What Is a UGC Creator? Your Questions, Answered.
As digital content continues to evolve, content creation has become an essential channel for individuals to not only express their creativity but also generate substantial income. And lately, it seems like the term “UGC” is everywhere. But what exactly does this term mean? And who are the people creating it? More specifically, what is a UGC Creator?
In short, this term refers to someone who produces user-generated content, also known as “UGC.” And these Creators can range from everyday consumers uploading a review of a product, to well-established Creators producing high-quality content as their full-time job. And with the rising success of UGC Creators, brands are taking notice of this type of marketing and leveraging it to their advantage.
Below, we take a deep dive into all things UGC-related. We’ll cover it all, from the types of UGC content to the steps needed to become a UGC Creator yourself.
What Is UGC Content?
Let’s start here: what is UGC content? As you learned above, the abbreviation UGC stands for user-generated content. This term refers to original content an individual creates, posts, and shares on social media. It can be pictures, videos, or even written reviews and testimonials.
Often, everyday consumers and individuals who are not Creators generate UGC. This type of UGC consists of user reviews, social media posts, comments, and discussions on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and even Yelp, Tripadvisor, and Reddit. These consumers share their personal experiences, opinions, and recommendations about products, services, or various aspects of daily life. Everyday consumer UGC is valuable for its authenticity and relatability, as it reflects genuine experiences and can significantly influence purchasing decisions.
What Is a UGC Creator: The Basics
When asking yourself, what is a UGC Creator, you may wonder if there are people who create UGC professionally. And the answer is yes! While anyone can create UGC, there are full-time content Creators who earn a living by producing and sharing UGC. They include YouTubers, Twitch streamers, bloggers, and social media Creators who have built a following and monetized their content.
How do they make a living as a UGC Creator, and how is this different from being a social media influencer? Well, brands specifically leverage their UGC on their own marketing channels, websites, and product pages. For example, you might be shopping on a retailer’s site and see featured photos or videos from Creators. This UGC can be hugely valuable to brands, which is why it pays to be a UGC Creator.
But before we talk about how UGC Creators make money, let’s talk about the types of content they produce.
What Types of Content Do UGC Creators Produce?
UGC Creators craft high-quality, entertaining, and informative content that deeply connects and relates to an audience. Their UGC spans a wide array of niches, from travel vlogs and gaming streams to lifestyle advice and educational content.
The types of content preferred by UGC Creators can vary from person to person, but here are a few of the most popular types of UGC for Creators:
- High-quality imagery: Photography is a great example of UGC-style posts. Still images can highlight a product, and UGC Creators often produce high-quality imagery that brands are excited to feature on their own marketing channels.
- Product reviews: Often, UGC Creators specialize in reviewing products through blog posts and social media content. Having real people try out and review products on social media is often considered modern-day word-of-mouth marketing, and can be valuable for brands who want to demonstrate the real-world impact of their products.
- High-quality videos: Video is an increasingly popular UGC content idea. There are a few things to keep in mind if this is your digital medium of choice. Examples of video UGC can include unboxing videos and product demonstrations, which allow the viewer to see the products in action.
- Designed graphics and visual art: Creators who specialize in digital design or have specific artistic skills can create unique UGC that sets them apart. Recently, Whole Foods partnered with a Creator specializing in stop-motion videos to create an ad campaign that used this Creator’s video content to spotlight their food and products.
When producing UGC, knowing what works (and what doesn’t) is extremely important. Choosing the right format can make or break your budding career, and it can be beneficial to do an in-depth audience analysis and see what content your audience reacts best to.
What Is a UGC Creator: The Benefits for Creators
As a Creator, there are a few benefits to focusing on UGC. Here are the key benefits:
- A way to monetize your content: Becoming a UGC Creator offers another way to make money as a Creator. If you find success in this field already, consider adding UGC to your portfolio. Chances are, you already have the connections and knowledge to make this happen. Experimenting with UGC is a quick and easy way to diversify your online revenue stream.
- Doesn’t require a huge following: UGC Creators don’t necessarily need to have a huge following to make money from their content. Many UGC Creators start with only a small audience. They’re everyday people who are sharing honest opinions and sharing things they love. The authenticity of the content is often what the consumer finds so appealing about it.
- Less dependence on social media platforms: Since a UGC Creator is selling content directly to brands, the size of their audience isn’t as important. Which means they don’t have to focus as much on growing an audience or marketing directly to them. They just need to be able to produce high-quality content that brands want to use on their marketing channels.
How to Make Money as a UGC Creator
In case you’re wondering what is a UGC Creator’s main source of income, here are a few ways that UGC Creators can make money:
- Sponsored campaigns and brand partnerships: Like the Whole Foods example above, Creators can secure campaigns from brands to partner on unique UGC as part of a campaign. Similarly, Creators with a social media following can add on their user-generated content as an additional line item in their social media campaign packages.
- Content licensing: Creators can sell or license their UGC to brands, production companies, or other businesses for use in ads, documentaries, commercials, or news segments. Instead of partnering with brands on the content, Creators might just sell their content directly to brands, almost like a freelance content producer creating photos, videos, imagery, or graphics for brands’ marketing purposes.
- Social media whitelisting: Creators grant brands permission to use their UGC in their own advertising campaigns, often in exchange for a licensing fee. This approach allows brands to leverage the authenticity of the Creator’s content.
- Subscriptions: Creators can offer premium or exclusive content to subscribers on platforms like Patreon. Subscribers pay a monthly fee to access this specialized content and engage more closely with the Creator.
What Is a UGC Creator: Why They’re Valuable To Brands
UGC Creators offer a treasure trove of benefits to brands seeking to enhance their online presence and connect with a wider audience.
You may be wondering, what is a UGC Creator’s most valuable asset to a brand? Here are a few reasons why UGC Creators are valuable to brands:
- Creative content and new ideas: First and foremost, it’s the content they create. UGC allows brands to tap into surprising, creative ideas that promote their products in new ways to attract different audiences. UGC helps them explore content formats that they may have never explored otherwise.
- Social media content and cost-efficiency: Small brands may not have the budget for an entire social media team. Working with UGC Creators can be a more affordable way for them to produce a range of quality social media content.
- Tapping into new audiences: Social media companies can take advantage of whitelisting to gain access to Creators social accounts to run advertisements. Even if Creators don’t have a huge following, whitelisting their content lets brands access new audiences and reach specific, niche demographics effectively.
- Authenticity: UGC content feels genuine and relatable, fostering trust among consumers.
- Helpful product reviews: Many up-and-coming businesses can gather content by simply asking Creators to post and share videos of them using their products. Their product reviews can be used to showcase the benefits of these products to a specific audience. And these reviews can also provide helpful feedback that encourage brands to improve and update their offerings.
What Is a UGC Creator’s Top Social Media Platform?
Of course, social media is not a one-size-fits-all enterprise. With a plethora of platforms available, Creators generally have a preference. If so, you may wonder if the type of outlet you use affects the UGC you share. Is one better than the rest? The answer is not necessarily; each app has its strengths, which play into the different types of UGC you share.
With this in mind, you may wonder how to make the most of your online presence. What is a UGC Creator’s role on each social media channel? Read on below as we highlight three popular platforms and how UGC will differ on each.
From TikTok to YouTube, we’ve got top tips to get ahead. You’ll be forging your path as a UGC Creator in no time.
What Is a UGC Creator on TikTok?
With over 1.677 billion users globally, it’s no wonder that brands and businesses use TikTok as a key marketing asset. But what is a UGC Creator on TikTok? And what do they do?
Well first, the app is a popular space for users to share their favorite products, life hacks, and new finds. Users love to freely share their thoughts and opinions on the app. Trends quickly go viral, and products that achieve TikTok virality often sell out. In fact, many users are already creating organic user-generated content, whether they know it or not.
TikTok essentially provides brands with free, built-in advertising, which means that TikTok is an excellent platform for UGC Creators. UGC Creators often share product demonstrations in video format, as they can easily highlight the benefits of an item and show their viewers exactly how to use it. Being a TikTok UGC Creator can increase brand awareness and drive sales for companies.
What Is a UGC Creator on Instagram?
Of course, Instagram continues to reign as a top-tier sharing platform. Specifically, the app’s answer to short-form videos, Reels, is a stand-out way to create and share socially. You may wonder, what is a UGC Creator’s preferred way to create and make money from UGC on Instagram? Well, Instagram makes it extremely easy to simply share other users’ content, giving UGC an even more authentic feel.
This authenticity helps foster beneficial partnerships between UGC Creators and brands. Through Instagram, marketing campaigns take center stage. Brands and businesses often sponsor UGC Creators, gaining valuable content for a fee. And it provides a great platform for social media whitelisting, giving brands access to Creators’ UGC content and their Instagram audience.
A great way to make your UGC more findable on Instagram is through social media hashtags. Brands often ask followers to share, promote, and review their products with a specific hashtag so they can view, track, and gather new UGC in one place. As a Creator, using these hashtags makes your UGC more discoverable to the brands you’re featuring in your posts, which can help you develop relationships that lead to more brand partnerships.
What Is a UGC Creator on YouTube?
YouTube boasts more than 2.7 billion active users as of 2023. Therefore, it’s easy to see why it can be a powerful platform for creating user-generated content. So what is a UGC Creator’s role on this prominent video platform?
Primarily, it’s to create and share product videos, like reviews, unboxing, hauls, and more. Unboxing videos are particularly popular; in fact, many people believe YouTube is where this marketing concept got its start. Viewers all over the globe tune into popular channels to get a first look at sealed packages.
YouTube also serves as a great way to learn the ins and outs of how to produce your own UGC. Many experienced Creators share insider tips and tricks for turning the role into a bona fide career path, including current market rates and techniques to ensure your content is creating an impact. This makes YouTube an ideal place to start your UGC Creator journey.
What Is a UGC Creator’s Average Earnings?
Many people look towards social media as a source of income. It may surprise you that, for many, their online presence is their full-time job. That’s right, you can get paid to create, post, and share your photos and videos with the world. When dipping a toe into the world of freelance content creation, it’s essential to know your worth. By this, we mean understanding the value of your time and content.
Now, you may wonder how to generate sustainable revenue with social media. What is a UGC Creator’s average income? Payments for UGC content can vary greatly, but estimates put the value at a few hundred dollars per piece of content.
However, this can depend on the quality of your content, usage contract with a brand, and depth of the project. Some UGC Creators charge per hour of their time, some charge per piece of content, while others charge for a bundle of content. UGC Creators, on average, charge around $212 per video, but many Creators charge much more, and some charge much less.
To receive fair compensation, do some research on current market rates. We suggest looking towards established UGC Creators on social media who share insider information on the business side of things, including average payouts, contract details, and negotiating tips.
How To Become a UGC Creator: 3 Factors To Consider
If you’re wondering how to become a UGC creator, allow us to clue you into the process. You don’t need a large following, a background in marketing, or even fancy equipment. Many UGC Creators start with only a smartphone and a favorite product they want to share. What is a UGC Creator’s path to success? The journey can look different for everyone, but there are basic factors to consider.
- Find Your Preferred Digital Medium: How will you create, capture, and share your UGC? It’s important to consider your strengths, and what types of content you can produce consistently. Can you create high-quality editorial images or in-depth reviews to share on your blog? Or, short-form video content for social media?
- Create Portfolio Samples: Create and save your favorite work and create a digital brand portfolio through a personalized website or a link-in-bio tool, like TapTo.Shop. Make sure you have a wide variety of content to show off your abilities, from photos and videos to written reviews. Showcase anything that sets you apart and makes your UGC unique. You’ll be able to share this with future prospective clients so they know the types of project they can commission you for.
- Market Yourself: Reach out to and connect with brands you view as prospective clients through email and direct messaging. Create an email template to pitch yourself, highlighting your strengths as a Creator.
Remember, it’s all about creating personal and unique content that’ll resonate with a brand’s end consumer.