Brief #81: Content is king, but UGC is better 👑

This content originally appeared on September 23, 2021 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.

Welcome to Future of Marketing.

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) from leading marketers and brands around the globe.

Today, we’re discussing…

  • Three types of user-generated content
  • A new type of creator
  • #BrandCrush: SuperGoop 💘

Three types of user-generated content

Did you know engagement increases by 28% when consumers view a mixture of user-generated product videos and brand-authored content? 

On TikTok, the fastest-growing social media platform, it is extremely common to find users sharing videos of their make-up or skincare routines. You’ll often see TikTok users commenting on this user-generated content (UGC) with things like, “Where did you buy that lipstick?” “What products do you use?” or “Share your routine!” 

Then, you’ll see brands getting tagged or mentionedlike this:

A user commenting on a make-up tutorial on TikTok, asking for the brand name of the setting spray. The original creator responded by tagging @BenefitAustralia and @BenefitsCosmetics porefessional super setter.

When a brand is tagged by a customer or fan, it creates an opportunity for marketers to engage with a new audience and repurpose this content across brand channels to increase conversions. In fact, here are three types of UGC that brands can – and should – re-share across their channels (after acquiring permission):

  1. Unboxing videos (if applicable)
  2. Testimonials
  3. Product reviews

Before and after visuals are also powerful because they demonstrate that your brand or product delivers results, and allows people to see the real effects (or flaws) of a product. 

TIP: Try asking your customers to share UGC about your product for a chance to be featured on your profiles or win a special prize.

A new type of creator

Thanks to the rise of the creator economy, the term “influencer” is quickly changing, as user-generated content takes over social media platforms like Twitch, TikTok, YouTube, Reddit, Instagram – the list goes on. Considering ninety-three percent (93%) of marketers believe that consumers trust UGC more than brand-created content, it’s not surprising that top brands like Warby Parker, Delta, and Chipotle are no strangers to this strategy. 

For inspiration, Frank Body launched a creative challenge to capture UGC, where they offered a $2,000 self-care prize to the customer that fans felt submitted the most honest review. All fans had to do was swipe through the images and comment on the post with the corresponding emoji to cast their vote.

An instagram post by Frank Body, asking fans to swipe through different testimonials and vote for the most honest one. Winner gets a free self-care pack priced at $2,000.

“Marketers are paying attention to UGC and respecting users’ demand for untouched material with comedic, informational or emotional value.

By boosting posts created by regular people, brands are breaking down the barriers between corporations and their audiences while collecting real-time consumer feedback.”


Companies that place community at the core of their strategies will pose several advantages over competitors, including stronger engagement and retention rates. As more brands turn to community-led strategies, the ones who will gain market share are those who prioritize the voice of their biggest fans.

What we’re learning

#BrandCrush: Supergoop! 💘

Each week in #BrandCrush, we highlight exceptional brands that are channeling their customers' voice to connect more authentically with their audience.

Skincare brand, Supergoop!, beautifully combines branded content with user-generated content on social media by including lots of video beauty tutorials by customers featuring their products.

An Instagram post by Supergoop that shows a micro-influencer, or customer, sharing their SPF routine.

Supergoop! even has a microsite called The Bright Side that is dedicated to sharing “everything you ever wanted to know about SPF and your skin” – where you’ll find content created by employees

For example, Supergoop! features a video series called “Asked & Answered,” where their Head of Product Development answers frequently asked questions by fans. There is also another series called, “How I SPF,” where team members across various departments share their skincare routines. 

In other words, Supergoop! is elevating the voice of those who know and love their product most, which is a strategic way to cut costs on content production, strengthen brand loyalty, and boost consumer trust. 

Until next week!