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How to Get Started with UGC for Your Business, Even If You Have No Idea Where to Start

Starting something new can be daunting, especially when it involves the complexity of digital marketing. If you’ve ever felt lost in the buzz of terms like “UGC,” “engagement,” and “conversion,” you’re not alone. As a determined entrepreneur aiming to grow your business, understanding and beginning with User-Generated Content (UGC) is easier than you might think. Let’s break it down into manageable steps.

Understanding the Basics of UGC

Before diving into strategies, let’s clarify what UGC is: content created by users, customers, or fans, which promotes a brand not through paid advertising but through genuine experiences and stories. Why does this matter? Because 92% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know (Nielsen, Global Trust in Advertising Report). UGC embodies this trust, but brings it straight to the screen in front of your future customers. The benefits of UGC are endless, and it's not just for large companies! Your small business can start to increase engagement, raise website traffic, and boost sales using UGC.


Setting Your UGC Goals

What do you want to achieve with UGC? Whether it’s increasing brand awareness, driving more sales, or enhancing customer loyalty, setting clear goals will guide your UGC strategy effectively. Remember, specific goals lead to measurable outcomes.

Identifying Your Audience and Their Interests

You know your audience—what content resonates with them? Utilizing tools like social media insights and customer feedback can help you understand what your audience values and how they engage with content.

Creating a UGC Plan

Choosing the Right Platforms: Where does your audience hang out? Is it Instagram, TikTok, or perhaps Pinterest? Your platform choice will influence the type of UGC you encourage.

Deciding on Content Type: Will you focus on video testimonials, product review videos, or lifestyle content featuring your products? This depends on what’s most authentic to your brand and what your audience prefers. Here are some things to keep in mind

Logistics: Plan how you will collect, manage, and display UGC. 

  • If working with UGC creators, you can ask for a link or Drop Box file, which you'll then store and organize in your system.

  • If you want to collect UGC from past customers, you'll want to set up a designated email for submissions and give specific instructions on how you'd like to receive the files.

Selecting a Source

Most importantly, decide whether you want to collect UGC from UGC creators or past customers. UGC creators usually create more engaging and visually appealing content, while past customers already have a passion for your product. 

Source 1: UGC Creators

  • Pros of Working with UGC Creators:

    • Usually better video quality and more visually appealing

    • Guaranteed an end result in exchange for payment

    • Creator may be more confident from past experience speaking on camera

  • Cons of Working with UGC Creators:

    • Costs money

    • Creator may not understand your product or brand (but this is completely avoidable if you use the UGC Template Guide for Brands)

Source 2: Past Customers

  • Pros of Getting UGC from Past Customers

    • Customers already have a passion for your product

    • Content is usually free

    • UGC campaign can increase brand awareness and create sense of community around your brand

  • Cons of Getting UGC from Past Customers:

    • May not be the best video or sound quality

    • Will not be able to use all submissions

    • Some brands don't want to ask their past customers for content

Working with UGC Creators

UGC creators are experienced at promoting products in a compelling and aesthetically pleasing manner, but that doesn’t mean they can read your mind to learn all the relevant information needed to craft a successful and high ranking video. Be sure to clarify what exactly you’re looking for to ensure the best end result possible. For example, you'll want to make sure you communicate your business:

  • Mission and brand values

  • Brand voice and guidelines (tone, style, colors, fonts, etc.)

  • Purpose of product

  • Elements of product you'd like featured

  • Target audience (including important demographics)

  • Desired video specs (aspect ratio, orientation, length, etc.)

To take the guesswork out of UGC video collaboration with freelancers, we created this UGC Guide for Brands. This digital download serves as an easy-to-fill-out template. It covers everything the creator needs to know so you receive a video you are excited to use, simplifying expectations, vision, and overall communication with content creators.

Use the UGC template to ensure the UGC video is crafted perfectly for your business, delivers the best ROI, and eliminates miscommunications with the creator,

UGC Submissions from Past Customers

If you’re gathering UGC from past customers, use these methods to encourage submissions.

Contests and Incentives: A contest can spark interest and participation. For instance, offering a prize for the best customer photo using your product not only generates content but also excitement.

Featuring User Content: Regularly feature UGC on your social media and other channels to show appreciation and encourage more submissions.

Clear Calls to Action: Sometimes, all your customers need is a nudge. Ask them directly to share their experiences and make it easy for them to do so.

Managing and Utilizing UGC

Managing UGC involves selecting the best content that aligns with your brand values and showcasing it strategically. Ensure you have permission to use the content, and consider using it across your website, email newsletters, and social media channels to maximize its impact.

If you want a step by step formula to create and launch a successful UGC campaign for your business, you will love our Ultimate UGC Course. Waitlist open now! You’ll learn exactly how to find the best UGC creators, ask past customers for UGC so they’re excited to send you their reviews, and gain access to 20+ templates, tutorials, and worksheets that simplify UGC curation for your business while getting the best results possible from your campaign.

Join the waitlist now to receive a 30% discount during launch week!

Measuring the Success of Your UGC Efforts

Tracking the performance of your UGC will help you understand what works and what doesn’t. Engagement rates, conversion data, and even video SEO impact are all measurable metrics that can guide your future UGC strategies.

Getting started with UGC doesn’t have to be an overwhelming leap into the unknown. With clear goals, an understanding of your audience, and a strategic plan, you can effectively integrate UGC into your marketing efforts. Remember, every piece of content your customers create is not just content—it’s a testament to their trust in your brand.

Want All the Secrets to UGC for Brands, 30% off?

Are you ready to take your business to the next level with UGC? Join the waitlist for the Ultimate UGC Course for Brands to build the perfect UGC strategy for your business. Waitlist members will receive a 30% discount on the course during launch week, so grab your spot now!


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