Every week there seems to be a new recommendation for what to add to your marketing strategy. Influencer marketing, testimonials, SEO, the list is long; but how much of this will add value to your business, and which ones are time wasters?

Today we are raising another component of digital marketing and social media for you to consider: User Generated Content (UGC).

We unpack why it's hot, some of our favourite UGC campaigns and how to implement it for your brand.

Why UGC is Hot in 2023

Back in March, AntiSocial claimed 2023 is the Year to Be Bold and Authentic with digital marketing: "At a time when customers are itching for authenticity, influencers are the new content creators, and TikTok is the fastest-growing social media app."

The 'picture perfect’ life of someone richer, thinner and all around better than you is no longer in demand as a relatable influencer who you share similarities with. It's smart for brands to utilise these 'relatable’ influencers and content creators to promote their products and brand, as they are also more likely to be trusted by their audience. Plus, the content is more engaging them just sharing high-quality studio content.

Aside from influencers, UGC can lie in the tagged post of brands from everyday, normal people. Kmart, Chemist Warehouse and even Temu hauls are often uploaded by TikTok and Instagram users who have no partnership with the brand, and little following. The benefit to the content creator is they may get good engagement, or even a share from the brand itself – leading them to grow their audience; something all content creators want!

The Best UGC Campaigns

One of the best global UGC campaigns we've ever come across is GoPro’s Million Dollar Challenge – it’s been running for 5 years and is still going strong.

“The submissions we get for this challenge help fuel the next 12 calendar months of content,” Kelly Baker, GoPro’s head of community marketing told Modern Retail. “There are thousands of clips that we use for other platform content.” These can range from social media posts, TV ads, or even video reels at store kiosks."

Another iconic brand that utilized UGC well is the cult skincare brand Sol De Janeiro. They've built a loyal fan base on TikTok, and you'll spot a Sol de Janeiro body mist or brightening cream in almost every #thatgirl viral video. It's a staple for young women wanting delicious smelling, gorgeously packaged cosmetics, so their UGC flows organically: the #soldejaniero hashtag has a whopping 1.3 billion views on TikTok!

You can check out one of their UGC incentive giveaways there: where they offer 5 winners a $100 Sephora gift card each.

Want to leverage UGC to level up your social presence? Here are our top tips:

  1. See what’s there already: Are people tagging you already? Check your mentions and tagged posts – if they can't be posted on the main feed share your stories. Make it a habit to check your tagged posts regularly to see what’s popped up.
  2. Create a UGC strategy: Think about your master objectives and how UGC can support these. Tie it all in with your social media strategy. Don't have one yet? We can help.
  3. Make it known that you’re looking for UGC: include a call-out in your IG bio, add signage at your retail checkout or do a feature in your newsletter.
  4. Incentivise: Consider whether you need to incentivise people to tag you (this doesn’t have to be financial – sometimes the glory of having content featured on the main feed is enough!)
  5. Observe etiquette: if the tag is unsolicited, it’s best practice to check before you share the content. And ALWAYS thank those that tag you for doing so.

At Matter Agency, we encourage our clients to use UGC in their social media and we've seen some fantastic results from this. Get in touch with us today to find out how.