UGC content creators are best known for their authenticity and ability to enhance brand credibility.

by Shannon Hinderberger

There is always something new in digital marketing and social media, and the Creator Economy has emerged as a transformative force. 

In March 2022, I sat at Social Media Marketing World, watching keynote after keynote talk about how creators would take over social media. I even bought Mark Shaefer’s book “Building the Brand,” which discusses building a community over ROI. Then I read “Create Something Awesome” by Roberto Blake after listening to a podcast. At first, I was skeptical until six months later, when I accidentally started down my creator path. 

I often give presentations to groups on up-and-coming marketing trends and recently did a talk to a group of women interested in becoming influencers. When I developed the talk titled “How to Become an Influencer after 40,” I didn’t even use the term User-Generated Content (UGC) content creator. I did this because everyone knows what an influencer is and doesn’t quite understand UGC content creation, which is where some influencers often start.

UGC used to mean any content created and shared by your customers, fans, or users of your products and services that was shared on the creator’s social media profile. This content includes reviews, testimonials, images, videos, social media posts, and more.

Now, UGC means brands (or a UGC agency or management company) sourcing creators, creating creative strategies and direct response content for the brand to use on their profile.

For example, an eyeglass company reached out to me to see if I’d be interested in creating content for a new line they were launching geared towards Gen X. I was asked to create a 60-second or less direct response video to the product, which included writing the script, recording the script and recording filler video (aka b-roll) and photos of the product along with receiving the product for free. While they also paid me for my time to produce the video, they would eventually have a video editor work with my footage. They also gave me an affiliate link in case I loved the product and wanted to promote it to make extra money.

Other ways brands may consider when working with creators include paid ad usage rights, whitelisting on their social media profiles, or additional hook writing and recording, all for additional fees.

Allowing their customers to speak on their behalf via the brand’s social media channels fosters trust, strengthens brand-user relationships, humanizes the brand, and amplifies authenticity. Ultimately, influential UGC could translate into increased conversions and sales for brands.

UGC content creators are best known for their authenticity and ability to enhance brand credibility. Many brands increasingly prefer it over working with influencers due to the smaller budgets. UGC creators are often lesser known and have on their own small online communities community fans who trust their opinions.

Often, UGC content creators tend to be more honest. As a creator, if I’m not vibing with the product, I make sure I can walk away from the contract if it’s not a good fit. Most influencers work like that, but brands have the final say on the posted content on the influencer’s platforms. For UGC creators, it’s optional to post to social networks.

If your brand wants to work with influencers, consider developing a UGC content creator program or hiring a UGC management agency, like DASH, to help you navigate the process.

DASH Content Co.

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