How to Launch A UGC Strategy in 2024

Explore UGC strategies that emphasize demographics and identifies consumers on TikTok, Instagram, Youtube, and Facebook. This guide thoroughly talks about creating metrics that are unique to each platform while creating concise guidelines on how to launch a specialized strategy.

What is UGC?

User-Generated Content (UGC) refers to any form of content created by users or consumers rather than by brands or companies. This can range from images, videos, testimonials, blog posts, and everything in between. It’s important to understand what UGC is in order to understand the value in how it can be used effectively.

In the early stages, considering the goal of your campaign serves as a valuable testing ground to build the right audience while building a brand's foundation. In order to have effective UGC strategies, having access to as much data as possible can improve your understanding of exactly what you want and are looking for.

More importantly, it defines the path for how you want to get there. Being in full control of your brand page by deciding who will represent it will result in a more authentic means of communicating your brand. By showcasing your brand with UGC, your brand's growth potential is uncapped, as your own users become your Influencers.

With Crafted, we can address some of these points today to guide your food and beverage brand on its very own UGC Journey.

How to Create a UGC Strategy

How do you know when you're ready to start experimenting with UGC ? It helps to have researched a few things outlined before jumping straight in. The more clear you are about what you want, the simpler and more effective your strategy can be.

1. Set Your Goals:

Before diving into UGC, pen down the clear objectives you wish to achieve. The more precise and actionable they are, the easier it will be to test. Whether it's growing your social media presence, creating a community, or pushing product sales, your goals will dictate your strategy.

2. Prerequisite Checklist:

- Conduct market research

- Identify the pain points you’re addressing

- Acquaint yourself with the platforms and their demographics

- A basic understanding of what style UGC video you will use for best practices (the more data the better)

- Create A/B Testing Guide to track proper metrics

- An open mindset (your target audience may not have been what you initially intended)

Identify Your Target Audience

Ask Specific Questions

Asking the right questions can lead you to finding the right audience.

If your consumer was a person, what would they look like, how would they speak, what would they do in their free time and where would they be ?

Who is your target audience and what do they want ?

How do they engage with your brand's products or services ?

What is the final intention of the content?

Demographics & Psychographics

To identify your demographic, analyze what type of people buy your product and where they come from. What is their cultural background or age group ? Looking into current sales and engagement data to understand who is buying and engaging with your products or similar brands is also helpful. Are they millennials who love experimenting with global cuisines? Or health-conscious parents looking for nutritious meals?

Consumer Preferences

Understand what they want. For a beverage brand, is there a trend towards healthier drinks or a preference for traditional flavors? How is it presented and what intrigues them in the process of learning about a brand they’ve never heard of ? Is the packaging flashy and attention grabbing, or subtle and clean ? Once you've profiled your audience, UGC that speaks directly to them. For example, If you're targeting a busy, health conscious mom that is having a hard time eating vegetables, promote UGC that showcases recipes that can be cooked in one pot in under 10 minutes.

Analyze Engagement Patterns

Analyzing engagement patterns is helpful in defining the interactions of your consumers with the brand. Tracking products to see the most repeated purchases or looking into which themes generate the most likes, shares, comments, or bookmarks are incredibly relevant to manage and track.

Defining Goals Clearly

Gain Followers: If the goal is to increase followers, emphasize content that's shareable and has gone viral in the past. For instance, a challenge involving your food product or something that is shareable with friends.

Build Brand Awareness: For this, focus on content that tells your brand's story. Maybe it's the sustainable way you source ingredients or a behind-the-scenes look at how a product is made.

Collect Emails for Reactivation: Run UGC campaigns that offer value in exchange for emails. It could be a contest where participants share their unique recipes using your product, and in return, they get an exclusive e-book or discount.

Drive Sales: UGC showcasing real-life usage of your product can influence potential buyers. If it's a beverage, UGC can showcase the drink as a perfect party companion, urging viewers to make a purchase for their next gathering. Use shopping ads or create a call to action at the end of your video.

In conclusion, for food and beverage brands venturing into UGC, a structured approach is paramount. Understand your goals, audience, and intentions, and then craft a UGC strategy that resonates. When done right, UGC can provide authentic engagement and drive tangible results for your brand.

Testing different target audiences

User demographics change significantly based on which platform a brand chooses to market with. Every platform was started at different points in time, meaning the use cases and target audience was tailored for a specific consumer in mind.  

Establishing your brand's voice is critical to clearly communicating your brand's products or services. Depending on the demographic you are specifically narrowing down, your target audience can be affected by age, gender, income, or culture.

Facebook: Founded 2004

Primary Age Group: 25-54 years old

Noteworthy Demographic Insight: Over the years, as younger users migrated to newer platforms, Facebook has seen a consistent user base among older millennials, Gen X, and baby boomers. Its features like Marketplace, Groups, and Memories resonate well with an audience that values community, networking, and nostalgia.

YouTube: Founded 2005

Primary Age Group: 15-35 years old, but with substantial viewership across all age groups

Noteworthy Demographic Insight: YouTube's vast range of content, from educational to entertainment, appeals to a broad audience. However, its strength lies in its influencer culture and long-form content which has a universal appeal, making it a platform that transcends generational boundaries.

Instagram: Founded 2010

Primary Age Group: 18-34 years old

Noteworthy Demographic Insight: Instagram's visual-centric platform caters to a younger demographic that values aesthetics, personal branding, and the "lifestyle" appeal. Its Stories feature and influencer culture that draws a youthful, style-conscious crowd.

TikTok: Founded 2016

Primary Age Group: 16-24 years old

Noteworthy Demographic Insight: TikTok's short, catchy video format, combined with its algorithm that allows any user to go "viral", is particularly enticing to Gen Z. The platform promotes creativity, trends, and virality, making it a hub for younger users who crave dynamic, interactive content.

Each of these platforms has carved a unique space in the social media landscape, with distinct user demographics and content formats that cater to specific audience needs and preferences. With the right strategy in mind, the platform can boost the performance of a UGC campaign.

Social Media Platforms - Where does your content go best?

Each platform offers a distinct creation purpose, serving as a unique ecosystem sculpted by its algorithmic DNA. This distinction influences content posting strategies and changes the frequency, due to their inherent design and audience, in regard to user expectations. These algorithms determine content visibility, virality, and engagement. Furthermore, the concept of 'native' versus 'non-native' platforms highlights platforms that started off primarily for content sharing (native) versus those that integrated it later (non-native). Here is a breakdown of these platforms and how they can be utilized most effectively.

Overview of Platforms

Instagram Reels

Launched in 2020 as an answer to TikTok's rising popularity. Originally, Instagram was a social networking platform focused on photo sharing.

Top Features: The Explore Page and Feed promote content virality.

Optimal Content: "Money shots" that capture instant attention and aesthetic visuals resonate best.

Frequency: 3-7 times a week. Instagram, initially a platform for photo sharing, values consistency to keep users engaged daily. Reels was introduced as a dynamic counterpart to static posts. With the Explore Page and Feed, consistent posting increases chances of visibility and virality. Aesthetic "money shots" have short-lived virality. Regular fresh content ensures sustained engagement.

Engagement Rate: Instagram, particularly with its Stories and IGTV features, is known for a high engagement rate. This pertains to likes, comments, shares, and story interactions.

Visual Content Engagement: Given its roots as a photo-sharing app, high-quality visual content, especially images and short videos, often sees significant engagement.

Reach and Impressions: Instagram Insights offers data on how many people have seen a post or story, providing brands with a clear picture of their content's visibility.

Click-through Rate (CTR) for Shopping and Ads: With its shopping feature, businesses can tag products in their posts, leading to direct purchases. The effectiveness of this feature is often measured using CTR.


Designed as a platform for short-form videos with a focus on creativity and self-expression.

Top Features: The Explore Page and Feed create an engaging content consumption environment.

Optimal Content: Human-centric storytelling, immersive experiences, and relatable content shine here.

Frequency: 1-3 times a day for active creators; otherwise, 3-5 times a week. Built for short-form, spontaneous content that's easy to create and consume. TikTok's algorithm values user interaction. Posting more frequently can accelerate profile growth, especially if one of the videos gains traction. With a focus on storytelling and human experiences, the platform encourages spontaneous, daily-life content, which can be produced frequently.

Viral Potential: One of TikTok's standout features is its ability to make content go viral regardless of the creator's follower count. This is thanks to its algorithm which prioritizes content relevance and engagement over account popularity.

Video Watch Time: Given that TikTok is exclusively a video platform, the total time users spend watching a video (and re-watching it) is a critical metric.

Sound and Music Engagement: Unique to TikTok, trending sounds drive content themes, challenges, and virality. The metrics around sound usage are pivotal for content creators and brands alike.

Engagement Rate: Similar to Instagram but more video-focused, likes, comments, shares, duets, and stitches on TikTok videos are key indicators of content resonance.

Facebook Reels

Emerged in the wake of Instagram Reels' success for short form videos.

Features: Similar to Instagram with the Explore Page and Feed promoting content virality.

Optimal Content: Shareable videos with universal appeal, considering an older demographic than Instagram.

Frequency: 3-5 times a week. Facebook's design was for regular check-ins and updates from a network of friends and family. Similar to Instagram, but given the broader and older demographic, less frequent, but more universal content works best. Given the diverse age range, content that's universally appealing and shareable works best. Consistency matters but doesn't necessitate daily posting

Shareability: Due to its format and user base, content that is shareable (i.e., resonates with a broad audience and is shared across multiple user profiles) can quickly gain traction on Facebook.

Click-through Rate (CTR) for Ads: Facebook's advertising platform is robust, and CTR is a crucial metric for businesses to measure ad performance.

Page Likes and Follows: While this might seem like a more traditional metric, for many brands, growing their Facebook page's likes and follows remains a significant objective.

Post Reach and Engagement: Facebook's Insights provide data on how many people a post has reached organically versus through paid promotion, and how they engaged with it.

YouTube Shorts

Introduced in 2020 to tap into the short-video content trend. YouTube's original aim was video-sharing for all topics.

Features: Algorithm prioritizes watch time, promoting binge-worthy content.

Optimal Content: Engaging clips that keep viewers hooked, benefiting from the platform's established audience base.

Frequency: 2-4 times a week. YouTube was designed for longer, episodic content. Even though Shorts are brief, they benefit from a more measured approach. With an emphasis on watch time, content that keeps viewers on the platform is rewarded. Thus, fewer but highly engaging videos can be more beneficial. Since YouTube has a vast topic range, content should be engaging enough to keep viewers returning. Quality over quantity often works best here.YouTube:

Watch Time: YouTube's algorithm places a heavy emphasis on watch time. Videos that keep users engaged for longer periods are more likely to be recommended.

Subscriber Growth: The number of channel subscribers is a foundational metric for content creators.

Likes, Dislikes & Comments: These metrics offer insights into a video's reception by the audience.

Ad Metrics: With YouTube ads, viewability, clicks, and conversions are key, especially given YouTube's range of ad formats.

Video Retention Rate: It measures how well a video retains its audience over its entirety.

Each of these platforms has its own distinctive features and user demographics. Consequently, while they might share common metrics, each platform also has its unique strengths when it comes to specific metrics. Here's a comparative breakdown:

Metrics to Track

For a food and beverage brand, understanding how their content resonates with the audience is pivotal. Tracking specific metrics related to user-generated content (UGC) strategies can provide insights into brand visibility, engagement, and sales conversions. Metrics can be boiled down to two categories: Customer Acquisition and Retention.  

Acquisition Metrics for Top of Funnel Awareness

1. Video Views: Counts how many times a video has been watched for a certain duration

2. Impressions / CPM (Cost Per Impression): Represents how often content is displayed, regardless of clicks or interactions. CPM measures the cost incurred for every 1,000 impressions.

3. Engagement: Tracks user interactions with content, such as likes, comments, shares, or saves.

4. Cost Per Click (CPC): Calculates the cost paid for each click received through an advertisement.

5. Video Completion Rate: Measures the percentage of viewers who watch a video from start to finish.

Retention Metrics for Lower Funnel Conversion / Community Building

1. Average Watch Time: The average duration a viewer spends watching a video or content.

2. Follower Growth: The increase in the number of followers or subscribers over a specific time period.

3. Audience Growth Rate: The percentage rate at which a channel's followers or subscribers increase over time.

4. Lifetime Value (LTV): The predicted net profit attributed to the entire future relationship with a customer.

Collecting Data to Convert

Using all of these Metrics, the ultimate goal would be to collect information in order to make sales.  Video Views and Impressions / CPM illuminate the brand's awareness and visibility, showing how often and cost-effectively the content graces screens. Yet, it's the Engagement, from likes to shares, that truly spices things up, showcasing active audience interactions and hinting at content's appetizing allure. Cost Per Click (CPC), and a high Video Completion Rate signal that viewers are hooked from the first bite to the last, meaning they are engaged. Meanwhile, metrics like Average Watch Time and Follower Growth pepper insights into brand loyalty and relevance, with longer view times and expanding audiences suggesting a recipe for success. Cohesively, Lifetime Value (LTV) forecasts the lasting bond with customers, ensuring that a brand isn't just a flash in the pan but a staple in the culinary digital world.

A/B Testing


Increase the conversion rate (i.e., the percentage of visitors who make a purchase) on the brand's product page.

- Control: The existing product page which features a traditional photo of the granola bar in its packaging, along with a description highlighting its health benefits.

- Variable: A new product page version which uses a vibrant image of the granola bar next to fresh fruits and oats, showing the natural ingredients, and has a description that not only talks about health but also focuses on taste.

Split Testing

Split testing is an easy way to differentiate variables in an actionable manner. If there are more than two options, it becomes hard to understand what must be changed. To simplify the process of elimination, it is important to create a framework where there are only two ways to go about testing, otherwise, the variables can start to become difficult to determine. Platforms like TikTok already have these options available to allow creators to have the best content curation experience.


Since this is an e-commerce website change, the channel remains the website. However, if this were an advertising campaign, one could test the effectiveness of the same ad on different platforms like Facebook vs. Instagram.


Suppose previous data suggests that individuals between ages 25-35 are more health-conscious and are the primary buyers. The A/B test can be specifically targeted towards them to see if the changes are more appealing to this age group.

Styles of Content

The brand could test the effectiveness of different content styles on the product page:

- Video Content: A short clip showing the granola bar being enjoyed during various activities (hiking, at the office, post-gym).

- Infographics: Visual graphics detailing the nutritional benefits of the granola bar.

- Customer Testimonials: Quotes or short videos from customers raving about the taste and benefits.


The original product page might focus on phrases like "Healthy and Nutritious." The test could involve a change in messaging to something like "Deliciously Healthy."

Creative Style

This can include changes in the color scheme of the page, the typography used, or the arrangement of elements to see if it influences consumer decisions.

Remember, UGC is a volume game. More content improves the accuracy of results. Aim for larger content volumes, e.g., 10 videos per angle or 30 videos per month for each platform.

Key Takeaways

For instance, if you're A/B testing a new website design and find that version B has a 5% higher click-through rate than version A, you'd need to ensure that this result is statistically significant before making changes. If you've only tested the new design on a small group, or if there's a high p-value, the observed effect might just be random.

Statistical Significance

After running the test for a predetermined period or until a certain number of visitors have been reached, it's crucial to analyze if there's a statistically significant difference between the conversion rates of the control and the variable. To do this, creating a test size would be the most optimal way of screening for the variables consistency. For example, if a cover post did well for 10,000 views, how well would it do if 100,000 people saw it ? Would the engagement or CTR change ?

Testing Different Content-Formats

In the infinite world of internet content, not all videos are made the same. It's important to sample different types of content formats to find out what resonates with your audience while noting when to scale. Depending on the style, some videos are quicker to produce, while others might need a bit more time in the oven. Creating a format and system that best suits your brand's marketing style and goals will lead to simpler scalability for your brand's reach. [Discover more about scalability here.](#)

1. Recipe Style Videos (Tasty-Style)

This video style can be described as the overhead-view videos you've seen where the viewer only sees the cooks hands while they put together a dish. It's straightforward, focused on the dish, and no faces or personalities are involved. It's like reading a recipe card but with visuals. Perfect for those who just want the recipe without any fuss.

2. Cooking Show

A host will take the recipe video and add some personality while cooking the dish. Here, it's not just about the dish; it's about the chef, their anecdotes, tips, and the overall presentation. It's like having a friendly chef guide you through the process. Brands can leverage popular personalities or even introduce their own brand mascot or chef to showcase an identity that connects with their audience.

3. Experience/Storytelling

Showcasing a product isn't just about how it's made, but about the experience surrounding it. Maybe it's a family gathering around a holiday dish, or a young couple trying out a new coffee. These videos tell a story around the product, making it relatable. These styles of videos relate emotionally, making viewers feel connected to the product.


All about sound, ASMR videos capture the sensation of hearing the crunch of chips or the fizz of an unopened soda. ASMR (Autonomous Sensory Meridian Response) videos create a distinctly unique approach to the food experience as it is often an overlooked part of the process.

5. Highly Aesthetic

Some dishes are not just food; they're art. These videos focus on the beauty of food—the vibrant colors, the steam rising from a dish, or the perfect plating. It's food cinematography, and it makes viewers appreciate the aesthetics of a dish.

6. Aspirational

Ever watched a video and thought, "I want to dine there" or "I wish I could cook that"? It's about presenting something in such a way where viewers aspire or desire to experience it. Similar to that of highly aesthetic content, presentation plays a major role in the perception of what it looks and feels like to eat somewhere. Influencers can create a “look” that evokes feelings of wanting to recreate that same experience for themselves

7. Review

Feedback is the most authentic way of describing someone's food experience to build trust. Review videos are where consumers or experts taste, use, and then share their genuine feedback about a product. Authenticity is the key here. Genuine reviews can significantly boost a product's credibility.

General UGC Tips

1. Prioritize good lighting and audio

Quality lighting and clear audio are foundational to any video's success. Poor lighting can obscure details, making the video less engaging, while poor audio can be distracting or even off-putting. Together, they determine the overall clarity and appeal of your video.

2. Ensure interesting context or background

An engaging background or context provides depth to the video, adding layers of interest for viewers. It not only adds to the aesthetic appeal but also helps in storytelling and sets the tone of the content.

3. Use high-quality cameras

The resolution and clarity of videos matter, especially when users have a plethora of content choices. High-quality footage makes the content look professional, increasing its credibility and watchability.

4. Display enthusiasm

Enthusiasm is infectious. An enthusiastic presenter or subject can draw viewers in, making them more invested in the content. It adds an emotional layer to the video, making it memorable and relatable.

5. Include "money shots" – key visuals that capture attention

These are the shots that instantly grab viewers' attention. They are pivotal moments in the video that evoke strong emotions or reactions. They serve as a visual hook, ensuring that the audience remains engaged and intrigued.

6. Use descriptive language and voice overs

Descriptive language paints a vivid picture, enhancing the viewers' understanding and appreciation of the content. Voiceovers, on the other hand, can provide additional context, commentary, or narrative, enriching the video's content layers.

7. Structure content with a captivating hook

The beginning moments of a video often determine whether viewers stay or leave. An intriguing hook ensures that viewers are invested right from the start, increasing the chances they'll watch the entire video.

8. Utilize hashtags and CTAs

Hashtags improve discoverability on platforms like Instagram and TikTok, expanding the video's reach. Call-to-Actions (CTAs) guide viewers on the next steps, whether it's visiting a website, liking the video, or following the creator, ensuring active engagement.

9. Engage with comments and feedback loops

Engaging with viewers fosters community and loyalty. It makes viewers feel valued and heard, increasing the likelihood of them returning for more content. Feedback loops also provide insights into audience preferences, helping refine content strategy.

When combined, these elements ensure that a video is not only visually and audibly pleasing but also engaging and interactive. Each component complements the others, creating a holistic experience that captivates and resonates with viewers. By adhering to these tips, content creators can enhance their videos' effectiveness and foster deeper connections with their audience.

Step-by-Step Guide to UGC


In the rapidly evolving landscape of digital marketing, the unique attributes of platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and YouTube each offer distinct opportunities for brands to connect with their audiences. Instagram dazzles with visual aesthetics, TikTok thrives on trends and engaging content, Facebook leverages its extensive network for share ability, and YouTube emphasizes long-form engagement through watch time.

When creating with User-Generated Content (UGC), understanding these platforms and how they are unique can make or break your campaign. Campaigns that resonate authentically with users can significantly amplify brand messages and create meaningful interactions. However, crafting the right strategy requires insight and finesse.

Brands and marketers, equipped with the insights from this blog post, are well-prepared to craft UGC campaigns that resonate deeply with their audience and align seamlessly with their marketing goals. For those seeking further guidance, Crafted proudly offers hands-on social media consultations to pinpoint and execute the strategy that's tailor-made for your brand's success. Dive deep, and harness the power of UGC with expertise by your side.

Nov 5, 2023
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