Blog, Content Marketing User Generated Content (UGC): A Simple Strategy to Get Your Product Seen

User generated content

Turn on your television or open that magazine that’s been sitting in your mail box for the past week and you will be immediately confronted with advertising from companies you may not know. As consumers, we’re constantly inundated with advertising messages coming from a stranger we’re asked to trust – often a celebrity or character – encouraging us to buy a new product or try out the latest trend. Whether we’re walking down the street or sitting on our couch, it’s becoming increasingly impossible to avoid the reach of big brands and their repetitive requests to add to their bottom line.

A well-studied effect of this barrage of advertising is known as ad blindness, a phenomenon whereby individuals learn to unconsciously ignore advertising information. This means that whilst your advertising budget may be targeting the right consumer, they simply aren’t seeing your product. Fortunately, a marketing remedy has emerged over the past few years to counteract the effect of ad blindness.


What is UGC?

User Generated Content (UGC) is organic content (eg. Instagram photos, YouTube videos, blog posts etc.) created by unpaid consumers to promote a brand’s message. It is highly effective and has excellent conversion rates, as consumers are more likely to believe a friend who is promoting a brand rather than an advertisement from the brand itself. A great example of this is fashion company Aerie’s #AerieReal campaign, which asked women to share their untouched bathing suit photos on Instagram with the #AerieReal campaign line. For each post that used the hashtag, Aerie donated $1 to the NEDA, an organisation combatting eating disorders. Aerie also selected some photos, which are considered the UGC, and posted them on their Instagram account. With the UGC created and shared by Aerie’s fans, their consumers became both the face and spokeswomen of the brand.

AerieReal user generated content campaign

As seen in the Aerie example, UGC puts the brand in the consumer’s hands (or social media account). Aerie chose not to communicate messages on their own, but leverage UGC and allow consumers to both define and share a brand’s message. For #AerieReal, the message was that a healthy body image is extremely important for young women today. Rather than sharing dozens of images of retouched models, they humanised their brand by requesting their followers to post pictures of themselves. Aerie trusted their consumers to do the heavy lifting of distributing this message of positivity and self-love to their own friends and followers, and it paid great dividends. Consumers were able to interact with the Aerie brand and became the forefront of the brand’s marketing to promote their new campaign around loving yourself.


How To Create a UGC Campaign

The 5 steps below will help you create a UGC campaign and help your customers become advocates for your brand.

  1. Decide whether a UGC campaign is right for your business. Will the UGC campaign fit with your overall marketing objectives? How will you measure success? What platforms will you use? Do you have the right type of audience to elicit responses?
  2. Define objectives. Work out your desired conversion rate or number of sales, then work backwards to calculate how many impressions you will need in order to achieve this. Research other UGC campaigns to determine whether your goals are achievable and to see what has worked for your competitors.
  3. Choose your platform. Use Google Analytics to determine which social media platform is directing the most traffic to your site, then concentrate your campaign efforts on that platform.
  4. Design the campaign. Decide how you are going to get users to interact with your brand. Will they share a photo? Tag a friend? Engage in some type of competition? Campaigns that offer the user a reward for sharing content often have a high success rate, so think about what you can offer to your audience in order to entice them to share.
  5. Engage micro influencers. A micro influencer may not have a huge audience, but they are someone who is actively engaged with your brand and have a strong level of trust with their smaller audience. Contact potential influencers through social media and let them know about your campaign. If possible, you could even offer them a product sample or discount in order to get the ball rolling.

Once your campaign is up and running, you’ll need to monitor audience feedback and respond quickly to any queries. At the end of the campaign you can measure results and use the outcomes to help structure your next UGC campaign.


The growing prevalence of UGC brings exciting opportunities in social media marketing. Brands can achieve high reach with low cost by capitalising on word of mouth advertising from existing customers, resulting in high levels of trust. When executed properly, a UGC campaign can be a win-win for both the brand and consumer.

Are you interested in executing a UGC campaign for your brand? Contact us at THE-OOP.COM to discuss how we can work with you to create a successful campaign.