Brand awareness and loyalty

The Best UGC Tools to Level Up Your Marketing Game

  • 14 Minutes
Make your UGC campaigns headache free, conversion boosting masterpieces with these amazing UGC tools.

User-generated content, or UGC, has skyrocketed in popularity in the last decade, and it’s no wonder. UGC is affordable to curate and is highly effective.

In fact, campaigns using UGC result in 29% higher web conversions than campaigns without it. Yet, as your UGC strategy develops and grows, so, too, can the hours you spend managing your campaigns. Whether you’ve already created a few UGC campaigns or you’re just getting started, you want the process to be as efficient as possible so you can maximise your ROI.

To ensure your UGC campaigns are as seamless as possible, you should be utilizing all the UGC tools available to you. UGC tools can dramatically slash the time you spend painstakingly choosing and curating your UGC, sourcing permission to use content, or reporting on your campaigns.

There are a lot of UGC tools out there, but many are costly, clunky, or just downright inefficient. That’s why we’ve pulled together this list of the best UGC tools so you can save time, increase your ROI, nurture your loyal customer following, and produce the best UGC possible.

Why run a UGC campaign?

UGC campaigns can serve a number of business goals that go far beyond getting a few product endorsements. High-quality user-generated content can not only act as powerful testimonial , but it can also be collected, curated, and used in a number of ways:

  • High-performing UGC (in other words, glowing testimonials, high-quality product videos or UGC that looks aesthetically stunning) can be utilized by brands as marketing collateral in brand campaigns and future product promotions
  • Customer feedback and UGC can be used for brand research
  • UGC can be used as a brand awareness tool
  • Feedback generated during a UGC campaign can even

The great part about all this? UGC works. In fact, it works far better than a brand advertisement – it’s 35% more memorable than other media and 50% more trustworthy.

Plus, unlike influencer posts, UGC is typically unpaid and is therefore viewed as more genuine. This authenticity is becoming more and more crucial in a world where 84% of modern consumers simply don’t trust traditional advertising.

Why use UGC tools?

UGC can sound like a lot of work, but there are plenty of low-cost UGC tools that can automate the UGC process, making your life a whole lot easier. UGC can take a long time to source if you’re manually scrolling through hashtags. The current array of UGC tools can help you automate in crazy ways, such as:

  • Content generation: Creating and facilitating UGC competitions or providing a platform for users to submit content seamlessly
  • Content curation: Collating or moderating UGC. UGC tools today can help you quickly identify and utilize high-performing content – even in real-time
  • Campaign reporting: Tracking and reporting on brand hashtags or campaigns as well as social listening to monitor performance of UGC
  • Displaying UGC: Curating and displaying your UGC
  • Permissions management: Seeking user rights, which enables businesses to legally use UGC

Permissions management is critical when it comes to UGC – let’s face it, the last thing you want is a complaint against your business from a customer claiming you’ve stolen their content! Luckily, there are several UGC tools can help ensure that you’re complying with content usage rights and you have each user’s permission before re-posting their content.

UGC tools are a fail-safe way to automate the permissions process, ensuring that your business won’t get in hot water for using content they don’t legally have the rights to use. You’re also giving proper attribution to original content creators, which is the right thing to do – after all, they’ve taken the time to talk about your products publicly.

The top UGC tools to streamline your processes

If you view UGC as a channel that has strong potential for your brand in the future, then it’s definitely worth investing in UGC tools to ensure you can continue producing high-quality UGC at a rapid pace.

Ready to explore the best UGC tools around that will help you make the most of your UGC campaigns? Read on!

 

Trustpilot

Third-party review platforms like Trustpilot are highly trusted by consumers, making them a great option for collating and displaying authentic reviews at the click of a button.

What’s great about Trustpilot is that reviews can’t be edited or modified by businesses in any way, and all reviews are posted on their site for the world to see. While this might sound a little scary at first, this means that each review posted is credible, and therefore, is more reliable. Consumers love this. It might even mean the difference between them buying from your business over a competitor who doesn’t have reviews available.

The best part is that it’s all so easy. Trustpilot automates the review process by sending automatic review invitation emails. It even sends reminder emails so that customers remember to leave reviews, giving you a stream of UGC to use.

Once you have some great reviews you’d like to post, the platform allows you to automatically export your favorite reviews in the format of a social media tile. You can select your review, customize the background and choose which format you need. Simply export your post and you end up with instant UGC. And you barely had to lift a finger!

Trustpilot review example from satisfied customer bragging about their newly opened cafe

UGC campaign goals:

  • Content generation
  • Content curation
  • Permissions management

Who should use this platform: If you want to generate automated customer reviews, this is a great platform to use, especially if you’re in a particularly competitive industry. If you also typically get plenty of positive feedback, this could be a great way to gather that feedback as well as pushing otherwise silent customers to review your business.

It can also help if you have recently changed suppliers, processes, or product ingredients, and want to reassure customers that your products or services remain at a high standard.

 

ShortStack

If you’ve never created a UGC campaign before, a competition can be a great way to kick start UGC submissions. ShortStack is a highly customizable platform that allows you to host competitions or create landing pages in order to gather leads and incentivize customers into creating UGC.

Example of shortstack contest featuring a photo contest of which pet photo audiences' feel is best

The platform also has in-built rights management features, enabling you to automate the UGC collection process while ensuring you have proper permissions to use UGC for whichever purpose you need. The platform is also perfect for large campaigns, as it allows businesses to export entries or photo submissions at scale.

UGC campaign goals:

  • Content generation
  • Content curation
  • Displaying UGC
  • Campaign reporting
  • Permissions management

Who should use this platform: ShortStack is ideal if you’re relatively new to UGC, or you’d like to try out a UGC campaign for the first time. The automated features make it easy to streamline the whole UGC process, and the customizable competition landing page makes it easy for smaller brands or social media teams to provide a branded experience without having to invest in design services.

It’s also perfect for longer-term campaigns, as the automated features give you the ability to “set and forget” your UGC campaigns.

However, if you’re a larger brand or you simply need more support, ShortStack also has dedicated moderation services on hand. They can help remove any sensitive or inappropriate content from your content streams.

User-generated content guide for Instagram

Grab your UGC guide for Instagram marketers and learn how to make a killer UGC engine!

Smash Balloon

Smash Balloon is another reviews platform, but this one works specifically to display your social media reviews easily on your WordPress site. It’s simple enough to use – just download the plugin, install it on your WordPress site and copy the code to display your reviews wherever you like on your site.

The best part about Smash Balloon is that you can add reviews specifically from your chosen social media platform, whether that’s Facebook, Instagram, or another social platform.

You can use the platform to customize what your UGC looks like, or choose to only show reviews above a certain rating. Smash Balloon allows you to embed the UGC directly into your WordPress site, which also helps with SEO.

This is one of the more affordable UGC tools, but it probably isn’t useful for new brands that don’t already have strong social content or reviews. If you’re thinking of using Smash Balloon, remember that you’ll also need to find a way of coaxing new customers into leaving a steady stream of reviews or testimonials to ensure you continue to obtain fresh UGC.

UGC campaign goals:

  • Content curation
  • Displaying UGC

Who should use this platform: Businesses who have a WordPress site and already have a large number of positive reviews on social media. It could also work well for businesses that have a large social community and believe that they will have more reviews in the future.

 

Sked Social

Sked Social is our Instagram and social media scheduling app. Unlike other social media schedulers, Sked Social has a strong focus on visual marketing – aka giving social media managers the tools they need to hold eyeballs and demand attention.

Sked Social's hashtag search feature showing example search for flowers hashtag

One of these tools is Sked Library which allows Sked users to search and keep tabs on hashtags and creators.

Running a hashtag campaign? Great, you’ll see every new post as they’re added.

Have a super user who’s always posting amazing content? Awesome, you can keep a dedicated section just for their posts.

Available at USD $75 per month, Sked Social is the best platform for sourcing, storing and sharing UGC on Instagram.

UGC campaign goals:

  • Hashtag campaign tracking
  • Super-follower check ups
  • Content curation
  • Sharing UGC
  • Storing UGC
  • Finding UGC

Who should use this platform: If Instagram is your strongest social channel, then this is a no-brainer. You’ll get to launch, track, and source all your UGC campaigns from one platform, and keep all your visual assets organised in one place.

You can run a UGC campaign today by starting a 7-day free trial of Sked (choose the ‘Essentials’ plan during sign up).

 

Walls.io

Walls.io is one of the best UGC tools that integrates with a variety of different platforms. It can integrate with almost any social platform, enabling you to collate and aggregate content using specific hashtags, social media profiles, or pages. It works by collating and displaying existing UGC on your website, and can also be used at events to collate event-specific content, or content relating to a competition.

This platform is relatively affordable, especially if you’re just starting out running UGC campaigns, but it is more of a self-serve platform. Unfortunately, it doesn’t offer live support. That said, it does have plenty of features that allow for advanced automated moderation; it lets you easily filter out spammy, irrelevant, or inappropriate posts from your display feed.

UGC campaign goals:

  • Content curation
  • Displaying UGC

Who should use this platform: Brands should use Walls.io if they’re doing a one-off UGC campaign or they’re testing UGC for the first time. They also might choose to use this platform if they’re running an event and need an affordable solution for curating and displaying their social media content.

As this UGC tool has limited campaign management features, businesses probably need to be sure to moderate their curated feed to ensure no sensitive or inappropriate content escapes the filters.

 

Olapic

The hard part about UGC campaigns is when they really start to gain momentum. If your UGC campaign idea is strong, you might find that your campaign quickly snowballs to a level that becomes difficult to manage. In that case, don’t despair! You’ll just need adequate UGC tools to help take your campaign to the next level.

Olapic is the perfect UGC tool for collating and displaying social content on your website while ensuring that the proper verification has been sought from users. Olapic is very similar to Walls.io, but it’s a little more comprehensive. It offers live 24-hour support for your campaigns as well as campaign management services.

Like Walls.io, it curates UGC for businesses. To do this, it uses a combination of both AI technology and human moderation. It then allows businesses to amplify content across other channels, from websites to social, or even to platforms like digital out-of-home advertising.

The platform also has powerful reporting features, enabling businesses to assess the impact of their UGC campaign or even track the revenue generated.

UGC campaign goals:

  • Content curation
  • Displaying UGC

Who should use this platform: Olapic would suit businesses that are planning a large UGC campaign and anticipate a high level of participation, and need comprehensive UGC tools to be able to collect, curate, and display their UGC.

It’s also perfect for businesses that already happen to have fabulous user-generated campaign content but want to take their campaign to the next level. It allows them to display their UGC in a cohesive collection, leverage it in their advertising, or even use it at the point of sale to drive conversions.

Stackla

Stackla automatically sources your images using geolocation tags, hashtags, and even advanced visual recognition technology. Before you run UGC campaigns, you need to obtain permission to ensure you can legally use the content. Stackla is one of the only UGC tools that automates and tracks the entire UGC collection process. It automatically engages with users on your behalf and requests permission to use their content. It even keeps a log of user approvals in case you need to prove that you have permission for a specific asset.

Stackla stores all of your user rights permission requests, so they’re fully accessible in your own business’ dashboard. It allows you to see when your rights to use customer images expire and it even enables you to control the terms and conditions of the requests. That means that if you need to use content for a specific purpose you can customize your permission requests accordingly.

The dashboard also allows you to easily track permissions for various customers, so you can easily jump back into the platform to find users who produced amazing content in an old campaign and contact them if you need to.

Once you’ve collected your UGC, Stackla can integrate with your e-commerce platform, enabling you to display UGC on individual product pages. This can provide social proof and help convert customers right where you need it – at the bottom of your sales funnel.

UGC campaign goals:

  • Content curation
  • Displaying UGC
  • Permissions management

Who should use this platform: Stackla is a great UGC tool for big brands or even for small businesses who want a more “hands-off” approach to the UGC collection process.

Perhaps you’ve had an enormous response to your UGC campaign, or you’d simply like to automate it in the future to make life easier? If so, Stackla is perfect for you.

In summary, UGC plays a highly valuable role in the world of digital marketing and typically achieves fantastic results, when done well. There’s a good reason why some of the world’s biggest brands are now starting to rely so heavily on UGC – it works!

Get more from your UGC tools

If you’re serious about leveling up your UGC game, you should definitely consider one (or more!) of these UGC tools, as each of these can play a slightly different role in your UGC strategy. What you inevitably decide to use will depend on your brand’s unique objectives.

The more you can automate your UGC campaigns, the more efficient they will become. Pretty soon all you’ll need to do is sit back, relax, and watch your brand impressions multiply as the content rolls in!

Want to create a UGC marketing campaign but not sure where to start? Discover how to create an unstoppable UGC marketing campaign here.

Photo of Meg AndrewMeg Andrew

Megan is a seasoned writer and social media nerd who loves to create content marketing magic. When she’s not writing, you’ll find her geeking out over a new book, watching terrible reality TV, or forcing her unwilling dog to participate in photoshoots. Find her on Twitter at @meganjaneandrew.

Get a Sked start with a free trial

Try our amped up all-in-one platform free for 7 days. Get full access and see how absolutely easy it is to rock your visual marketing plans from here on out!