Vocab for Marketers: UGC

What is user-generated content (UCG) and how do eCommerce marketers use it?


User-generated content (UGC) is any original online content (including videos, text, images, reviews, articles, or blogs) that organically promotes a product or service and is created by individuals other than the brand.

When talking about using UGC on social media, it typically involves leveraging influencers to sell a brand’s products or services in a more platform-native way than typical advertising; it’s essentially social proof baked into any filmed or photographed piece of content.

How eCommerce Marketers Use UGC

Marketers use UGC for a variety of reasons, from increasing the authenticity of customer experiences to finding it more cost effective than traditional advertising. An example of UGC is when an influencer creates a YouTube video discussing their opinion on a new product, demonstrates how it works, and highlights what they liked about it. This type of UGC content fosters brand loyalty by creating a sense of community with customers, empowering them to share their opinions and become part of your brand’s story.

Overall, UGC is a versatile tool that can be leveraged throughout the entire buyer’s journey to drive brand engagement and boost sales. Given its customer-centric nature, it can be seamlessly integrated with various marketing vehicles such as email, landing or product pages, and even checkout processes—amplifying its impact across multiple touchpoints.

Some examples of organic user-generated content include: 

  • Customer reviews and/or testimonials
  • Product-focused Facebook and Instagram Stories or Reels created and published by real customers
  • Customer-written articles or blog posts that share their experience with a product or service
  • Product tutorials or unboxing videos published by customers on video-sharing platforms like YouTube and TikTok
  • User-created memes or GIFs related to the brand or its products, shared organically on social media platforms

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