Content Contributors & UGC - authenticity in action!

Did you know that 85% of users are more influenced by user-generated content than the content made by the brands themselves? People trust people, meaning word of mouth and creator recommendations go a lot further than an ad ever could. But how do you do it?


4/13/20223 min read

"Content Contributors" are authentic, influencers aren't!

I’m not a big fan of "influencers", as I think they come across as fake, and lack authenticity. You know they’re only promoting a product because they’re being paid or receiving a discount code. Do they actually buy and use the product?

I am a huge fan of “Content Contributors” - real people who actually buy, love and use your product. Those real people who like sharing photos using your products on their social channels. That’s authenticity in action.

brown wooden blocks with number 6
brown wooden blocks with number 6

Content Contributors go a lot further

Content Contributors create authentic user-generated content ("UGC"), as they love showing off their products on social media - talking about or sharing images/reels, and tagging your brand.

If these Content Contributors share great content, then this can become really powerful for the brand featured. A key benefit of UGC is that people trust people, meaning word of mouth and Content Contributors' recommendations go a lot further than an ad ever would.

man riding bicycle on road during daytime
man riding bicycle on road during daytime

UGC impacts purchase decisions

By combining Content Contributors with user-generated content, you can build a community of customers, who feel connected to your brand as they love being highlighted and shared by your brand. If you create brand champions organically, they’ll share more UGC, actively support your content and help spread the word. You then get a snowball effect, as the more you share UGC, the more people will create, and other customers will want a slice of the fame and start creating content.

According to Stackla, 79% of people say UGC impacts their purchasing decisions; and AdWeek stated that 85% of users are more influenced by UGC than the content made by the brands themselves.

gray and blue Open signage
gray and blue Open signage

How to get started

Start listening, track and follow your hashtags, brand name, product names and tagged images. Save the content and identify who the key content contributors are, what content they create and what sort of reach and engagement they have. Start liking their posts, adding comments and sharing good quality posts on your stories - content contributors love that. By sharing on your Instagram stories you can also protect your brand, look and feel and product narrative on your main Instagram page.

Develop your own campaigns. Create a hashtag for a campaign that content contributors can use in their posts. content contributors and fans love to tag their favourite brands in their posts, so using a campaign hashtag provides encouragement and focus, to maximise your reach and engagement.

Cultivate content by working with content contributors and fans. Entice them to create the content and collaborate with them. Sometimes it’s the little things that work - free shipping and/or a discount on your next order. It’s also good to share your brand guidelines or content tips with them as well.

person on skateboard
person on skateboard

The best example, by Café du Cycliste

Café du Cycliste, based in Nice, have really nailed how to do content contributors and UGC. They also try to do something different, by living real experiences with each contributor.

I was approached by their Head of Content 12-months ago to write for their online magazine, La Gazette - Coins Cachés Cambridge. That was such a fun project, and most of this content is UGC.

They’ve also created their own #Cafeducycliste community, featuring real customers’ Instagram photos, enticing fans to join their global community by sharing their rides, adventures and discoveries.

They’ve created the Caravan, which is a really clever way of harnessing the power of inspirational athletes and real experiences. These are a group of like-minded people who love adventure, from different places and backgrounds, but who all share a passion for cycling.

#WHATISGRAVEL - an inspirational user-generated-content based campaign, that entices content contributors and fans to get involved in sharing adventures using the hashtag, with the chance of winning a full gravel kit each month.