The What, Why, and How of Product Advertising With User-Generated Video Content

User-generated video content

Estimated reading time: 8 minutes

If you search for a brand or product on Instagram or Facebook, you will get a real-time stream of user-generated content. A simple search will reveal that other customers also enjoy the same service or product, and you might even see some celebrities “using” it.

All these are examples of user-generated content (UGC), which is any online content created by customers, employees, partners, influencers, and other stakeholders. The best thing about this content is that you don’t have to create or share it online; others do it for you. 

In this article, we talk about the what, why, and how of product advertising with user-generated video content (UGVC).

What is User-Generated Video Content

UGVC is video content created by your audience. It is more effective than ads and engages your target audience better because it is created by them. Duh.  

Google and other search engines also dig UGVC. Moreover, brands reach out to influencers to create videos. And when the budget’s tight, they can always entice loyal customers to talk about their products via short videos on social media. In short, nothing creates a buzz like UGVC.

Why Use User-Generated Videos?

There are several benefits for leveraging UGVC for product advertising:


To start, customers are 2.4 times more likely to prefer user-generated videos, as they seem more authentic. These videos are personalized, and that resonates better in this era of fake news and hyper-marketing. Not to mention, user content enables businesses to excite their customers, to have more fun with brand content. 

Build Trust

Following from the previous point, UGVC videos offer an original perspective. According to research, 70% of consumers trust their peers over a brand. So, a product or service featured in one of these videos definitely increases sales.

Drive Purchasing Decisions

Moving on, video content generated by users creates positive results. The latest data shows that almost 90% of marketers think video provides them with a positive ROI. In 2015, only 33% of marketers believed the same.


Here are some further stats that make the case for user videos:

  • Ads based on UGC have a 4x higher click-through rate at half the cost-per-click than average ads.
  • User videos and text can cause up to a 30% higher web conversion than campaigns or websites that only depend on owned media.
  • Consumers create and interact with 5.4 hours of user-generated content every day.
  • User content increases conversions by 10% when used in an online sales funnel.
  • Social campaigns with UGC can expect a 50% boost in engagement. 

Not to mention, big brands also use UGVC, as 25% of search results for top brands are directed to user-generated content.

SEE ALSO: Audio Advertising: Everything You Need To Know

Successful Campaigns

Before we get to the how of UGVC, let’s check out an example of this advertising method in action. 

The case study we have chosen for this section is a Nike campaign, a brand known for innovation in both its products and advertising. 

Nike launched the #betterforit campaign to encourage women to be more fit and healthy, and it included UGVC from athletes and champions, such as track and field star Allyson Felix. Not only was the message powerful, but it was personalized as well, and came by way of anecdotes from actual people, not copywriters and actors. This is what made the #betterforit campaign so successful. 

This campaign motivated women to join a global community of athletes and inspired others to join their already existing digital community of 70 million+ women. 

Once again, UGVC works, and the impact lasts beyond the mere 30 – 60 second videos. 

How to Generate User Content

Now that we’re done with the what and why let’s discuss some ways to generate UGVC for your brand. 

First things first. 

Allowing user content on your website is usually opening the gates to the public. And when so many people pour in with their content, there’s always a chance that someone will submit objectionable or unlawful content.

Moreover, you may be held responsible for copyright infringement if other people use trademarked content to make user content on your website.

This is especially true on websites like YouTube that are very strict about policing the content of its site. Specifically, their terms and services forbid users from submitting material that is subject to a third party’s copyright.

Likewise, the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) requires US-based websites to remove content that may infringe copyright. If someone thinks your website uses their copyrighted material and they can make a direct request to take it down, you should respond in an “expeditious” way. Otherwise, you can face prosecution.

The same applies to defamatory content posted by your users on your website. The best way to safeguard any legal consequences is to mention these clearly in your terms of service. 

Choose the Best Platform(s)

While you can publish user content on your website, app, and social media channels, you can also use user-generated content platforms. These are essentially software-as-a-service (SaaS) that help you manage content that you can use for product advertising.

Here are some of the best UGC platforms in 2021:

1 – Trend

2 – Pixlee

3 – TINT

4 – Stackla

5 – Bazaarvoice

6 – Olapic

7 – Yotpo

8 – ShortStack

Create Hashtags

Moving on, hashtags are a great tool to promote your business, provided you use them strategically on platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Nike’s #betterforit is a good example of how a hashtag can create an overwhelming response on social media and across the digital spectrum,

The campaign is just one example of the power of the hashtag, combined with creative, shareable content, of course. So if you can think outside the box, hashtags can help you generate tons of UGC.

SEE ALSO: What if We Overused Hashtags in Real Life Like We Do on Social Media?

Create Surveys

Surveys generate insightful information, and also provide unique data. These can be as informal or extensive as you like, (like social media polls or full-scale reports). In either case, they result in lots of original content.

If you don’t have the resources, don’t have to exhaust yourself. Reach out to your sales team, who may be already collecting similar information. You can then repackage this data for marketing.

Offer Incentives

Recognizing your fans for their contributions is likewise a decent method for empowering them to make some more UGC. This doesn’t mean you need to pay them monetary compensations or rebate coupons constantly. Sometimes, a little token of appreciation, like sharing their content, can have a major effect.

Here are some inventive ways of compensating your fans for making content for you:

  • Remember their content for your email bulletins and offer it via web-based media
  • React to remarks left on your posts
  • Include fans’ comments on your site’s blog (where needed) 
  • Welcome top fans to make more content

Keep in mind, your fans are setting aside the effort to make content for you. You ought to always remember to see the value in it. Reward their endeavors and they’ll turn out to be much more vocal in their help of your image.

Just Ask

Finally, asking questions can also encourage your fans to create content. Of course, you have to be tactful in doing this, because users are not always interested in giving out information online.

So what kind of questions can you ask?

You can start with questions about how your business has made their lives easy. You can also ask them to recount personal experiences that involved your product.

Of course, this can go both ways, as users may find a platform to share their negative experiences as well. This is exactly what happened with McDonald’s when they launched their #McDStories campaign. Things took a turn for the worst, as people began to share less than positive experiences.

But when used smartly, questions encourage better engagement from people who are already interacting with your brand digitally. They always appreciate when you genuinely request to speak their mind.


In these pandemic times, people are spending more and more of their time on social media. This creates several opportunities for engagement, and to generate UGVC. If you genuinely engage with your audience, you can create a buzz around your brand, run successful social media contests/quizzes and/or leverage the power of hashtags to take your advertising to the next level at a fraction of the cost.


In conclusion, generating and promoting UGVC it’s not always easy, and there’s no formula for success. Hopefully, the tips shared in this blog will help you create more shareable, engaging social content that encourages spontaneous discussion, building brand awareness and recall.


Is User Generated Content earned media?

Yes. Owned media is content you create and control (e.g your social media pages or website). On the other hand, while earned media is content others create about you, like comments or Instagram posts.

How do I track user-generated content?

To start, you have to create marketing goals for UGVC and align them with the correct stages of your marketing/sales funnel. This makes tracking easy. 

The next step is to roll up your sleeves and gather the data, such as the number of tags, hashtags, and comments on your channels. This is hard work because it is done manually, but it helps you to get a full scope of your ROI. 

Likewise, you can also start counting how many UGC posts people create each month. Also, try to make connections between UGVC and follower count increases. 

For instance, your company’s follower counts may increase as a result of UGC on each respective channel, such as Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn. By calculating the number of new followers a UGVC post brings to your profile, you can measure brand awareness and the overall success of the campaign.

Videos are easily the most engaging forms of digital content, but if you are using other media as well, it is better to separate video posts to help you find the most relevant metrics.

Finally, just as you formed links between UGVC and increased followers, also see how many product orders each post generates. This is much more tangible, as it enables you to set a dollar value to each post. And every marketer worth his salt should know how to calculate this.