What is User Generated Content and Why You Should Start Shooting It
Photo by Ben Mack

What is User Generated Content and Why You Should Start Shooting It

Published on March 11, 2021

UGC is a more User-centered, affordable, and authentic alternative to stock content that has shown to actually increase trust and conversation between the User and the brand. We are writing this article to spread the word about the growing trend of UGC, and give creators some tips to get started so that they can benefit from this new wave. 


What is UGC?

User generated content, or UGC, is created by people doing everyday things in real-life situations. Think: home videos of family gatherings and birthday celebrations, testimonials, vlogs, personal social media posts, reviews, etc. 


How does it work?

Everyday people are documenting their unbiased reactions and opinions of the products and services in their lives. After these images are uploaded, UGC is then found and purchased by brands to use for their individual marketing plans. If you upload this content in the right places, you can profit off this transaction. 


There is a higher demand for UGC than staged content

The distinction between stock photography and UGC is that UGC content is candid and taken without an agenda while stock content is posed and pre-planned. There has been a shift. Now, more than ever before brands are looking to UGC as their main form of visual advertisement - choosing it over stock content. This is great news because the general public can see more material that actually speaks to them, as it was created organically by them in the first place. In many cases, your raw, unfiltered content is more valuable than posed, pre-planned stock photography. 



Dave Hoogenboom

Save time, Save money

Brands are gravitating more towards UGC because it saves them time and money. Usually it takes time to cast, shoot, and edit a commercial not to mention it’s costly. After all that work and money is spent, the content may be irrelevant. 


Staying relevant

Connection to UGC allows brands to easily stay up to date on trends. Rather than guessing about the User's interests, needs, and desires in corporate offices, UGC content allows them to be sure about what resonates with people. There are many examples where this has been effectively done. One example is Facebook’s ad about the pandemic in which they took photos and videos posted online by their users and pieced them together in this video which effectively connects with their audience. 


Why Authenticity sells

With social media running the world, we can see people continuing to look for relatable content which shows what life is really like, unfiltered. Staged photos and videos are not appealing now because they seem fake. The “real” vibe UGC gives off promotes a sense of credibility and trust, which increases the likelihood of engagement and an eventual purchase by consumers. 


Quarantine and UGC

2020 was the year UGC blew up on the market and became the big deal that it is currently. While we were stuck in quarantine, people craved human connection and this UGC content gave us just that. This content allows brands to meet the people who are using their product. Statistically, relatability has always been key. The pandemic emphasized this idea.


Lucas Seijo

The Statistics

  • 85% of Users are more influenced by the UGC than the content made by the brands directly. 

  • UGC is five times more likely to attract the attention of consumers than traditionally posed photos. 

  • Around 69 percent of adults say they post selfies, which is one of the most effective and popular forms of UGC. 

  • Nearly 47 percent of top marketing teams rely on UGC for their advertising.

Sold yet? We thought so…

Here’s some tips to get started.


1. Be original with your content!

Just like any other form of photography, it is important to stand out. In order to stand out from the crowd, try and do something that’s never been done before. Keep an eye on what the competition is doing as they take on UGC, and try not to repeat it, even if it is working. Identify and use the elements that you like, but add your own spin to it. Have fun and let your creative juices flow freely!



Ivan Huang

2. Keep it real

As stated before, people on the internet are craving authenticity, so make sure you keep your content real and raw. Brands are on the hunt for UGC that actually connect with their consumer base. Keep it unfiltered and provide genuine insight into consumer’s needs and desires. People want to see real people doing real things, so show them just that!


3. Do things with a purpose

When creating UGC, do it with a purpose in mind. If your content doesn’t tell a story, brands will not know what to do with it. Whether it is life hacks, tutorials for a product, reviews, or at-home silliness, make sure you do it with an idea about how it could potentially be used. Content created with a clear purpose in mind makes it easier for the brand to know exactly what the content is and where they can use it. 



Mata Jorge


4. Upload! 

Wirestock is connected to many agencies which can help you profit off your experience. Take a try at it and start uploading your raw, unfiltered UGC content - maybe starting with tonight’s family meal.


Good luck!