7 Common UGC Campaign Mistakes to Avoid

When done right, a good user-generated content (UGC) campaign is what can boost a company’s visibility online and lead to increased revenue. For those of you who don’t know or are new to the subject, user-generated content (UGC) refers to text, images, video content, reviews, etc. created by people, not by brands.

For example, you bought a new pair of Nike running shoes and want to show your excitement to the world, so you post them to your Instagram profile. Or, you do an unboxing video on YouTube. Now, many brands are using UGC to their advantage by sending out products to influencers and hiring them to promote the products as if they originally bought them.

In this article, we will explore what UGC is, go over some of the mistakes brands make with it, and show you why you need to make the right kind of UGC a central part of your digital marketing strategy. is an easy-to-customize aggregator that lets you pull from over a dozen sources. If you'd like to give's free forever plan a spin sign up today.

Why Is User-Generated Content Effective?

UGC has many benefits for both businesses and users. For users, it is the perfect way to engage with a brand they like in a fun and meaningful way. For brands, it is a great chance to authentically connect with customers, increase brand authority, and improve their overall experience.

To sum things up, user-generated content and campaigns work well because:

  • They are not too sales-oriented or have a sales feel to them
  • They are essentially forms of free reviews that you reuse and promote to your audience
  • It shows that your brand is open to communication with its customers
  • It is a great way to reduce your marketing spend while getting new customers
  • It can improve your conversion rate
  • It can help your business stand out

While high-quality UGC campaigns are great for a brand, mismanaged ones can cost both money and reputation. In today’s blog, we are showing you the seven most common UGC campaign mistakes to watch out for and hopefully avoid.

Mistake #1: Choosing The Wrong Social Channels

There are so many different brands out there, and so many different target audiences for each of them. When looking to advertise with UGC content, the first thing to do is choose the channels you are going to find inspiration or pull content from. Now, there are so many different platforms nowadays, and each of them brings unique benefits and audiences that do or don’t resonate with the elements of your marketing campaign.

For instance, did you know that the average age of the typical Facebook user is 40.5 years old? Similarly, Instagram is mainly populated by millennials and generation X and Z users. TikTok, on the other hand, is dominated by young audiences – statistics show that 25% of the most active users accounts in the U.S. are people aged 10-19.

As a brand, your mission is to understand and assess the impact of your user-generated campaign and evaluate the reach that it would have. On average, the most influential channels for influencer or UGC marketing include Instagram, YouTube, and Facebook.

Mistake #2: Publishing Content Without Permission

The first rule of running successful UGC campaigns centers around content and how to publish with proper legal permission. Even though user-generated content (UGC) is something that we all see as voluntarily created, it is not something that can be used publicly without the consent of the owner.

For example, we all see companies reusing customer photos that they have found on social platforms like Instagram or Facebook. Doing that is not part of running an effective UGC campaign – so before you just re-upload someone’s published photos, ask for their consent first. The only things that you can use are the reviews, questions, answers, photos, and videos that customers post directly on your site or app.

However, once you have permission, you can replay UGC assets across all your marketing channels, including promotional email marketing. is an easy-to-customize aggregator that lets you pull from over a dozen sources. If you'd like to give's free forever plan a spin sign up today.

Mistake #3: Not Responding To Negative Feedback (Or Not Responding At All)

We should all learn from negative feedback and find the best way to embrace it. Criticism is widely seen as part of many user-generated campaigns.The best brands build an internal knowledge base to help their people learn how to respond to negative user feedback on social media. You can observe their replies to understand what they practice and build your own communication plan for handling unfavorable UGC.

Ignorance is something you should never practice with negative feedback – instead, you should directly respond to the comment and find a way to satisfy that customer or offer something that would make them reverse their negative emotional reaction toward your brand. The goal here is to show proactiveness and solve things visibly for the user before they get risky or turn into major problems.

Mistake #4: Not Using Organic Creators

The concept of user-generated content is purely organic, even though many brands misinterpret it for something we know as influencer marketing. Even if you are running a campaign with influencers, you should focus on your organic content if you want your UGC campaign to make sense in the long run.

Brands that mix between UGC and influencer marketing should separate both in different channels. However, if you want to stick with only one of these types of marketing and want that to be UGC, make sure to use organic creators. In other words, these are people that organically published photos or content mentioning or including your brand.

Also, give these people something to keep them motivated. For instance, if you are a restaurant, you can give them a free meal, and if you are a marketing agency, you could reward them with tickets to exclusive events, swag, or anything else that resonates with their profile.

Organic content creation is one part of an overall content marketing plan. It can’t replace other types of content marketing, such as LinkedIn posts or branded graphics, but it can definitely accelerate the combined effect of all your marketing efforts.  

Mistake #5: Using UGC Only Once

A moment in the spotlight is good, but not something you should practice with user-generated campaigns. However, you’re likely to make the “do it only once” mistake If you lack a solid tool for campaign management. Stay on the lookout for one that gives you the tools you need to plan and communicate with users who generate content for you – and never compromise again by using UGC only once.

Believe it or not, repurposing your UGC across different marketing channels can only help you. While some brands want to collect customer reviews and pictures, others want to experiment. Whatever you do, UGC can help you extract a lot of value from each contribution, which is why it makes sense to try and run UGC campaigns more than once.

And here’s a good reason to keep using UGC: in a consumer study, 81% said they would pay more and wait longer for a product recommended by users. Those are two great advantages for any brand marketer.

They say that “Testing leads to failure, and failure leads to understanding,” and we believe it.. Great customer content takes a bit of time, so some brands try lots of things before they find the approach that works best for them. One of our favorite tactics to prime the pump for UGC is to orchestrate influencer contributions to drive initial engagement — particularly when you’re after a specific action such as downloading an app or purchasing a skin care product — and then invite the public to build on that through UGC campaigns. 

Mistake #6: Lack Of Communication During A UGC Campaign

The goal of an effective UGC campaign is to spark customer engagement, whether that comes in the form of calls, emails, or clicks on your chat button. User-generated content fuels customer engagement, which is why you should never leave the momentum, but instead, keep up with it and encourage further activity by staying on top of your UGC contributions.

To make sure you are communicating enough, pay attention to your brand mentions, hashtags, or posts across different networks. This is where you will be able to engage (like, comment, and share) with user-generated photos, videos, or statuses from your enthusiastic customers. Genuine and personalized communication between your brand and its customers strengthens the relationships and increases brand authority.

Make sure to review the main reasons for more user-generated content with your team and the importance of listening to, supporting, and immediately communicating with users as they are helping you build your brand’s awareness and popularity. 

Mistake #7: Making Your Content Too Perfect

The content that should drive your UGC campaign is ideally something that is authentic and presented in the way your customers would normally engage with your brand online. After all, that is the entire point of user-generated content as we know it. So, avoid the traps of making your content too professional-looking, too perfect, or written in your brand’s voice.

Instead, make sure to understand UGC in its full glory and as part of the latest marketing and social media trends. In practice, when using content from real people enjoying your products, make sure that what you surround it with uses, authentic copy, even if it’s short. Even though your official brand content has a different voice than UGC, when the two of them are presented together, they need to be compatible – friendly, approachable, informal. This goes a long way to drive engagement in your campaigns.  

Final words

In the end, user-generated content is here to stay. If you want people to pay more for your product and trust your brand, you should definitely consider a UGC promotion. 

People are simply tired of brands that are hard-selling them, which is why it makes perfect sense to focus on producing and delivering truly authentic user content. The potential of UGC to improve your business is endless – especially if you are doing it long-term.

We hope that these seven mistakes are something to learn from when running effective UGC campaigns, and will serve as an inspiration for you to start using your customers’ feedback as one of your best marketing assets. is an easy-to-customize aggregator that lets you pull from over a dozen sources. If you'd like to give's free forever plan a spin sign up today.