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Understanding the mechanisms of User Generated Content (UGC) in 2024

In a world where digital content reigns supreme, User-Generated Content (UGC) has transformed how brands interact with their audiences. UGC is not just a way to generate authentic content at a low rate; it is an opportunity for brands to develop a relationship of trust with their customers while increasing their visibility and credibility.

In this article, you'll discover what UCG encompasses, the different types of UGC, and their strategic impact. You'll also learn how to exploit UGC effectively to get the most out of it. Finally, you'll gain some practical advice on how to integrate UGC into your marketing strategies.

User Generated Content
User Generated Content


1.    Strategic impact of UGC: User-generated content (UGC) is essential in today's marketing strategies because it boosts authenticity, reinforces customer confidence, and significantly improves SEO and conversion rates,

2.    Diversity of formats: UGC can take many forms - photos, videos, reviews, testimonials, and more - each offering a unique way to engage users and reflect the authenticity of the brand,

3.    Reinforcing purchasing decisions: Around 40% of buyers find UGC extremely important in their decision-making, underlining its indispensable role in e-commerce and professional strategies,

4.    Visibility and engagement: UGC increases visibility at no extra cost, engages communities around the brand, and turns customers into active ambassadors,

5.    Successful strategies: Brands such as GoPro, LEGO, Petit Bateau, and TripAdvisor show how a well-executed UGC strategy can lead to deep interaction and increased engagement while stimulating product innovation.

What does UGC stand for?

UCG stands for user-generated content. It includes any content, such as photos, videos, or text, shared by social media users on social platforms about a brand.

WHAT IS UGC, and Why is it important?

Brands highly value UGC for its direct impact on public perception. The people who post this content aren't directly encouraged by the brand, giving it authenticity and relatability.

Numerous statistics underline the importance of UGC in marketing strategies and consumer decision-making:

In terms of confidence and visual impact:

Regarding platform preferences for UGC :

These figures demonstrate the growing importance of UGC in digital marketing strategies, highlighting its essential role in shaping consumer opinion and boosting customer engagement.


UGC comes in different forms, each offering a unique way for users to connect with brands and share their experiences.

Here are the most common types of UGC:

  • UGC photos: Images are powerful. On platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest, and LinkedIn, users share photos of their experiences with products or services. These visuals become a valuable marketing tool for brands, allowing them to leverage this authentic content to strengthen their online presence,
  • Video UGC: Video content is increasingly dominating digital platforms. Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube are prime locations for user-generated videos, including tutorials, product reviews, and purely entertaining content. These videos quickly grab attention and can be used by brands for promotional purposes,
  • Opinions and ratings: Feedback in the form of unboxing videos, product reviews, or written comments is crucial. They provide valuable insights for potential consumers, influence purchasing decisions, and build trust in a brand or product,
  • Testimonials: Customer videos, case studies, and reviews are first-hand accounts of positive experiences with a brand or product. These authentic accounts have a considerable impact on a brand's credibility. For example, Starbucks encouraged people to share their experiences and feelings about adding their chosen names to cups through #WhatsYourName.
  • Q&A & forums: Feedback forms, online forums, and community discussions enable direct interaction between brands and users. Responding to questions and concerns in these spaces builds trust and loyalty,
  • Competitions: These events stimulate user participation and content creation. Competitions encourage users to generate content around specific themes or challenges, increasing brand visibility and engagement.

Each type of UGC allows users to interact with companies creatively and authentically, sharing their experiences, opinions, and creativity.

Integrating these different forms of content into marketing strategies can significantly improve authenticity, engagement, and trust in the brand.


UCG is proving crucial at all stages of the buying journey, as it helps to boost engagement rates and, consequently, conversions.

The main draw is that customer-created content acts as social proof, which can be used on social networks and other channels, such as emails, landing pages, or even payment pages.

Here's an extensive analysis of the benefits of UGC:

  • Free and widespread visibility: UGC can increase a brand's visibility at no extra cost to your marketing team. Content shared by users often reaches a broad audience through social networks, emails, and landing pages, naturally spreading the brand's message,
  • Greater authenticity: In a saturated digital market, UGC stands out for its authenticity. Consumers are more likely to trust a brand with many shared stories on social media, as it is perceived as more honest and reliable than highly marketed content that doesn't content on a personal level.
  • Increased trust and credibility: UGC serves as social proof, showing that other consumers have not only bought your products but are also satisfied with them. These organically generated social media testimonials increase trust in your brand and positively influence purchasing decisions.
  • Improved engagement: By involving users in the creation of content, UGC encourages customers to interact, creating a community around the company and strengthening loyalty. This may also mean more eyes on your brand, and an uptick in your follower count.
  • SEO leverage: UGC contributes to search engine optimisation (SEO) by generating fresh, relevant content that can help improve a brand's search engine ranking.
  • In-depth understanding of customers: analysing UGC enables brands to gather valuable data and insights into consumer preferences and behaviour, helping to refine products and marketing strategies.
  • Cost-effectiveness: encouraging customers to share their experiences can be an extremely cost-effective option. UGC enables social media content to be diversified at a much lower cost than traditional marketing campaigns and is particularly beneficial for small or start-up companies.

Integrating UGC into marketing efforts is an excellent way for businesses to not only increase their visibility and engagement but also establish a relationship of trust and proximity with their audience. These goals are more important than ever in today's competitive landscape.


A successful UGC strategy will be customer-centric. This means prioritising user needs and feedback and placing them at the heart of all marketing initiatives.

Here's how an effective and customer-focused UGC strategy should be structured:

Prioritising objectives

Defining clear objectives is crucial for determining your goals with a UGC strategy. Whether that's increasing engagement, customer loyalty, brand visibility, or improving the SEO of your blog posts and/or website pages, your objectives will guide the types of UGC you encourage and the way you use them.

The 360-degree approach

Thinking 360 means integrating UGC into all aspects of your marketing. This means displaying it on social networks, websites, email campaigns, advertising, and even during face-to-face events. By using UGC across various channels, you create a consistent and engaging brand experience that strengthens your brand's presence and interaction with your target audience.

Listening and responding to the community

Active listening is essential in a customer-centric marketing strategy. This means monitoring and responding to the UGC that your customers post. Engaging in conversations with users who post social media content relating to your brand and/or your products and services is an important part of showing that you value their contribution and encourages other customers to share their own experiences. Of course, it also shows that you take their various testimonials into account.

A great way for organisations to understand the conversations happening around their brands is to use a social listening tool. This gives brands the data and insights they need to identify trends and analyse the sentiment in UGC.

Leveraging influencers effectively: What does a UGC creator do?

Integrating UGC from creators, also known as KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders), is a great way to amplify your reach and add an extra layer of validation to your brand. By collaborating with relevant influencers to generate authentic content, you can leverage their credibility and audience to promote your brand subtly and effectively.

One way to promote content effectively is by using specialist influencer marketing platforms, such as Kolsquare. These platforms help you find creators whose values and audiences align with your brands.

These tools collect all the data you need about social media creators on one interface. Quickly learn how engaged their audience is, their followers' demographics, and the earned benefits from collaborating with them.

Try out Kolsquare's influencer platform with a free demo.

Using feedback to drive continuous improvement

Use the data gained from UGC interactions to refine your marketing efforts throughout the campaign. Customer feedback can tell you what's working and what needs improvement, helping you adjust your campaigns to better meet your audience's expectations.

By making people the heart of your UGC marketing strategy, you strengthen the relationship between your brand and your customers, fostering a virtuous cycle of loyalty and engagement.


These organisations' innovative use of user-generated content illustrates its potential for engaging communities and boosting conversions in a wide variety of sectors.

Let's take a look at some successful UGC social media marketing examples to inspire you this year:

GoPro: community involvement

GoPro is taking advantage of UGC to boost its presence on social networks. The brand actively encourages its users to share captivating images of their adventures, often using the content in its campaigns.

The regular photo challenges not only engage the community but also reinforce the brand's association with extreme experiences and breathtaking landscapes. GoPro enjoys these benefits while also improving its reach to a massive 20.9M followers on Instagram.

LEGO: between innovation and creativity

LEGO is a perfect example of how well-crafted UGC strategies can fuel product innovation and community engagement. Using the hashtag #legoideas, the brand is not just collecting user-generated content, it is also transforming it into genuine marketable products.

This hashtag garnered 90.5M posts on TikTok alone, demonstrating the huge engagement of fans. Each year, LEGO's team selects ten construction projects proposed and shared by members of its community. What makes this process particularly unique is that the selection of projects to be marketed is subject to a vote by users on a dedicated site. This not only ensures that the final products resonate well with the fan base but also reinforces users' sense of belonging to the LEGO brand.

Petit Bateau: product tests by customers

Petit Bateau, with 673K followers on Instagram, has taken an innovative approach by inviting its best customers to film themselves testing its flagship products. This social media strategy enabled the brand to collect authentic video testimonials, which were then carefully edited and used to enrich product descriptions on online sales platforms.

The use of UGC has not only humanised the online shopping experience but has also proved its effectiveness through a significant increase in performance. According to the Agorapulse website, implementing this UGC strategy led to a 12% increase in the conversion rate, demonstrating the powerful impact of authentic, personalised content on consumers' purchasing decisions. An example from Anne-Marie, a Petit Bateau customer, can be found here.

TripAdvisor: creating a sharing community

TripAdvisor leverages UGC to generate significant network effects and extend its global reach. By motivating travellers to share their experiences and opinions social media, the platform has developed a huge community. First-time visitors use TripAdvisor to plan their trips, drawing inspiration from the advice they find there, and are often motivated to 'reciprocate' by sharing their own experiences.

As Adam Medros, VP of Global Product at TripAdvisor, pointed out to Forbes, community dynamics are essential: "Being a community is the main reason for creating content. The main way we attract new contributors is that they use TripAdvisor to plan their trip and get advice from the site, and then they want to contribute or give back to the community that gave them good advice." This culture of sharing contributes to ongoing engagement and strengthens the platform's credibility, fuelling a virtuous cycle of contribution and interaction.

What is UGC within these examples?

These examples show that when UGC is properly integrated into marketing strategies, it can not only improve engagement and loyalty but also lead to significant innovations in the products and services offered by brands. By placing users at the heart of their strategy, these brands have succeeded in transforming their customers into enthusiastic ambassadors, generating content, engagement and sales.


To maximise the impact of your UGC strategy in 2024, adopt these key practices that will help you engage your audience in an authentic and measurable manner:

  • Encourage spontaneous creation: Stimulate the production of UGC by launching competitions or themed campaigns that invite your customers to share their experiences with your brand. Use creative and accessible incentives or challenges to encourage participation, and be sure to recognise and reward the most outstanding contributions,
  • Use strategic hashtags: Develop unique and memorable hashtags for each UGC campaign or initiative. These hashtags not only make it easier to collect and organise content but also help to increase the visibility of your campaigns on social platforms.
  • Diversify content formats: Don't limit yourself to just one type of content. Encourage variety - photos, videos, testimonials, reviews, and more. Each format can resonate differently with different segments of your audience and enrich the overall brand experience.
  • Create shareable content: Design your UGC so that it's easy for people to join in and share. This includes creating attractive visual content, engaging messages, and clear calls to action that encourage sharing on social networks.
  • Measure the impact on conversion rates and SEO: Use analytical tools to track the effectiveness of UGC in terms of conversions and SEO improvements. Analyse which types of content generate the best performance and adjust your strategy accordingly.
  • Integrate shoppable content: Simplify the buying process by integrating e-commerce functionality directly into your UGC. For example, posts on Instagram or Pinterest can include direct links to product pages, making purchasing just one click from the post.
  • Employee Advocates: Companies can encourage their employees to share content about their job. This creates a bustling conversation around your company for little effort. This tactic is especially useful for B2B brands that can humanise their company through their employees on social media. Learn more about these new creators here.

By adopting these practices, you can not only improve the relevance and effectiveness of your UGC strategy, but also strengthen the loyalty and commitment of your audience to your brand. User-generated content, when properly exploited, can transform occasional customers into passionate ambassadors for your brand.

How to get UGC content?

To generate UGC, you need to create an environment where your audience actively participates in creating and sharing content related to your brand. This can be achieved through running contests and challenges, creating branded hashtags for easy tracking, featuring user content across your platforms, and engaging with your audience through interactions such as responding to comments and sharing their posts.

After all, user-generated content is not just a tool for increasing engagement; it also creates an invaluable and authentic connection between businesses and their consumers.

By following best practices for an effective UGC strategy, organisations can turn every customer into a potential spokesperson. It's especially important for brands that, despite small marketing teams, need to make a big impact. An agency or platform can help you develop these strategies quickly!

About Kolsquare

Kolsquare is Europe’s leading Influencer Marketing platform, a data-driven solution that allows brands to scale their KOL Marketing strategies and implement authentic partnerships with KOLs (Key Opinion Leaders). Kolsquare’s technology enables marketing professionals to easily identify the best Content Creators profiles by filtering their content and audience, and to build and manage their campaigns from A to Z, including measuring results and benchmarking performance against competitors. Kolsquare has built the largest community of influencer marketing experts in the world, and offers hundreds of customers (Coca-Cola, Netflix, Sony Music, Publicis, Sézane, Sephora, El Corte Inglés, Lacoste, …) the latest Big Data, AI and Machine Learning technologies to drive inspiring partnerships, tapping into an exhaustive network covering 100% of  KOLs with more than 5,000 followers in 180 countries on Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, Facebook and YouTube. As a Benefit Company, Kolsquare has been pioneering Responsible Influence by championing transparency, ethical practices, and meaningful collaborations to inspire change.

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