Industry Insights

Influencer Marketing vs. UGC Productions

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What is Influencer Marketing?: An overview

Whether you’re a social media magnet or entirely out of touch with Meta, the chances are that you’re familiar with at least one influencer. With social media platforms single-handedly rocking the digital advertising industry, brands have turned to social celebs to maximize their marketing methods. 

Influencers, or digital socialites, have taken over advertising by storm. These self-made internet celebrities have proven themselves to be experts in their fields and have accumulated many followers who support their claims. Because of the weight their name holds, like with any celebrity, influencers have exceeded the boundaries of social media advertisement and have begun to dominate external media outlets such as magazine spreads or film cameos!

Brands from all industries have partnered with influencers rather than relying solely on traditional celebrities to promote their products and drive sales. But with influencers aiming for external gigs, brand deals, and sponsorships, they’ve left a clean, comfortable space unattended for UGC Creators to get in on the social media advertising action.

What is User Generated Content? 

User Generated Content (UGC) is the buzzword of the decade thus far. As a rapidly growing industry, UGC has made a loud entrance into the influencer marketing medium. Unlike its origins, UGC doesn’t require a self-proclaimed celebrity to drive ad performance. Actually, that very aspect is what drives such success amongst UGC ads –authenticity.

UGC is meant to be true, genuine content from an actual “user” of said product. Think of it as paid product review in media form –  though it’s still meant to emulate unsolicited consumer content. 

While it’s certainly expected, product reviews are not the only form of traditional UGC content. Other popular concepts include unboxing, demos, testimonials, tips and how-to’s, Get Ready With Me (GRWM), and other trending sounds, dances, and concepts.

What’s the difference between an influencer and other content creators? 

With influencer marketing, the influencer and their following are the product, while with UGC the content created is the product. Influencers’ social media ads are typically served directly from their profiles rather than owned by the brand through paid advertisements.

“I wouldn't classify myself an influencer because I don’t have a solid brand or following to influence a large group of people,” AdLiven’s Creative Producer, Krystiana Estiler, said. Coming from a background in content production, media marketing, and digital storytelling, Estiler values the creative approach to her TikTok account.

“As a content creator and UGC creator, I like to curate the content. I plan out what sounds I’ll use, and the cadence of the video,” Estiler said. “My content is more about the creative process.” With more than 590K likes on TikTok, Estiler models her unique makeup with special effects and cosmetic techniques. Her fans praise her for popular character cosplay videos and her creative costumes based on objects or themes. 

“An influencer - especially with review content such as food, games, or beauty products - they influence their followers to go out and buy that item and sell it out. I don't do that.” She considers her content to be very different from that of an influencer for several reasons. “I don’t put my personality out there, but for those who aspire to influence, it is a must!” she said. "Audiences usually like to see more about the person for influencers.” Because of this, when working with an influencer on marketing campaigns, they must be cautious when promoting personality across their social accounts.

Who should you hire to create your content?

Influencers have many faces and sizes. While nano influencers are required to have 1K-10K followers, the range vastly increases for the more notable social superstars with a 1M+ requirement for mega influencers. 

What makes a content creator an influencer is their ability to influence said following despite its size. Their public personality must reflect the agenda of their brand, as it’s what their followers admire them for. While influencers are not always from creative backgrounds, they typically understand social media well: What’s trending and how to set new trends within their niche. 

Influencers are typically hired to leverage their existing following as it relates to a brand. This could be to drive sales or even to promote brand awareness. UGC creators are hired to create content for the brand in relation to any industry and utterly independent of their personal social media presence.

Influencers must also be more selective with the brands they accept to work with to ensure it meets their brand message. Whereas creators are simply being paid to use the product and/or create content for it - not represent the brand as their person. For this reason, Influencers typically take on sponsorships rather than a single project like UGC Creators.

Since UGC productions tend to be cheaper than influencer sponsorships, hiring creators is an excellent opportunity to produce organic content to use trending sounds rather than adhere to the restrictions of running paid ads.

UGC Creators are one of the most ad-driven forms of content creators. While everyone differs, UGC Creators typically have a marketing or creative background and know a thing or two about driving sales and conversions. They focus on zeroing in on the brand’s target audience through concept ideation, script copywriting, creative video editing, and genuine execution.

What’s the goal of the creative? 

While both forms of human-focused marketing have their perks, the best option for the project depends on the goal of the ad. If the success of your campaign depends heavily on the creator rather than the creative approach to the ad, an influencer could be a more effective selection. If you’re interested in supplementing design elements in your typical digital marketing campaigns, try UGC videos at AdLiven for innovative trends at affordable rates.

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Ebony Holmon
Ebony Holmon