You may or may not have noticed a post or two containing the hashtag #UGCcreator on social media these days.

The practice has well and truly blown up over the past few years. Thanks to the astronomical rise of TikTok and the like, brands and content creators have undergone something of a transformation in their relationships as a result.

There was a time when brands could rely on a stream (or, in some cases, a trickle) of UGC from actual customers for nothing, but these days, the demand for quality content is far higher. That’s why the user-generated content creator has become a fully-fledged career choice in itself.

So, what does it involve? UGC creators craft content that is paid for by a partner brand and designed to look genuine and organic on their branded social feeds. This gives the brand an extra stream of photos and videos for marketing, but with a slicker look and feel than the UGC of old—something more akin to the content you might see on an influencer’s feed.

Whether you’re a brand in need of top-notch content or a creative in need of an outlet that’ll help you earn a living, you’ve come to the right place. Let’s take a look at what user-generated content means and how it can be mutually beneficial if you hit that nail on the proverbial head.

Why Is User-Generated Content Important?

UGC can be a really effective way of demonstrating the impact that a product or service has on people’s lives. By highlighting emotional connections with customers, whether they’re macro, micro or nano influencers or everyday social media users, brands can make themselves more culturally relevant and appealing to the would-be customers of tomorrow.

The content technique is also what helps creators make names for themselves as trustworthy and engaging storytellers for brands. You don’t have to become a multi-million-follower influencer to create influential and impactful content—you simply need the knack of turning a product or service into a sticky story for a brand’s audience.

Ultimately, user-generated content is becoming insanely important for brands that can’t live without TikTok and Instagram. The algorithms prefer personality- and lifestyle-driven content over heavily branded content and—shock horror—so do people, so there’s been a noticeable shift towards UGC on the platforms in recent years.

User-Generated Content vs Brand-Generated Content

Of course, that’s not to say that UGC has taken over and the days of brand-made content are done. For the right brands, there’s a rightful spot for both in a diverse content marketing strategy because they perform different roles. 

Brand-generated content is typically anything created by an internal team to promote a product or service and send traffic to a website or social shops. It’s a way of keeping control of the narrative and branding in any consumer-facing content, whether it’s in photos, graphics, videos, blogs or something else.

User-generated content gives brands an alternative route to promoting their products with more real-world relatability. It still takes the form of photos and videos, but is created by someone who’s unconnected to the brand—an outside voice—to work on those emotional connections that can’t quite be achieved with branded content.

There are tonnes of studies that have found that UGC is more authentic and trustworthy (just take a quick look at this HubSpot list for an idea), so brands have predictably gravitated towards it in an attempt to better engage their customers. Not only can it boost their image, but it can also be more efficient and cost-effective for marketers to outsource content creation when they don’t have the internal capacity or, indeed, skillsets to create it themselves.

UGC creators have become a hot commodity for that reason and more, so there’s every reason to chase it as a career path if you’re a gifted storyteller.

How To Become A UGC Creator

Remember, you don’t need to become a full-blown influencer to be a top creator. Brands that hire UGC creators are paying for content, not community, so you can make it happen even if you have a low follower count.At GIFTA, we work with all sorts of talented content creators, so we know what great looks like. Here’s how you can get started on your UGC journey:

Top Tips For User-Generated Content Creators

Do Your Research

One of the first things you’ll have noticed is that there’s a whole heap of competition out there. Making beautiful content is almost the easy bit—standing out is where the hard work starts. 

Do the due diligence before you dive in so you can find your opportunities. Look at what’s working and for which kinds of brands and get a good feel for what audiences are engaging with out there. 

Pick A Niche

Doing plenty of research will help you narrow down your list of target industries. You’ll probably already have a good idea of the kind of things you want to help promote, but there might be subgenres and subcategories that haven’t been touched by UGC creators yet. Pick yours and run with it. 

Pick Brands You Love

Within your chosen niche, you might select a few brands to start reaching out to about UGC creation. You’ll naturally lean towards the brands that speak to you and your interests and values, but try to understand why that is—what is it about their content that hits different? What part of their story can you help them tell? This bit’s all about the prospect of long-term relationships, so don’t focus on making a quick buck. They’ll see straight through it.

Choose Your Content Specialism

Next up, you’ll want to hone in on your content creation skills themselves. What are you best at and where should you apply your specialism? Are you more TikTok than Instagram? Would you rather be in front of the camera or behind it taking photos? Define your skillset, craft some examples on your own accounts and work up a portfolio to tuck neatly into your pitches.

Create, Create, Create

We’ve said it three times and we’ll say it again: get creating. It’s the only way you’ll get better at what you do and the only way you’ll get on the radars of your dream clients. Don’t forget to keep your portfolio up to date as well—it’s easy to neglect it once you start winning clients and working to content calendars, so keep it fresh with all your latest creations.

Being a UGC creator can be an incredibly exciting and rewarding way to earn a living, but, as with most work, it relies on a solid set of foundations to succeed. Trust us, you’ll be thanking future you if you do the groundwork first.

How To Find UGC Creators For Your Brand

If you’re a brand looking for UGC creators, your luck is in because we’ve done all the hard work for you at GIFTA

We have a vast network of content creators and storytellers who engage audiences with high–quality content on the regular. Through our unique product gifting approach with top creators, brands like yours get beautiful content that’s authentic because it’s only ever created by people who love your products or services.

Get in touch today via to find out more.