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The Ultimate Guide to Instagram UGC (User-Generated Content) Marketing

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Instagram UGC campaigns allow you to grow your reach and awareness create leads and sales while at the same time expressing an essential aspect of your business: your consumers.

User-generated content marketing (UGC marketing) initiatives on Instagram are effective.

Here's why:

  • They allow you to enhance your engagement.
  • Promote your business by gaining new followers and likes.
  • Bring in leads that will admire you.

79% of customers think UGC significantly influences their purchasing decision.

The best part about Instagram UGC promotion is its authentic material created by your audience; there's no overselling, overly pushy marketing.

Your company may blab on and on about how great its goods or services are, but when feedback comes from other consumers, it's far more convincing. The UGC users value your brand and lend credibility to your marketing efforts.

So, what exactly is UGC marketing, and how might you develop your own UGC campaign?

Table of contents

What is Instagram UGC marketing?
Why is user-generated content important?
Takes authenticity to the next level
What is a UGC marketing campaign?
User-generated to amplify exposure
Increase user engagement
Build brand trust and loyalty
Draw prospects into your funnel
Generate valuable content
How to create an amazing UGC marketing campaign
Brands can get permission in a few different ways

What is instagram UGC Marketing?

User-generated content, or UGC, is any material generated by customers (that is, anybody who interacts with a company through creative work). On top of that, videos and photographs of a firm's product or services are also possible.

UGC could include:

  • A video blog of online purchases or how to dress a brand's goods.
  • A product-related social media post.
  • It might be anything from a consumer's review of a company's product to a Facebook update.
This content may come from various sources, including social media, website review sites, emails, and direct interaction with consumers. It's frequently provided freely by customers or even micro-influencers and trusted experts that wish to appear like they've discovered the next big thing. Brands may, however, encourage UGC from their consumers or even potential customers.

However, while obtaining your audience to promote your brand and generate UGC actively isn't always rocket science, it isn't simple either. Audiences who create UGC are likely to love your company enough to go out of their way to promote it or need a compelling incentive to do so. This is something I'll get into more detail later.

Typically, UGC marketing is used to fulfil any (or all) of the following goals:

  • Increasing brand recognition
  • User recommendations to build brand trust
  • Driving product consideration and trial
  • Driving product sales
  • Changing the way people perceive your brand or product
  • Conducting test and review of a new product

On the other hand, UGC marketing has been evolving in recent years. More recently, however, UGC marketing is becoming more common - that is to say, companies are utilizing user-generated content as marketing resources.

These assets might be pretty valuable. After all, 90 percent of consumers claim that user-generated content influences their purchasing decisions, compared to any other type of marketing, including search engine marketing and email marketing.

UGC guide for instagram marketers

Why is user-generated content important?

User-generated content is essential for several reasons. First and foremost, it is an excellent way to build brand awareness and create an engaged community around your brand. Additionally, user-generated content can help you drive traffic to your website and increase sales.

User-generated content, or UGC, is any content that users of a product or service create.
This can include blog posts and videos to tweets and Facebook statuses. UGC has become an essential part of social media marketing, as it can be used on social media profiles, email campaigns, landing pages, and even checkout pages.

User-generated content is important because it encourages people to interact with a brand. When customers are engaged, they are more likely to convert into paying customers. UGC also helps businesses build trust, as customers are more likely to believe what other customers say about a product or service than what the business says itself.

Takes Authenticity to the next level

Brands today need to focus on authenticity for their marketing campaigns and products/services themselves. The key is consistency; every step of the process should communicate a consistent message which will make customers feel more connected with your brand.

UGC offers a unique and authentic perspective on products that many people enjoy reading. It's created by those who use the product or service, which makes it more trustworthy than traditional reviews from experts in this field--and consumers tend to trust UGC when they see how happy other users were with their purchase!

This allows businesses an opportunity for increased customer loyalty and sales leads through word-of-mouth marketing campaigns like Facebook ads where you can target based on what interests friends have shared (e.g., beauty tips).

What is a ugc marketing campaign?

Now that you know what UGC marketing is, I'll tell you what a UGC digital marketing campaign is. Simply put, it's a promotional effort driven by the company or influencers or other stakeholders. The objective? To encourage people to create their own content.

The best thing about UGC digital marketing efforts is that they don't need a significant outlay of cash. In reality, having a fantastic campaign concept might be enough to make a UGC marketing campaign an enormous success. If the initiative encourages consumers to assemble, interact, and appreciate some aspect of your business, it will undoubtedly gain momentum.

Don't forget that UGC marketing campaigns are also low-maintenance. Getting people to use a hashtag is often as simple as it gets, and monitoring that hashtag every few days is typical. Other efforts will require some work, depending on their goals and how rapidly they develop.

After your campaign has gained steam, UGC campaigns are simple to maintain and maybe run regularly.

User-generated to amplify exposure

The first and most apparent benefit of UGC marketing is greater brand exposure and reach. This makes UGC perfect for new businesses seeking to gain as much attention as possible, but it can also help established businesses target a new demographic. Users sharing on their accounts enable your company or message to be amplified to other people, resulting in an exponential reach.

This is an excellent example of how one brand has used social media to its advantage. The Frank Body name is a perfect illustration of this. Jess Hatzis, the company's co-creator, explained that much of the growth was due to a "thoroughly planned UGC strategy."

Sprout capitalized on the UGC trend by leveraging hashtags like #letsbefrank and #thefrankeffect on Instagram to boost interaction. They encouraged their consumers to share these photos by providing monthly rewards, and they connected the UGC effort with influencer promotion to increase interaction.


Increase user engagement

The majority of marketing efforts are one-way communications. A brand sends an email marketing campaign, and customers scroll, click, and purchase if interested. But that's where it ends. Even much current social media content struggles with flat or decreasing engagement rates. As a result, what should we do?

UGC content can provide a substantial boost to your audience's engagement, which can assist your brand's posts in becoming more visible in social media algorithms.

But, more significantly, UGC allows you to interact with your consumers directly. The notion of creating their content on their terms was a powerful one for consumers. It stimulated them to develop and share their material on their terms.

For example, GoPro has one of the most comprehensive UGC strategies in existence, allowing them to go from a small internet shop to one of the world's biggest companies. It's an obvious choice - after all, GoPro equipment is designed specifically for video production, and UGC highlights the excellence of GoPro gadgets.

Furthermore, bringing your audience into action is essential for any successful content. With its ability to record in extreme weather conditions and under extraordinary circumstances, such as jumping from planes or mountain biking along the edge of a cliff, GoPro provides some of the fascinating material that a company could want!

The brand encourages this kind of user-generated content by offering a variety of competitions and awards, like the Million Dollar Challenge and the GoPro Awards, for outstanding video.

Thousands of people submitted their material to GoPro due to these programs, which allowed them to obtain thousands of pieces of UGC. It is a tool for marketers and advertisers to communicate with their target audience. It also provides thrill-seekers and content producers a platform, as well as exposure, while simultaneously assisting in the development of a community of like-minded brand adherents who are continuously learning all that the GoPro items can do.

UGC marketing, when done correctly, can help you get helpful feedback on your products or services. Furthermore, high levels of positive interaction usually result in conversions.

Build brand trust and loyalty

UGC is good for developing brand loyalty and authenticity, vital to customers. 20% of consumers have unfollowed a company on social media because they felt the content was inauthentic. 60% of customers think that UGC is the most genuine form of content.

It all makes sense – UGC can help you discover honest, unfiltered opinions about your company, products, or services. And there's nothing to be afraid of in most situations when consumers are asked to share content about your brand.

You could be dealing with all of these things simply because you're a little overwhelmed. If that's the case, see if your product or customer service needs attention, in which case you have more significant concerns on your hands!

Finally, as this transparency and consumer participation grows, it helps your existing client base and new consumers trust and sticks with your brand. According to one study, UGC-based advertisements elicited 73 percent more favourable social media comments than traditional commercials.

Draw prospect into your funnel

So, how can you improve the amount of user-generated material on your blog? All of this additional exposure and interaction will undoubtedly move leads down your funnel, as well as retain your existing clients. You may accomplish it in a variety of ways.

At the end of the funnel, brands turn to UGC to promote certain goods and convert consumers. This is especially true in areas like fashion, beauty, and homewares since there may be a variety of methods to dress a garment, experiment with a new makeup style or arrange your home items.

When you talk about how others use your products, you demonstrate their adaptability and how a wide range of people utilize them. Everyone has their body shapes, facial structures, and lifestyle.

Customers of Glassons, among other companies, have started utilizing UGC generated by earlier consumers to promote their goods. Customers may post photographs to social media with the hashtag #glassons to compete for a monthly prize and be "featured" on their social media sites.

The campaign is intended to run for a long time. Glassons, like many other businesses, uses user-generated content on social media and product descriptions. Brand ambassadors loyally promote the brand by (apparently) putting out little effort on behalf of the company.


Generate valuable content

UGC marketing is a low-cost method to create content. Generating UGC may be far less expensive than filming an expensive photoshoot that requires hiring talent, stylists, a set, producers, and photographers.

The UGC revolutionizes the content game by allowing small companies with a devoted following to create fresh material and compete against large multinational corporations for a more significant market share. In a recent poll, consumers stated that advertisements featuring UGC were 28% more unique, 31% more memorable, and 5% more engaging than those without.

According to Busabout, replacing brand marketing assets with user-generated content saved  65% of its marketing budget. They also had good comments: in the United Kingdom, direct online reservations increased by 33% due to their UGC campaign.

How to create an amazing UGC marketing campaign

So, you're probably sold on UGC marketing (and if not, you should be!) by now, but you're wondering how to get started. Don't worry! We'll take you step-by-step through the process.

1. Identify your objectives

To begin, you must establish the goals for your next UGC campaign. Why? A UGC marketing campaign that aims to achieve broad coverage isn't going to be carried out the same way as one that focuses on obtaining the finest, high-quality UGC.

Consider your objectives. These are certain to vary depending on your company and how far it has progressed. Perhaps your aim is simply awareness if you're a new brand or developing a new product. You may even have numerous goals for the campaign, such as raising awareness and boosting sales.

2. Define your audience

To get your consumers to create UGC, it's essential to understand your target audience and interact with them on the platforms they enjoy most.

Glassons uses Instagram and TikTok to connect with its consumers, young women. Whilst this may not work for your business.

If you're a B2B business targeting middle-aged corporate professionals, LinkedIn may be the better option than meetings on social media sites such as Facebook or Twitter.

Conduct audience research if necessary, using customer surveys. Look at which of your present channels is currently producing the most success and engagement for you, and build your UGC marketing campaign on that data.

3. Plan your strategy

Regardless of your overall objectives, it would help make it as simple as possible for your consumers to submit material. One of the most effective ways to start a UGC marketing campaign is by holding a competition or a prize on social media. All you have to do is:
  • Come up with a branded hashtag that is associated with your company. It must be simple for your consumers to recall.
  • Offer a reward or a prize. Your award doesn't have to be extravagant; all you need is something that appeals to everyone so as many people participate as possible. For example, giving away $100 vouchers every month would be fantastic. 
  • Set the terms, such as the contest's duration and any prizes. You must provide your audience with explicit instructions on how to participate. Keep this information available on your website or social media through an announcement post.
  • Tell your customers about it in as many ways as possible, and do so immediately—email existing clients and post about it on social media.
  • Watch the UGC come in!

It may be a simple process, but several things to consider before starting. You should also view minor details. For example, your campaign's entry mechanics must be easy to use.

Brands, such as homewares giant Wayfair, merely require users to "share their style" on Instagram using #wayfairathome. However, not every business has 1.6 million followers, so an incentive can certainly assist!


It's similar to anything else on social media in that it helps to look to other companies for inspiration, test a new campaign, figure out what works for you, and fine-tune your approach from there.

You may even start your campaign by utilizing influencer content to demonstrate to consumers all of the campaign's different creative ways to participate. This also sets a clear limit on the type of material you're willing to re-share.

4. Collect your Ugc content

Even if you're not trying to come up with content that may be repurposed for future marketing purposes, it's a good idea to have a documented method for gathering user-generated content. Without a system, you could wind up collecting a lot of valuable UGC that you don't know what to do with. It may be tough to gather, curate, and distribute this material without the proper procedures.

Auto-generated social media posts, such as those generated by a review platform like Trustpilot, can be used to convert reviews into UGC that you may reuse instantly.

Your social media team may be used in part of your UGC marketing strategy to moderate your content. As your campaign expands, so will the time needed to manage it. This includes:

  • Any users who submit UGC about your brand or products, after all they've taken the time to engage with you, should at least hear from you!
  • Make sure your UGC marketing plan isn't going off the rails or has inappropriate content. If necessary, watch for tagged postings and un-tag your brand.
  • Saving any high-quality content
  • Checking the feedback on blog posts for any valuable consumer comments or negative remarks is a great way to watch for potential problems.

5. Distribute your UGC

If you want to use the UGC produced in future campaigns, you must first obtain permission from each user. Even if someone has used your branded hashtag and tagged your business in a post, you must request written permission to use their material.

Not only is it the right thing to do, but it also leaves a good impression on the customer and even opens up further collaboration. Unfortunately, you can't just paste a user's materials on a billboard as much as you'd like to!

BRands can get permission in a few different ways

  • Send a direct personal message to the user asking for permission to use the material on your social media, email, and website (or wherever you use the UGC). You may also inform them that you'll credit them if they allow you to use their content.
  • Copy and paste a message into their social media comments asking for permission. Request that the user views and approve your terms and conditions before using their photo.
  • Post a comment on the photo, asking for permission and requesting that they respond "YES" to your brand, allowing you to reuse the UGC.

Remember, it can't be too complicated. A long-form is too time-consuming for the user. You need to make it accessible so that people participate!

When you share your material online, be sure to credit the originators and, if applicable, tag them on social media. Keep in mind that giving out free stuff for your business is a wonderful service for them! 

When you compliment someone, it's a good idea to include their names.

As with any successful marketing campaign, it's critical to document your UGC marketing strategy so you may improve it for a future session. A modest UGC marketing effort is fine if you're just getting started.

If your campaign isn't as successful as you'd hoped, consider removing any barriers to participation, changing your call-to-action, or increasing the incentive you're giving. Add your blog and social media sites to help generate more attention for your UGC marketing effort. You can also add a call to action in the product packaging to increase UGC.

Do you want to launch a ugc campaign in less than a day?

It's simple. With the Zoomsphere monitoring module, you may quickly discover and share content from your most enthusiastic followers.

Use the monitoring module to find where you're the brand's been boosted, see what posts you've been tagged in, monitor keywords that define your brand, and categorize the data you discover by source, content types, profiles and tags.

Monitoring and listening to conversations about your business is the best way for you, as an entrepreneur or company owner alike, to understand how people perceive your brand.

Start your next UGC campaign with Zoomsphere. Enjoy a 14-day trial today.

Try Zoomsphere and share you experience on social media using #zoomsphere

UGC guide for instagram marketers


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