UGC Stats Every Marketer Needs to Know in 2020

UGC sounds like a buzzword, but it isn’t a new concept. Since the 1990s, billions of people have discovered the joy of publishing photos, videos, and opinions online. That material is called user-generated content, and modern marketers count it an incredibly rich resource.

Every smart strategy should begin by digging into the data, so here are the latest findings for your ease.


Consumers Prefer It — More than 92% of consumers around the world trust earned media (like advice from family and friends) more than all other forms of advertising. Thanks to the growth of social media networks and review sites, much of those recommendations now appear online. This is great news, because mar-tech platforms make it easy for brands to access and project that UGC for enormous growth.

UGC Builds Shopper Confidence — A stunning 90% of US shoppers say UGC is the most influential part of their purchase decisions. In fact, upwards of 37% rely on social media channels for pre-purchase research on brands, products, and services.  This may come as no surprise – since we’re all consumers, too -- but given the choice between learning about a product through content or traditional advertising, between 65% and 70% of Internet users say UGC is far more interesting to them. That makes sense, since we typically expect brands to put their best foot forward in an effort to win our confidence and pocket books. Peers who have nothing to gain from  our approval tend to resonate better.

Shoppers Want to See Fan Feedback in Brand Messaging — Let’s play truth or dare. First, you need to know that less than half of consumers trust TV, magazine, or newspaper ads, but 70% do trust online reviews. So, dare: put them together. The fact is that nearly anytime UGC appears along with brand-generated content, engagement will skyrocket.  Research shows a 28% rise in overall receptiveness. E-mail click-through rates increase by 73% when UGC is integrated, and visitors to websites with UGC galleries spend 90% more time on the site. With results like that, social media hubs are an ideal way to leverage UGC, bringing authentic posts right on to your brand’s own digital properties.

Visual UGC Is On the Rise — In 2020, more than half of commercial content will be created outside of marketing, and by 2022, 82% of web traffic is expected to be video. This is great news because user videos garner up to 10x more views on YouTube than brand-created videos. The moral of the story here is that the more enthusiasm you have in your corner, the better, so taking time to build influencer relationships with your biggest fans is a smart move.

Tap Into The Existing Conversation For Max Results — Interestingly enough, even though brand-created content grew threefold, consumer engagement did not rise with it. On average, 19 out of 20 brand pieces receive little to no engagement. Compare that to Facebook reports, which show the reverse. User-generated content featuring a brand gets 6.9x higher engagement than corporate efforts. Clearly, the trick isn’t to push out more of the same, but rather elevate the existing conversation.

UGC is Worth More — Can you guess what customers will do when presented with a product paired with UGC and an identical product that doesn’t? Research shows those shoppers were willing to pay more and even be willing to experience slower shipping times as long as they could see related UGC. The presence of peer content increases purchasing confidence for nearly three-quarters of shoppers, and 63% believe it creates a more authentic shopping experience. Shoppable galleries make all the difference for online retailers, and no ecommerce site is complete without deploying these powerful visuals.

Millennials Love It – And that should matter, because these digital natives will dominate production and marketing strategies for the next twenty years. Keep in mind, this is a generation that spends 18 hours per day with media, and 30% of that time is spent looking at UGC. An astonishing 84% say they are influenced by UGC on a company’s website, describing peer content as more memorable and trusthworthy than other media. What’s more is millennials say they are 62% more likely to become loyal customers of a brand that engages them online. Considering this demographic wields an estimated $2.5 trillion of spending power, this is incredibly meaningful information.

Just Ask — Generating positive buzz online isn’t a wait-and-see game. 72% of US shoppers say they have already submitted UGC about a brand. Product reviews and ratings are the highest categories, and social media posts are not far behind.  Why do they do it? 84% of users they share content because they are excited to support the causes and brands they care about. A great way to build upon that enthusiasm is to host a hashtag campaign, with giveaways, exclusive discounts, or even just rewarding fans with a few moments in the spotlight. There are “8 Brilliant Ways to Use Hashtag Content” to build community around a product, event, or even a feeling.  

At the end of the day, fans are a brand’s best advertisers. Research proves that UGC grows traffic, increases sales, and creates a stand-out brand story. And the best part about user-generated content is that it is relatively easy for marketers to harness and deploy. Get started today with a free sign-up of TwineSocial’s aggregation and display engine, and watch the magic unfold.

For more ideas on how to promote shared enthusiasm around an idea, product, or community, check out our solutions gallery. Then, kick off your own success story with a free 7-day trial of TwineSocial. Let us know how we can help!

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