A guide to incorporating ugc into your digital marketing strategy

User-generated content

CheckoutSmart blog

13 Oct 2020

You probably knew already that user generated content could be valuable to your CPG brand. But did you realize how valuable?

In fact, 90% of US shoppers rank content produced by ‘real life’ people as the go-to source of information on buying decisions. There’s more good news: if a product is paired with user generated content, consumers are willing to pay more (81%) and wait longer (81%) for it. 

It’s authentic, it’s cost effective, and it actually works. These days, for it to succeed, you can’t afford not to incorporate user-generated content (UGC) into your digital marketing strategy. 

But what does user generated content actually consist of in the CPG context? How do you target your efforts for maximum results? Here are our digital strategy tips and tools for putting it to work. 

What is user generated content content for CPG brands? 

User generated content is precisely what it describes: any content relating to your brand or product that’s produced by your customers or followers. 

You can prompt users to generate it. It even counts as user generated content if you incentivize them to some degree (through discounts or competitions, for instance). However, if you financially reward users for their content, it’s categorized as paid advertising. Tip: if you try and pass off paid content as UGC, it can seriously undermine trust in your brand if (and when) you get found out. 

What types of user generated content should you focus on for CPG? 

As with all marketing, it’s a case of focusing on the channels your customers actually use, along with the type of content that’s most likely to resonate with them. So do your market research, and build your decisions around this. 

Broadly, there are two main content categories to focus on:

Social media. Examples include images of your product from Instagram, review videos uploaded to YouTube, or even a recipe idea posted to a Facebook group. Your research should tell you which channels to focus on. For instance if your target buyer for a particular grocery line is a 55-year old and you’re concentrating all your efforts on Instagram, just bear in mind that less than 25% of people in this demographic actually use it, compared to 68% for Facebook.

Reviews. This is undoubtedly THE most valuable form of user generated content across all demographics and products. In fact, 85% of consumers trust online reviews as much as recommendations from their friends. The moral? Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter, YouTube, Facebook and the likes will give your brand a boost, but user generated content in the form of product reviews is much more likely to give you a bedrock for hitting target. 

70% of online supermarket shoppers report ratings & reviews as the most important source of influence for grocery shopping, 3.5x the next one Friends & Family.

- CheckoutSmart research (3,710 online grocery shoppers)

review image-1

Strategy tips for driving and integrating user generated content

Set up a hashtag 

Make sure to create a unique hashtag for your brand for use across all social media channels. Alternatively, if your campaign is focused on a particular product, go for an easily memorable hashtag around that product. It means your brand will be able to consolidate and track all photos and videos under one group. 

Adapt your packaging 

Have a section on the wrapping, or else add an insert prompting users to post a certain type of content using your hashtag. Prompt your buyers to leave a review, and to connect with your brand on social media. 

Respond and interact 

Set up social media alerts so you’re aware of user generated content once it goes live. A follower has taken the time to post an image on social media featuring your product, so make sure you respond. Also, generic acknowledgements add little value. What do you love about the content and why? Try and respond in context. The 'fresher' your response, the more likes and shares it is likely to generate.

Drive engagement

Who has the best seasonal meal idea featuring your product? Who has the most original use for it? With these types of suggestions, you can encourage engagement by giving user generated content posters something to focus on. You might even consider offering a free shipment or money off their next order for your favourite submissions.  

Re-use user generated content

One of the best ways of doing this is to feature the most eye-catching social media posts and informative review snippets direct on your product pages. 

Get your user generated content strategy off to the right start 

Perfect for groceries and other CPG lines, CheckoutSmart can deliver a guaranteed number of reviews for any product of your choice. As well as being included in your general reviews section, text snippets from this feedback is great for using elsewhere, including product pages and your brand's social media platform. To encourage greater participation, it gives your user generated content campaign precisely the boost it needs. Find out more today.




Lovely and tasty with a good balance of flavours that’s brewed to perfection. Overall a good, crisp and refreshing drink that can be enjoyed anytime.


Premier Foods

Bought these for the first time and they were very delicious, would recommend for quick light lunch, try adding a bit of seared beef, perfect

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