4 reasons Why UGC Should be Part of Your Social Strategy.

Learn why UGC should be part of your social strategy in 2022.
Alex vaidya
October 19, 2021 - 4 min. read

Driven in part by the global events of the last 18 months, consumers are now increasingly seeking out more authentic brands that align with their values and beliefs. Research from Edelman shows that 64% of today’s customers are belief-driven buyers, highlighting why the need for brands to be authentic has become a marketing imperative.

In order to create a more authentic brand experience, marketers are increasingly turning to User-generated Content (UGC) due to the real, trusted, and often visual nature of the content.  Visual UGC is modern-day ‘word-of-mouth’ and is a powerful means for consumers to form opinions and engage with brands based on the advocacy of others.

While the concept of UGC is nothing new, the opportunities to scale and make use of UGC as a strategic and always-on activity are far greater than they ever have been. Many leading brands realize this, and according to Social Media Week, 72% of brands believe that UGC helps them connect with their customer and foster trust.

But as a social marketer, why is now the time to make UGC your next strategic imperative?  Read below for the four reasons why we believe UGC should be part of your social strategy in 2022.

1. Get more content (without the effort).

“45% of brands claim creating content that engages target audiences is their biggest content marketing challenge”
~ Semrush

The pressure to keep content-hungry audiences satisfied is relentless.  While the demand to create more content across more platforms grows, social media budgets and resources aren’t scaling at the same pace.

UGC provides the ideal solution to this. By curating and getting usage rights to the amazing content already being created by fans, customers, and influencers, you have access to a ready-made content goldmine.

At StoryStream, we have seen clients being able to double their volume of social posting through the use of UGC alone. With rights approval rates from creators of over 80%, you can quickly build a UGC asset library of rich, visual content without the cost of having to create from scratch yourself.

2. Be authentic and build audience trust.

35% of Gen Z thinks user-generated content (UGC) in the near future will have more credibility than content that comes from a company.”
~ Cognizant

There is no doubt that brands that deliver authentic and trusted customer experiences will win audience attention. UGC provides the ultimate in authenticity, or in other words, real content by real people!  We expect a growing trend of brands increasingly using UGC as a core content asset in their marketing, and brands that don’t adopt as part of the social and communications strategy will find audience attention moving elsewhere. 

3. Grow organic social engagement.

“UGC shared on social platforms achieves 28% higher engagement than other posts by the brand.”
~ Comscore

We are all familiar with the challenge of declining organic reach across social platforms.  We also know that to give yourself the best chance, you need to be posting frequently and ensure you are doing everything to maximize engagement.  UGC provides an ideal way to solve both of these challenges.  Firstly, you can post more frequently using UGC as you have access to more assets as described above. Secondly, we consistently see that UGC posts generally perform as well, if not better, than branded posts in engagement.  One cosmetics brand using StoryStream saw a 33% increase in Instagram engagement using UGC assets and, as a result of being able to post more frequently, saw an increase in organic impressions by a massive 21%.

4. Increase paid social performance.

“More than 92% of consumers worldwide say they trust recommendations from others over other types of advertising”.
~ Nielsen

Research shows that you only get 2 seconds to engage consumers online, so the content used has to be truly thumb-stopping.  This means the creative you use has to stand out and emotionally engage in a very quick time. 

As humans, our brains are wired to instinctively engage and look for content we relate to. That is part of the power of UGC.  So it stands to reason that using UGC as social ad creative will boost campaign performance.  And this is exactly what we see at StoryStream — clients using UGC as their creative asset outperform their branded asset counterpart and can increase click-through rates by more than 30%.

What’s stopping you?

There is no doubt that User-Generated Content provides an incredibly powerful way to engage audiences and solve some of the key challenges facing social media markers across the globe.

The StoryStream UGC curation platform offers the ability to source and manage UGC rights and connect directly to the Falcon content pool.

Through the new Falcon.io and StoryStream partnership, we can offer clients a best-in-class solution to source, manage rights, and publish UGC right across the customer journey, including organic and paid social. 

If you would like to learn more about how you can activate UGC content, contact us here.

Author Bio
Alex Vaidya is the CEO and Co-Founder of
StoryStream, the content curation platform for authentic customer experiences.  He is passionate about how digital marketing needs to evolve and become more human. He and his team are developing industry-leading content technology to help some of the world’s biggest brands create more authentic customer experiences at scale. Follow him on LinkedIn here.