Everything about UGC Ads

UGC Ads demystified: Learn the format, best practices, and see examples to skyrocket your brand's visibility.

Lucas G.

Lucas Gabriele

Last edited on Jun 19, 2024 ⋅ Created on Jun 10, 2024

User-Generated Content (UGC) Ads are providing brands with authentic and engaging content directly created by their audience, or professional creators (thanks to UGC platforms like Youdji).

While traditional advertising is often met with skepticism, UGC Ads stand out by showcasing real experiences and feedbacks. This enhances brand credibility but also fosters a sense of community and trust among consumers.

UGC Ads leverage the power of social proof, a psychological phenomenon where people mirror the actions of others to reflect correct behavior.

Therefore, by integrating user-generated photos, videos, reviews, and testimonials into marketing campaigns, brands can create relatable and compelling stories that resonate with potential customers.

➡️ Here is what you need to know about this topic !

​​Definition of UGC Ads

User-Generated Content (UGC) Ads are a unique advertising format that incorporates content created by real users, or professional creators, of a product or service into marketing campaigns. This content can range from photos, videos, reviews, and social media posts to blog entries and testimonials, all produced by other persons rather than by the brand itself. 

In modern marketing, UGC Ads are particularly important and relevant for several reasons : 

They provide authenticity : Seeing real people use and endorse a product can significantly influence purchasing decisions ; 

They foster engagement : By hiring professional creators to demonstrate their products or services, brands can create a vibrant community of advocates who actively participate in promoting the brand ;

These ads are cost-effective : Since the content is created by professional creators, brands can save on production costs while still gaining high-quality, diverse marketing materials. 

What are UGC Ads?

UGC (User-Generated Content) Ads are advertisements that feature content created by consumers or professional creators, rather than by the brand itself. This innovative approach to advertising leverages the authentic and often spontaneous creations of users.

The essence of UGC ads lies in their ability to capture genuine experiences and opinions from real customers, providing a more relatable and trustworthy perspective to potential consumers.

💡 In the UGC sector, there’s a key difference between genuine UGC and paid UGC commissioned by platforms like Youdji ! Genuine UGC comes from actual product users who share their experiences online, like a customer posting a photo or video on Instagram, praising a product.

UGC creators, like those on Youdji, aim to mimic this genuine user experience. They produce content that looks like it's from regular users, though it’s orchestrated and paid for.

For example, a UGC ad might showcase a photo posted by a customer on Instagram, proudly displaying a new pair of sneakers with a caption about their comfort and style.

Reviews and testimonials are also powerful forms of UGC, as they provide detailed, personal accounts of a product's performance and impact. These can be featured in ads across various platforms, from written reviews on e-commerce sites to video testimonials on YouTube.

Why Use UGC in Ads?

UGC in Ads offers a multitude of benefits that make it a powerful tool for modern marketing strategies. Here’s why incorporating UGC into your ads can significantly enhance your brand’s performance:

Authenticity and Trust : Consumers are more likely to trust content that comes from real users rather than from the brand itself. When potential customers see genuine experiences and testimonials from their peers (or genuine-like, thanks to our professional creators), it fosters a sense of trust and credibility. Then, this authenticity is crucial in today’s market, where consumers are increasingly skeptical of traditional advertising ; 

Higher Engagement : UGC ads also tend to generate higher engagement compared to traditional ads. Content created by users or our creators is often more relatable and engaging because it reflects real-life scenarios and emotions. When people see others like themselves using and enjoying a product, they are more likely to connect with the content on a personal level. This increased engagement can lead to higher interaction rates, including likes, comments, shares, and ultimately, conversions ;

Cost-Effectiveness : Creating high-quality marketing content can be expensive and time-consuming. However, UGC leverages the creativity and enthusiasm of your existing customer base, providing a wealth of content without the high production costs. Brands can repurpose user-generated photos, videos, and reviews across various marketing channels, maximizing the impact of each piece of content. This not only saves on costs but also ensures a diverse range of authentic content that resonates with different segments of your audience !

Find & Work with the Best UGC Creators !

Best Practices for Creating Effective UGC Ads

Collecting High-Quality UGC

Collecting high-quality User-Generated Content (UGC) is essential for creating effective ads that resonate with your audience. Here are some best practices to ensure you gather the best content:

➡️ Partner with Professional UGC Creators: Unlike relying on everyday customers, collaborating with professional UGC creators ensures high-quality, polished content. Platforms like Youdji connect brands with skilled creators who can produce visually appealing and compelling UGC tailored to your marketing needs ;

➡️ Use Hashtags: Encourage creators to use specific hashtags when posting content related to your brand. This not only helps in organizing submissions but also makes it easier to find and track high-quality content that meets your standards ;

➡️ Host Contests and Challenges: Running contests or challenges can incentivize creators to produce their best work. Offer attractive rewards and clearly outline the type of content you are looking for to guide creators in delivering high-quality submissions ;

➡️ Direct Requests: Reach out to top creators directly with specific content requests. Providing clear guidelines and expectations can help ensure the content aligns with your brand's vision and quality standards.

When collecting UGC, it's crucial to address legal aspects to protect your brand and creators. Always obtain explicit permission from creators to use their content in your ads ! This can be done through written agreements or terms and conditions outlined during content submission. Ensure also compliance with copyright laws and respect the intellectual property of creators. 

Our last tip : always be transparent about how the content will be used and provide proper attribution to the creators !

Optimizing UGC

To optimize UGC for your ads, focus on selecting high-quality submissions that align with your brand’s aesthetic and messaging ! 

You need to choose content that features compelling visuals, such as well-composed photos and engaging UGC videos, ensuring they are clear and professionally executed. Complement these visuals with captivating and authentic copy that reflects (or seem to reflect) genuine user experiences. 

This combination enhances the relatability and impact of your ads, making them more effective in capturing and retaining audience attention.

Integrating UGC Across Platforms

To effectively integrate User-Generated Content (UGC) across platforms, you must tailor the content to fit the unique style and audience of each social media channel.

On Instagram, focus on high-quality images and short videos, using engaging captions and relevant hashtags to boost visibility. For Facebook, leverage a mix of photos, longer videos, and detailed testimonials to foster deeper engagement and discussions. 

And on TikTok, emphasize short, dynamic videos that align with trending challenges and popular music to capture attention and encourage sharing !

What Makes Poor UGC Ads?

If you wonder what makes poor UGC Ads, here are the main reasons : 

❌ Using Low-Quality or Irrelevant Content: Poor UGC ads often feature content that is blurry, poorly lit (lighting is SUPER important in ads), or off-topic. This not only detracts from the professionalism of the ad but also fails to capture the audience’s attention or convey the intended message effectively ;

❌ Lack of Proper Scripting and Guidelines: Effective UGC ads require clear direction. Providing selected creators with detailed scripts and guidelines ensures the content meets your brand’s standards, which includes instructions on lighting, tone, and overall presentation to ensure the final product is polished and professional !

❌ Failing to Engage Authentically: Authenticity is key in UGC ads. If the content feels forced or insincere, it can undermine trust and reduce engagement. Ads should reflect genuine user experiences and emotions to resonate with viewers ;

❌ Ignoring Legal Aspects: Failing to obtain the necessary permissions from creators or disregarding copyright laws can lead to legal issues and damage the brand’s reputation ;

@vivmitzi

A bad UGC video example versus a good UGC video example! A UGC video needs to explain what a product is, why you need to buy it, why it stands out from competitors etc! Aesthetic videos isnt what UGC is about! #ugc #ugccreator #ugcaustralia #ugctips #ugcjourney #ugccommunity #ugcexamples #australianugccreator #ugcstepbystep #ugcforbeginners #ugcvideoexample #ugcvideo #greenscreenvideo

♬ original sound - Viv Mitzi

Can You Use UGC for Paid Ads?

Yes, you can use UGC for paid ads! Leveraging UGC in paid campaigns is like adding a secret sauce for boosting authenticity and engagement.

That's the whole point!

UGC ads often outperform traditional ads because they show real customer or professional creator experiences, which fosters trust and relatability.

However, integrating UGC into paid ads isn't all sunshine and rainbows. Ensuring high-quality content that meets advertising standards is crucial because low-quality visuals can make your campaign look like it was shot with a potato.

And let's not forget about the legal part! Obtaining proper permissions and navigating copyright issues is essential to avoid legal complications. Nobody wants to end up in court over a video on Instagram.

@sterlingrawson

Here’s a recent UGC Ad I created for The Oodie - fearuring one of their NRL Outdoor Oodies 🏈 If you’re a brand looking for Males to work with on your upcoming campaign, send me an email me or DM (email in bio) #ugcexample #ugccreator #ugcaustralia #ugccreators #maleugccreator #ugcadexample #ugcvideo #ugcmaleaustralia

♬ Stolen Dance (Instrumental) - Milky Chance

Do Brands Pay for UGC?

Brands often incentivize UGC to ensure a steady flow of high-quality content. To encourage users to create UGC, you can offer monetary compensation, free products, or exclusive access to events. 

On platforms like Youdji, you have access to professional creators that you can select by their experience, their niche or even their reactivity and personality. Brands can expect to pay between $100 to $200 on average for a professional UGC video, with photos costing even less.

Pros

Cons

✅ Ensures high-quality, professional content

✅ Provides control over content creation

✅ Builds stronger relationships with creators
✅ Saves time by delegating content creation
✅ Ability to work with various creator profiles for diverse content
✅ High responsiveness from most creators
✅ Opportunity to engage with highly experienced creators

❌ May require managing multiple creators

❌ Potential for inconsistency in content style

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