9 User-Generated Content Examples to Inspire Your Brand

A good marketing strategy needs to be multi-faceted, and for many brands, one of those facets should include user-generated content campaigns. 

By sharing authentic content that existing customers have created on their social media platforms, brands can resonate more easily with potential customers who are on the fence about making a purchase.

User-generated content (UGC) refers to any type of content, whether a photo, video, review, etc., that has been created by a real customer or content creator. Getting permission to use and then sharing this content is a great way to make your social media posts stand out.

But what makes a good piece of UGC and how should brands share it to get the most out of that form of content? We’ve got nine user-generated content examples to show you exactly what this could look like for your own brand.


9 User-Generated Content Examples to Inspire Your Brand:


1. Planoly

Customer testimonials and reviews are another great form of UGC to share. And these are really versatile as well, as they typically come in text form, so you have a number of options when deciding how to promote these.

Planoly got creative with this tweet giving their brand accolades by creating a branded graphic that fits in with the rest of their Instagram aesthetic.

 

 

Placing screenshots of tweets and reviews in a branded graphic like this is actually a popular Instagram graphic, so not only is Planoly taking advantage of an awesome customer review, but they’re also hopping on a major social media design trend.

Consider using the same strategy for your own UGC campaigns. Take screenshots of tweets, LinkedIn posts, Facebook posts, or reviews from review sites that mention your brand, strategically paste it onto a branded pattern or colorful background, and post it to your Instagram feed.

Planoly
4.5 out of 5 stars
PLANOLY makes it easy to create, customize, plan and schedule content for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as sell anything to anyone with a single click - no website needed.
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Pros and Cons
Ratings
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4.0
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5.0
Support
4.0
Overall Score
4.5
Features & Pricing
Analytics
Automated Publishing
Content Management
Multi-Account Management
Post Scheduling
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Price starting at:$11.25
Pros and Cons
Straightforward setup for Instagram and Pinterest
Caters for Instagram posts, Stories, and Reels
Practical workarounds to improve linking on Instagram, particularly for social commerce
Facebook and Twitter integration is only via Instagram
Can only auto post to an Instagram Business account (not Personal or Creator)
Calendars remain separate for each social network
Best for: Businesses of all sizes who post to Instagram and Pinterest
Planoly
4.5 out of 5 stars
PLANOLY makes it easy to create, customize, plan and schedule content for Instagram, Pinterest, Facebook, and Twitter, as well as sell anything to anyone with a single click - no website needed.

2. Cormorant Boutique Hotel

The Cormorant Boutique Hotel is located in La Jolla, California, in San Diego County. Their Instagram feed is filled with images that were taken in the surrounding areas of La Jolla and San Diego.

This photo is an example of one of The Cormorant’s examples of user-generated content:

 

 

The creator of this image shared it on her own Instagram, geotagging San Diego. Because this stunning photo was taken in an area that travelers to the area might be interested in checking out, it makes this a great piece of UGC for The Cormorant—even if it wasn’t taken at the actual hotel.

While many forms of UGC are going to have the actual product, place of business, or service in the piece of visual content, travel and hospitality brands have the unique advantage of being able to use even more visuals.

The Cormorant also re-shares photos from local businesses in their area, providing interested customers with even more options to check out during their stay in La Jolla, CA.


3. TOMS

TOMS launched a new style of shoes in 2021, working with content creators and influencers to help promote their new TOMS MALLOW.

They re-shared this video on their TikTok that a user had previously made, styling the MALLOW shoes in three different ways:

@tomsofficial The MALLOW styled by the one and only @moniqueesmithxo 💕#TOMSmallow #fitcheck #fashiontiktok ♬ I HEAR YOU [INSTRUMENTAL] – Vicetone

This is a great way to increase customer engagement as styling videos like these perform well on TikTok. And while the video on TOMS’ TikTok didn’t reach a huge audience, the original video reached thousands of people, helping TOMS make a bigger impact.

User-generated content and influencer marketing are closely linked, and working with digital creators to help increase your UGC intake is a great idea.


4. Edloe Finch

User-generated content doesn’t always live exclusively on social media platforms. By also placing UGC on your website and product pages, you can increase conversions by helping consumers feel more confident in their purchase decisions.

Edloe Finch is a boutique online furniture store, and since buying furniture online can be a bit of a hit or miss, they help make the process easier by showcasing customer photos right on their product pages. This way, customers are able to see what the furniture looks like in a real home, in a photo taken by a real person, rather than just in the professional product photos.

The furniture brand does this in two different ways. First, they use UGC platform Pixlee to gather related photos from #EdloeFinch:

These photos all pertain to the exact piece of furniture the interested consumer is looking at.

Right below this carousel, there’s another section showcasing ratings and customer photos from other furniture offered by Edloe Finch:

It’s always a good idea to offer customer photos alongside online products to help buyers get a better idea of what it might look like in real life.

There are a number of UGC platforms that can help you to build these widgets for your website so you don’t need the help of a designer or developer to place these images right on your homepage or product pages.


5. LikeMeat

We’ve already seen one example of using content creators to gather UGC, but we’re loving this angle from LikeMeat.

TOMS used fashion influencers to create styled videos for their new shoe design, and LikeMeat is using food influencers to showcase different recipes and ways to use their plant-based meat offerings.

This example shows a food blogger sharing a recipe they created for hot honey butter wings using LikeMeat’s plant-based boneless wings:

 

 

The video was originally featured on the creator’s Instagram feed and LikeMeat re-shared it on their own as well. If you scroll through LikeMeat’s feed, you’ll see a number of these collaborations.

For a food brand like this, their strategy makes perfect sense. They’re showing all of the different ways their products can be used in real life—along with some drool-worthy video content.


6. Native

Native, an all-natural body care brand, worked with real customers to create authentic ads for their social platforms. They put together a number of different styles of ads, testing which performed best with their audience.

This example was created as an Instagram stories ad and was one of their top-performing ads:

Native Coffee Haus: Morning Routine Social Ad from Epiq Media on Vimeo.

Native collaborated with ad agency Epiq Media to create these UGC ads. By using an actual content creator as opposed to an actor, it makes the ad feel more relatable. Plus, the format—following a morning routine similar to the popular “get ready with me” videos—instantly grabs attention.


7. Cards Against Humanity

Another great way to get your customers involved in your brand is by accepting user suggestions. The card game Cards Against Humanity is a fill-in-the-blank card game that has a number of expansion packs that give users even more fun card ideas.

And—true to their brutally honest yet hilarious brand voice—they admit that most of our ideas are probably bad, but they have a submission form anyways that they sift through from time to time when adding new cards to their decks.

This is a great way to get even more social engagement for your brand. Create a landing page on your website that accepts customer suggestions and then share it on your social channels to get your customers to interact even more with your business.


8. Lulus

Lulus is a popular online clothing boutique that regularly features photos of real people wearing their clothes on their Instagram feed. They feature the branded hashtag #lovelulus in their Instagram bio as a way to promote it and get their customers to use their hashtag in their posts.

In the following UGC example, the end of the caption says “#lovelulus via @username,” letting followers know that they found this photo via their branded hashtag.

 

 

Creating a hashtag campaign like this can be a great way to increase the user-generated content you have to choose from, enticing your customers to share more photos, use your hashtag, and hope to see their own photos featured on your feed.

This is a really common strategy among fashion brands, and for good reason. Because so many people want to take #ootd photos and post them on Instagram, sharing those photos as UGC just makes sense. Make sure to create your own branded hashtag so you have a way to aggregate all of the outfit photos your customers are sharing.


9. Twitter

Twitter had perhaps one of the most ingenious user-generated content campaigns of all time in 2019 when they took screenshots of tweets from their own platform and used them as ad placements in subway stations across the United States.

The platform reached out to users whose tweets they wanted to use in order to get permission and even sent some Twitter swag in return—stickers, t-shirts, and more.

The company found tweets that were essentially endorsing the platform already, grabbed a screenshot, and used those images—in tweet form—as their ad creative.

Here’s one great example comparing the usage of Instagram to the usage of Twitter:

And here’s another:

These tweets are essentially promos in themselves, touting the fun, transparency, and lack of filter that Twitter users tend to have over those using other social media platforms.

This campaign was a great way for Twitter to take advantage of their own user-generated content (i.e., literally all of the tweets, which equates to billions per year) to promote their platform.


Gather Inspiration From These UGC Examples

Take this as your sign to add UGC into your social media content strategy today. Keep these examples in mind as you work to gather your own fan-made content that you can reshare.

Consider taking advantage of a UGC platform to help you gather, create, and curate the best possible user-generated content for your own social media channels.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are the types of UGC?

There are many different types of UGC that you might consider collecting for your business. A few of the most popular ones include:

  • Photos
  • Videos
  • Reviews/testimonials
  • Blog posts
  • Case studies

The UGC you get from customers can also be repurposed into a number of different formats. For example, you can take reviews/testimonials and turn them into graphics, or you can take clips from videos and turn them into ads.

What is a UGC platform?

A UGC platform is an online marketing tool that helps brands to find, collect, organize, get content rights, and share user-generated content. Some UGC platforms have their own online community of creators that make the UGC for the brands.

How can you get UGC?

One of the most popular ways of collecting UGC is by creating a dedicated hashtag that your customers can use when posting photos or videos of your products/services. This makes it easy to find authentic user-generated content all at once, by simply browsing through posts using your hashtag.

You can also work with influencers or content creators directly, turn reviews and testimonials into UGC, or simply ask your customers to help you by creating visual content using your products/services.

Why is UGC so important?

User-generated content is an important type of content for a social media strategy because it helps people on the fence to make purchasing decisions by showcasing happy customers using a brand’s product/service. It’s a form of word-of-mouth marketing that helps a brand resonate more with its customer base.

What is a UGC strategy?

A UGC strategy is typically a part of a brand’s social media or content marketing efforts. It involves putting plans in place for increasing the amount of UGC a brand’s customers (or influencers) create, having a process for getting permission to share, and using that content in a number of different ways that help potential customers make the right buying decision.

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