Blog > Digital Marketing > Top 10 User-Generated Content Strategies to Boost Engagement

How to Use User-Generated Content to Maximize Engagement

April 2, 2024
min read

The benefits of user-generated content (UGC) are undeniable in today’s TikTok and Instagram-dominated world.

When a cheerful brand advocate can share their satisfaction with your brand via the click of a button, it opens up ways to spread the word about your products and services and connect with customers in a way that just couldn’t be done a generation ago.

For that reason, if your brand hasn’t jumped aboard the user-generated content train, then now’s the time!

And if you’d like to try but don’t know where to start, allow us to help you up onto that platform.

Today’s blog is taking you through the top 10 user-generated content strategies, so your brand can start harnessing your audience’s voices to boost your engagement, elevate your online presence, and create an active and loyal community around your brand!

What is User-Generated Content?

Simply put, user-generated content is any form of content (videos, photos, images, reviews, text, etc.) that is created by unpaid users and fans of your brand and then shared on different platforms like your social media pages, online forums, your website, and more.

UGC is highly valued by brands and marketers because, since it comes from unpaid users, it serves as a relatable and authentic endorsement for your products or services. And because this content comes from peers of your customers and potential customers, it’s often seen as more trustworthy and genuine than traditional ads can ever hope to be.

How to Maximize Engagement with UGC Strategies

A darboard with a dart in its bullseye for the precision of UGC campaigns.

Whether you’re looking for different types of UGC as a part of your social media marketing efforts, email marketing, lead generation, or anything else, here is a list of our favorite strategies to use UGC to maximize engagement, encourage brand loyalty, and build up a community of die-hard fans!

Have a look and see which strategies work best for you, your followers, and your brand!

1. Hashtag Campaigns

Launching a branded hashtag campaign is a great way to effectively use any type of user-generated content, whether it’s video, photos, text, or anything else your followers want to create.

Decide on a hashtag related to your brand, one that’s catchy and easy to remember (and spell). It should also reflect your values or be related to a product or service you provide. Once you decide on the hashtags you want to use, encourage your audience to share their stories, photos, or videos using one of those specific hashtags. 

This approach not only increases your brand’s visibility but also creates a sense of community among your followers and encourages others to join in on the fun!

Be sure to highlight the best and most creative contributions on your social media channels, your website, or in your email campaigns!

2. Reviews and Testimonials

Reviews and testimonials are very powerful tools.

When used correctly, they can sway potential customers who are on the fence about trying your products and services, as well as serve as social proof to demonstrate how trustworthy and valued your brand is by your satisfied customers.

Encourage your customers to share their experiences by making the review process as easy and accessible as you can. This could be something as simple as adding a submission form on your website, sending follow-up emails and surveys after purchasing, or even creating a dedicated hashtag for reviews on your social media platform of choice.

Once you have a nice collection, feature them strategically where you think they’ll have the most impact, like on your website’s homepage, your product pages, landing pages, through social media posts, or anywhere else potential customers will see it.

Reviews and testimonials don’t just have to be text, either! Video product reviews and testimonials are even better and more dynamic.


*We’ll discuss more in-depth about UGC video in tomorrow’s blog, so stay tuned!

3. Photo and Video Contests

Everyone loves a little competition, right?

If you want to create a buzz around your brand for social media users, newsletter subscribers, or anyone else who interacts with you, contests are a great way to do it and even come with the chance of going viral!

It’s an excellent way to incentivize your audience and get them to start creating UGC for your brand in no time. Just be sure you follow a few rules:

  1. Set Guidelines — Be sure to give your participants clear instructions on how to enter the contest, the type of content you’re looking for, and any hashtags or slogans they should use, along with any criteria they’ll be judged on and when submissions are due. This will clear up any confusion and make the process smoother for your followers and the members of your team who will be tasked to go through the submissions.
  2. Make it Worth Their While — Offering a prize will boost your participation. You can offer free products or services, exclusive experiences, or whatever you think your audience will value most!
  3. Highlight Your Entries — To keep up the hype, showcase your submissions on social media, your website, or email newsletters. This gives your participants some visibility and can encourage more UGC creators to join in on the fun.
  4. Engage With Participants — Be sure to actively engage with your participants by replying to emails, commenting on social media posts, and sharing them. This will encourage more entries and give you a chance to interact with your loyal followers.
  5. Celebrate Your Winners — Once you have a winner, be sure to celebrate with them! Announce the winners through all of your channels to give them their 15 minutes of fame and wrap up your contest on a high note!

4. Customer Spotlights

If your followers are taking time to create UGC for your brand, be sure to thank them and appreciate them properly.

Regular customer spotlights are a great way to do this. Whether you’re doing “customers of the month” spotlights on social media, features that show your customers using your products effectively (or creatively!) on your website, or just shouting out a particularly good entry on the socials or through email, your customers will feel more valued and be encouraged towards repeat performances if their effort is acknowledged!

5. Social Media Takeovers

A smartphone screen open to a profile page, surrounded by social media icons like messages, hearts, and avatars.

Unlike traditional UGC, where your users create content by themselves, social media takeovers kick it up a notch by letting someone outside of your organization — an influencer, local celebrity, partner business, or notable customer — take over and post content like entertaining stories, personal experiences, tutorials or how-to content for your products for a short period of time!

This new face behind your socials will bring a fresh perspective and new energy that will engage and entertain your audience while also creating some hype that could attract new followers.

As an added bonus, if the individual who takes over your account is an influencer or celebrity, this will also put your brand in front of a whole new audience for a new source of potential customers and future brand ambassadors and UGC creators!

6. Collaborative Content Creation

And while we’re on the subject of influencers and collaboration …

Partnering with someone else for a user-generated content campaign is a very effective strategy that combines the strengths, audiences, and creative ideas of your followers and your partner's followers as well.

Whether it’s a collaborative contest or giveaway, a co-created hashtag campaign, or a storytelling project, this approach will help to diversify your content, keep your material fresh, and expand your reach to new audiences.

7. User-Generated Content Galleries

As you gather up your user-generated content, it’s a good idea to have a dedicated place on your website or social media pages to showcase it.

Having a dedicated user-generated content gallery that your visitors can scroll through or comment, like, and share is a wonderful way to not only celebrate the creativity and participation of your users but to encourage others to participate along with them!

Another benefit is encouraging more visitors and interaction with your website or social pages, which can boost your cred in search engines and social media algorithms, leading to higher visibility.

8. Crowdsourced Product Ideas

Another very effective way to get your audience to engage with your brand and create some hype is to ask them for ideas for your next product.

Everyone likes to have a say in the products they buy or the services they enjoy, after all. While suggestions and ideas aren’t typical user-generated content like video, photos, and testimonials, they still give your audience a chance to share their insight and creativity with you.

You can crowdsource ideas via social media comments or through a dedicated platform or forum on your website. If you can, set it to where others can see previous ideas. This will spark further discussion, drive more engagement, and encourage more people to get in on the conversation.

If you do end up going with one of the submitted ideas, be sure to give credit to your contributor with public acknowledgment or even a reward!

9. Polls and Quizzes

A caption with a question mark in it, for polls and quizzes.

Interactive polls and quizzes are another effective way to get your audience engaging with your brand.

Create polls and quizzes that are relevant, fun to complete, and full of interesting insight to not only grab attention on your audience’s feed but to encourage them to share their results, preferences, and opinions with you and the world!

The content of your polls or quizzes is up to your brand and your followers, but whatever it is, be sure it’s entertaining! Use humor, interesting facts, pop culture references, whatever your audience likes and is most likely to engage with.

This will make it more likely that they share their results, comment on other’s posts, and forward your content to their friends and family.

10. Interactive Filters and Effects

Get in on the creativity party yourself by launching an interactive filter or effect for your social media platforms!

Interactive filters and effects are digital overlays or enhancements that users can apply in real time to their selfies or other content on platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Facebook, and TikTok.

They can range from simple branded banners or frames to color modifications and filters or even complex augmented reality (AR) experiences that can make it appear that your user is interacting with a unique digital background or character.

Whatever you offer, provide it to your followers and invite them to join in the fun! It’s a uniquely entertaining and immersive way to get your audience to start sending in user-generated content and a great way to give your audience a memorable and novel experience that will keep them talking about you for days!

Benefits of UGC Campaigns for Your Brand

Besides creating a buzz around your brand, UGC has a number of other benefits as well!

Here are some other reasons, you’ll want to keep UGC as a part of your marketing and lead-generation strategies:

  • Authenticity and Trust — UGC is usually viewed by your customers as more genuine and trustworthy than brand-generated content since it comes directly from other users who have experienced the product or service.
  • Boosted Engagement — Content created by users usually encourages more interaction on the socials, with more likes, shares, and comments, than normal branded content.
  • Cost-Effective — Using user-generated content as part of your marketing strategies can save you money since content is voluntarily created by users.
  • SEO Benefits — UGC can improve search engine optimization by providing you with fresh, relevant content that can increase your site's visibility and ranking on search engine results pages (SERPs).
  • Social Proof — User-generated content is great for social proof on ads, websites, and landing pages since it shows that other customers are purchasing and enjoying your product or service and can sway those customers on the fence into taking a chance on your brand.
  • Increased Conversion Rates — Featuring real customer experiences and testimonials can increase your conversion rates by showing your potential customers evidence that others are benefiting from your product or service.
  • Content Variety — UGC provides you with a diverse range of content, from all different perspectives and in a variety of different formats, keeping your content interesting and keeping your audience engaged.
  • Community Building — Encouraging user-generated content builds a sense of community with your audience since it makes users feel valued and seen by the brand they’re following.
  • Market Insights — Analyzing the content that users create and share with you can offer some surprisingly valuable insight into customer preferences, behaviors, and trends, which, in turn, can help you with future marketing strategies and product development.
  • Brand Advocacy — Happy customers who create and share content about your brand act as brand advocates, spreading positive word-of-mouth and expanding your reach to potential new customers.

<div class="c-blog_comp-cta cc-component-1"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left"><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-wrap"><img src="" loading="lazy" alt="" class="c-blog_comp-cta-left-img"></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-cta-right"><div class="c-blog_comp-content"><div class="c-text-wrapper cc-mb-32"><div class="c-title-4 cc-bold"><strong>Want to save money without sacrificing the quality?</strong></div></div><div class="c-text-wrapper"><div class="c-text-2">Say goodbye to traditional, expensive agencies and unreliable marketplaces. Say hello to Designity.<br></div></div></div><div class="c-blog_comp-wrapper"><a href="/pricing" target="_blank" class="c-button cc-primary cc-inverted w-button"><strong>Get Your 2-Week Trial</strong></a></div></div></div>

Looking for a Partner to Help You with Your UGC Strategies?

If you’re ready to start using user-generated content as a part of your marketing efforts, then we hope this article has been a helpful stepping stone as you figure out the strategies that work best for you.

And if you’re looking for some guidance and help with user-generated content or your marketing strategies in general, we hope this article can be of even further assistance.

Why not use this link to book your demo call with Designity?

Partnering with Designity gets you instant access to the top 3% of US-based creative talent from social media experts to copywriters, video editors, graphic designers, and more.

And with your creative team led by a dedicated and experienced Creative Director to manage your account, keep up with your creative team, and make sure you have all the assets your marketing efforts need, your strategies can take off like never before, user-generated content and all.

Why not have a look at our portfolio and see what Designity’s innovative Creative as a Service platform and flat, predictable payment options can do to elevate your existing marketing efforts?

Are you ready to start boosting your brand’s engagement?

Share this post:

Stay Inspired by Upgrading Your Inbox
Access creativity tailored just for you.
Subscription implies consent to receiving emails from Designity and acceptance of our privacy policy.
Oops! Something went wrong while submitting the form.
About the author:
Sara Lopez
Sara is a Texas-based copywriter.
Interested in content collaboration? Email at
Keep Reading
Designity has your virtual creative team ready to help your business grow.
About Designity
Designity is your on-demand, virtual creative team with a designated creative director to manage projects and guarantee 5-star quality. A diverse network of vetted, US-based creatives are in their hands to collaborate with and support you in 80+ areas of expertise like website & app design, logo & branding, video production, digital advertising, and more.
Try Our
2-Week Trial
No up-front payment required.

Share this post:

Creative Directors Make the Difference

Consistent Creativity and Quality for Your Website Design Projects
No items found.
Back to top