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How to Use UGC Video in Your Social Strategy

Danielle Lapierre
June 11, 2021
Last Updated On
August 18, 2022
female model getting photographed

User-generated content (UGC) has become a human element in an increasingly digital shopping experience. We’ve seen time and time again how lifestyle and creator-type content can also drive ad performance, and entices scrollers to click. This paired with the algorithmic-advantages to creating short-form video on channels like Instagram and TikTok, makes UGC videos a way for brands to harness the power of UGC and short-form video. In this blog, we’ll cover 5 ways to level up your social strategy with UGC video.

Sourcing UGC Video

1. Start a challenge on TikTok
One of the best ways to develop a TikTok community is by creating a challenge, with the hook factor being either a sound, a hashtag, or both. By starting a TikTok challenge—in particular one which highlights your products—you can build a bank of UGC video which can then be shared across channels. Chipotle has done this with their #ChipotleLidFlip challenge, where they encourage viewers to flip the lid of their burrito bowl.


Haters will say it’s fake 😂 Who flipped the lid better? Me or @paul #ChipotleLidFlip @chipotle

♬ Flip - Future

2. Share organic UGC on your feed
For brands who have a strong community, keeping a pulse on content being created about your brand and sharing it on your feed can be a great way to build authenticity into your strategy. Creating a strong prompt or call-to-action in video is a great way to start the conversation, and viewers can either stitch the media or create their own. Explicitly asking for UGC video in calls-to-action in your brand’s profile details, onsite galleries, and email footers, ensures that your audience won’t default to static content when creating. Offering a prize or reward for creating content in a challenge can be an effective way to spark participation and garner more engagement.

ASOS Instagram video of UGC make-up

Selecting UGC Video

3. Ensure that video fits your brand ethos
While it may seem obvious, for viewers to perceive short-form video as authentic it must fit with your brand voice and ethos. The most compelling content is often that which feels unscripted, less curated, and more real. UGC can be used by luxury brands as well; Vogue has done a fantastic job of managing the balance between being authentic and approachable, while staying on brand with their sound MakeItVogue DIY bustle. They’ve since shared several of the TikToks, some of which have amassed millions of views.


If Marilyn Monroe lived in the 19th century but #MakeItVogue! @jasminechiswell

♬ MakeItVogue DIY bustle - Vogue

Dash Hudson customers use Vision for Video, which analyzes the visual elements of a brand’s content to make real-time recommendations on which photos and videos will drive the highest engagement with its unique audience. This allows marketing teams to immediately narrow the scope of videos to choose from, so more time can be spent selecting the right video to regram. Even if you’re testing a new style of video on your feed, you can be confident that the video will resonate with your audience.

Leveraging UGC Video Across Channels and Mediums

4. Share Across Mediums
UGC video can also be leveraged on many of the surfaces where brands currently use static imagery. On-site galleries are another great location to utilize video (learn more about leveraging social media onsite here). In comparison to static content, video provides additional content and tends to be highly engaging, making it a perfect candidate for on-site and email gallery creative. Closely monitor engagement levels and click-through rates to see what’s driving the most engagement.

Don’t be afraid to share a Reel on Stories, or showcase TikTok and Reels on-site. Like any social media technique or medium, the only way to see what performs best for your brand is to test. However, if a technique or video style on one channel has great results, that doesn’t mean that the same will hold true across the board. It’s also crucial to have campaign reporting in place to monitor engagement and conversions, to optimize when you find sweet spots and to also stop doing what doesn’t work. Dash Hudson customers do this using our suite of analytics and e-commerce tools—like Spirit Galleries, which enable brands to host TikToks and Reels on-site, while tracking clicks.

5. Leverage UGC Video Across Marketing Functions
While UGC video may logically be owned by the social team, failing to create a holistic UGC strategy that encompasses paid, e-commerce, and influencer efforts is a missed opportunity. UGC is a fantastic way to source new paid partnerships, as those who are already talking about your brand are likely to have a similar audience—a recipe for influencer ROI. After building a relationship with the creator, it may make sense to bring them on as a paid influencer. They could then kick off a trend, and the resulting content could be shared across paid channels. Take Popsockets for example. Their feed is made up almost entirely of influencer content, much of which is shared on paid surfaces.


When you look good 💅 #flexit @the.navarose Shop PopGrips from our new @tiktok #collaboration

♬ original sound - PopSockets

UGC video is a fantastic way to combine the authenticity and approachability of UGC and the contextual richness of short-form video. When integrating UGC video into strategy, brands should be mindful of their brand voice. Crafting a holistic digital strategy with UGC video will by far yield the best results. Brand should explore all avenues—whether it’s testing multiple channels, video styles, sourcing methods, and calls to action, or experimenting with distribution like paid advertising and influencer partnerships. Like any new facet of social media, brands should go forward with a testing-first mindset, and be ready to try new tactics and pivot if they aren’t seeing the desired results.

Test Smarter, with Vision for Video

In Q1 of 2021, Dash Hudson released Vision for Video. Vision for Video takes our AI-backed content performance prediction tool, and expands it to include video. See how videos will perform before you post them, or get hours back in your day by filtering to only see top performers. See which thumbnail will get the most video views, and search for similar videos in the Library.

Want to learn more about how Vision for Video can help improve your video performance? Request a demo below!

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