October 19, 2022

User Generated Content: Why Brands Love UGC & How They Do It Right

As one of the experts in user generated content and UGC ads, yellowHEAD knows how to create hyper-engaging content. Let’s explore why and how UGC can be such an effective tool, plus learn some helpful tips.

user generated content ugc
Table of Contents

What is User Generated Content?

User Generated Content is brand-specific, original content created by actual customers and users and shared on social media

UGC can range from banners to videos, reviews to testimonials, and sometimes even emails or landing pages.

This type of content can happen organically without any input from the company, but can also happen at the behest of the brand itself with something called UGC Ads.

They’re extremely effective because of the level of authenticity, but on the downside, organic UGC campaigns can take lots of effort, creativity, tact, and time to encourage users to participate and to see the results.

UGC builds engagement in a way that traditional ads can’t.

Why User Generated Content is So Effective

User generated content gets stronger results than any ad possibly can. Why? Because nothing beats word of mouth. For brands and businesses, UGC combines the trustworthiness of a friend’s recommendation with the customization and effectiveness of traditional ads.

Here are some more reasons why User Generated Content ads are hotter than ever:

  • Authenticity and originality build brand trust, especially with younger audiences.
  • UGC allows customers to participate instead of spectating. Being a part of a product’s growth creates stronger brand loyalty.
  • Content created by an actual user is inherently customer-centric and makes it easier to transition from impressions to engagement.
  • Thanks to the clear communication between brand and user, UGC stimulates community activity and engagement.
  • It increases upper-funnel conversions in addition to lower-funnel conversions.
  • UGC acts as social proof that your product is worthy of buying, as confirmed by other happy customers.
  • 79% of people surveyed said UGC has a strong impact on their buying decisions.
  • UGC can help brands educate users about their products.
  • UGC usually saves time and money on content and creative because it requires less production, editing, animation, and copywriting than traditional creatives.

How User Generated Content and UGC Ads Attract New Clients

More and more audiences today, especially those on the younger side, perceive user generated content as more honest and authentic.

When a friend posts about terrific customer service at a store, a favorite podcast mentions a product they love, or even when brands host events and someone posts about their experience there, it’s seen as very trustworthy — and that is the driving factor behind the effectiveness of user generated content.

Real reviews and testimonials increase potential customers’ confidence in making the purchase by giving them honest answers to their questions and sharing actual insights about the experience.

When done well, it opens doors to new, untapped audiences while strengthening a business’s core user base. It can help a brand become more relatable to its existing users and potential customers as well, building ever-important brand trust and affinity.

So how can businesses harness this medium for their own benefit? With UGC ads.

While UGC is often unprompted content created by actual users, brands can intentionally harness this power through UGC ads.

UGC promotions are all about having a look and feel that appears unprompted. This can be done easily with professional UGC ad experts like yellowHEAD that can create a wide range of UGC promotions in many different styles.

The Main Types of User Generated Content for Ads

There are a number of ways to successfully utilize UGC and these are the methods we’ve found to get the biggest ROIs.

yellowHEAD’s creative studio specializes in all of the types mentioned below, while customizing each campaign based on the varying platforms, verticals, trends.


This type of ad shows a screengrab of the product or app in use. No actors are shown on screen.

This is the fastest and easiest type of UGC ad that a brand can make, which makes it perfect for businesses using the UGC style for the first time.

Authentic UGC with Actors

Actors are given instructions from the brand to authentically try out the app or product, though there isn’t a script. It’s still very authentic, but brands get to retain control over the messaging and style of the final video. Branded animations are sometimes used to varying degrees, depending on the brand’s preference. These are often shared on the official brand account or promoted as a paid ad.

UGC-Style Production

This is a professional studio production, but with many elements of UGC style that make it look more natural and native. This format allows brands to have the most control over messaging and style, but are pricier and take more time to create, since they require all the things that go into a polished video ad.

Influencer Marketing

This is when brands pay an influencer in a certain niche to promote their brand or product in some way. A brief is given to the influencer and they take it from there. Results vary greatly, even for the same product. These are very authentic, but brands have very limited control over the end result.

Messaging, branding, and the style of the video can be suggested to the influencer but there usually isn’t too much room to make adjustments or changes without added cost. Results vary greatly, even among influencers in the same niche.

These types of videos can be uploaded from the influencer’s account, but it’s still transparent that it’s a sponsored post by using a hashtag like #sponsored in the caption. They can also be reshared on the brand’s own account as a paid ad.

When it comes to influencer marketing, it’s crucial that the creator is highly relevant to your brand or niche and will be able to authentically share the UGC content with their followers.

User Generated Content Ads on TikTok and Instagram


Rather than reviews or unboxing videos, Tiktok UGC is a blend of trends, humor, and the product or brand itself. It’s important to make sure your brand is aligned with the message of the creative before resharing user content.


Instagram is an incredible platform for connecting with a user base and highlighting original content, which makes it great for UGC and UGC advertising.

Great UGC ideas can range from showing a product in action, utilizing unique or trending hashtags, and reposting user content as a Story.

User Generated Content Tips

1. Get User Consent

Always make sure to get permission from the user before sharing their content. This is a basic rule on all social media platforms.

2. Give Credit

Discuss how the creator wishes to be credited. Make sure it’s clear and visible, while also tagging them directly in the post.

3. Communicate With Creators

UGC is a two-way street – creators also want brands to share their content. Make sure influencers and creators know what your brand plans to promote by utilizing hashtag and social media contests.

4. Set KPIs

In order to actually quantify the success of anything, UGC included, it’s a huge asset to set key performance indicators ahead of time to measure the success of the UGC campaign, just as you would any other social media campaign. Test several options, break down the data, and quantify your growth.

5. Be Prepared for Negative Engagement

There’s no way to predict how UGC content will turn out. While consumers can give rave reviews about your product, it can sometimes give users a space to share complaints and criticisms.
Respond to negative feedback carefully and conscientiously, but hand-pick the positive posts for your resharing efforts.

Creative Ideas for UGC Ads

Everyday Customers

Think unboxing videos and posts about consumers using the product. This can also include having clients or customers who have relevant podcasts discuss their experience with the product.

Brand Advocates

Share posts of customers raving about your product or images of customers standing in line to buy your product.


Paid UGC posts or videos from social media influencers in your business vertical.

Company Life

Organic posts showing things like the product being boxed up and ready to be shipped, as well as what’s it like to work at your company.

User Generated Content Ad Examples

Beverly Hills MD


Blackout Bingo

Jackpot Party


Which type of user generated content is most effective?

There’s no single answer that fits every brand or even every campaign. It varies depending on the product or service, as well as the end goals.

Are there any agencies that specialize in UGC Ads?

Yes: yellowHEAD! We make UGC and influencer content easy with our streamlined system. Whether brands want hands-off influencer TikToks or UGC-style studio productions, we can do it all.

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