10 UGC Insights I Wish I Knew Earlier

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I’ve probably created more than 300+ UGC videos. Here’s 10 things I wish I knew earlier:

1/ Energy makes or breaks your video.

Most people focus on hooks, but very few focus on energy during and after hooks.

The energy in your hook and video will evoke emotion.

And emotion drives attention and eventually clicks.

2/ Authenticity leads people to believe.

Many people believe that UGC is dead and they are right.

Inauthentic UGC review. When a creator is obsessed with every product. Naturally, it leads to a lack of authenticity.

True fans show authenticity when they really believe in the product.

I learned that giving the product first, not the assignment first made all the difference.

Remember: People can feel BS from far away.

3/ Your UGC brief makes or breaks it.

Your UGC brief needs to be detailed yet brief.

Your UGC brief has to have all guidelines with dos and don’ts.

Spend considerable time creating and updating it.

Here’s what your brief must have:

  • Dos

  • Don’ts

  • The brand expression

  • Offer & product

  • UGC deliverables

  • Before you send an approval guideline

  • UGC script structure

  • Inspiration

  • B-roll and shots we may need

I have created a UGC guideline for a brand I am working with. If you want to see an example, reply to this email and I’ll share it with you.

4/ There’s more than just hooks.

When giving UGC creators an assignment. Make sure you have broken down the intro video into:

  1. Verbal hook

  2. Visual hook

  3. Headline

  4. Lead in

These tiny details matter.

  1. Visual hook: Native-looking TikTok video

  1. Headline: Do you have any low-calorie/high-protein breakfast options with no eggs? ‘I hate eggs’ with TikTok commenting is super effective

  2. Verbal hook: I’ve taught hundreds of people to get in the best shape of their life…and these have to be top 5 questions I get asked all the time. So let me help you…

  3. Lead in: I got five different high-protein cereal breakfasts for you to try…

You get the point.

5/ Never just go with a single hook.

Always create at least 3 different variations for each video.

B-roll is your best friend, it can be used at any stage of the video from hook to body to CTA.

Protip: Always secure image and usage rights for digital use.

6/ Don’t do this alone.

I hired my top UGC creator as my creative strategist to help.

Probably the best decision I've ever made.

Here’s why:

  • She does this more than I

  • She has an eye to give feedback on the video

  • She is more detailed oriented on each frame

  • She helps me come up with hooks and angles

  • She evaluates scripts, content, CTA and more, as a quality assurance

  • She finds already proven and good fit UGC creators for me

  • She is a UGC creator, so she helps me understand both sides

7/ Freedom vs control for UGC creators.

My friend, Dara Denny believes that you need to give UGC creators exact specifications to get the best out of them.

This is 100% true. UGC creators are still weak at creating hooks and knowing the brand inside out.

But you need to let them play with your product for believability. Heck, they should be regular users.

But most importantly, give them scripts. Then as you see which creators are good, get ideas from them because they are using your product regularly.

8/ 3-step framework to finding long-term UGC creators.

Step 1: Give them 1 video and 3 hooks with guidelines only.

Step 2: Give them 3 of your proven video concepts and scripts with 3 hooks each (to give them some leeway.)

Step 3: Total freedom and big creative swings to come up with more ideas themselves once they have proven commitment to the product, brand, and the job itself.

This has worked for me. I have worked with some UGC creators for a very long time because they are so good.

9/ Rates are crazy, find what you can afford.

I’ve seen UGC creators work for us from $75-$400 per video. Standard rates are $150 with 3 hooks for the first videos.

Rates are higher if UGC creator has proven videos with multiple brands.

But some UGC creators just charge too much with no justification or authority.

I recommend negotiating.

10/ How to analyze your UGC creator’s work.

To know if a UGC creator’s video works, it always has to be Cost per Acquisition or Action basis.

Let’s say the first videos tank, so how do you analyze them?

  1. Did it make people stop?

    1. Look at thumbnail retention > 1s view/impressions > this needs to be 90%

    2. 3 second retention rate> 2s view/impression > this needs to be 30%

  2. Did it retain them after watching?

    1. Average watch time - 4s

    2. Hold rate (Thru plays/impressions) - 25%

    3. Waterfall rate - Create custom metrics for drop off from 25% > 50% > 75%>100% – This helps you understand where users are dropping off. It will help you with iterating the ad.

  3. Did it generate interest?

    1. CTR (Outbound link clicks)

  4. Did it get them to make them want to buy?

    1. Outbound click-to-purchase ratio

    2. ROAS (Return on Ad Spend)

This should help you understand if the UGC creator and their concepts worked on or not, or if you need to iterate.

Hope this helps.

Here are my recommendations to get UGC early if you are still looking for UGC creators:

  • TikTok Creator Marketplace: Free but requires time and energy.

  • SARAL: Paid but effective search engine and probably get organic traffic too via influencers who could do UGC.

  • Insense: Paid but helps you find UGC creators on demand.

These were just 10 tips I wish I knew earlier. I am thinking of making a longer guide for you to refer to whenever you get into UGC.

Bonus: Paid marketing hack that I recently found

I don’t have time to read all the reviews from my customers and I wanted AI to do it for me. But not just summarize, rather provide me with actionable insights. I found a cool tool that gets me thousands of words of data points in 13 seconds or less (if you do it right).

An AI assistant turning messy customer data (think customer reviews, testimonials, or survey responses) into clear insights in seconds, all within a tool you know and use every day: Google Sheets.

It’s legit and I’m doing it for all of the clients I have worked with. Most AI tools are overhyped but this is an actual course + AI tool that I am actually using almost every day to find insights, ad hooks, angles, headlines, copy, and more.

Check out: The F*cking Fast Buyer Insights System (It’s only $79. After using it, I would have paid $499 for this.) But shhhhh! 🤫

Missed my social content?

Shout out to Badal Pandey for these amazing insights in our mastermind Slack group. There are many like these on a weekly basis. This is just one of them.

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