Understanding and Using UGC Video

CIPIO.ai—a leading authority on user-generated content (UGC) and a one-stop shop for creation and promotion—divulges how best to utilize UGC videos within your broader marketing strategy.

As a society, our video preferences and consumption habits have evolved significantly since the invention of the Cinématographe in 1895. The most recent leap in the evolution of entertainment? Movie theater attendance increasingly slumps while YouTube and social media videos continue their meteoric rise. In fact, Google reports that 39% of consumers are watching more creator-produced content than they were a year ago, compared to 22% watching more studio-produced content across devices and services.


This marks a departure from high-budget blockbusters and celebrity-driven narratives, with a growing fascination for storytelling from everyday individuals. There has never been a better moment for companies to respond to consumers’ demand for genuine, relatable content by embracing UGC videos.

What is a UGC Video Anyway?

For those only casually acquainted with UGC videos, the term might evoke memories of pixelated shots, subpar audio quality, and shaky camera work. Those days of UGC are long behind us, as technological advancements have empowered new creators to reach higher levels using readily accessible and affordable equipment. The results can be polished and immersive while also breaking free from the need for big budgets and commercial production shoots.

Why is User Generated Content So Important?

Insomnia Cookies isn’t the only brand working with UGC creators; Google reports that nearly half of advertisers consistently allocate budgets toward creator content marketing, and 44% plan to increase investment in creator content in 2024. 


Better still, the shift resonates with target audiences. Google’s research revealed that, when comparing creator-driven content versus studio-produced content, viewers were more likely to agree that UGC appealed to their personal interests, featured a topic that personally interests them, and was highly engaging. What’s more, Tintup identifies that consumers rank authentic UGC as the most trustworthy content.

The key takeaway for marketers is that if you haven’t yet embraced user-generated content, the moment to begin is now. Those already incorporating UGC into their web presence should consider how to improve and amplify their strategies to help their messaging stand out as the field becomes increasingly competitive.

Five UGC Video Examples For Marketing Strategies

UGC in customer experience testimonials

Yes, Cindy Crawford drinking a Pepsi changed the pop culture landscape forever, but what’s even more impactful for your potential customers? Hearing positive messages from relatable users. Take, for example, the video below from Stitch Fix, a clothing subscription service. As viewers, we see firsthand how ordinary people like the reviewer can look good and feel confident in the clothes she received, and the lack of stage lighting and heavy production amplifies the overall authenticity.

Depending on the nature of your products or services, remember that visuals can sometimes be more powerful than any spoken word. Take, for example, the below UGC from Hello Fresh; instead of telling us how delicious and easy mealtime is, they let the montage and music convey this message, instead.

Unboxing videos

Unboxing videos let viewers experience the thrill and anticipation of beholding a new product from start to finish, all without being physically present. Moreover, the increased content length and minimal use of video “cuts” and staging make these UGC videos feel arguably the most authentic.

Product reviews

As a consumer, you’re undoubtedly aware that trying out a new product stirs up a mix of hope and skepticism. Will this really do what it promises? UGC product reviews are a wonderful tactic for granting reassurances from real users and providing greater transparency into the results, helping to address viewers’ reservations and tip the scale toward optimism. 

How much should you coach the users on what to say or help them with production? Whatever decision you make has pros and cons. The below example from Cetaphil has an articulate, experienced user create a well-lit video that does a superb job of showing the product in action. 

However, on one of their Amazon pages, Cetaphil features a number of product reviews shot with lesser equipment and scripting. The result feels less staged and down-to-earth, potentially making their positive reviews feel more genuine. 

Helpful tips featuring your products

Who doesn’t like hearing advice from a good friend? This type of UGC differs from the others because your products and services aren’t the stars, but rather serve as supporting (but important) players. Take, for example, the example below from REI—a knowledgeable user provides problem-solving insights into how to lube your bike chain, intermingling references to REI products with other advice. 

UGC for testimonials and reviews

Consumers approach ad copy and promotional materials with a healthy dose of suspicion. After all, everyone claims to be the best at what they do, but only a handful of brands can deliver on that promise. Utilizing UGC testimonials and reviews spotlights the perspectives of real customers, a source that prospects inherently trust more. Let your biggest fans sell on your behalf through the undeniable power of social proof. 


UGC in social media 

The guide 24 Ways To Use Video Content For Your Brand frequently touches upon social media, and for good reason: UGC for social video content consistently performs well across various channels. In turn, marketers and creators alike are finding increasingly creative ways to shape user generated content for organic social efforts. 


UGC Video Ads

The only downside to organic search and social media strategies is that not every UGC video you craft will receive the eyeballs you think it deserves. Paid ads expand your content’s reach within mere hours of launching a campaign. Moreover, marketers have a surprising range of sites on which to promote their UGC video ads, from social media channels to YouTube, and to other sites that participate in ad networks. To see how video can galvanize your marketing, CIPIO offers the opportunity to get free UGC ads


To learn how to amplify your UGC campaigns using CIPIO.ai, view our Video Content Strategy Utilization use case


Differentiating UGC Videos from Influencer Videos


Now that we’ve established what UGC videos are, it’s important to underscore what they are not, namely influencer videos. Though they share many similarities—mainly that the style of content is generally made with less production—don’t make the mistake of thinking they’re interchangeable. 


The defining difference lies in where the focus is directed: 

  1. The highest value from UGC is that you put a spotlight on the storytelling and content, and the creator is more like an actor in the video
  2. The highest value from an Influencer is the the creator’s audience, where the content is more of a secondary value with a shelf-life

Why Use a UGC Content Creator?


The power of user generated content lies in the fact that there are tons of amazing creators that aren’t wannabe rockstars or runway models; rather, they are everyday people to whom audiences can identify. This relatability increases the authenticity of the messaging while also making it easier for viewers to imagine themselves using your products and receiving similar results. 


Another advantage of using UGC videos is that individuals don’t need millions of social media followers to possess a keen visual eye and creative streak. With platforms like CIPIO.ai, it’s easy to collaborate with talented creators who generate captivating content that you own perpetually, without an inflated price tag or usage limits.


Why Use an Influencer?


The primary reason to work with an influencer is that the individual has a built-in following, amplifying the initial reach of your video content. What’s more, influencers have painstakingly crafted a persona that can influence viewers’ perception of your brand. For example, if a creator who established himself as a sustainable living guru promotes your eco-friendly wrapping paper, his authority in the space may further reinforce your messaging as social proof. 


However, influencers will ask for much steeper prices than most UGC video creators, and will typically limit how the video can be promoted. Plus, influencers often insist that brands sacrifice significant creative control, meaning that there’s less guarantee that the output will be, well, useful. In short, when you partner with an influencer, you are trading control and ownership of the content for access to their audience and social platforms. 


The final consideration when assessing influencer videos can be seen as both an upside and downside: the influencer is the star. Cross your fingers that they don’t become embroiled in scandal in the near future, suddenly turning your partnership toxic! 

Summarizing the Benefits of User Generated Content Videos

Benefit of UGC


Cost-effective compared to other video types

Traditional video production and influencer contracts can cost thousands, limiting the amount of content your budget covers. With CIPIO.ai, you get more for less, increasing your chances of finding winning creatives

Elevated authenticity of content adds social proof

Prospective customers are more likely to trust the genuine opinions of people to whom they can relate rather than celebrities or spokespeople

UGC content creators are easier to work with

While many influencers limit a company’s usage rights and creative input, UGC content from CIPIO.ai grants full ownership rights to brands in perpetuity and without need for creative approvals. 

Today’s software makes editing and refining videos accessible to everyone

Creators can infuse finesse and excitement into your brand’s story without requiring access to exclusive or complex technology, unlocking a wealth of creativity

Where do I get UGC video content?

There are numerous avenues to acquire user-generated content, starting with reaching out directly to creators on social platforms, a process that can be time-consuming and not realistically scalable. 

Secondly, brands can collaborate with agencies, which can be quite costly as the agencies will charge for the labor they put forth scouting for talent and guiding the content creation. 

Thirdly, platforms like CIPIO.ai can act as the bridge between brands and creators and help streamline the operational elements of the collaboration, presenting a scalable solution for getting UGC videos.

CIPIO.ai is more than a User Generated Content Creator Platform

CIPIO.ai is the end-to-end UGC platform you need to catapult your video marketing to the next level. We pair your company with compatible creators who will breathe life into your video strategies, all without breaking the bank. Better still, we even provide the project management tools and resources to shape and execute your marketing campaigns! 

We’re your all-in-one solution for optimizing your video content’s reach and impact. Whether it’s transforming your current videos into top-performing ads or discovering your next UGC superstar, CIPIO.ai is dedicated to maximizing the effectiveness of your video content for UGC and beyond.

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