How to Boost D2C Brand Awareness and Trust Through User Generated Content

Recent marketing trends like consumers’ view of a product being influenced by their social media peers’ and brands having to adjust their voice depending on the platform show that consumers are becoming less receptive to traditional marketing practices due to a growing desire for authenticity and representation. The modern consumer wants to see a reflection of themselves in ads so they can trust the brands they spend their money with, without feeling pandered to.
According to a study conducted by EnTribe, 84 percent of participants reported that they would trust a brand if it implemented user-generated content into its marketing, while 77 percent claimed they would be more likely to buy the brand’s products.

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content (UGC) is content that is not created by a brand but is instead created by a customer. These customers are not representatives of the brand and usually create content because they’re enthusiastic about the product or service. This content can take many forms but usually take the form of a review or video shared across popular social platforms. For example, a customer who loves the camera they just bought might post a video raving about it and demonstrating the camera’s features. 

How User-Generated Content Boosts Brand Awareness

UGC is a successful marketing strategy because it capitalizes on the consumers’ desire for authenticity and provides potential customers with an authentic product review. People trust that the product is quality when a customer makes UGC because the creator went out of their way to share their appreciation, without any intention of receiving compensation. Brand awareness thrives on trust and is boosted by visibility. UGC is a fusion between both of these factors since customers are receptive to the authenticity of UGC and can readily consume this content.

Why UGC And Not Influencer Marketing?

The difference between UGC and influencer marketing is that a brand will usually solicit and pay an influencer to create content that markets its product or service. This content would be sponsored by the brand, whereas with UGC the content is produced by an ordinary person with no affiliation to the brand.
Recent changes in consumer behaviors have shown that consumers are less convinced by influencers. According to EnTribe, 85 percent of survey participants felt like influencers were inauthentic. Influencer marketing can also be expensive, and with this method shrinking in popularity, it’s making the transition to UGC more practical.

UGC is an inexpensive marketing strategy that can foster a connection between a brand and its customers in a way that influencer marketing cannot. For example, when a consumer sees their peer enjoying a product, their desire for that product may increase. This happens because the consumer can relate and see a reflection of themselves in their peer in a way that they couldn’t if the same content was made by a representative of the brand.

UGC - Coke

4 UGC Best Practices For Increased Brand Awareness

The goal of user-generated content is to encourage customers to become collaborators in your marketing campaigns. Implementing the following practices can help you achieve UGC success for your brand.

1. Use Low-Cost Rewards To Entice Consumers To Create Content

When designing a UGC marketing campaign, D2C brands will need to have a way to solicit campaign content. For example, brands can create social media contests or hashtag challenges as an incentive for sharing video and photo reviews. As a reward for their content, brands can consider giving customers discount codes or free merchandise.

Rewards are a great way to build customer loyalty and motivate customers to create UGC. Another method for soliciting campaign content that brands can use is a loyalty program. With a loyalty program, brands can reward customers with points every time they create UGC. These points could then be exchanged for store credit, free shipping, or even exclusive products. Campaigns such as these will boost brand awareness through word of mouth because of the positive interactions customers will have with your brand.

2. Provide Clear Content Guidelines

Gathering content for a UGC marketing campaign is the first step, but to do this properly brands need to give customers clear guidelines. These guidelines should detail the type of content you want to receive, how customers should submit their content, and potentially some tips for how you want the content to look.
Share these guidelines where the customers can see them, which is largely on social media. Some brands also choose to market their campaigns on the products themselves by adding a QR code on packaging that takes customers to the UGC submission page.
User Generated Content ASOS

3. Choose the Most Relevant Social Networks

Having enthusiastic customers who are eager to produce content for your brand is great, but you should be specific about the type of content you want. You should understand your demographic and where your customers can be found. Once this has been determined, you can specifically request UGC for your chosen social media platforms. For instance, for brands that have a younger customer base, it could be beneficial for them to put their content on TikTok. 
You can also solicit content for a platform that your brand doesn’t currently have much of a following on. Doing so could allow your brand to form a community of loyal customers on a new platform, thus increasing your company’s reach. You can consider using engagement data to better guide your platform choices, if necessary. Brands need to go where their audience is, and doing so successfully is a fundamental part of a successful UGC marketing campaign.
User Generated Content TikTok
Play Video

4. Always Request Permission & Remember To Give Credit

When soliciting and sharing UGC, remember to request permission to use the creator’s content. Naturally, a brand would want to use UGC that benefits them, but it shouldn’t be assumed that the existence of the content alone is enough justification to use it in a marketing campaign. Be sure to contact the creator and request permission to use their content before reposting it. By skipping this step, you risk losing that customer’s trust in your brand.
After properly soliciting and gaining permission to use a customer’s UGC, brands should tag the creator in their featured post so they receive the credit they deserve. According to EnTribe, approximately 65 percent of people between the ages of 18 and 44 may be more loyal to a brand if their content was requested and used by the brand.

Utilizing UGC Can Elevate Brand Authenticity

Today’s consumers have shown that their desire for authenticity extends to the brands that they patronize. With these trends being evident, brands should embrace the change and implement user-generated content.
Experienced marketers know that marketing trends are always evolving and that brand awareness depends on staying relevant. Connecting with your audience through UGC can be a great way to capitalize on the desire for authentic connection and may even secure loyal customers for the future.

You may also like...

Subscribe to Our Blog

Subscribe to receive an email when we publish new content!

    Ready To Empower Your Business?

    We can help you future-ready your business with customized, innovative solutions designed to foster sustainable growth.



    Meto is a tech-based nonprofit intent on making access to quality higher education a reality for all students. We have a special focus on creating scholarships for low-income students.

    In 2018, Meto was founded to connect African students with university opportunities. Along the way, we have learned that all students can benefit from our innovative model, wherein universities make the first move and invite good-fit students to apply. So, in 2023, we opened our platform to students across the globe.


              Nikhil Badlani Foundation

              The Mission of the Nikhil Badlani Foundation (the “Foundation”) is to enhance the lives of underserved children in West Orange, NJ and neighboring communities through music lessons, scholarships, and traffic safety education for all.

              Since the Foundation was established in 2011, Theorem has consistently been an annual sponsor of and team participant in the STOP for Nikhil 5K Run/3K Walk. This event intends to raise traffic safety awareness and to serve as a way to remembervbgfc ≈ and honor those who have been killed or seriously injured in traffic accidents. We recognize the importance of raising awareness and road safety amongst teenagers and parents alike, especially in the local communities of our Chatham, New Jersey office. Learn more about the Nikhil Badlani Foundation at

              Diversity and Inclusion

              Theorem actively aids in the ongoing fight against systemic racism and discrimination, realizing the importance of ongoing discussions surrounding diversity and inclusion.

              By contributing to organizations such as Black Girls Code and the Anti-Racism fund, we aim to be a fundamental supporter of diversity in the workplace and beyond. These organizations specifically speak to Theorem’s role as a leading voice in the technology innovation space and we avidly support their missions. The vision of Black Girls Code is to empower girls of color, ages 7-17 to become innovators in STEM fields and encourages them to be the builders of their own futures. The Anti-Racism Fund serves as a response to the inequities experienced by the African-American community. It provides monetary support to a dynamic portfolio of curated organizations as a way to inject and enable social change.

              Feeding America

              Feeding America is the largest charity working to end hunger in the United States. By partnering with local food banks, food pantries and other community food programs, Feeding America looks to advance change across the country and ensure equitable access to nutritious food.

              As a long-standing contributor and sponsor of Feeding America, we deeply believe in their vision of an America without hunger. The need for and importance of organizations like Feeding America has has become more and more prevalent as communities face more hardships as a result of the pandemic and the current economy. Theorem is dedicated to its continued contributions to Feeding America to do our part to empower and strengthen our communities. Learn more about Feeding America at

              Grameen America

              Grameen America is dedicated to helping entrepreneurial women who live in poverty build businesses to enable financial stability mobility.

              Since their founding in the United States in 2008, Theorem has supported Grameen America’s mission, which seeks to build upon the legacy of Presidential Medal of Freedom, Congressional Gold Medal and Nobel Peace Prize winner Muhammad Yunus. Through financial contributions and event participation, Theorem has contributed to Grameen America’s cause. As an immigrant entrepreneur himself, our CEO Jay Kulkarni is especially eager to support the organization’s mission of aiding underserved communities. Learn more about Grameen America at

              Vision Spring

              VisionSpring is making the wonder of clear vision possible for all by helping provide affordable and quality eyeglasses to those in need. For many, lack of access to affordable eyeglasses leads to loss of employment or less educational opportunities.

              VisionSpring partners with organizations who join them in their mission of supporting livelihood initiatives, enhancing potential for all. Learn more about Vision Spring at Theorem has consistently partnered with VisionSpring to organize free events, such as eye check-ups, across multiple villages in the Mysuru, India region, impacting over 3,000 rural residents. We stand with VisionSpring in their mission to increase accessibility to quality eyewear and eye care.

              Covenant House

              Covenant House provides housing and supportive services to youth facing homelessness, helping young people transform their lives.

              For more than 5+ years, Theorem has supported Covenant House with corporate sponsorships, leading career-building workshops at their Newark, NJ shelter facility and participation in the organization’s fund raising Sleep Outs. Covenant House utilizes these Sleep Outs to raise funds and help shine a light on the injustice of youth homelessness, inspiring communities to step up and protect the vulnerable. We are proud to support Covenant House’s programs, which are designed to empower young people to overcome and rise above adversity, today and in the future. Learn more about Covenant House at

              Contract Type



              Job Title

              Contract Type



              Job Title

              Lorem ipsum dolor sit amet, consectetur adipiscing elit. Ut elit tellus, luctus nec ullamcorper mattis, pulvinar dapibus leo.