min read

Why UGC is Important? The Role of UGC Content in Content Marketing

Published on
July 9, 2024

Table of contents

User-generated or UGC content is any content that your users create and publish on public platforms. The format of the content varies according to the platform it is posted on. It can be image, video, text, or audio. Brands can leverage UGC to build trust among new users as user-generated content acts as word of mouth that promotes your brand for free. 

Sam Altman says “Create a product so good that the users tell their friends about it”. When this happens, you create a viral loop that works in your favor.

There are various reasons why UGC is important, and the primary reason is that it’s authentic/real, cost-effective, and acts as a huge social proof. Moreover, it also enhances SEO, increases engagement, can help you build a community, and may also give you innovative and interesting marketing ideas. 

Understanding User-Generated Content

User-generated content (UGC) can be created and shared by your customers, clients, or anyone who has tried and tested your brand or products/services. Even if you pay an influencer or celebrity to create content around your business, you can position it as UGC.  

In the context of content or digital marketing, UGC can include social media posts, blog comments, testimonials, and content shared via forums or other digital platforms. These content pieces can essentially provide an authentic voice to a brand, contribute to the overall content strategy, enhance community engagement, and potentially increase consumer trust.

Types of user-generated content

To leverage user-generated content, you need first to understand the basics of UGC. User-generated content can be of great use for marketing. Setting up channels where users can create content around/for your brand requires knowing what types of UGC you should expect. Let’s explore that one by one. 

Multimedia (Images & Videos)

When users create content about your brand in the form of images or videos you can use this to build trust among potential customers. Humans are visual beings, you retain more of what you see than what you read. 

Images & especially videos visually represent what it’s like to use your product. This makes it easier for potential customers to relate.

Testimonials and Comments

Testimonials are textual endorsements from existing customers who advocate about your product or service. Something similar to what LinkedIn does with endorsements on your LinkedIn profile. On the other hand, comments are user-generated text responses to content that you create. This can be social posts, blog posts, or product pages. 

Read our article on how to ask your clients or customers for testimonials.

In most cases, comments are not reviews. If you’re active on social media, consider creating engaging content that encourages your users to share their views about your products or services.


Reviews are the most important part of any sale. Be it online or offline, we don’t buy without checking if it’s worth the money. It’s so important that Google updated the search algorithm with reviews in mind and called it the product review update.

With reviews, users evaluate the product or service before purchasing. Reviews add to the confirmation bias for those who are planning to buy your products or services. Encourage users to leave reviews on platforms where you get most purchases from. It can be on Google Maps, Yelp, or your website. Make sure you do not mess with the reviews. The whole reason why Google updated the algorithm is because they don’t want to show fake reviews on Google search results.

Why is UGC Important in Marketing?

The importance of user-generated content cannot be understated. Today, when content consumption and creation are so huge and everywhere, as a brand, you must have your users talking about your business. Here’s how that will benefit you. 

Enhances Authenticity and Trust

More celebrity brands have not worked as compared to those that have. That means that just getting a lot of eyeballs is not enough. You also need to win the trust of your users. 

The purchase journey is very complicated and time-consuming. The UGC that you create for marketing can be used to build social proof (link the post on social proof to the bolded text). When the users create content praising the product/services, it is considered more valuable than the content created by the brand, that is, you. 

The ROI is insanely high, and the value of this will be known only when UGC is encouraged in the first place. Furthermore, the user-generated content also helps potential customers compare your products/services with that of competitors. 

Imagine if your competitors are too lazy to work on UGC, and since you’re reading this post, you chose to work on it. Who do you think will be seen as a more trustworthy brand? You guessed it right. A classic example is GoPro, which uses user-generated content to promote its brand. The top 3 videos on GoPro's official YouTube channel are those of users.

Source: GoPro's official YouTube channel

User-generated content creates authenticity that potential customers buy into. The testimonials that you have on your product/service page(s) create an authentic aura for your brand. The real-life experience that the users in the testimonials share speaks volumes about your brand. Your potential customers, especially first-time buyers are skeptical before making the purchase.

User-generated content, such as video testimonials, eliminates that skepticism. On top of that, video testimonials, or any testimonials in general, not only help with authenticity but also help you understand how existing customers think about your brand. 

You can also use platforms like Testimonial Donut to simplify the process of gathering testimonials. We offer easy-to-use interfaces, templates, and guidance, which make it convenient for your customers/clients to share their thoughts and experiences about your products/services seamlessly.

Creates Brand Loyalty

What comes to mind when you see Nike's swoosh logo? One of the top 3 things must be loyalty. Nike has one of the most loyal user bases, especially for Air Jordan sneakers.

And no, the reason why Nike has such a loyal customer base isn’t user-created content. The point I’m trying to make is the impact of brand loyalty. Customers get involved in several aspects of Nike’s content because they have a sense of belonging to the brand.

Nike tells the story of hard work, self-improvement, and confidence that not just sports people but everyone can relate to. It inspires people, and that’s why they have an emotional connection with the brand, which also results in loyalty. 

Furthermore, it's not that Nike isn’t leveraging UGC. With Nike+, the brand encourages users to connect which strengthens brand loyalty and image. The example below shows a popular and powerful #JustDoIt campaign by Nike. Just notice the number of posts with that hashtag. 

Source - Instagram/Nike

Boosts Engagement and Interaction

UGC plays a critical role in creating a community around a brand, primarily because it fosters organic conversations and interaction. By featuring UGC, brands not only add value for their users but also make them feel heard and a part of the brand's journey, thereby boosting their sentiment and loyalty.

Provide Social Proof and Influencing Purchase Decisions

Various studies have shown that consumers are more influenced by UGC. A report by Adweek mentioned that 85% of users find visual UGC more influential than brand photos or videos. Similarly, a survey by TurnTo Networks stated that UGC holds more influence over purchasing decisions than promotional emails and search engine results.

In today's digitized world, where consumers are inundated with options, UGC effectively cuts through the noise and provides prospective buyers with confidence in choosing a product or service.

Improves Conversion Rates

Now that your brand has trust, loyalty & authenticity, converting visitors into customers is a walk in the park. Of course, not every visitor will convert into a paid customer, but depending on the stage of the buyer’s journey they’re in, they will eventually convert without much effort. You can create content for each stage of the buyer’s journey so that you can control the conversions even better.

Visual content (images or videos) adds to the trust, loyalty, and authenticity of the brands and helps in even better conversions. Netflix is a prime example of a brand that has built trust and loyalty among its customers. Their personalized recommendations, high-quality original content, and user-friendly interface have contributed to their success. Just to note Netflix has an astounding conversion rate of 93%.

Finally, testimonials and reviews, whether in the form of videos or images, can play a huge role in your content marketing. You can get started with them right away by using Testimonial Donut, which provides a straightforward dashboard where you can easily manage and collect customer testimonials and reviews. 

You can also easily collect and feature Google reviews and video testimonials from your customers on your website and take your content marketing game to the next level. 

Sources of user-generated content

To leverage the UGC, you must know the sources and double down on them. Here are some sources you can get user-generated content from. 


Encourage your existing customers to share their experiences in the form of text reviews and testimonials. You can request that users share the impact that your product/service has left on their lives.

You can even highlight the anecdotes that demonstrate the authenticity of their feedback in the form of case studies and paid ads.

Brand loyalists

Brand loyalists are those who advocate your brand via word of mouth. To leverage the brand loyalists, identify the reason why they are advocating for your brand. This becomes your positioning for targeting new brand loyalists.

You can promote real-life examples of how existing customers are using your products/services. This will enhance the brand reputation and build long-term relationships with your customers.


Employees are the best promoters of your brand. The corporate culture is in such a mess that employees never advocate the company they’re working for. Imagine what it would mean if your employees started promoting your brand. Leveraging employee testimonials is a great strategy that you can apply!


Encourage your employees to get active on social platforms. LinkedIn should be the top priority. 

Other Benefits of UGC

Cost-effective Content Creation

Instead of spending money on production and video shoots, hiring professionals like actors, videographers, designers, editors, etc., to create high-quality content, encouraging your customers to create content is a more cost-effective solution to content marketing. 

That not only saves you all that budget but also curates content that is more authentic and relatable for people. This is one of the huge benefits of user-generated content. 

Improves SEO and Online Visibility

Search engines favor websites with unique, regularly updated content, leading to better rankings. Moreover, user reviews and unique keywords used by real users in UGC can help in long-tail search queries.

So blogs, interviews-based articles, reviews, testimonials, and other user-generated content can greatly enhance your SEO game. So that’s another reason why user-generated content is important. 

Increased Content Volume and Variety

The more varied and plentiful your content is, the more likely you are to attract and retain a diverse audience.

National Geographic’s “Your Shot” feature invites photographers to submit their photos for a chance to be featured on the website. This results in fresh, unique content regularly hosted on their site.

Source: Instagram/natgeoyourshot

Best practices for user-generated content

To make the best out of the UGC, we have gathered some best practices for you to use.

Define clear guidelines for UGC

To maintain the quality of the UGC and align with the brand values, create clear guidelines for everyone to follow. Specify what types of content is acceptable and what is not. This will save a lot of time for both your moderators and the users.

Build an engaging community

Building a community and a newsletter is the best way to sustain any business in today’s fast-changing world. Social media is way too cluttered to foster an engaging community.

A public community will attract a lot of UGC that you can leverage for your brand. Monitor and moderate the interactions happening in your community to know what’s working and double down on that.

Curate UGC strategically

Based on your analysis curate similar content as the best-performing content in your community. This will do two things for your brand, keep the users engaged and get the attention of those you’re curating content from.

You can consider Testimonial Donut to gather your UGC better. We allow submissions through different channels like email, intranet, or dedicated platforms, making it effortless for people to submit their testimonial content.

Integrating UGC into Your Content Strategy

Tips for incorporating UGC into your content strategy:

  • Social Media: Regularly re-post or feature UGC on your channels, motivating your audience to share their content for visibility. Example: The Coca-Cola #ShareACoke campaign on Instagram.
  • Email Marketing: Include customer reviews, photos, and testimonials in your email campaigns. Example: BarkBox includes customer-generated photos in its promotional emails.
  • Websites: Showcase UGC on product pages or a dedicated page. Example: Amazon has user reviews and photos on each product's page.
  • Landing Pages: Incorporate UGC to provide social proof and boost conversions. 

Final Thoughts

User-generated or UGC content is the holy grail of content marketing, as it’s cost-effective, builds real communities that may convert into paying customers/subscribers, improves SEO, gives you free content, improves social proof, brings more engagement, and is great for your brand! 

With this article, we hope you understand why UGC is important! However, for small businesses with small customer bases, this can be hard as it requires a lot of momentum to have your users create content on your behalf. However, there’s a solution to that. 

The easiest way to get started with UGC for your business is through customer reviews and testimonials. That doesn’t require too much effort from the customers and is also easy for you to collect and curate. 

With a tool like Testimonial Donut, that process can get even smoother with its well-organized dashboard for testimonial/reviews management and collection and various tools for the same. 

You can find email templates, video recording tools, and similar tools to make this process easier for you. So, get started right away. 


Add testimonials to you website for free

Collect, manage, share all your testimonials & Google reviews in one place. All 100% free. So bloody easy your gran can do it!

Take a look at Testimonial Donut
Subscribe to the newsletter

Subscribe to receive the latest blog posts to your inbox every week.

Get started