10 Ways to Use UGC Campaigns for Ad Creative

March 16, 2024

Incorporating UGC into your campaigns should go without saying. It’s a crucial part of advertising in today's world and generates more than 10X the views over branded content. The reason for this is that consumers have become increasingly skeptical of traditional advertising, so brands are turning to user-generated content to connect with their audience in more genuine and compelling ways. Leveraging the creativity and authenticity of their own customers, UGC campaigns have emerged as a powerful tool for advertisers seeking to build trust, drive engagement, and, ultimately, boost sales. You might know about testimonials or maybe even hashtag challenges, but what about the rest?

In this article, we’re going to cover ten amazing ways you can easily add UGC into your campaigns and social media ads. 

Social Proof in Ads

Social proof is a potent psychological phenomenon that influences consumer behavior by leveraging the actions and opinions of others to guide decision-making. In advertising, incorporating real customer testimonials or reviews serves as a powerful form of social proof, instilling trust and credibility in potential buyers. Imagine a makeup brand looking to showcase the popularity and satisfaction of its products. Rather than relying solely on staged photo shoots or models, it can integrate authentic images of customers using its makeup alongside genuine, positive comments from those customers.

By showcasing real customers and their genuine experiences, these ads not only provide tangible evidence of the brand's quality but also foster a sense of relatability and connection with the audience. Potential buyers are more likely to trust the opinions of their peers over traditional marketing messages, making these testimonials a persuasive tool for driving purchase decisions.


Sephora has done an amazing job of understanding this concept. They have constructed a dedicated page on their website with a full-blown gallery where you can share your makeup journey and start new conversations with people alike. The consumer can see the product they’re thinking about buying on similar people to make up their mind. This not only fosters a sense of community but can boost sales and drive engagement.

Contest Entries

Want to get people involved? Start a contest! Running a contest where users submit photos or videos of themselves using your product can be a powerful marketing strategy. By doing so, you not only engage your existing customer base but also potentially attract new customers who are inspired by others' creativity and enthusiasm. This approach not only creates a sense of community but also provides authentic content that resonates with your target audience. 


GoPro, renowned for its action cameras, has masterfully employed this tactic by featuring breathtaking user-generated footage in its advertisements. These contests showcase the versatility and quality of its products in real-world scenarios. These contests not only empower users to become brand ambassadors but also create a relationship between the brand and its customers, driving brand loyalty and amplifying reach through captivating content.

Influencer Partnerships 

Influencer partnerships have become a staple in marketing strategies, offering brands access to engaged audiences and authentic content creation. By collaborating with influencers or brand ambassadors, businesses can harness the power of user-generated content (UGC) to amplify their brand messaging and gain genuine connections with consumers.

One effective approach is for brands to align themselves with influencers whose values, aesthetics, and audience demographics complement their own. For example, a clothing brand seeking to promote its products could identify influencers whose content style and audience align with their target market. By forging partnerships with these influencers, the brand gains access to a dedicated following that trusts their recommendations and values their opinions. Through these partnerships, brands can leverage influencers' creativity and authenticity to generate UGC that resonates with their audience. This content may take various forms, such as unboxing videos, product tutorials, before-and-after transformations, or sponsored posts featuring the brand's products in everyday use. By allowing influencers the creative freedom to showcase their genuine experiences with the products, brands can create content that feels organic and relatable to consumers.


Gymshark and its Partnerships Team regularly scout talent based on their content and ensure their values align with our own. They have a dedicated landing page on their website where you can apply to be a Gymshark athlete and secure your own discount code. This way, they can attract a wide variety of creators and influencers from all over the world, leaving impressions everywhere. 

Customer Stories 

The heartbeat of any successful business is customer stories, which resonate with the average consumer through authenticity and trustworthiness. By spotlighting compelling narratives and experiences shared by our customers in our advertisements, we not only showcase the real-life impact of our products or services but also establish a genuine connection with our audience. These stories breathe life into our brand, illustrating how our offerings have positively influenced individuals' lives, solved their problems, or fulfilled their needs. 


Airbnb has a dedicated spot for each listing where customers can share their experiences and stories, as well as share photos! This is crucial, especially when it comes to real-life experiences and travelling, rather than just a clothing product. You’d hate to drive out to your weekend getaway just to find out the house never existed. This is why people, on average, not only look at one or two reviews but also browse around six or more reviews before booking their dream getaway. This comes not only from written testimonials on the website but also through their popular hashtag (#LiveThere).

Product Demonstrations 

Product demonstrations are invaluable tools for companies seeking to showcase their products' versatility and ingenuity. By encouraging users to share videos demonstrating their usage, a company can tap into a wealth of creativity and innovation within its user base. This approach not only fosters a sense of community among users but also provides authentic testimonials and showcases real-world applications of the product.


LEGO, for instance, has mastered the art of leveraging user-generated content to highlight the endless possibilities of its building sets. Through stop-motion animations created by enthusiasts, LEGO not only demonstrates the versatility of its products but also inspires others to explore their creativity. These animations often showcase unique and unexpected ways of using LEGO bricks, ranging from elaborate storytelling to intricate designs, captivating audiences of all ages.

By following LEGO's example, companies can empower their customers to become brand ambassadors, fostering a sense of ownership and loyalty. Moreover, user-generated content provides a dynamic and engaging way to connect with potential customers, as it offers a glimpse into the real-life experiences of existing users. This approach not only strengthens brand identity but also encourages a culture of creativity and innovation within the user community.

Before and After Testimonials 

Before-and-after transformations serve as compelling testimonials for products that deliver noticeable results, particularly prevalent in industries such as fitness and beauty. Brands like Weight Watchers and skincare companies leverage this strategy effectively by showcasing real-life success stories through customer-submitted photos. These transformations not only demonstrate the product's effectiveness but also establish trust and credibility with potential customers. By visually illustrating the tangible changes achieved, before-and-after photos serve as powerful marketing tools, inspiring others to embark on their own journey towards improvement and transformation.


Differn understood the assignment when it comes to before-and-after testimonials. By getting real creators and Influencers to promote their brand, they’re able to showcase their product and how it works on real people. This works great because it shows the person in a real setting, at home in their bathroom, wearing their favorite comfy sweats. Making the video not only relatable but informative as well is a home run. This can make social media ads not feel like one. 

User-Generated Reviews

User-generated reviews offer a treasure trove of authentic feedback and sentiments that can be leveraged to create compelling advertising content. By incorporating snippets of these reviews into ad creative, businesses can establish credibility, evoke trust, and resonate with potential customers on a deeper level.


One powerful example of this strategy comes from TripAdvisor, a platform renowned for its extensive collection of user-generated reviews. They have everything from hotels and restaurants to overall full-day adventures. With such a wide variety of things to offer, you need good user-generated comments. In these ads, carefully selected quotes from user reviews serve as testimonials, highlighting the unique aspects of various destinations, accommodations, or experiences. Paired with captivating visuals such as breathtaking landscapes, luxurious accommodations, or exhilarating activities, these quotes come to life, painting a vivid picture of the potential adventures awaiting the viewer.

Overall, the integration of user-generated reviews into ad creative represents a potent marketing strategy that taps into the authentic voices of satisfied customers, effectively showcasing the value proposition of a product or service while fostering trust and connection with the audience.

User-Curated Collections

User-curated collections offer a personalized touch to marketing strategies, inviting customers to curate collections of their preferred products or experiences. By tapping into their individual tastes and preferences, this approach not only fosters a sense of community but also amplifies the authenticity of the brand's offerings. These curated collections, showcased in advertisements, serve as powerful endorsements, reflecting the diverse perspectives and passions of the customers themselves. By empowering users to become active participants in the curation process, brands can establish deeper connections with their audience, ultimately leading to increased engagement and loyalty.


Platforms like Pinterest have successfully integrated user-curated boards into their advertising strategy, showcasing diverse and personalized collections that resonate with their user base. By featuring these collections in ads, businesses can leverage the power of social proof and peer recommendations to drive engagement and sales, ultimately fostering stronger connections with their audience.

Interactive Campaigns 

Interactive advertising experiences have become increasingly popular, offering brands the opportunity to connect with consumers in novel and engaging ways. 

Coca Cola

One exemplary instance of this is Coca-Cola's campaign that ingeniously merged user-generated content (UGC) with interactive elements. In this campaign, “Share a Coke,” Coca-Cola empowered users to craft personalized bottles adorned with their names, transforming a simple product into a canvas for self-expression. By leveraging this interactive feature, consumers were not merely passive recipients of advertising messages but active participants in the brand's narrative. This engagement was further amplified as users eagerly shared their customized bottle photos across various social media platforms, effectively turning consumers into brand ambassadors.

What distinguished Coca-Cola's campaign was its ability to seamlessly integrate user-generated content with interactive elements, fostering a sense of ownership and connection among consumers. By enabling individuals to personalize their bottles and share their creations online, Coca-Cola tapped into the innate desire for self-expression and social validation. Moreover, the campaign transcended traditional advertising boundaries by transforming each user into a co-creator of the brand's story, thereby fostering a deeper emotional connection and brand loyalty. Through this innovative approach, Coca-Cola not only showcased its product but also facilitated meaningful interactions that resonated with consumers on a personal level, underscoring the power of interactive experiences in modern advertising.

Community Spotlights

Community spotlights are a powerful strategy for brands to engage with their audience and foster a sense of belonging within their community. By showcasing the accomplishments and creations of active members, brands like GoDaddy can not only celebrate their customers but also inspire others to join and participate in the community.


When GoDaddy features websites created by its customers in its advertising campaigns, it's doing more than just promoting those individual websites. It's highlighting the creativity, innovation, and entrepreneurial spirit of its customers. This not only serves as a form of recognition for the website owners but also as a testament to the effectiveness of GoDaddy's services in enabling individuals to bring their ideas to life online.

From a marketing perspective, featuring customer-created content in advertising campaigns can also be highly effective. It adds authenticity and credibility to the brand's messaging, as it demonstrates real-world examples of the brand's products or services in action. Potential customers are more likely to be persuaded by the success stories of their peers than by traditional advertising alone.

What one are you picking first?

By integrating UGC into ad strategies, you can leverage authentic user experiences to create compelling narratives that resonate deeply with your audience. Whether it's Airbnb's #LiveThere campaign, which encapsulated the essence of travel experiences through user-generated photos and stories, or GoPro's #PhotoOfTheDay initiative, which empowered users to showcase their adventures with GoPro products, these case studies underscore the power of authentic content in driving brand affinity and consumer loyalty.

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