42 Statistics About User-Generated Content You Need to Know

By Lindsay Macdonald - March 5, 2019
4 mins read time
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The ways in which people are creating and consuming content are changing. In an era where it’s easier than ever to be dealt misinformation, consumers are adapting to find — and create — the content that matters to them. User-generated content (UGC) has risen above other marketing trends as a consistently effective and trustworthy component of modern content strategies.

Gone are the days where consumers blindly accept content the way it’s been traditionally served. Instead, customers are now demanding more authenticity, and they want personalized online experiences to match. Acknowledging this shift in consumer content attitudes is crucial for brands if they want to get content marketing right — and getting content right can make a huge impact on turning prospects into customers.

As marketing strategies ebb and flow, user-generated content stays effective. For context, we put together a list of UGC trends and statistics that emphasize its importance.

The importance of authenticity is (still) rising

  • 90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support (up from 86% in 2017). (Stackla)
  • 83% marketers agree that authenticity is very important to their brands. (Stackla)
  • 61% of marketers said authenticity is what makes content marketing most effective. (Stackla)
  • 79% of people say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions. (Stackla)

Consumers aren’t as swayed by influencer marketing campaigns as marketers think

  • Consumers find UGC 9.8x more impactful than influencer content when making a purchasing decision. (Stackla)
  • Only 8% of consumers say influencer-created content highly impacts their purchasing decisions — down 23% from 2017. (Stackla)
  • Yet, North American marketers spent more than $1 billion on influencers last year. (Ad Age)
  • And, 49% of marketers are planning to increase their investment in influencer marketing in 2019. (Stackla)

UGC enables personalized customer experiences at scale

  • 67% of consumers (73% of Gen Z and 70% of Millennials) say it’s important for brands to provide them with a personalized experience. (Stackla)
  • 92% of marketers believe their brands deliver personalized experiences to customers — however, 45% of consumers agreed that the majority of brands they interact with provide personalized experiences, 14% flatly disagreed and another 41% neither agreed nor disagreed. (Stackla)
  • 95% of marketers report that personalized emails have improved their email open rates. (Socialnomics)
  • 55% of customers look forward to discounts and offers specially tailored for them. (Socialnomics)

Millennials are professional content creators and consumers

  • Millennials (ages 25 and above) are the biggest content drivers — contributing over 70% of all UGC. (DMNews)
  • Millennials spend 18 hours per day with media, and 30% of that time is spent looking at user-generated media. (Business2Community)
  • Millennials believe that UGC is 35% more memorable than other media. (Business2Community)
  • Only 1% of Millennials say a compelling advertisement would make them trust a brand more. (Crowdtap)

Consumers are excited to share the content they create

  • 89% of people would post about a positive travel destination experience. (Stackla)
  • 85% of people would post about a positive restaurant dining experience. (Stackla)
  • 65% of people would post about a positive health or beauty product experience. (Stackla)
  • 62% of people would post about a new car. (Stackla)

UGC enables successful video marketing

  • 45% of people watch over an hour of Facebook or YouTube videos every week. (SEMRush)
  • 56% of consumers say UGC photos and videos are the content they most want to see from brands. (Stackla)
  • On video platforms like YouTube, UGC fan videos get 10x more views than brand content. (ReelSEO)
  • Engagement increases by 28% when consumers can view a mixture of user-generated product videos and official brand authored content. (SEMRush)

UGC increases visitor time on website

  • Visitors to websites that include UGC galleries spend 90% more time on the site. (Salesforce)
  • UGC increases conversions by 10% when included in an online purchase path. (Salesforce)
  • Sites with featured UGC saw a 20% increase in return visitors. (SocialToaster)
  • Leading Hotels of the World doubled their time on site by featuring UGC on their webpages. (Stackla)

UGC optimizes email marketing click-through-rates

  • 77% of consumers prefer email for marketing communications. (Square2Marketing)
  • UGC drives a 73% increase in email click-through-rates. (Salesforce)
  • When an ad has social context, it drives 50% more recall and 35% higher online sales lift. (ZDNet)
  • Amazfit increased their email click-through rates by 8% by leveraging UGC. (Stackla)
  • Stackla customers have seen a 29% uplift in sales by featuring UGC in email marketing campaigns. (Stackla)

Implementing UGC across social media channels humanizes a brand

  • An average of 60 million images are uploaded to Instagram every day. (Adweek)
  • Over 50% of people said they create content at least once daily, with 23% saying that they create more frequently — 2 to 5 times per day. (Crowdtap)
  • UGC posts shared to social channels see a 28% higher engagement rate than standard brand posts. (SocialToaster)
  • Social campaigns that incorporate UGC see a 50% lift in engagement. (Salesforce)
  • User-generated content featuring a brand drove 6.9x higher engagement than brand-generated content on Facebook. (Mavrck)
  • 51% of consumers say they’d be more likely to engage with and/or purchase from a brand if it shared their photo, video or social post across its marketing channels. (Stackla)

Putting UGC in advertisements increases engagement

  • Ads with UGC generate 5x greater click-through-rates. (Salesforce)
  • 90% of B2C brands say Facebook ads are a regular part of their paid social media strategy, with 57% planning to increase their use of Facebook ads in the near future. (Social Media Today)
  • Toyota increased their Facebook ad engagement by 440% using UGC. (Stackla)

The statistics are clear. Where branded content recites information, user-generated content invites engagement.  Where stock photography gets glazed over, user-generated content inspires action. Where influencer content seems staged and exhausted, user-generated content is genuine and influential.

Brands that leverage user-generated content can improve their content strategy across all of these channels and more. As we’ve said before, 2019 is the year of user-generated content. Don’t fall behind without it!

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