As the digital marketing industry continues to evolve, two specific roles have become increasingly popular: UGC creators and influencers. While both roles involve creating content for the purpose of promoting a product or service, there are some key differences between the two.
What is a UGC Creator?
A UGC creator focuses on creating user-generated content. This type of content typically consists of any of the following.
- Product reviews
- Blog Posts
This content is created by the user, rather than being produced by the brand itself. UGC creators are often more focused on creating content that is authentic and genuine, as opposed to influencers who may be hired by a company to produce or simply share polished, ad-like content on the influencer’s account.
What is an Influencer?
An influencer can also be a content creator (or UGC creator), but this isn’t always the case. The job of the influencer is to influence their followers to make a purchase decision.
Other Key Differences Between UGC Creators and Influencers
UGC creators often have a smaller following than influencers. This is because, as a UGC Creator, you aren’t trying to get your followers to buy a specific product or service so your reach doesn’t necessarily matter. You are simply creating content that the brand can use to inform its own target audience.
As mentioned previously, UGC creators are typically more focused on authenticity. UGC creators are providing content that acts as “social proof” for a specific product or service. Their job is to highlight key features of the product and service from the consumer’s point of view.
On the other hand, influencers typically have a much larger follower base than UGC creators. As it is their job to persuade their followers to make a purchase, it is expected that influencers have a very engaged and targeted audience.
Influencers often have a larger reach than UGC Creators and can be used to promote a product or service to a wider audience. As such, influencers may be better suited for businesses that want to reach a broader audience. Influencers don’t even necessarily have to create the content themselves as a UGC creator would, their job is to post and get their audience to engage with that content.
Influencers should have already built up trust with their audience, making it easier for them to sell a product or service. Before you connect with influencers, you need to clearly define your target audience and make sure the influencer’s audience aligns with your own.
Which One is Best for Your Business?
It is extremely important that brands have a clear outcome in mind for their marketing goals. If you really want to expand your audience and boost brand awareness (while hopefully boosting sales), working with an influencer in your niche may be the best fit.
On the other hand, if you simply want to collect social proof for your brand and build trust within your audience, UGC may be best for you. You can also use a hybrid approach and seek out a creator who operates as both an influencer and UGC Creator.
As always, I highly recommend vetting UGC creators and influencers to make sure they can best meet your needs. Luckily, this doesn’t have to be a strenuous process. You can use platforms like Influencer Review to find and communicate with creators in your niche. Through this same platform, you can also read the influencer reviews left by other brands to help you in the vetting process. The Influencer Review platform takes a lot of the extra work out of the entire influencer relations process.
To learn more about key differences between UGC creators and influencers, you can check out this TikTok I created breaking down the difference between UGC Creators and influencers.