User-generated Content

How User-Generated Content Conveys Brand Authenticity


  • The pandemic accelerated content consumption trends as consumers consumed more short-form video content on social media 
  • Brands that want to connect with their target audience need to build trust through authenticity, which can be achieved by incorporating user-generated content 
  • User-generated content outperforms most other media formats, but the trickiest part is sourcing the most relevant content 

Consumption habits of consumers shifted in the last two years. While these trends were well on the rise before the pandemic, the circumstances of the lockdowns poured fuel on the fire. As a result, people heavily leaned on digital content, especially short-form video content on social media. As 16th edition of Deloitte’s Digital Media Trends notes, social media consumption spiked, as did the consumption of user-generated content (UGC).

Roughly half of US respondents said they consume more UGC than six months ago. The key drivers of this trend include:

  • Content is snackable and easy to consume
  • Content is highly relevant to what the users are interested in
  • It can be consumed anywhere, anytime

To meet this trend head on, marketers have shifted to using more UGC in their campaigns. They uncovered that off-the-cuff, user-generated types of content performed better than most types of media. This largely stems from how more relatable the content is to consumers, fulfilling a key driver that people rely on to determine what brands they want to support—trust. 

How to build trust with consumers  

According to last year’s Edelman Trust Barometer, nearly 90% of consumers surveyed said trust was critical when deciding which brands to support. Building trust starts with casual and informal framing, consistent with what most users are accustomed to on social media.  Relevance, ease of consumption and authenticity again are the main drivers of consumer retention and interest. 

However, achieving authenticity is easier said than done. But success in this age largely depends on it, with 88% of customers valuing brand authenticity. 62% revealed that they are more likely to click on content that features customer generated content rather than an image created by the brand. As such, UGC is a critical piece in humanizing your message and genuinely relating to people.

User-generated Content Outperforms other Content Types

Traditional or brand content is any type of content produced in-house with a marketing team or in collaboration with an outside agency. It’s the type of content that we are most acquainted with when a brand markets to us. But with attention spans reaching an all-time low to a mere eight seconds, brands need to connect with the consumer and get out faster than ever before.

Utilizing UGC in your marketing can help level the playing field, providing a 91% lift in conversions. With that being said, results aren’t guaranteed.  How you align customer interests and how you target  with the right content will impact performance. 

To ensure you start with your best foot forward, start with the following questions:

UGC Project Starter

Example: Ride share company

Sourcing the best content to meet your goals

Finding the best user-generated content for the campaign you want to craft is the most challenging piece of the puzzle. There are libraries that you can pay to gain access to in a self-serve fashion, but without knowing what’s in the archive, you can spend a lot of time sifting through content, particularly some that may have questionable clearances.

Working with a professional licensing team who sifts through user-generated archives daily accelerates the process exponentially. As a result, they can narrow the search and surface only the most relevant and impactful content for your specific use case. With artificial intelligence, the speed at searching and finding what you need only becomes that much faster. Veritone Content Licensing leverages over a decade of experience in the licensing business to help you find what you need for your campaign. Leveraging AI-powered content archive tools, they can surgically extract the best content from user-generated archives, including Brave Bison, Collab, and more. Reach out today and let us help you bring your next project to life.

Discover your Brand's Authentic Self