UGC Ads Cover

UGC ads are absolutely everywhere nowadays, because people trust the opinion of real people over any high-gloss ad campaign.

In fact, User Generated Content Ads are the most impactful form of online advertising across social media platforms.

92% of consumers trust referrals from people they know above any other source.

This is the reason that brands are turning towards UGC ads over traditional ads.

What Are UGC Ads?

UGC Ads are advertisements that include content created by real users of a brand, rather than their in-house marketing team.

We're talking about ads that look and feel like natural endorsements of a product, from real customers. 

Here's an example:

UGC Ad Example

Imagine your favorite and most trusted social media influencer posting about a new health product that gives them 10X more energy.

-That’s an example of UGC advertising at play. 

Types of UGC Ads

UGC ads can come in many different types and formats:

  • Videos - whether it’s on TikTok, YouTube, Instagram or Facebook - people are creating a ton of video content nowadays. If that content features your brand or product, it’s very powerful to showcase as a UGC advert. 
  • Product Reviews - for example if someone leaves a positive Google, Shopify or TrustPilot review. 
  • Customer Testimonials - for example if someone Tweets about your product or services, that’s user generated content! leaves a review on TrustPilot, that’s user generated content! 
  • Photos - social media is a big place, and literally millions of people will feature products or services in their photos there. This is all potentially great content for UGC advertising. 

The image below from Taggbox shows the potential for different UGC ad formats.

7 UGC Ad Examples

👉 We've sourced some of the best UGC Ads on the internet so that you can take inspiration for your own campaigns.

1) Everlane

Everlane UGC

Everlane is a US clothing retailer that sells primarily online, so they need a strong advertising game!

This is a very simple example of a short & sweet UGC ad, featuring a creator trying on an item of clothing with a high-energy, natural feel. 

UGC ads are perfect for the fashion industry because ultimately we want to see what our clothes look like on normal people, and not necessarily what they look like in an airbrushed photo shoot. 

2) Athletic Greens

athletic greens UGC ad

I'd argue that Athletic Greens are the masters of UGC advertising. 

They enlist credible creators like Andrew Huberman & Tim Ferris to create a whole ecosystem of UGC content for them, and it's exploded their business.

This particular UGC advert has a very strong 'hook' calling out the target market - Women over the age of 40. If you're within that demographic, it's actually very difficult NOT to check out this advert and product, because the hook is just so strong paired with the fact that a real person is about to explain things. 

3) BetterHelp

BetterHelp UGC ad

BetterHelp is an online mental health platform that pairs people with a professional therapists to talk through a range of issues like depression, grief, anxiety etc.

They've really ramped up their online advertising game in recent times, and we noticed that they have a strong UGC advertising strategy which involves campaigns that feature real creators.

So in this example, the creator is actually discussing their own approach to mental health, which helps bring a closer connection to real users.

4) Manual

Manual UGC Ad

Manual is a UK-based brand that's targeting the fast growing market of mens healthcare - Which is going to be worth more than $2.5 trillion by 2025.

One of their best-selling product lines is hair loss medicine - which is quite a sensitive subject for men.

This also makes it a perfect candidate for UGC ad campaigns, because they can show the real journey of real customers as they begin taking the product and show their progress over time.

5) GoPro

Go Pro UGC advertisement

GoPro is the perfect brand for UGC Ads, since their customers typically buy the product to shoot fun activities and travels. 

They've made the most of this fact by frequently launching competitions and hashtag campaigns in order to capture as much UGC content as possible. 

And using the best UGC content, they've turned those into advertising campaigns - Clever.

6) Huel

Huel UGC Advert

Huel is a nutrition brand that's grown across Europe and the USA in recent years, and UGC advertising is at the core of their marketing strategy.

They also incorporate a mixture of beautifully designed in-house ads, but they consciously showcase real people trying out their product in order to connect with everyday customers.

We also noticed that Huel send out free T-shirts and water bottles to new customers, which encourages more brandable UGC to be generated. 

7) True Classic

True Classic UGC Ad

True Classic are one of the other big retail brands that have grown massively in recent years due to their online advertising campaigns.

They're incredible at using 'Hooks' to pull in male customers, often focusing on the idea that their products will make you more attractive to Women.

Additionally, we've seen them use a ton of UGC in their content in clever ways - Like the example above which features a woman talking about why she really loves this product for men. 

8) Rimmel

Rimmel UGC

Rimmel did such a fantastic UGC ad campaign on TikTok that they got featured as an exclusive case study.

This campaign focused on short & snappy spark ads, that takes content from creators and turns them into adverts.

It was incredibly successful, generating a huge amount of interest in the Gen Z market of 18-29 year olds. 

Benefits of UGC Ads

Existing users & real customers talking about their experience is far more authentic than a brand simply telling people that their product is great! 

You’re building trust & credibility with UGC, and it’s very hard to do this with traditional advertising with a high production value.

86% of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding on brands.

That’s why when a big influencer like Kim Kardashian endorses a product, her fans will often pay attention. 

1) Authenticity

Existing users & real customers talking about their experience is far more authentic than a brand simply telling people that their product is great! 

You’re building trust & credibility with UGC, and it’s very hard to do this with traditional advertising with a high production value.

86% of consumers say that authenticity is important when deciding on brands.

That’s why when a big influencer like Kim Kardashian endorses a product, her fans will often pay attention. 

2) People Don't Like Ads

Most people don’t like traditional advertising.

Ad blindness is a real thing - In fact, most people’s brains are trained to skip past traditional ads.

Counterintuitively, despite slick traditional adverts costing significantly more to produce, there’s no evidence that they are more effective than UGC ads! 

People just don’t really like being overtly sold to anymore. They would much rather take a recommendation from someone.

3) Better Conversion Rates

UGC ad campaigns result in 28% more conversions than traditional campaigns.

If your peer recommends a product or someone that looks like you, then you’re going to be more likely to convert.

It’s been proven that UGC ads convert better than all other forms of advertising.

4) Better Creative Performance

This simply comes down to the mechanics of how the advertising algorithms work - If people are more likely to engage with your advert, then ad platforms like Meta will show that advert more

This has implications on your advertising costs as well. If your ad engagement goes up, your average costs come down.  This is because Meta wants to show adverts that people engage with, because it’s better for their platform.

5) Organic Performs Best

The best ads are the ones with the highest organic reach.

That’s why the best advertisers will simply take their top performing organic content on social media, and use that for their advertising creative! 

It’s literally already been tested and proven to work - people love it. All you have to do is take that UGC content and throw it into an ad. 

6) Cost Effective

It’s way more cost effective to have creative content produced by independent creators, rather than big-budget, slick ad shoots with high production value. 

Of course there’s still certainly a place for beautifully designed ad creatives as well, but almost every major brand nowadays has included UGC ads into their repertoire of ad creatives. 

How To Create UGC Ads

1) Use Existing UGC

coke user generated content

Your first port of call should always be to see what authentic UGC content exists out there for your brand to use in its ad campaigns. 

Sit down with your marketing team and carefully look at what already exists out there - Do you have any great video or text reviews from happy customers? Those are all assets for UGC ad campaigns! 

Of course, the holy grail of UGC ads is always going to be photo or video content, since it’s more engaging than a simple text review.

Check all of the primary social media platforms - Facebook, Instagram, TikTok and Twitter, to see if your customers have mentioned your brand in a positive way and evaluate the corresponding content.

2) Work With UGC Creators

The easiest and most effective way to create beautiful UGC ads is to work directly with UGC creators.

In fact, UGC marketplaces exist where you can find creators that best suit your brand, and then ask them to create UGC content for your ads. 

Additionally, platforms like TikTok actually have their own in-built creator marketplace, where you can easily filter to find creators relevant for your brand.

The way it works is that you’ll match with a creator who you feel is best suited for your brand and industry, and then you can tell them exactly what you’re looking for.

They will then create a piece of content which feels 100% natural that you have full rights to use across your UGC ad campaigns. 

TikTok UGC Creator Marketplace

How To Implement UGC Ads

First off, you'll need to consider the different types of UGC content you'll need to suit the various different advertising platforms you plan on using.

👉 Standard UGC video length by platform:

  • TikTok Ads - 9 to 15 seconds
  • YouTube Ads - 15 to 20 seconds
  • Instagram & Facebook Ads - Less than 1 minute  

Image UGC ads will be most relevant for Instagram & Facebook, so these should be a separate consideration as well. 

UGC Briefs

Once you know what format you want your UGC ads in, you'll need to create detailed briefs that you can send to creators. 

You want the adverts to feel as authentic and natural as possible, so you don't want your guidelines to be overly scripted or feel too much like an advert.

Unfortunately, this is where most advertisers go wrong! They end up pushing the product way too hard without focusing on the pain points & benefits in a more natural way.

The explosion of UGC ads isn't going anywhere.

With more and more people constantly publishing a higher volume of content on social media platforms, eventually most major brands are going to have to come up with a UGC strategy pretty soon.

Hopefully this article has given you some ideas on how to implement your own UGC marketing strategy. 

Stewart Dunlop