user generated content, content, digital marketing, content creation, content marketing

What if we said there’s an army of people out there promoting your brand for free. Are you aware of them? Do you know how they’re making their friends and fellow online users aware of you and what you do? Are you aware of the fact that in the most part they are sharing your ‘best bits’ and painting you in an extremely positive light?!

These people are out there, and they’re helping you for free!


User Generated Content is defined as any type of content that has been created and put out there by unpaid contributors or, using a better term, fans. It can refer to pictures, videos, testimonials, tweets, blog posts, and everything in between and is the act of users promoting a brand rather than the brand itself.

Let’s say you sell ladies shoes. You aim your products at fashionable, trendy and stylish females in their 20s & 30s. You’re all over social – quality images, videos and web links on Facebook, chatting to customers on Twitter, and sharing ‘shoe porn’ on Instagram. You even have fashion influencers wearing your shoes and sharing on their social, and you ran a competition for a free pair on Facebook that reached 50,000 people and had 2000 comments. Brilliant work.

But what about all those customers that have come into your store, or bought shoes on your website. You know something, they LOVE their shoes. And probably took a photo of them and shared on their personal social media. Imagine the bank of content out there directly promoting your shoes that you’re not even aware of. Have you searched your brand or product hashtags on Instagram or Twitter? Are you currently enticing customers to take photos of your product and to use a certain hashtag or handle?

Your fans are promoting your product for you – you just need to go find it!

Friends influence each other, and user generated content is authentic and from the ‘real world’. The beauty of UGC is that the users run the show, while you as a marketer don’t have to empty your pockets on campaigns that may or may not perform well.


Ever bought something because of a recommendation from a friend – or perhaps you were envious of someone else’s purchase! So in effect, we’ve been buying into UGC content forever, but there are now media platforms to make it more accessible across the globe.

Fact: 92% of people are more likely to trust a recommendation from another person over branded content.

One of our favourite examples of this on a super large scale was Coca Cola’s recent ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. It went mega viral all over the world with bottles named after people in every different destination. To keep momentum going, customers were asked to share pictures of themselves enjoying a drink with their personalized coke bottle on social media. The result? Coca Cola’s customers stepped into the role of advertiser. These images dominated social media for months. An incredible amount of ‘free ads’ generated by customers (users).


Another local example comes from Lyons Tea who last year ran a social campaign (with some backing from regional radio) called ‘Lyons Self Tea’. The mechanic was simple. Take a selfie using your phone enjoying a cup of tea, and attach the hashtag #LyonsSelfTea.

By doing so, you were in a draw for a one4All voucher. Lyons saw a massive reaction to this. Why? Because it was simple. It was easy to enter. You didn’t need a flashy camera to take your pic. Most people love a good selfie, and EVERYONE loves a good cup of tea. Lyons Tea were in social news feeds across Ireland for weeks – and their competitors were not. For a very little outlay, they amassed huge amounts of user generated content.

Drop us a line today to talk about this – and your overall social media strategy – in more detail today! Or why not pop into us at 4, Careys Lane in the heart of Cork…. the tea is free! Barrys of course……. or we can share a coke?