site and, even better, conversion. These engagements create a community around your products, and as long as more people use and testify to your product’s efficiency, you get free marketing.

  1. User-generated Content is Diverse

Depending on what you're selling, many customers may not even use Google to look for a product. Many prospects may use LinkedIn to find marketing agencies, TikTok to find the best candle-making business, or Instagram to find a make-up artist. Across these platforms, you need reviews that show that your product works or the services you offer are great. Without these reviews, you may lose leads.

A study by Northwestern's Spiegel Research Center shows that online reviews can boost sales. The study showed that a product with five reviews has a 270% higher purchase likelihood than a product with no reviews. UGC promotes your brand across these platforms, and you don't even need to spend much on marketing.

  1. UGC has high marketing value

Brands often use UGC in their marketing strategies because it can influence purchasing decisions. It creates awareness—people become aware of their pain points when you infuse UGC into ads. The reviews tell them that this product can solve their problem.

Adding forms of UGC, like testimonials, to your landing page also provides social proof of how people use your product and eventually encourages them to buy. 79% of consumers say that UGC has a high impact on their purchasing decisions.

Now, how can you leverage user-generated content in 2024?

3 Ways to Use User-Generated Content for Marketing in 2024

These are three ways to incorporate user-generated content into your marketing strategy:

  1. Incorporate UGC into Omnichannel Marketing Strategies

You already have various marketing channels where you distribute your content. These could be entertaining videos on TikTok, educational tweets on Twitter, or email newsletters. The goal is to push UGC into these marketing spaces to show how your product/services are helping users.

Now, how can you incorporate UGC into omnichannel marketing strategies?

  • Try Social Media Campaigns

When it comes to social media campaigns, nothing beats hashtags. Coca-Cola did it with their Share-A-Coke Campaign, Lays, the potato chip brand, did it with their #DoUsAFlavour campaign, and Uber went all out with their #BeyondFiveStars campaign, where they encourage customers to put in a good word for their drivers to celebrate them.

The campaign encouraged customers to be more precise in their criticism and feedback, and in turn, build employee loyalty by giving their drivers the acknowledgement they deserve.

Encourage customers or prospective customers to create content with a specific hashtag for your brand. This is easier when you already have an online presence, but possible even if you don't. All you have to do is create a catchy hashtag and write a story that'll interest social media users.

You can also organize contests where users submit photos or videos of them using your products. You can promise to feature your winners on your social media channels and also promise an incentive. It’ll increase your brand awareness and can lead to sales, especially if people love your products.

A perfect example of this contest is Starbucks #RedCupContest. Starbucks invited everyone to make art on Starbucks cups and upload it online with the "RedCupContest" hashtags.

Starbucks cups in the "RedCupContest" hashtags.

  • Integrate UGC on Your Website

Use your customer reviews and testimonials in your marketing strategies. If you sell sneakers, you could display customer reviews about how comfortable they are with your product. Include star ratings, and add the customer's name(if you can).

Here’s a perfect example from Geegpay:

A public review from a Geegpay user shared by the company in an email newsletter.

You could also post reviews like  "These are the most comfortable sneakers I've ever worn! - Jamie, ★★★★★" in your newsletter. This tells prospects that somebody tried your products and was comfortable wearing them. It shows you're credible, and it's persuasive enough to make new customers buy from you. And studies have confirmed that credibility influences consumer’s purchase intention.

You can also use photo galleries. For instance, fashion brands can create a section on their website for pictures of their customers wearing their products. It could be a picture of someone donning a hat and sipping coffee or a woman dressed on a beach. This section could be a grid of where customers have tagged your brand on social media.

A TikTok user posted a video of her and her friend dancing to ABBA’s Dancing Queen in a House of CB Mademoiselle dress, and commenters expressed their love for the dress. If you have posts like this from users, you could save these videos, with permission, of course, and add them to your collection.

Videos and photo galleries like this show social proof that customers love your dresses and products, and new customers could even get styling inspiration from these pictures.

A TikTok user dancing to a song and comments trickling in about how great she was in the dress.

  • Email marketing

You already send engaging newsletters to potential customers. You should back those fun words you write with customer reviews, photos, or even stories. If you're running an email campaign for your skincare brand, include before-and-after photos your customers sent you after seeing great results from using your products. Add their commentaries, too. Something like "After just two weeks, my skin has never felt better! - Alex" to show real-life proof of how effective your products are and how they can help others with similar problems.

  1. Use Augmented (AR) or Virtual Reality (VR)

AR or VR can show your customers how others have integrated your products into their lives. For instance, a furniture brand can use real-time integration in customer environments and allow customers to visualize the furniture designs in their space.

They can also experience how different styles and sizes look in real, varied living spaces through a library of images and videos other users submit. So, if a customer gets a set of furniture for their living room and sends you a picture of what it looks like, another customer can access that picture and use it as an inspiration for their living room.

The real estate industry already uses VR to show potential customers what a property looks like and what to expect before they purchase it. Here’s a demonstration in one of Real Creative Group’s videos. Here's another example of virtual tours in the real estate industry.

The technology also allows users to customize their product to experiment with what their space will look like, depending on the colors. For instance, they could change the color of a sofa or the wood finish on a table to see how it matches their home decor compared to the original setups shared by other customers.

You can also encourage users to share their AR simulations directly from the app to social media. This can create a loop of user-generated content where customers inspire each other with their personalized set-ups. Every image or video your customers share is a testimonial and a real-life demonstration of your products in action. What better way to entice potential customers than by showcasing these authentic and visually appealing showcases?

  1. Enhance Your Review Options

Don't give your happy customers one review option. Encourage them to upload videos and photos to prove the authenticity and impact of their testimonials. For instance, customers can upload videos to Google Reviews or create an unboxing video for your product and upload them online.

When other customers see a real-life image or video of someone using your products, it adds a layer of trust that written words alone might not convey. Pictures create visual proof that shows what your product looks like in different settings, under various lighting conditions, and how it performs in real use.

Besides, photos and videos make it easier for users to share more of their experience. A video review can capture a gadget's setup, the fabric's quality in clothing, or the actual size and scale of a product in a living space. Video reviews tell your customer this is what we sell, and "although we take our catalogs under perfect lighting and backgrounds, it will still look beautiful on you and in your homes."

Benefits Of UGC in Marketing?

UGC has several advantages, but these are two benefits your brand is sure to get:

  • You're Not Spending a Lot of Money

Creating high-quality, engaging content can be resource-intensive. You have to hire writers, content specialists, professional photographers, videographers, and graphic designers—a huge amount of money spent. However, UGC, on the other hand, is created by the users themselves. You get a steady stream of content for your brand at little to no cost.

  • Customers Trust It More Because It's Not Coming From You.

User-generated content builds trust because it's authentic and unbiased. While your brand will naturally highlight the positives, real customers offer honest feedback, both good and bad. This unfiltered perspective resonates with potential buyers and can make these reviews more persuasive than your polished marketing materials.


If you do it right, user-generated content (UGC) influences sales conversion. Before going for it, you should plan a strategy around user-generated content and consider your brand's specific audience and the nature of your products or services. Businesses that thrive on community engagement and consumer visibility can leverage UGC better as long as they prioritize their audience's needs.