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December 7, 2022

How to get your customers advertising for you with UGC

Just now, equipped with a phone and a few fancy thumb moves I have suddenly absorbed in a mere 20 seconds, content that includes burgers, skis, sneakers, lawn mowers and a ‘wearable turtle cushion’?

People will post almost anything to social media, and yes, sometimes that creates a pot of gold for brands and marketers. This article serves as a friendly reminder of the value of that behaviour, also known as user generated content (UGC). 

UGC is any kind of content someone publishes about your brand. Think blogs, videos, online reviews or photos posted to social media. Social media posts are particularly valuable to a brand. Consumers scroll through the content posted by the people they follow – and their endorsements are more likely to be believed and trusted. In fact, UGC is rated as the most authentic kind of content, with 92% of people trusting their family and friends’ recommendations over any other kind of advertising (plus it’s free for your brand). 

Whilst the platforms we post to may be evolving – from online reviews and testimonials, to photos on Instagram or videos on TikTok, human behaviour around why UGC works has pretty much stayed the same. It provides an endorsement for your brand, and gives others a reason to follow suit.  

Here at AFFINITY, one of our favourite case studies (even after almost 10 years) involved developing a strategy around UGC. Wanting to drive donations to the Salvos, we needed to do something that would resonate with our target audience. The insight? People love posting photos when they’re out to eat. ‘Donate the cost of your lunch’ was the big idea, with people posting a photo of their meal that matched the amount they’d donated. Seeing food and donations throughout their feed encouraged more and more people to join in (after all, who doesn’t love looking like a good person?). 

A simple idea ended up generating: 

  • Over $350,000 of free media (4x the paid media budget) 
  • A reach of 1.3 million people over social media 
  • A 12% increase on donations year on year 

You can see how powerful UGC can be, so how can you create incentive to get your customers to create UGC for you? 

  • Create excitement around your brand. Coke’s Share A Coke Campaign encouraged people to rush out to buy a bottle with their name, with many posting a photo of it). 
  • Create a competition with a hashtag for people to get involved with. National Geographic encouraged photographers of any ability to post photos of their travels along with the hashtag #WonderlustContest, with a trip to Yosemite up for grabs. 
  • Get people thinking creatively! Give them a brief and let them get to work. Lays asked people to come up with a new chip flavour, name and packet design, with people having to post their idea to social media to enter. 
    If you liked the sound of our Salvos campaign, and want to know how we can help get your customers talking, posting and creating cool stuff with your brand, reach out to AFFINITY’s Chief Brand Officer Angela at 


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