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User-Generated Content for Business in 2021



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Users trust content that has been created by other people much more. Blogs, posts, overviews, opinions—this is what many people are guided by today when making purchases and what becomes the main alternative to direct advertising. Although UGC has been one of the key marketing trends for years already, not all brands have taken it on board.

User-generated content is any content (pictures, video, texts) created by users themselves and published online: on social media, review sites, forums, etc.

Advantages of UGC

  • Generation and extension of user experience;
  • Promotion resource saving;
  • Growth of confidence in and loyalty to the marketing object and its owner;
  • Expansion of the target audience organic reach;
  • Creation of the loyal audience pool.

How to Motivate the Audience

  • Invent a catchy and juicily designed idea that will be close to your target audience. This can be a competition, a marathon, or a challenge, easy to do and with a unique hashtag. Motivate your followers to do sports, learn, improve themselves, and, in their turn, they will share their achievements on social media, keeping in mind to mention their favorite brand.
  • Ask users to share their experience and impressions after the use of your product. This is how you will be able to get not only credible feedback on the product but also suggestions and recommendations on how to develop and improve it. Besides, such content can increase engagement as it pushes users to discuss and express their relevant experience in comments. Russian users love sharing their opinions, especially when a brand considers them and responds to inquiries timely.
  • Decide on a prize for content making. For young brands, it can be a discount, an inscribed gift or any other valuable prize. For large ones, it will be enough to mention a content author in that repost so that they could get a sense of belonging to and meaning for their favorite brand.
  • Tell what user content you are ready to share. When tagging a brand on their pages, users expect that their posts will be noted and a response such as a comment, a repost, etc. will follow, that is why do not hesitate to directly express the nature and format of content that you will be ready to use on the brand's page. Specify a hashtag for quick search of the respective content.
  • Use UGC not only on the company's website. Feel free to use it offline. Publish user content on packages of goods, price tags in offline stores, and billboards. Show that every user can become an image and a voice of your brand—they just need to share their content.
  • Ask for permission before publishing user content on your page. The condition about the usage of user photos and videos may be specified in your posts (if the content is created at your initiative such as competitions, feedback, etc.). If, however, you have just found content related to your brand, and you want to use it in your resources, it is advisable to ask for its author's permission.
  • Do not forget to support your community and talk to users in layman's language.

EGC (Employee-generated content)

As of today, apart from UGC, there is also EGC created by the company's employees and distributed via internal and external communication channels. This type of user content is of particular importance for work with HR brands, for successful marketing and engagement of employees.

Marketing goals that EGC helps to achieve:

  • Motivation: employees engaged in this process feel their value as their voices matter.
  • Recruitment of new skilled staff: publishing content about the brand's interior, current employees help to engage new applicants and inspire them to work in the company.
  • Credibility: when users see that not only managers, but also ordinary employees talk about their company and enjoy their work, this adds value to the brand.
  • Free coverage: when employees share their content on social media, they engage their acquaintances into following the brand.

Learn more about online marketing in Russia from our White Paper "Russian Digital Market Overview 2021"

UGC Usage Cases in the Russian Market

Starbucks Russia is a great example of how a large brand encourages users to generate dozens of forms of up-to-date UGC. Not only does the brand occasionally share pictures taken by its visitors on its social media pages, but it also conducts photo contests, on top of that. As a result, users feel their value and connection to the brand, while Starbucks gets a whole lot of wonderful pictures, reviews, and huge organic reach.

Source: @StarbucksRussia

Xbox Russia makes sets of users' screenshots of console games and regularly publishes them on its account. What is more, the company has collected photos of consoles taken by first shoppers at the market launch of Xbox Series X and Xbox Series S in Russia.

Source: Xbox Russia

As for the reward for content, Dodo Pizza does not only publish user-generated content, but also monthly chooses the best content makers and favors them with pizzas. Moreover, Dodo Pizza statedly conducts contests among its users, aimed at content making: videos with branded masks, stories with a novelty product (a Mimi Bear pizza) and so on.

Source: @DodoPizza


UGC solves a lot of tasks, from content for social media and websites to sales development, recruitment, and motivation of the current team. Track the brand's mentions, comment posts, repost reviews, launch contests and challenges—encourage creation of UGC and get reach expansion and loyal customers as a reward.

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About the Author

Head of Digital, editor-in-chief of the RMAA Agency Blog

Author Yulia Vasilyeva

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