User-Generated Content: How and Why This Authentic Aesthetic Encourages Engagement

Recently, Dish Works launched our UGC (User-Generated Content) service for culinary brands, UGC-style videos that capture a real life look-and-feel, made by our in-house creators. We’ve been getting so many questions and inquiries from brands about this, that we thought we’d run it back to cover some basics about what UGC is and why marketers shouldn’t ignore it.

First, a simple definition:

User-Generated Content is any form of content made by a regular person. On social media, this most frequently looks like an everyday user (as opposed to an influencer), shooting on an iPhone without specialized lighting, video or sound equipment. This original content is often made by a brand’s most loyal customers, and sometimes by employees or more established content creators.  

Why should brands be paying attention? 

Currently, UGC videos are performing very well on social media. Consumers respond to the authenticity of this style for a few reasons. One factor is the lower quality look, which can be refreshing after scrolling through a stream of glossy, highly-edited content. Another reason is that the videos are relatable and feel “real,” which promotes a sense of trust. After all, if someone is excited enough about a product to take time out of their day to post about it, it must be something special, right? It’s the 21st century version of “word of mouth,” and for culinary brands, UGC can be an incredibly powerful marketing tool. 

There is data to back up the power of UGC content, as well. According to data published by Business Wire, 79 percent of people say user-generated content highly impacts their purchasing decisions, and 56 percent of consumers say the types of content they most want to see from brands are user-generated photos and videos.

Taking the guesswork out of UGC culinary content

UGC videos are trending, and we think they’ll be sticking around. Most content marketers understand the value of curating an array of assets, including beautifully produced videos and assets, in addition to lo-fi influencer-style and UGC-style content. If your team has been considering adding User-Generated Content to your brand’s portfolio, you’re right on time! 

However, for a type of asset that seems so simple on the face of it, making compelling UGC content is surprisingly trickier than it looks. One of the potential downsides of UGC content is the logistical overwhelm of coordinating with numerous amateur content creators, sending tons of DMs and emails only to be unsure who will respond, or what the quality of the deliverables will actually be. TBH, it’s not much easier working with middleman agencies that deal with the logistics of hiring and managing creators, plus then there’s a sizeable price markup.

Sometimes, this becomes such a time-consuming headache that marketers are tasked with making UGC-style content themselves (feel free to share our blog post with your higher ups about the difference between content strategy vs. content production!).  

That’s where Dish Works comes in: Our in-house team of creators are skilled at making User-Generated Content that nails the style and the trends. We’re not brand ambassadors or influencers, but instead bring our combined decades of content creation and passion for all things culinary to the table. 

We understand content marketing strategies, and we understand what works on social (to say we’re kind of obsessed with culinary content is putting it lightly). Our diverse, talented team of creators can achieve any type of UGC-style videos that fits your marketing goals, and your brand retains full ownership over the assets, which is not the industry standard when working with individual creators. 

To start capitalizing on the hot UGC trend (while side-stepping all of the hassle) with Dish Works as an extension of your team, reach out to get the conversation started.