If you’re a marketer not living under a rock, you’ve probably heard about User Generated Content (UGC). UGC has emerged as the talk of the marketing world, revolutionizing the way brands engage with their audiences and opening up exciting opportunities for content creators to thrive. As one of the pioneer UGC creators, I have witnessed firsthand the significant impact UGC has had on digital marketing strategies, creating a ripple effect that continues to shape the industry.
UGC has become a driving force in the content landscape, as it not only resonates with audiences but also empowers creators to make a decent living from their passion. The rise of short-form video platforms and social media channels has democratized content creation, allowing individuals like me to share our unique perspectives and creativity with a global audience.
Brands, too, have recognized the immense potential of UGC in building authentic connections with their target customers. In a world inundated with traditional advertisements, UGC offers a breath of fresh air, giving brands the chance to showcase real-life experiences and stories shared by their own customers. This level of authenticity fosters trust, credibility, and a sense of community, which are vital elements for brand loyalty and long-term success.
As the lines between consumers and creators blur, brands are increasingly embracing UGC in their marketing campaigns. By leveraging the power of authenticity, brands can tap into a vast pool of creative content that not only saves time and resources but also delivers tangible results.
“But why are my videos still flopping?”, you might ask.
I have made over 200 UGC videos and seen over 500 UGC portfolios and in this article, I will share my personal experiences and examples to explore the common reasons why your UGCs might not be working as effectively as you’d hoped. Let’s dive in!
Some brands (and creators) think that slapping a human on a video with an iPhone is automatically a “UGC”.
And while technically it’s not wrong, that’s why your videos aren’t performing well.
UGC is so much more than just a creator reading off of a script. It’s also…
- The creative research behind the video
- The structure of the video
- The emotions the creator is showing (!!!) - this is important! As someone who has 5 years of acting experience, I have to say a lot of the scriptreads need better acting classes!
- The lighting
- The audio
- The post processing edits
- …and SO MUCH MORE.
If you’re not entirely sure what UGC is, you might be missing out on tapping into its true potential. As an engineer turned UGC creator, I had to understand the essence of UGC and how it differs from traditional marketing tactics.
Solution: Take the time to research and educate yourself about UGC. Study successful examples from various brands to grasp the concept fully. This understanding will guide you in crafting UGC strategies that align with your brand and engage your audience genuinely.
Creating UGC is not just about recording a random video, doing a trend or posting an image. There is a science to it. The right ad structure plays a significant role in how your UGC performs. As a creative strategist, I have come across many UGC campaigns that struggled due to a lack of proper planning and structure.
Solution: Adopt a structured approach to your UGC campaigns. Outline your objectives, define your target audience, and design a clear call-to-action.
Some frameworks to play around:
- Before and After
- 3 Reasons Why
This strategic framework will ensure that your UGC efforts are purposeful and lead to meaningful interactions with your audience.
In today’s fast-paced digital world, attention spans are fleeting. If your UGC doesn’t grab the audience’s attention right away, they’ll quickly move on to the next thing. I’ve experienced this firsthand with some of my early UGC attempts.
But some people think a VERBAL HOOK is enough. But, it’s not.
Let me tell you about the trifecta of hooks:
- Verbal Hook - Basically what you see EVERYWHERE about the hooks you should try
- Written Hook - Place a title on the first few seconds of your video that makes people understand your video faster than what you would say (max 7 words)
- Visual Hook - The creme de la creme! Make sure that your video shows something either SUPER DESIRABLE or SUPER WEIRD that people want to stay for the video. No in betweens!
Solution: Craft a captivating hook within the first few seconds of your UGC content. It could be something unexpected, humorous, or emotionally engaging. A strong hook will entice your audience to keep watching and increase the likelihood of them taking the desired action.
Video success is actually 50% Audio.
When it comes to UGC, the audio can make or break the user experience. If your audience struggles to hear or understand the message, they’ll lose interest.
Stray away from the outdoors, or any windy environment, and polish your audio if you can.
Here is an example of how I edited my audio since I had to record outside:
Solution: Invest in decent audio equipment and ensure that your UGC content has clear and crisp audio. It doesn’t have to be studio-level quality, but it should be easily understandable and pleasant to the ear.
One common pitfall in UGC creation is neglecting the placement of text or captions in videos or images. If your text is being blocked by the user interface, your audience won’t be able to grasp the full message. And immediately, they would swipe away.
Here is an example:
Solution: Optimize the placement of your text or captions to ensure they are visible and don’t get covered by any UI elements. Test your UGC on various platforms to ensure it displays correctly across different devices and screen sizes.
If you want to make sure you don’t fall into this mistake, grab my FREE tiktok framing guide that you can use to overlay in your videos.
This might sound counterintuitive, but UGC is all about authenticity. If your UGC looks too polished or professionally produced, it may lose the authentic touch that resonates with viewers.
- Using serious models
- Using text that are not native to the platform
- Using CGI effects
Solution: Embrace imperfection and let the authenticity shine through in your UGC. Encourage your community to share their real experiences and stories, even if it means the content is raw and unpolished. Authenticity breeds trust and relatability.
TikTok is a goldmine for UGC inspiration. The TikTok Ad Library allows you to explore successful UGC campaigns from various brands, providing valuable insights into what works and what doesn’t.
PipiAds is a Ad Spy Platform that curates ad content from Tiktok and you can arrange them based on impressions, like rate, and days active. It’s an excellent resource to discover trending UGC and see how others are effectively engaging their audience.
Foreplay is an analytics tool that helps you track and measure the performance of your Ad campaigns. It provides valuable data and insights, allowing you to make data-backed decisions to improve your UGC strategies.
As a UGC creator, I’ve experienced both successes and challenges along the way. Understanding what UGC truly entails and avoiding common pitfalls can significantly impact the effectiveness of your UGC campaigns. By following the right ad structure, creating captivating hooks, focusing on audio quality, optimizing text placement, embracing authenticity, and utilizing valuable resources, you can take your UGC efforts to new heights.
Remember, UGC is about building a community and fostering genuine connections with your audience. Embrace your tech-savvy mindset and love for aesthetically pleasing things to create high-converting content that resonates with your audience and leaves a lasting impact.
So, go ahead, explore the world of UGC, learn from your experiences, and unleash the full potential of this powerful content strategy to drive your brand’s success!
I’m also offering a 30% discount to my Tiktok Growth Strategy Call exclusively for Social Media Pulse Readers (CODE: SMPULSE valid only for the first 5 takers)
Hi, I’m Marie. I’ve been making various types of digital content since 2018, and have recently specialized to short form video creation and strategy.
I have been a UGC creator for 2 years now and is one of Europe’s leading UGC creators. I used to be an engineer, which explains my love for tech and my research-backed thinking, which enabled me to be a creative strategist for several agencies focusing on UGC. But I also like fashion, beauty, and aesthetically pleasing things.
Combining these two gives me the best of both worlds to provide you with high converting content that builds community brands and their audience.