How to Create a User-Generated Content (UGC) Strategy with Examples

Did you know user-generated content (UGC) is your biggest unused strategic opportunity? 79% of people say UGC plays a role in their buying decisions. So, it is not a stretch to say working on making your UGC stand out is plain good business. 

Follow the tips below to create a UGC content strategy that helps build a strong brand identity, engages your audience and customers, and adds a sense of community.

How to create a UGC strategy effectively

  1. Focus on relevant channels

  2. Set your goals

  3. Make collecting UGC easy

  4. Align UGC campaigns with your brand story

  5. Ask for UGC rights

  6. Keep a tab on brand mentions

  7. Measure your user-generated content strategy

Define your UGC strategy

1. Create content for relevant channels

Start by identifying the channels where your potential customers are most active. Then, encourage people to share content on these social media platforms since the chances of engagement are high. You can run a hashtag contest with awards on your social media and then show submissions on your website like GoPro does. Or a giveaway.

UGC strategy example: how GoPro uses hashtag contests

However, to find the relevant channels, you need to understand your customer demographics and social media engagement metrics, such as:

Also, planning your UGC content is essential if you share your content across multiple social media channels. For instance, video content might do better on Instagram, while a static image with hashtags will do better on X (formerly Twitter) or LinkedIn.

This will help you display your UGC content best, using each platform's strength to get the most bang for the buck. You can even use tools like an AI translator to effortlessly translate user-generated content into multiple languages, expanding your reach and fostering inclusivity.

Don’t let your UGC content go to waste.

You can also embed UGC directly on your website. An instance of this is Cruise America, a business that offers RVs for sale or rent. This effectively transforms #Betherenow into a tangible involvement across numerous mediums.

They showcase Instagram follower posts on their website, amplifying user voices and building community. Plus, potential customers get a sneak peek into what adventures lay ahead when purchasing or renting an RV on their website, which helps to increase sales.

UGC strategy in action by a RV company

2. Set goals for your UGC campaigns

Creating a user-generated content campaign without goals might aimlessly collect content that doesn’t serve its purpose. Also, it’s hard to map your strategy and measure the outcomes without goals.

Thus, having goals makes it clear what you want to achieve‌—boosting brand awareness, increasing sales, and improving customer engagement. Focusing on contests or incentives within UGC could be beneficial if your goal is to boost sales. This will help you allocate your budget efficiently.

Also, remember that your UGC goals align with the broader marketing strategy and objectives. If you want to launch a product, UGC can help build excitement. If you have a specific audience, UGC can help you authentically target them.

UGC analytics: how to track goals

Once you have goals – the evergreen question of how you track them arises. For instance, the DTC brand Prima uses an e-commerce analytics tool, Peel Insights, to track the use of discount codes they distribute between influencers and UGC content creators they partner with.

A tool like Peel helps you avoid having cumbersome Excel or Google spreadsheets that take time to load, become difficult to edit as your brand scales, and become even more challenging to understand as your business grows and becomes more diversified. 

3. Make Collecting UGC Easy

We often see businesses have strict restrictions or guidelines for UGC submissions.

While this might seem like the best move to create quality content, it does more harm than good. Why? Because it excludes so many users and might impact their creativity.

Thus, lowering ‌entry barriers allows more people to participate, making your content feel more authentic and genuine.

Practical ways to gather UGC

You can use tools like Flockler to gather content based on specific hashtags on platforms like Instagram. You can even have people fill in a custom form on your website or even on live displays during events and then mix the reviews, images, and videos they upload with other UGC content you show on your website or app.

how to gather UGC content with Flockler strategy
Flockler offers an easy way to build forms that help you collect user-generated content from live events and digital platforms.

Imagine gathering content with the proper UGC usage rights from fans at a concert or from potential customers and partners at a business conference. You get unique content that usually is not seen on social media and that your competitors do not have. 

UGC strategy implementation example from Bayern Leverkusen
Flockler helps leading brands like Bayern Leverkusen handle UGC from live events.

By doing so, you tap into the beautiful pool of creativity and innovation by opening the door to everyone. Combining. You might discover several unique approaches and content formats you would have never considered.

4. Align UGC campaigns with your brand story

Storytelling is as old as time itself, yet it is still effective. Your brand story is more than a tagline and a logo. It’s your personality, values, and mission.

UGC for beauty, fashion, and wellness

Fashion and beauty brands have mastered the art of storytelling with user-generated content. On Instagram alone, 3,904,380+ posts tagged with #miumiu as of April 2024 show influencers and ordinary customers enjoying Prada's MiuMiu lifestyle and products. Millions of posts are tagged with just one brand. 

People connect your brand with happenings, trips, and life experiences. In effect, doing half the job of marketing for you. Spending hours ensuring they make the right impression and finding the fitting soundtrack for your brand and products.

The impressions created by each short video reel and fleeting image combine to add to the story of modern, feminine luxury. Helping them reach customers across multiple generations with similar seamless effectiveness. That also translates into numbers: in 2023, Miu Miu's sales grew 83% amidst a slowdown in the luxury market.

UGC is for everyone

But wait, what if your brand does not get millions of mentions? What if your business is more mundane? That is where UGC shines as a marketing approach. 

By being witty, courageous, and standing out, brands from travel and hospitality to hard industries can create content that gets thousands of likes without having a lot of followers. 

Aligning your user-generated content strategy with your brand story can help you develop deeper connections with your audience. It can also help them see how your brand impacts real people and stays true to its values.

Also, by highlighting your values and mission through UGC, you reinforce your brand image and strengthen its position in the market.

5. Ask for usage rights

Generally, brands share UGC content on their social media accounts, websites, or any marketing platform without permission.

While you can do that legally on your website and only need permission to reproduce UGC in ads, marketing materials, or publications other than your site, this can disregard content creators’ efforts and sense of ownership. So it is nice to ask permission.

Especially when UGC platforms like Flockler make it easy to do so. Thus, seeking permission is the right approach to demonstrate transparency and foster trust with your audience. It can also help you avoid copyright issues or potential lawsuits.

How to ask for user-generated content usage rights

It is a good idea to communicate with your creators.

  • While asking for permission, tell the creator how you plan to use the content on social channels so they know what to expect.
  • Let the creator know if the content will help you grab opportunities or generate profits. This can make them feel valued and open doors for future opportunities.
  • If the UGC content is in the response for giveaways, include consent in the terms and conditions. Mention that you’ll be using the content for marketing purposes.

6. Keep a Tab on Brand Mentions

By tracking brand mentions, you gain insights into the conversations happening around your brand. You can see what people say about your products, services, marketing campaigns, and values.

This knowledge helps you identify UGC that reflects positive sentiment, aligns with your brand image, and resonates with your target audience.

Likewise, you can identify any negative reviews or concerns about your brand. This allows you to proactively address potential issues and showcase positive UGC that counters the negativity, maintaining a positive brand image.

Leverage social listening tools to gather mentions of your brand, products, and hashtags and display social proof on your product page.

7. Measure and optimize your UGC strategy

Measuring your user-generated content strategy provides valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t. Based on these findings, you can tweak or refine your plan and display your UGC content more effectively.

Leverage social media analytics, website analytics, and specialized UGC management platforms to gather and analyze data.

For instance, tracking which platforms and formats perform best for different types of UGC can help you decide where to showcase specific content for maximum impact. Peel Insights offers one good e-commerce and social analytics platform.

Analyzing UGC and marketing strategy with Peels

Peel allows you to create custom reports to attribute visits and sales to specific social media channels, influencers, and content.

Remember that measuring your UGC strategy isn’t a one-time thing. You must continuously analyze your data and use insights to adjust your UGC strategy. Experiment with different content types, platforms, and calls to action based on what resonates with your target audience. 

Bring your UGC strategy to life.

And there you have it — everything you need to know to create successful user-generated content campaigns for your brand. You can best use this powerful marketing strategy by following the above practices and staying attuned to customer needs and preferences.

However, if you’re still looking for tools to help you create effective user-generated content, explore Flockler. Flockler empowers you to gather, curate, display, and analyze UGC effectively, helping you create compelling campaigns that generate engagement, build brand loyalty, and achieve your marketing goals.

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With Flockler, you can gather and display social media feeds from your favourite channels. See the full list of supported content types and sources

Flockler helps marketers like you to create social media feeds and display user-generated content on any digital service. Keep your audience engaged and drive sales.

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