While UGC creators and influencers share many similarities and common interests, they have their differences as well. Let’s cover what the difference between a UGC creator vs. influencer and why each style of creator is important to brands.
What are UGC creators?
Like influencers, UGC creators produce original content, but the main difference is that UGC creators produce content without being compensated or working directly with a brand. User-generated content is meant to be genuine content created by brand advocates.
These are social media users who share products they love on their own — without necessarily being invited to do so by a brand. According to an April 2023 report from Deloitte, “50% of consumers say UGC videos help them discover new products or services.”
Recently, some influencers have started calling themselves UGC creators, although they are being compensated for their content.
The definitions of UGC creators and influencers can often overlap and become confusing; however, these solid points and differences help break it down:
- UGC creators produce content that showcases brands and their products in a way often not compensated or acknowledged by the brand.
- Brands typically ask social media users to repost their UGC content to the brand’s channels with a credit or tag to the original creator. Posts by compensated UGC creators, on the other hand, are usually shared through the brand’s platform directly and not typically through the creator’s personal platform.
- When brands compensate a creator for UGC, they typically own the content and can use it for their marketing purposes, per their contract. Paid UGC creators must disclose the relationship with the brand, per FTC guidelines. For actual UGC by regular social media users, the creators maintain ownership of their content, and no disclosure is required if there is no compensation, whether monetary or product.
- Meanwhile, influencers who work with brands typically have contracts that specify usage rights and content ownership, among other terms.
The best way to summarize the general differences between paid UGC creators and influencers is that UGC creators are compensated to create content that will typically only be used on the brand’s platform rather than their own personal marketing channels.
Many large companies use UGC-style content because it is more authentic to social media users. UGC content doesn’t necessarily have a polished or overly produced look, which often resonates with social media users.
For example, ASOS launched the hashtag “#AsSeenOnMe,” which inspired many creators to share their love for the brand and showcase their ASOS outfits.
What is an influencer?
Influencers share content about the brands they love through gifted collaborations, paid partnerships and sponsorships, and brand ambassadorships.
- The creative content influencers share is originally posted on their own platforms and then often reshared on those of the brands, if the contract allows.
- Content ownership is more complex with influencers and is often discussed and agreed upon beforehand.
- Influencers receive a creative brief from the brand with best practices, including FTC disclosure.
With the varied use of terms like UGC creator and influencer on social media, it can be difficult to know what kind of creator is ideal for a campaign. We hope this post helps you determine which is right for your brand.