Everything You Need To Know About UGC in 2024

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UGC-style content is set to be a big trend in marketing in 2024 as businesses look for new ways to promote their products and services. Imitating the style of organic customer-created content, UGC-style content looks less overtly like an advert than other content created by brands.

Don’t worry if you’re completely lost; we’ll start from the beginning.

What is UGC?

UGC stands for user-generated content. Traditionally this means content created by customers of a brand which is then reposted by the brand’s own social media accounts. These customers would be posting about the brand completely of their own accord. The brand would then reach out to them and ask if they can repost the content on their own profile.

Brands would typically use UGC for two reasons. Firstly it reduces the amount of original content the brand itself needs to create, saving time and resources. Secondly, positive testimonials from paying customers can be more meaningful than promotional material created by the brand itself or by influencers who have been paid.

UGC-style content is slightly different. In this instance, creators are paid to make content that looks like UGC and rather than posting it on their own account first, it is posted purely on the brand’s accounts. This type of content is often referred to as ‘UGC-style’ because it imitates the style of organic content, often taking the form of unboxings or videos showing the product in use, but it isn’t truly user-generated content because the creator has been paid to feature the product.

If you search for UGC on Instagram or TikTok, you’ll find both platforms are full of UGC creators, mainly in the US. In 2024, the UGC creator market is expected expand worldwide. UGC creators are people who specialise in creating UGC-style content for brands.

What is the Difference Between a UGC Creator and an Influencer?

Both UGC creators and influencers are paid by brands to make social media content featuring a certain product or service. The difference is that brands use influencers because they want to appeal to that influencer’s audience.

Influencers often have very loyal followings so when they promote a product or service this often translates into sales for the business being featured. UGC creators, on the other hand, don’t need any social media following at all. Their content is being created specifically for the brand to use and mimics organic, customer-created content.

Why Do Brands Use UGC Creators?

Brands are using UGC creators for similar reasons to why they use organic UGC. This content isn’t immediately obvious as paid-for content so users are more likely to be influenced by it. If you don’t look carefully, you’ll assume that the post has been made by a fan of the brand rather than someone who has been paid so you’re more likely to trust what is being said.

UGC creators often charge less than influencers as you’re not paying for exposure to their audience. This makes them a more affordable option for smaller businesses wanting professional quality content.

How Can I Find UGC Creators to Work With?

The best place to start is social media. Try searching ‘UGC creator + *your industry*’ on Instagram or TikTok. Most UGC creators specialise in creating content for specific industries so you should be able to find someone with the appropriate experience.

Some newer UGC creators may be willing to work for free in exchange for products but more experienced creators will expect to be paid. Prices vary so it’s best to reach out to a few creators and see if they offer a service that is appropriate for your business.

If you don’t have the budget to hire a UGC creator, you can always look for organic UGC posted by your customers. Search for your business or look at posts you’ve been tagged in and if you see any you want to repost, then reach out to the user and ask if they’d be happy for you to use their content (with credit of course).

Whether using organically-created UGC content from paying customers or hiring a UGC creator, small businesses can benefit hugely from this style of social media post. Positive reviews are one of the most powerful forms of marketing and are highly effective at persuading potential customers to buy what you’re selling.

If you haven’t tried it before, 2024 is the perfect time to experiment with UGC.

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