Creating UGC Content
Brands are searching for the perfect Creators to help them with user generated content that appeals to their audience and potential clients. So if you’re a Creator or Influencer hoping to work with more brands, offering UGC content services is a really great way to expand your business and earn more income. The key to getting brands interested in working with you is knowing what they are looking for in user generated content so they’ll be impressed and want to hire you!
At Sidewalker Daily, we help Creators and Influencers work with brands, grow their businesses and earn more income. We also work on the brand side of things, helping companies run their Influencer campaigns and social media marketing initiatives. Because we have the brand’s perspective, we know what they’re looking for when they work with Creators.
While there is a lot to know about UGC, in this article we want to go over a couple of tips on how to create user generated content that we think are essential for creating content that brands will love!
What Is User Generated Content?
User generated content is a very specific style of content that brands use to showcase their products and services. We have a whole post that goes over everything you need to know about UGC content, but basically UGC is content that shows products and services in an extremely authentic and natural way. It’s meant to not feel like the content and messaging is coming from the brand but instead a user of their product or service.
Traditionally, brands got access to this style of content by searching through their mentions, tags or hashtags on social media to find content posted by fans, customers or clients. They would then ask for permission to use it for their own channels or “re-post” the content. This has changed over time because many people are not OK with brands using their content without payment. Also, some brands feel the level of content they need to put out on social media is so high that the amount of organic UGC content they have access too just won’t cut it – they need more.
This is why brands have now taken UGC content in their own hands and are paying Creators to help them create this type of content to use in their social media marketing initiatives.
Essentially, UGC content is a way for brands to build credibility and trust with consumers. For example, a testimonial-style video from a person using their product is way more authentic than a curated, highly-produced advertisement that came from the brand themselves.
This style performs really well with the modern day consumer who wants to feel connected with the brands they support. The nature of social media requires constantly posting something new, a demand that many brands struggle keeping up with on their own. That’s why brands started hiring UGC Creators and Influencers to create it for them.
Many brands are starting to rely heavily on UGC to keep up with their posts. And while UGC Content is typically shot on an iPhone instead of a fancy camera and has little to no editing, it’s not necessarily low quality. It’s just meant to show authentic and realistic product use and experiences. Brands want organic content for their many social platforms, and hiring content Creator experts is a really efficient way to do that.
7 User Generated Content Tips For Working With Brands
Even if you’re already great at creating content or building your audience, there are many ways to make sure you’re truly doing your best to impress brands. Learning how to become a UGC content creator that stands out from the rest will show brands that they should work with you over someone else on a campaign. Let’s look at 7 things you can consider as you start working with brands as a UGC Creator.
1) Create Good Content Without Being Overly Produced
UGC Content Creators help brands connect with their audience, customers and clients. When you first think about brand marketing, you might think that a brand would want perfect, pristine images and videos. That’s definitely the case sometimes! However, consumers have been valuing authenticity from the brands they love more and more over the past few years. It’s so much easier to relate to a brand when you see the products being used by everyday people like you, not just models in highly produced ads.
So if you want to learn how to create user generated content that brands will love, you have to master the art of creating content that looks really good but at the same time doesn’t look overly curated like a traditional marketing ad. Brands want to show off their products and they want you to talk about them in videos, but the focus should always be on authenticity.
2) Don’t Guess What They Want – Ask
At the end of the day, a brand is hiring you as a UGC content Creator to create content for them. They’re paying you to show their content in a way that will appeal to their specific audience. So even though UGC has some leniency in how it’s curated, it’s important to always aim for a brand’s approval and impress them by giving them what they actually need.
You don’t want to waste time guessing about what the brand wants. And you definitely don’t want to spend your time and energy shooting and editing something that the brand is unhappy with. Asking the brand representative to hop on a call or elaborate on their needs is totally okay — it’s encouraged!
What should this look like? If you’re pitching yourself to a brand as a UGC Creator, come prepared with a mood board or creative concepts to the meeting to get them excited about the possibility of working with you. If you’ve already been hired by the brand, present your ideas ahead of time for their approval so you can be on the same page about what the content should look like before you start shooting. You can also ask them to send you visuals or links to example of what they are envisioning for the content, and don’t be afraid to send some to them too!
The more clear the creative expectations are from the beginning, the more likely you can guarantee a mutually successful partnership. Plus, you don’t want to miss the opportunity to set up repeat brands deals with them — which is so crucial in your strategy for making money as a Creator.
3) Add A Round Of Edits Into Your Pricing
If you’re a Creator or Influencer, we don’t have to tell you that so much more work goes into a 30 second video than it appears. From the planning to the shooting to the editing, it feels like there’s always room for a few tweaks. Instead of stressing out about your final product, get ahead of the problem by addressing time for revisions as needed. Thinking ahead about these types of things shows a brand that you take your work seriously and are dedicated to creating something great for them. This also helps to ensure that they will love the final product because if they have any feedback after seeing the video for the first time, you can easily make edits before delivering the final version for them to post!
A best practice is including a round of edits into your pricing as you’re creating UGC content for a brand. You don’t need to promise a brand that you’ll completely reshoot everything if they don’t like it, but maybe add a section into your contract that allows for one round of edits. It’s a win-win! You can boost your price a little and establish yourself as a serious Creator, and a brand can feel more comfortable knowing they’ll get what they’re paying for.
4) Observe Well-Performing User Generated Content Examples
When you’re scrolling on TikTok or Instagram, what makes you stop? You have an entire world of user generated content examples and ideas at your fingertips, and it’s really important to pay attention to what others are making that performs well.
By no means are we saying that you should copy exactly what other people do, but there are certain trends and stylistic methods that capture social media users’ attention.
- What’s drawing people in?
- What styles of videos are really engaging audiences right now?
- How are other brands in the client’s industry or niche relating to their followers?
When you see an enticing user generated content example, like a video that makes you want to finish watching it, save it! Take a screenshot, put it in a folder, or do whatever method works for you so that you can refer back to it later. And again, bringing ideas to a brand partner is one way to set expectations from the start. Collect ideas that you see and stay on top of UGC best practices.
5) Ask Brands For Their Key Messaging
All brands have some sort of messaging that they want to get across to their audience or potential customers. They may have messages that they consistently incorporate into their content, but they also may have seasonal or campaign-specific messages that they really want to promote at certain times.
When you have conversations with a brand partner, don’t let finding out what key messaging they want in the UGC content slip through the cracks. While you’re not going to be able to give an entire rundown of their business in a 10 second video—you need to know the intention for the deliverables you’re creating for them to ensure the content is going to help achieve their current goals. If they don’t provide you with a creative brief, you can always ask them to give you a summary of what they hope you’ll talk about in the UGC content before you start creating.
You can (and should!) do your own research too. When you’re pitching to a brand, show them that you really care about their products and their business by coming prepared with knowledge about their brand. If you’re already working with the brand, do your research too. Most brands talk about their values or focus areas somewhere on their website. The brand may have some messaging that they want you to focus on that is not public just yet, but it’s helpful to have a starting point and be prepared.
If knowing what to say to brands is something that you’re finding challenging, this is just one of the many pitching strategies we teach you in our Pitching to Brands Mastercourse!
6) Be Professional
Outside of talking about a brand’s key messaging with them, there are so many things you can do to show that you’re a professional. To be honest, brands do hear from Creators and Influencers who don’t come prepared, who don’t have attractive and informative media kits, and who don’t act in a professional manner.
Coming to the table with ideas, responding in a timely manner, being friendly…these are all easy things you can do to impress a brand. You should also be the kind of Creator that leads the conversation— while they will have their own ideas and goals, they’re coming to you as the content expert. You’re the one providing the service and a huge part of getting to a place where you can create content that they will love is by having professional conversations about your work and the value you can provide.
7) Keep It Simple
The number one goal of user generated content strategy on social media is to highlight natural, everyday uses and experiences with products and services. While there’s a time and place for high-production and cinematic videos on social media, user generated content is gaining traction for brands looking to connect with their customers and drive sales. This is because the brand wants the content to be appealing, but also wants it to blend into the social media feed instead of looking like a targeted piece of marketing from the company.
Some of the most popular videos on social media are things like:
- try-on hauls
- product reviews
They’re popular for a reason! The more authentic a reaction to a product is from someone other than the brands themselves, the easier it is to trust as a consumer.
Stand Out As A UGC Creator
If you’re a UGC Creator who is looking to get more clients, hopefully the tips in this post on how to create user generated content that brands will love gave you some ideas for what to do moving forward. Be sure to keep these things in mind as you build your user generated content strategy:
1. Create good quality content while keeping in mind that the goal is to create authentic content that blends in with the feed.
2. Don’t guess what brand partners want you to create – ask!
3. Consider adding a round of edits into your pricing structure so you can easily make them if the brand has requested changes so the final product will be something they love.
4. Pay attention to what types of user generated content make you stop your own scroll, and use those strategies in your own work.
5. Learn about a brand’s key messaging so you know exactly what they’re trying to do with their user generated content strategy.
6. Be professional! Brands have their own visions in mind, but they also are looking for your expertise. Show them they can trust you by acting in a professional manner, taking initiative, and staying organized.
7. Keep it simple – UGC content needs to be eye-catching, but it shouldn’t have a high-level of production.
If you’re looking to work with more brands and get paid your worth, our Pitching To Brands Mastercourse is a 15+ hour self study course that goes over everything you need to know and more. We also offer private coaching with our team of experts if you need one-on-one help with your business or strategy.
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