HomeBlog for TikTok Industry InsightsTikTok strategy guides and tips17 Ways to Use UGC to Increase Your Brand’s Engagement

17 Ways to Use UGC to Increase Your Brand’s Engagement

We, at House of Marketers are implementing a shift in the way brands and businesses are marketing, as well as consuming content on social media. We are going through a time where consumers expect a certain level of transparency and authenticity from brands no matter how big or small they are. The more you are transparent, the better the connection and the better you are at driving customer engagement. And to make this connection, one strategy is helping brands bridge the gap between their audience and their products – User-Generated Content (UGC).

As we delve deeper into platforms like TikTok, leveraging UGC can transform the way you engage with your audience and amplify your brand’s presence. Why does this matter? Because UGC not only enhances authenticity and trust but also significantly boosts engagement and conversion rates.

Let’s take a look at how you can use UGC effectively to drive customer engagement for your brand.

17 Essential UGC Strategies to Drive Customer Engagement

1. Build Trust with Authentic Customer Advocacy

UGC acts as a digital form of word-of-mouth marketing. Encourage your community to share their genuine experiences. This peer-driven content acts as a powerful endorsement for your brand, fostering trust and credibility more effectively than traditional advertising could. For instance, a brand might feature tutorials and transformations/results using their products, which not only demonstrates the product in action but also builds a community around shared interests.

For example, Glossier, a skincare and beauty brand, has successfully built its entire marketing strategy around UGC, fostering a community where users eagerly share and tag their product experiences. This approach has not only increased their authenticity but also their sales.

2. Elevate Engagement Through Challenges

Statistics show that content created by users sees higher engagement rates than standard brand messages. TikTok campaigns featuring UGC often see a higher rate of user interaction—likes, shares, comments—and prolonged viewing times.

Create a dynamic environment where your audience can actively participate. Utilising UGC prompts, such as asking users to share their unique uses of your product, can increase engagement. For example, encourage your TikTok followers to create their own videos using your product in creative ways, responding to their efforts with likes, comments, and shares, which can help your content gain traction in TikTok’s algorithm-driven feed.

A great example is the #EyesLipsFace challenge by e.l.f. Cosmetics. This campaign was designed to promote their makeup products by tapping into TikTok’s strengths—music and visual creativity. e.l.f. commissioned an original song specifically for this challenge, which encouraged users to showcase their makeup looks focusing on eyes, lips, and face.

The campaign was incredibly successful, creating a viral trend that saw millions of TikTok users, including celebrities and influencers, participating and sharing their unique interpretations of their best makeup looks using e.l.f. Products. The #EyesLipsFace challenge generated over 3 million user-generated videos, illustrating massive engagement and participation. Videos tagged with #eyeslipsface amassed more than 4 billion views initially, with the hashtag currently standing at over 9.4 billion views on TikTok. This not only boosted user engagement but also significantly increased brand awareness and sales. The catchy song paired with the creative freedom given to users helped the hashtag garner billions of views, making it one of the most successful beauty brand campaigns on TikTok.

@avani Check out @elfyeah i’m here to help you become #eyeslipsfamous ! #elfambassador #ad ♬ Eyes. Lips. Famous. e.l.f. – e.l.f. Cosmetics

3. Drive Higher Conversion Rates with Relatable Content

UGC can directly influence purchasing decisions. A study indicated that websites which include UGC galleries can see up to a 20% increase in return visits and up to a 90% increase in time spent on the site. Showcase how real people use and benefit from your products. For instance, integrating user reviews and success stories into your product pages or social media can significantly influence purchasing decisions, making your brand feel more relatable and trustworthy.

A notable instance is Wayfair, which uses customer photos to show how real people style their products in real settings, effectively using UGC to bridge the gap between online browsing and the real-life product experience.

4. Gather Valuable Insights from UGC

By analysing UGC, brands can gain insights into customer preferences, improving product development and customer service strategies. Monitor and analyse UGC to gain insights into consumer preferences and behaviours. This continuous loop of feedback can be invaluable for product development and marketing strategies, allowing you to align more closely with your audience’s needs and expectations.

Samsung often encourages users to upload their best photographs taken with Galaxy phones, providing the company with direct feedback on camera quality and user preferences in various settings.

5. Host Hashtag Challenges

One of the most powerful tools on TikTok is the hashtag challenge. Encourage your followers to create content around a specific theme related to your brand. Launch a branded hashtag challenge to capture the creativity of your audience, encouraging them to create content that aligns with your campaign objectives. This approach can generate a large volume of content and engagement, as seen with successful campaigns like #InMyDenim by Guess and the #BenefitBrows Challenge by Benefit Cosmetics.

Benefit Cosmetics, a leading global makeup brand, is known for integrating fun into its marketing efforts and interactions with its target audience. For the launch of its new Brow Micro Filling Pen, Benefit sought to increase product awareness and capture the essence of its brand.

The #BenefitBrows Challenge was created in partnership with Vamp, Benefit’s agency, and featured collaborations with diverse, empowering Gen Z and Millennial creators. Participants, including TikTok influencer Millie T, were tasked with performing a ‘brow dance’ using the Brow Micro Filling Pen, set to original music produced by Benefit Cosmetics.

The campaign’s success was driven by its fun and engaging format, which resonated well with TikTok’s user base. By synchronising the launch of multiple videos across various influential creators, Benefit maximised reach and engagement. This strategic rollout, combined with the interactive and enjoyable nature of the challenge, made it easy for users to participate and share, significantly boosting the campaign’s visibility and effectiveness.

This example of the #BenefitBrows Challenge illustrates how a well-orchestrated hashtag challenge can enhance product awareness and foster user engagement through creative and fun interactions, making it a prime strategy for brands looking to make a significant impact on TikTok.

@milliet24 Lil transformation video 😆 @benefituk #benefitbrows #microfillingpen #ad ♬ Brows (Benefit Brow Dance) – Regan Aliyah

6. Run Contests and Giveaways To Motivate Your Audience

Contests with incentives can greatly increase your content volume.Engage your TikTok audience by running contests and giveaways that encourage them to create and share content related to your brand. Make the participation process simple and the rewards compelling.

For instance, Red Bull’s #RedBullGivesYouWings campaign effectively generated extensive user participation by encouraging them to share their adventurous moments, which were aligned with the brand’s energetic image

7. Develop a Network of TikTok Brand Ambassadors

Engage with TikTok influencers who resonate with your brand to create content. These collaborations can lead to a surge in UGC, as followers of these influencers are inspired to create their own content in hopes of recognition. A strategic example is Dunkin’ Donuts’ collaboration with Charli D’Amelio, which utilised her massive following to promote their brand effectively on TikTok, leading to increased brand recognition and sales.

D’Amelio first partnered with Dunkin’ in 2020 to launch her signature drink, “The Charli,” which included a Dunkin’ Cold Brew with whole milk and three pumps of caramel swirl. The partnership continued in February 2021 with the release of another drink.

These collaborations not only drove significant brand visibility and engagement but also led to increased sales, demonstrating the power of partnering with the right influencer whose audience resonates with your brand. Their partnership continues even now in 2024 showing how long-term collabs maintain the brand narratives.

@charlidamelio pumpkin swirl might be my new go to @Dunkin’ #dunkinpartner ♬ original sound – charli d’amelio

8. Incorporate Real User Testimonials into Your Ads

Real testimonials can make your advertisements more relatable and trustworthy. Use authentic user testimonials in your marketing campaigns to enhance credibility. Showcasing real customer feedback on your TikTok videos, especially those highlighting positive experiences and outcomes, can persuade new customers to trust your brand.

For example, Airbnb uses customer stories and pictures in their promotional campaigns, which not only illustrates the diversity of available homes but also showcases real guest experiences.

9. Share Behind-the-Scenes Content

Sharing behind-the-scenes (BTS) content is a powerful way to humanise your brand. Encourage users to share their own BTS content related to your product or service. This approach was effectively used by the New York Times, allowing reporters to share BTS views of their journalistic practices, which adds transparency and builds trust.

@nytimes When a seagrass shortage caused a mass manatee die-off, scientists rushed to save the orphaned young. After three years at a zoo, the manatees are now grown up and going back to the wild. The photographer Jason Gulley explains how ZooTampa rescues manatees, cares for them and eventually releases them back into the wild. Video by Jason Gulley, Karen Hanley and Gabriel Blanco #manatee #nature #florida ♬ original sound – The New York Times

10. Showcase Customer Stories to Show Your Brand’s Impact

Testimonials and real-life stories add a personal touch and can influence potential customers more deeply than standard marketing content. Collect and share impactful stories from your customers that illustrate how your products or services have enhanced their lives. This approach not only personalises the brand but also showcases real-life applications of your offerings.

Fitness brands like Peloton excel in this area by featuring customer success stories that are inspiring and promote community engagement.

@onepeloton Soz I really am a certified wellbeing expert now, with the help of my Peloton – always suits whatever I fancy doing @charleymarlowe ♬ original sound – Peloton

11. Make Users Feel Proud About Sharing UGC

Foster a collaborative environment where users feel part of the content creation process. This not only enhances creativity but also deepens user investment in your brand.

This can be achieved by inviting ideas for new products or asking for feedback on existing ones. An excellent example is LEGO’s #LEGOHacks, where users are encouraged to showcase their unique builds. This promotes both creativity and brand loyalty. This kind of collaboration empowers users to become part of the creative process, strengthening their connection to the brand.

@lego Your jewelry box called, it’s jealous of our giraffe necklace holder 🦒 #LEGOHacks #DIY ♬ original sound – LEGO

12. Utilise UGC for Dynamic Product Launches

Use UGC to create buzz around new product releases. A well-timed TikTok campaign can harness the excitement of your audience, as they share their first impressions and experiences.

Take GoPro as an example; they often feature user-generated action clips when launching new cameras, which not only demonstrates the camera’s capabilities but also engages the community.

13. Actively Engage in the Comments

Show that your brand listens and interacts by actively engaging with comments on your TikTok posts. This not only boosts your posts in terms of engagement metrics but also builds a more personal connection with your audience. Responding thoughtfully can turn casual followers into loyal fans.

14. Showcase Exceptional UGC to Build Community

Regularly showcasing outstanding UGC not only rewards creators but also shows your audience that you value their input.

Take the example of Adobe, which frequently features artistic content created using its software, thereby inspiring others to create and share their own artwork using Adobe products.

@adobe It’s called fashion, look it up 💅 Let us know what you think of @Madeline Salazar ♬ original sound – Adobe

15. Create a Central Hub for UGC on Your Website

Dedicate a section of your website to user-generated content where visitors can see how others are engaging with your brand. This not only celebrates your community but also serves as a testament to your brand’s popularity and user satisfaction.

Fashion retailers like ASOS use this strategy effectively by featuring user styles, which also directly links to product pages for higher conversion rates.

16. Enhance Email Campaigns with UGC

Incorporate UGC into your email marketing to make your messages more engaging and relatable. Highlighting customer reviews or featured user content can increase open rates and click-throughs, making your emails more effective. This strategy keeps your audience engaged and encourages more UGC submissions.

Caption: Colourpop Cosmetics Email

17. Reward Engagement Through Enhanced Loyalty Programs

Create a loyalty program that rewards users for creating UGC. Offering points, discounts, or exclusive access can motivate ongoing engagement and turn regular customers into brand advocates. Sephora’s Beauty Insider program rewards users not just for purchases but also for engaging with the brand through reviews and social media posts.

Sephora’s Beauty Insider Community is an excellent example of this, where users gain points and badges for reviews and social shares.

Best Practices for Managing UGC

When working with UGC, it’s crucial to maintain quality and ensure all content aligns with your brand values.

Here are some best practices:

  • Encourage high-quality submissions by providing clear guidelines on what constitutes good content. If you’re looking for a structured approach, consider checking out our Influencer Marketing Brief Template, which can help you define and communicate these standards effectively.
  • Ensure legal compliance by getting the necessary permissions to use user content in your marketing. This not only protects your brand legally but also respects the rights of the content creators.
  • Curate effectively because not all content will be suitable. Select the content that best fits your brand narrative. Want to learn how to curate to ensure that you showcase the most impactful UGC. Check out our guide about UGC curation here.


By effectively integrating UGC into your TikTok strategy, you not only enhance your brand’s authenticity and engagement but also create a vibrant community around your products and services. Remember, the goal is to foster a sense of belonging and involvement among your users, turning them from mere followers into active brand advocates.

Are you inspired to take your brand’s TikTok presence to the next level with UGC? Start implementing these strategies today, and watch how they transform your engagement metrics. If you need more personalised advice or want to explore specific UGC strategies for your brand, reach out to us. Let’s make your TikTok campaigns unforgettable together!

Looking to utilise UGC for your Marketing?

Collaborate with House of Marketers! Our expertise in UGC marketing strategies can help you transform your brand’s narrative, fostering genuine connections and driving consumer engagement.

By partnering with us, you gain access to a team dedicated to curating and leveraging authentic content that resonates with your audience.

Contact us to know more about how we can collaborate with you for your custom TikTok strategy.

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