What is user-generated content and how it can benefit your business?

User-generated content is any type of content produced by customers rather than brands. Like it or not, the vast majority of customers trust the recommendations coming from their friends/family/peers more than they trust your brand ads. To support this fact, we will tell you that two-thirds of customers believe in online reviews

user-generated content
There’s no doubt that your customers are your best brand ambassadors. So, let’s see how user-generated content works, why is it so beneficial, and how to attract more of it.


What is user-generated content?


As the name suggests, user-generated content can be any type of content (text, images, videos) that was created by the customers instead of the brand itself. The power of user-generated content lies in the fact that it’s not paid. Therefore, potential customers take it as a genuine opinion of a service or a product. 


While this is free, your advertising campaigns are paid, therefore, some of the potential customers don’t trust them so much. Of course, you will say all the best about your own product, right? That’s why around 70% of customers put their trust in their peers' recommendations instead in a company copy. 


However, the market has become more saturated, so user-generated content is now not  produced by customers only. Employee-generated content is also very popular because it shows what happens “behind the scenes”. It showcases authenticity, the brainstorming process, the packaging, communication with customers, and many other interesting parts of the process. 


Another type of content is the one created by paid user-generated content creators. These creators started as simple user-generated content creators, but the number of their followers grew, so they’ve become influencers. Therefore, they get paid for promoting a certain brand on their social channels. However, people usually perceive them as “one of them” thus, they trust their recommendations. 


So, it’s obvious that user-generated content helps improve your credibility, but is that the only benefit that it brings to your business? 


Why is user-generated content beneficial for your business?


User-generated content reached its peak with the rise of social media channels. Therefore, this kind of content has found its place as an integral part of the marketing mix. 

user-generated content

  • Authenticity - nothing can benefit your brand more than getting genuine, authentic reviews. Reviews are taken as recommendations coming from “real people”, therefore they’re more trustworthy. By doing so, customers are also participating in the brands' image-building process.


  • SEO benefits - user-generated content can elevate your SEO and help you reach a better Google Search rating. Blog posts, Youtube videos, images, or even product reviews are the type of content that Google loves and takes into consideration when doing the ranking. All this content will mean that those content creators will most likely link your website, which will enormously affect your SEO rankings. Therefore, make sure to do keyword research and optimize your website accordingly. 


  • Cost-effectiveness - last, but not least, user-generated content can help you save some money. You don’t need to spend thousands of dollars on promotions if you have customers willing to share their experiences and create promotional content organically. 


Types of user-generated content


One of the best things about user-generated content is the fact that it’s not limited to a certain industry or company size. Since it has so many varieties, it can resonate with different audiences.


There are various types of user-generated content:


Images - usually images on social media that are posted either by influencers or regular customers who want to share their experiences. These images are followed by a brand tag and a hashtag.


Videos - shorter or longer video formats placed either on social media such as Instagram or platforms such as Youtube. Video reviews are getting even more popular than traditional reviews, so you should definitely consider them if you’re collaborating with content creators. 

user-generated content

Blog posts - a more detailed review of a certain product or a service. It’s not unusual to be presented in a form of a tutorial if the product requires it. 


Online reviews and testimonials - Customer reviews are one of the most powerful ways to gain (or lose) customers’ trust. Reviews can be placed on your website and social media, or even on third-party websites. In both cases, it’s important to keep track of them and to respond - both to positive and negative reviews. 


Ways of getting more user-generated content


Now that you know what user-generated content is, let’s see how you can attract more of it. 


Ask for reviews


Don’t shy away from asking for reviews. You don't have to be pushy, but why not ask a customer to share their two cents about you? Of course, it would be great to receive a positive review, but don’t shed away from the negative ones either. That will show your potential customers that you value every opinion and that you’re open to suggestions. Maybe you really did an honest mistake, so why hide it by deleting a negative comment? Apologize, make it right, and learn something out of it. 

user-generated content

Engage more on social media 


This is a very simple, yet effective way of engaging with your audience. You can ask a question on Twitter, or put a question box on Instagram and let your customers become involved. There are actually no limits here, just be careful not to post anything offensive or controversial. 


Run hashtags


More engagement on social media also comes from having good hashtags. Besides using your brand name, or hashtags that are related to your product and industry, it would be great if you could come up with a unique hashtag that customers will automatically relate to you. If you make it go viral, you’ve done it all! Hashtags can bring lots of engagement in a short time, so be sure not to neglect them. 




In a segmented market where customers are overwhelmed with different content, user-generated content is something that could help you to stand out. It will definitely help you to establish a stronger brand reputation without spending too much.


Have you ever used user-generated content? If you have, please share your journey with us. We’re sure that we could learn many useful tips.


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