Amplifying trust: User-Generated Content fuels brands’ future

User-generated content (UGC) has long been a growing trend in paid advertising creative in brands’ quest for authenticity and connection with consumers. UGC populates social media feeds, drives brand metrics, and influences purchasing decisions. 

Statistics show that 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions, and that consumers find UGC 9.8 times more impactful than influencer content when making a purchasing decision.

Millennials specifically deem UGC to be 6.6 times more influential than brand-generated content.

Now more than ever, the dominance of short-form videos in social media and the active participation of Generation Z in content creation has made UGC a leading source of information about brands and products that advertisers can’t ignore. With just a scroll through TikTok or Instagram Reels, the power of UGC in building consumer trust and shaping culture is undeniable.


Maximize media impact with UGC

Apart from driving brand trust and authenticity, UGC offers several media and creative considerations while mitigating common marketing challenges, making it appealing to many advertisers. As we move forward, UGC is expected to increasingly gain importance in brands’ marketing strategies, and become a more significant component in their media mix.

Programming for platform and creative testing opportunities

UGC allows for the creation of a high volume of creative and variables for testing quickly. This enables marketers to experiment with different creative techniques within platforms, like intro hooks, images, music, and graphics, to identify the best approaches per social platform. The abundance of potential UGC content provides opportunities for A/B and multivariate testing to optimize the best-performing creative against KPIs.

Prioritized diversity

UGC brings an element of authenticity and diversity to creative campaigns. By incorporating content from real consumers and everyday creators, marketers can reflect a broader range of perspectives, backgrounds, and experiences. Where it may be near impossible to cast more than one or two archetypes in a traditional campaign, the ability to represent a plentitude of consumers and points of view can generate creative that is more relatable to a variety of audiences and fosters a sense of connection. 

Increased discoverability

UGC has become far more discoverable—and monetizable—for creators, especially on platforms like TikTok. Younger generations are increasingly using platforms like TikTok as search engines, where they can discover new products and services through UGC. This has led to a continuous upleveling of the kind of content created by creators who are far more aware of and interested in the opportunity.

Creators have also become much savvier in the ways they are optimizing their content for discoverability, using keywords and captions for increased visibility in search results.

For creative people trying to plant their own stake in culture, now is a stellar time to create content in their own style for brands and distribute it to a vast audience via both paid and organic means. The proposition of working with creators is attractive to brands who believe in the power of authenticity.

Time and cost-efficiencies

UGC is often more cost-effective compared to traditional creative production. Leveraging UGC reduces the need for casting, shoots, or video production and editing, which is ideal for campaigns with limited budgets. Creation timelines can also be much shorter.

A brief could be sent to a UGC creator on a Monday, with content returned within 48 hours or less.

Low production value combined with the short format and a community of eager creators lends itself to a near real-time content creation model.

Real-time relevancy

Today’s social platforms are building culture from the ground up, with billions of users leveraging these platforms as their canvases for expression, interaction, and participation in real time. UGC lets brands contribute to—or even shape—real-time conversations and trends.

Marketers can tap into current events or viral moments through creator content, making their campaigns more engaging and relatable while adjusting creative direction alongside the news cycle and trending topics.

Consumers trust their own

Prioritizing UGC can be a powerful strategy for establishing trust and credibility. But going all-in on a UGC-only campaign is not required. There are many ways that UGC can work in tandem with multi-channel, integrated campaign creative to add an element of the consumer’s voice into the work to impact purchasing decisions, increase authenticity, and build brand trust.


  1. Kunsman, T., “36 User-Generated Content Statistics That You Can’t Ignore,” EveryoneSocial, December 2022.
  2. DeGruttola, M., “Survey Reveals That UGC Can Drive Improved Trust and Loyalty for eCommerce Brands,” Social Media Today, September 2021.
  3. Stackla Survey Reveals Disconnect Between the Content Consumers Want & What Marketers Deliver,” Business Wire, February 2019.