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Instagram Tips & Resources

10 Brands Killing it with User-Generated Content on Instagram

Updated on September 10, 2019
8 minute read

Sharing user-generated content (UGC) is one of the most effective ways to build brand love and strengthen your online community on Instagram. From sharing real-life product reviews, to curating a stunning Instagram feed, there are so many creative ways to elevate your content strategy with UGC! Get inspired by these 10 brands taking user-generated content

Published September 10, 2019

Sharing user-generated content (UGC) is one of the most effective ways to build brand love and strengthen your online community on Instagram.

From sharing real-life product reviews, to curating a stunning Instagram feed, there are so many creative ways to elevate your content strategy with UGC!

Get inspired by these 10 brands taking user-generated content to the next level on Instagram:

UGC Brand Inspo #1: Set a Challenge like @over

Nothing sparks a little creativity than some healthy competition — especially on Instagram! 

Challenges are a great way to encourage your audience to start creating and sharing UGC — and design app Over is especially good at this! 

Their monthly #OverDesignChallenge is a perfect fit for their community of design enthusiasts, while also increasing awareness of the app’s creative editing and design tools and features. 

By sharing super-clear instructions and their strong branded hashtag, their followers can easily get involved and share their work.

Through this fun UGC strategy, Over’s Instagram channel has been transformed into a hub for creatives to interact with one another and find fresh inspiration — while also learning about Over’s cool editing features!

Ready to run a UGC campaign for your brand, but not sure where to start? Discover all the need-to-knows in our Ultimate Guide to User-generated Content!

UGC Brand Inspo #2: Embrace the Product Love like @lushcosmetics

When it comes to a strong UGC strategy, cosmetics brand Lush knows how to stand out from the crowd! 

From bath bomb reveals to face mask selfies, Lush put their customer’s product snaps front and center on Instagram — which acts as a peer-to-peer recommendation for new followers and potential shoppers!

In fact, 55% of consumers trust UGC over other forms of marketing, making it a seriously smart move for direct-to-consumer brands like Lush. 

And by making UGC such a huge part of their content plan, they inspire even more followers to share their pics, creating a viral marketing effect!

We got in touch with Lush (a Later customer) to ask how they manage their UGC offering. 

“A large part of Lush’s content strategy is to elevate other voices, including our customers,” said Laura Cranfield, Social Media Manager, Lush Cosmetics North America. “One simple way to do this is through UGC.” 

“We’re fortunate that our volume of tagged images is incredibly high, but it can be difficult to effectively manage.” 

“Using Later has helped us to navigate our tagged photos and videos, collect and organize them, and leverage across our channels,” she said. 

Improve your UGC workflow with Later’s user-generated content tools — source, schedule and repost UGC to your feed in minutes! Upgrade to Later’s paid Business plans to get access now!

UGC Brand Inspo #3: Kick the Creativity up a Notch like @glossier

Although customer product pics are a great place to start with your UGC strategy, it doesn’t have to end there! 

Take for example beauty brand Glossier, who are constantly pushing the creative norm with their UGC strategy. 

Each week, Glossier share their “Top 5” tags on Instagram Stories, covering a whole bunch of quirky and humorous themes.

From color coordinated stationery, to tattoos, to Balm Dotcom on vacation, the only thing to expect is the unexpected!

By straying beyond the usual UGC routine, Glossier are keeping their content super-fresh and fun — which is a great fit for their forward-thinking, millennial audience. 

UGC Brand Inspo #4: Share Client Stories like @izandco

Sharing UGC on your Instagram feed can also be a great way to connect with your audience on a more personal level — especially when it comes to sharing human stories. 

Bespoke jewelry brand Iz&Co shares real-life client engagement stories as part of their UGC strategy, bringing more than just a touch of the warm and fuzzies to our feeds. 

From Las Vegas nuptials to Times Square proposals, Iz&Co spills all the details to make for some seriously engaging content. 

Not only does this show how unique and custom their service is, but it also builds an emotional association with their products — which can be way more valuable than a standard promotional pic.

UGC Brand Inspo #5: Collect Trios of UGC for an Aesthetically Pleasing Grid like @pantone

Everyone loves a beautiful Instagram feed. But UGC will ruin a cohesive Instagram aesthetic, right? 

Well, not if Pantone has anything to do with it. 

They’re the master of maintaining a picture-perfect aesthetic through their UGC strategy on Instagram. 

By collecting their UGC in batches of 3 from creators with a consistent visual identity, Pantone creates micro-blocks of stylized content for their feed. 

And although this may seem like a lot of work, the overall effect is really impressive! 

The good news is that you can easily plan and design your Instagram feed using a visual content planner and scheduler, like Later!

The hottest hack for creating a dreamy Instagram aesthetic like Pantone? Use a visual content planner like Later!

UGC Brand Inspo #6: Share Funny Viral Tweets like @alfred

Viral Tweets are one of the hottest UGC trends of 2019 — and no one does it better than cult LA coffee shop, Alfred.  

Alfred share Tweets that perfectly align with their customers’ coffee-loving mindset, often garnering thousands of likes and comments on Instagram.

Sharing funny, relevant Tweets on Instagram is a quick and easy way to share the voice of your audience — while cross-promoting your Twitter account too! 

UGC Brand Inspo #7: Support a Product Launch with UGC like @summerfridays

When it comes to launching a new product on Instagram, UGC can be one of the best endorsements going!  

In a recent report, AdWeek found that 85% of users say visual UGC is more influential in their decisions than brand-generated photos or videos.

Online skincare brand Summer Fridays featured UGC from a range of influential beauty bloggers and content creators to mark the launch of their new CC Me Serum — building some serious hype along the way!

And this isn’t the first time that Summer Fridays has got creative with UGC to support a product launch. 

Earlier this year, Summer Fridays installed a branded floral phone booth on Rodeo Drive to mark the launch of their R+R mask, encouraging their followers to head out and snap a shot for their Instagram account. 

By pairing UGC alongside their own promotional content, Summer Fridays is bringing independent and trusted endorsements to the table — which can serve as a major accelerator for new product sales.

UGC Brand Inspo #8: Pair UGC with a Point of View like @meundies

Authenticity is one of the hottest topics on every social media manager’s agenda in 2019 — and underwear brand MeUndies is leading the way with their inclusive, empowering, and body-positive content.

Their UGC strategy includes customer testimonials that go way beyond just a product review, championing MeUndies’ brand mission of self-love and acceptance. 

By giving a voice and platform to their customers, MeUndies has positioned themselves not only  as an underwear brand, but as an advocate for social change. 

They’re a great example of how UGC can be used to build brand loyalty on Instagram!

UGC Brand Inspo #9: Repost Video Tutorials like @supergoop

Alongside UGC, video is one of the most effective types of content for boosting engagement on Instagram. 

Cult SPF skincare brand Supergoop! combines the best of both worlds with their UGC strategy, which includes lots of video beauty tutorials featuring their products! 

The result? Viewers get to see Supergoop! products in action and as part of a daily routine — helping to contextualize and explain the products in much more depth. It’s UGC, but supercharged!   

And as another clever tactic to improve their engagement, Supergoop!’s choice in sharing tutorials means that there’s a stronger likelihood that the post will be saved. 

Instagram post saves are quickly becoming one of the most important metrics to track success, and can improve your chances of landing a coveted spot on the Instagram Explore page. 

So when followers tap that save button, Supergoop! is making real progress in growing their profile and following!  

Looking to level-up your video content strategy on Instagram? Check out our Ultimate Guide to Instagram Video on the Later blog!

UGC Brand Inspo #10: Keep it Real like @thefoldswim

The most important thing to remember for your UGC strategy? Keep it real! 

As soon as your UGC feels like a sponsored advert, it loses its biggest quality as a genuine endorsement for your brand. 

D-G cup swimwear brand the fold puts real customers at the heart of their content strategy, using customer pics to showcase their products on Instagram Stories.

By allowing their audience to discover their products styled on a diverse range of actual customers (no airbrushing to be seen!) the fold creates an instant impression of brand integrity.   

Sharing UGC can be one of the most effective ways to show your community that you care about their voice. 

Not only that, but the right UGC strategy can act as a powerful endorsement for your brand and products — building a level of trust far deeper than any paid marketing campaign.

Ready to start curating and sharing UGC to Instagram? Check out Later’s user-generated content features to easily find, schedule and post UGC to your feed!

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