Social Media Marketing

The Role of User-Generated Content in Influencer Marketing

The simple answer is "Authenticity." Content created by real product users stands out starkly against scripted advertisements.


Whether you’re a marketing manager, a social media/content marketing specialist, or an owner of a small to medium-sized business, you’re likely to agree on the effectiveness of user-generated content in attracting new customers.

Why? The simple answer is “Authenticity.” Content created by real product users stands out starkly against scripted advertisements, easily recognizable amidst a sea of ads and social media posts.

But what if we combine this potent marketing tool with another formidable strategy? Imagine the results if influencer marketing – where brands tap into the extensive reach of social media influencers – is paired with user-generated content. This fusion could dramatically elevate your brand’s profile.

Don’t just take our word for it. According to a survey by Gartner, over three-quarters of customers engage with influencer content, highlighting the profound impact of this marketing strategy on your target audience. Traditionally, influencers would promote your branded products or services on their social channels.

However, with this fresh and innovative approach, they will be showcasing content generated by your users through their social media platforms. What does this mean? It signifies a fusion of authenticity with a strong, loyal audience, potentially leading to unparalleled results in customer acquisition and brand visibility.

Seems easier said than done, right? Coming up we share ten powerful strategies that small to medium-sized businesses can follow to capitalize on their user-generated content through influencer marketing channels. But before,

understand the six steps to build the base of your influencer marketing strategy. 

6 steps to create your influencer marketing strategy’s base

Gartner shares a handful of steps businesses should follow to build the base of their influencer marketing strategy. If your influencers are not right, you will be wasting your valuable UGC sharing through them.

Step 1: Know your audience

Figure out who you’re selling to and what they like. For example, If you’re selling a budgeting app, your audience might be young professionals who enjoy finance tips.

Step 2: Find the right influencers

Look for popular figures in your field who can talk about your product. For example, a tech blogger with a large following of software enthusiasts for your SaaS product

Step 3: Plan your content

Decide what kind of posts or videos will interest your audience and the influencers. For example, tutorials on how your software can streamline workflow, shared by influencers, or unboxing videos of beauty products to entice youth. 

Step 4: Choose your influencer relationship

Decide if you want to pay for promotions, get a shoutout, or work together. For instance, partnering with an influencer for a series of webinars.

Step 5: Budget accordingly

Decide how much money you’re going to spend on these marketing efforts. Like allocating $2000 a month to work with a couple of mid-tier influencers.

Step 6: Track and tweak

If you opt for a platform with a high monthly subscription fee but only need basic features, you might be overspending. 

Conversely, choosing a more affordable option that scales with your needs can provide better financial efficiency. It’s important to understand not just the upfront costs but also any additional charges for extra features, support, or upgrades. 

This approach ensures you’re not caught off guard by hidden fees and that the software you choose is a cost-effective solution for your business.

5 Strategies to Utilize User-Generated Content in Influencer Marketing

Try not to just read these strategies. Discuss them with your key stakeholders and visualize their execution benefitting your business. 

1.Initiate localized storytelling campaigns to connect more deeply with regional audiences

Encourage your current customers, such as product enthusiasts or brand advocates, in various regions, like the Pacific Northwest or the Southeast Coast, to create testimonials, reviews, or day-in-the-life videos that showcase the use of your product in their unique local setting.

For example, ask a customer in Seattle to share how your rain gear helps them navigate the city’s rainy days. To motivate users, offer incentives like discounts or feature their content on your website.

This UGC can be shared by influencers who are from or have a connection to these areas, thus ensuring the marketing campaign is perceived as genuine and relatable because it reflects real-life user experiences.

Check out AirBNB’s “Live there” campaign to get an idea of localized storytelling (Source)

Pro tip 💡: Utilize a UGC platform that offers geotagging features, allowing you to easily identify and curate content based on location. This will streamline the process of collecting regional content and also enable precise targeting when working with influencers, amplifying the relevance and impact of your campaign.

2.Launch virtual product collaborations to foster innovation and community engagement

Small and medium-sized businesses should consider partnering with creative customers and influencers to design virtual products or social media filters.

For instance, if your business is in the fashion industry, you might invite design submissions from your customer base and then have a popular fashion influencer select a design to be made into a limited edition piece.

The influencer can then promote this exclusive product through their channels. This strategy does more than just engage your community; it also introduces innovative products that have a story and a customer’s touch behind them.

Remember when Apple collaborated with Nike for their cool sporty designs? (Source)

Pro tip 💡: Implement the contest on your social media platforms, using a hashtag to track submissions. This not only generates excitement and engagement but also provides a wealth of ideas for product collaboration. To streamline the process and make it more interactive, use a platform that allows for voting and sharing of design submissions, adding a competitive edge that can boost visibility and participation.

3.Implement UGC challenges with tiered rewards to elevate content quality and engagement

Invite your audience to participate in a challenge where they can submit their own content featuring your product or service.

An appealing twist is to offer tiered rewards that increase in value as participants progress through different levels of the challenge. This will incentivize more entries and also encourage the creation of higher quality and more inventive content.

For example, the first level could reward participants with a shoutout on your social media, the next level could offer discount codes, and the top level might reward a few with a significant prize or collaboration opportunity. Have influencers act as judges or highlight standout entries, which adds credibility and boosts the visibility of the challenge.

Take a cue from Doritos. They launched a campaign “oddly satisfying challenge,” where users could feature their posts on Dorito’s social media (Source)

Pro tip 💡: Use a digital leaderboard to publicly track and display participant rankings and their progression through the tiers. This creates a sense of competition and community, as participants can see how their content is faring against others. Moreover, it encourages ongoing engagement as users return to check their standings and the content of their competitors.

4.Deploy augmented reality showcases to add a futuristic twist to UGC

The power of augmented reality (AR) can give your user-generated content an interactive and modern edge. Encourage users to submit designs related to your product or service, and then use AR filters to display these designs in a real-world context.

For example, a furniture business could have customers design their ideal living room layout and then use an AR filter to show how those designs would look in an actual room.

Influencers can then use these filters on their platforms, giving their followers a virtual “try-before-you-buy” experience. This can enhance the visual appeal of the campaign and also encourage user engagement in a fun and technologically savvy way.

Christian Dior, in collab with Snapchat,  allowed users to try on pairs of B27 sneakers virtually and even purchase them directly through the filter, which garnered over 2.4 million views globally (Source)

Pro tip 💡: Partner with an AR platform or app that allows for easy integration of user designs into AR filters. By doing so, you can simplify the process for both the users submitting designs and the influencers showcasing them, ensuring a seamless and enjoyable experience for all parties involved. This approach can significantly increase the shareability and interactive nature of your influencer campaigns.

5.Leverage UGC as social proof during key micro-moments for instant impact

Incorporate user-generated content into those crucial split-second decision points, known as micro-moments, to sway potential customers. Micro-moments occur when people reflexively turn to a device—often a smartphone—to act on a need to learn something, do something, discover something, watch something, or buy something. For instance, the moment someone decides to look up a product after seeing an ad.

Encourage influencers to share authentic user reviews or testimonials during high-engagement instances such as live streams, flash sales, or product launches to bolster the credibility of your brand and inspire immediate action from potential customers.

For example, when an influencer is live-streaming a product tutorial, they can also feature a rolling display of user testimonials that tout the benefits of the product. This strategic placement of UGC serves as social proof, reinforcing the message that the influencer’s endorsement is backed by a community of satisfied users. It’s a powerful tactic in converting viewers into buyers, particularly at the moment when their interest is piqued, and they are contemplating a purchase.

Take this example of Goli Nutrition showcasing their product’s convenience via TikTok’s micro-moments

Pro tip 💡: Equip influencers with a digital toolkit—essentially a collection of resources such as images, video clips, quotes, and testimonials from users—that they can easily access and share during their interactions with followers. This toolkit can be periodically updated with fresh content to maintain authenticity and relevance, ensuring that the social proof shared is up-to-date, compelling, and reflects the latest user experiences.

Ensure the best resources to make the most of your UGC-based influencer-marketing strategy

Just like your competitors and many successful brands, you have the opportunity to employ basic online tools to bring your UGC-based influencer marketing strategies to life. However, if you’re aiming to truly advance in the UGC arena, it’s essential to consider a professional UGC platform like Idukki.

With its AI-driven capabilities, Idukki does more than just assist in gathering and moderating your user-generated content; it empowers you to deploy this content strategically across your website and social media platforms, optimizing for the highest returns.

Uncertain about how this can transform your business? Get in touch with us. We’re ready to demonstrate the untapped potential and growth opportunities you’ve been missing.

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