How To Source UGC Content For Your Next Paid Ad Campaign

Last Updated: 

June 21, 2024

User-generated content (UGC) is an incredibly valuable asset in paid ad campaigns for one important reason: content, created by users, rather than brands, appears more authentic, honest, and trustworthy. 

UGC videos, photos, and testimonials help build credibility and create a stronger connection between brands and their target audiences. 

Let’s have a look at how to get quality UGC content for your next paid ad campaigns and a quick guide on how to do it. 

Key Takeaways on Sourcing UGC for Your Paid Ads

  1. UGC's Value in Paid Ads: User-generated content (UGC) is prized for its authenticity and trustworthiness, making it a powerful tool for boosting conversions, enhancing engagement, and building credibility.
  2. Why Use UGC: Authenticity, increased conversions, trust and credibility, and enhanced engagement are key benefits of incorporating UGC into paid ad campaigns.
  3. Sourcing UGC: Two primary methods for sourcing UGC are from customers and from experienced UGC creators, each with its own advantages and considerations.
  4. From UGC Creators: Utilising UGC creators involves finding skilled professionals through platforms, providing detailed briefs, selecting suitable creators, and opting for long-term collaborations.
  5. From Users: While user-generated content can be valuable, it's essential to ensure quality, relevance, and legal considerations, making it complementary to UGC from creators.
  6. Benefits of UGC from Creators: Ownership of content rights, consistent quality and relevance, and tailored content aligned with branding make UGC from creators preferable for paid ad campaigns.
  7. Adding UGC to Paid Ads: Incorporate diverse UGC photos and videos into ad campaigns, optimising ad copy for each platform, ensuring alignment with brand values, including clear CTAs, and conducting A/B testing.
  8. Optimisation and Diversification: Vary content types and tailor ad copies based on target audience segmentation to optimise ad performance and achieve specific campaign goals.
  9. Review and Repeat: Monitor analytics regularly to assess campaign performance, refine ad copies based on insights, and continuously improve the UGC content strategy for maximum effectiveness.
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Why Should You Use UGC in Paid Ad Campaigns

  • Authentic Content: based on statistics, UGC is considered among users as more genuine compared to traditional advertising, as it comes directly from other users and their personal experience with the brand’s product or service.
  • Increased Conversions: UGC has a direct impact on boosting conversions. When your potential target audience sees real people using your product, that has a strong influence on their purchasing decisions, since it gives social proof, and reassurance of a positive experience, which is why they’re more likely to convert themselves.
  • Trust and Credibility: Ads featuring real customer experiences are more likely to increase trust. A Nielsen report suggests that 92% of consumers trust organic, user-generated content more than they trust traditional advertising.
  • Enhanced Engagement: Content from actual users tends to be more relatable and engaging, driving higher interaction rates.

How to Source UGC Content?

There are two ways for you to get UGC content. 

Most websites will recommend you to get it from your customers. When they buy your products (or receive them in contests and giveaways), they share their experience with your brand on their social media. You can then use their content in your paid advertising.

But this isn’t the best option, because of legal issues, content quality problems, messages, and product information accuracy. 

The best way to get quality UGC content that converts is from experienced UGC creators. Here’s how:

From UGC Creators

Sourcing content from skilled and professional UGC creators can make all the difference in your marketing campaigns since you’re combining the authenticity of user contributions with high-quality videos. 

Here's how to do it: 

  1. Find UGC creators: While you can find creators manually on Instagram or TikTok, it’s much quicker to connect with them through a UGC platform, like an online marketplace where UGC creators pass a strict screening process to ensure that they’re skilled, serious, and experienced in what they do.
  2. Provide a detailed brief: Make sure to give the creators as many details as possible - the language of the video, the video type (unboxing, review, how-to…), the information you want them to include with talking points and more. The more detailed the brief, the better the video.
  3. Select the most suitable creators: Once the creators apply to your project, browse their portfolio and select only those that are the best fit for your brand.
  4. Opt-in for long-term collaboration: Once you find creators that match your brand, and requirements, and make the perfect fit with what you need, long-term collaborations are a great option to ensure a steady stream of quality content for your marketing campaigns. After all, you can use the UGC content not only for paid ad campaigns, but also for your social media platforms, newsletter, and website. 

From Users

As mentioned before, you can also use content that your users make, and repost it on your channels and platforms. 

This is best when you already have an established base of customers who regularly use your product and services. Then their content can be a great addition to your strategy, as you can run contests, giveaways, and other ways to encourage user participation. 

However, it’s still best to use their content as a small part and rely on a steady flow of content from UGC creators for a few reasons: 

Content rights belong to you

Unlike the content from your users, the content you receive from UGC creators belongs to you, not the creators. That means you can do with the content whatever you like; there are no copyright issues involved, and no potential legal complications.

Constant supply of relevant, quality content

Not all content you receive from your customers is good and relevant. Perhaps the videos and Stories miss the key benefits of your product or even include incorrect details. On top of that, it’s highly unlikely that the photos and videos of your users are on point with your branding. 

By working with UGC creators, you give them detailed information about what to include, and very importantly not to include in the videos. 

That’s how you receive quality content every time, just when you need it. Even if your users produce great content and you can use it in your campaigns, you can never be sure when you’ll receive the next winning video. Creators, on the other hand, deliver the content when needed and as often as needed.

Add UGC To Your Paid Ads

Once you receive diverse quality UGC photos and videos, it’s time to run paid ad campaigns.

Optimise & Diversify

  • Optimise your Ad Copy for the platform you're running ads on.  For example, shorter video clips may work better on Instagram stories, while longer-form testimonial videos might be more effective on Facebook.
  • Also, use a mix of videos and photos to showcase user experience with your brand.

Polish Up Ad Copies

  • Make sure all your content is in line with your branding, image, and values. 
  • Include clear and compelling CTAs that tell the viewers exactly what you want them to do - visit your website, buy your product, and sign up for your service.
  • Make sure that the content in the campaign targets its specific goals - brand awareness, driving sales, or engagement.

A/B Test

When your ad copies are ready, run A/B tests to see which one performs better. If you’ve done target audience segmentation properly, you’ll be able to run different campaigns based on the type of audience you want to target.

This is why getting more diverse content is key: to be able to appeal to different audiences and to see what works best for them. So make sure that the creators you work with, give you plenty of different content types:

  • Lifestyle, product photos
  • Unboxing, review, how-to-use videos, and more

Review & Repeat

Check analytics regularly to measure the performance of your campaigns - see what works and what doesn’t, and adjust ad copies accordingly. Refine your approach based on the insights and create a UGC content machine that works perfectly for your marketing strategy. 

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