In marketing terms, user-generated content (UGC) is a form of content that comes from a publisher’s audience and is usually repurposed for a marketing campaign or published as an article or blog. This content includes videos, pictures, articles or written reviews that are related to a product or service in some way. UGC is the opposite of publisher generated content, which is produced by a company exclusively for advertising, educational, or journalistic purposes. Organic UGC is not to be confused with influencer marketing, which uses content that a user creates because they are being compensated instead of volunteering to do so.
More broadly, UGC also includes content that is published on a social media platform, forum, or similar application, but those instances are rarely used for marketing purposes. This categorization of UGC includes most public-facing content, but excludes private communications between individuals on the same platform(s).
Examples of UGC
Distinguishing UGC from other types of content can be challenging at times. Using Webopedia as an example, this article (when housed on webopedia.com) is considered publisher-generated content and any comments submitted by visitors to our site would be considered UGC. A social media post containing a link to this article with added commentary is also considered UGC and could be repurposed for a Webopedia marketing campaign with permission from the user.