Everything you need to start a UGC agency (+15 tips from experts)

Learn how to start a UGC agency in 2023 and help your clients grow with user-generated content.

Happy customers can make a dream work for you when it comes to successful brand promotion and attracting new audiences. It’s all about using user-generated content and involving your clients in your campaigns. The term user-generated content (UGC) describes content created by consumers to share their experiences with a particular brand online. This can include publishing or posting any type of content, photos, and videos, as well as blogs and reviews.

Taking advantage of the popularity of social media platforms and the effectiveness of UGC, brands often decide to develop such content strategies. Some companies even collaborate with content agencies to get the help they need to build their UGC campaigns.

In this blog post, you will find everything you need to start a UGC agency and four real-life examples of how UGC agencies provide their services to clients. Also, we will give you an idea of which UGC services you can provide successfully and explain the whole process. So, sit with your eyes wide open and pay close attention.

What is a UGC agency?

A UGC agency provides UGC services to clients that operate on social media or other channels; a UGC agency provides a collaboration process between a brand and customers where the brand outsources the creation of visual user-generated content assets to them. The result is the ability to create UGC content at scale with variety and creativity that spreads brand awareness online.

Also, the UGC agency is here to help in the content creation process regarding sharing the customers’ personal experiences. One customer experience can increase brand awareness by sharing your products or services’ quality with millions of others. You may find making your customers create content for your campaigns challenging as a marketer, but a UGC agency can help you with it firsthand.

Social media has a vast horizon of marketing opportunities. UGC agencies can provide social media marketing services and help you with influencer marketing. Influencers nowadays are the most crucial element of every marketing campaign, promoting certain brands in front of their interested audience. It will make your brand look trustworthy and transform it into a magnet for many new people that may have doubted interacting with your brand previously.

A UGC agency can make a ton for your brand. It will transform your happy customers into content machines that will attract new ones. One UGC agency can offer more services than you can imagine, so we will explain them in the following section.

List of UGC agencies’ services

When a brand comes to a UGC agency, they are looking to create marketing campaigns that include their customers. The brands also need repurposing of the content from the customers. Let’s see a list of the most popular services that you’ll need to start a UGC agency on your own:

Creating user-generated content

Have you ever seen an Instagram reel about using a specific product or an unboxing YouTube video? This is UGC and a clear example of how customers use certain products and share their experiences on social media. By leveraging UGC across their digital, social, and website channels, brands can build more authentic connections with their customers.

Any brand can use UGC for any platform, from product testimonials to unboxing videos to honest reviews. This service is a must in your UGC agency, providing quality UGC to your clients and helping them attract new customers. It is also here to increase their engagement rates and brand awareness.

Organizing and planning UGC campaigns

People crave authenticity, and UGC is here to fill that void. You’ll be able to connect better with your customers if you choose content creators who look and sound like them. How cool is that? Organizing and planning UGC campaigns is one of the most crucial things for hitting social media marketing success.

Your clients will get great content at a specific cost, delivered much faster, and everything will be set to go live on the client’s social media profiles or website. Without the need to plan, organize, shoot, and edit high-quality images and videos, provide your clients with a win-win situation with their UGC campaigns from zero to hero.

Increasing brand awareness with UGC

You build your brand by creating authentic content, but you make your community too. UGC is an excellent way for brands to demonstrate their understanding of their customers and express their expertise in any niche. Users share their personal experiences and help other interested people decide on a specific product or service. Enabling a brand’s audience to communicate among themselves about a particular product or service is priceless. So, your UGC agency should provide help for investing in the brand’s community like nowhere else.

Repurposing the client’s content

Video footage your client may already have can be repurposed for all social media platforms they use. You can transform their existing video assets into enticing video content that can be used across multiple ad platforms at scale, like Instagram ads, Facebook ads, YouTube ads, etc. To get the best ad performance, your UGC agency should provide the clients with guidance for future video creation, so you can still work with your existing in-house content creators.

Involving influencers in UGC Campaigns

As an extra package in your UGC agency, you can offer a collaboration between the client’s brand and top influencers in their niche. For example, if your client is a beauty brand, you can contact some beauty and make-up influencers and let them create a make-up video with the client’s beauty products or a simple video testimonial. Of course, it will cost you, but you can include this service in a special UGC service package with a special prize for extra brand awareness. Your client will get a new audience that trusts the influencer and increase all the product rates via social media.

FYI: You can embed user-generated content automatically with EmbedSocial’s UGC platform. Start a free trial and display your social media widgets now. 

embed Instagram feed

#1 UGC Platform to start collecting your brand’s UGC right now

Try EmbedSocial, a complete user-generated content platform to collect, monitor, and display UGC on any website.

All features included | Live support available

Best practices to start a UGC agency from 15 Experts

We asked 15 industry experts to help us share more practical answers to this question, and we got some great insights that can help you.

From checking the backgrounds of all influencers to differentiating between fake and genuine creators, here are the 15 answers to the question, “What are some helpful tips you have for somebody starting a UGC agency?”

  • Conduct Background Checks for All Creators and Influencers
  • Determine the Content You Will Create
  • Build a Strong Portfolio
  • Look Outside Social Media Platforms
  • Ensure You Have a Pro Video Editor On Board
  • Use Local Businesses to Get Your Foot in the Door
  • Have Case Studies Ready to Go
  • Make It Easier to Contribute
  • Pay Attention to Emerging Trends
  • Work on Content Rights Management
  • Create a Community
  • Curate a Data-Backed Portfolio
  • Publish on Popular Platforms
  • Stay on the Right Side of the Law
  • Learn to Differentiate Real Creators From False Ones

Conduct background checks for all creators and influencers

The success of any UGC campaign lies not only in the content that’s created but also in the creator’s credibility or influencers themselves.

Successful creators have their fingers on the pulse of social media trends and know how to weave their ideas back to the brand itself effortlessly. Aside from this, their followers are genuinely interested in what they have to say and aren’t silent spectators or bots.

This is why it’s important to thoroughly screen all creators that a UGC agency collaborates with to ensure the content quality is top-notch and that their online credibility is unquestionable.

Harry Morton, Founder, Lower Street

Determine the content you will create

If you’re starting a UGC agency, it is important to understand what kind of content you will be creating. This will help you determine how much it will cost to create and how much you should charge for it.

The different content includes videos, photos, reviews, and testimonials. You can also create UGC for websites, social media, and advertisements. Creating content of different types and forms requires unique skills and equipment.

If you choose to specialize in a particular type of content, you can develop a highly efficient pipeline for creating it. Also, you will know what kind of equipment you will need. You will also know what kind of software to edit the content and how much it will cost to create a pipeline from scratch. This will help you determine how much it will cost to create content and how much you should charge for it.

Matthew Ramirez, CEO, Rephrasely

Build a strong portfolio

Building a strong portfolio is one of the most important things for anyone starting a UGC agency. This will showcase your talent and abilities and help you attract more clients. Here are some tips on how to do this.

First, ensure a strong selection of previous work to show potential clients. This should include a mix of traditional and digital mediums, as well as a variety of styles and genres.

Second, keep your portfolio up-to-date with your latest projects and achievements. This will show that you are active and constantly improving your skills.

Last, make sure your portfolio is easy to navigate and well-organized. This will give clients a good impression of your professionalism and attention to detail.

Building a strong portfolio is essential for anyone starting a UGC agency. By following the tips above, you can be sure to showcase your talent and attract more clients.

Adrian Pereira, Co-Founder, Eco Pea Co.

Look outside social media platforms

Don’t ignore traditional marketing. Though a UGC agency specializes in social content, you can maximize your clients’ results by having a solid understanding of other marketing channels and knowing how to mold their UGC content into it.

When you help clients build UGC, your agency should look at how to use it in paid ads, email campaigns, site content, and more. Build a team of experts with knowledge that spans far beyond social platforms for your best success.

Ruben Gamez, Founder & CEO, SignWell

Ensure you have a Pro video editor on board

You need a professional video editor to handle all the relevant video editing tasks for your business. Such an individual has the required skills to edit creator videos without losing the authentic feel of these types of videos.

A professional editor will also ensure that there is consistency in the type of video content your agency produces and that these videos achieve the tone preferred by your agency, the targeted brands, and consumers.

Arthur Worsley, Founder, The Art Of Living

Use local businesses to get your foot in the door

Most companies with big budgets won’t hire a UGC (User-Generated Content) agency with no previous results. So build a successful portfolio by reaching out to local businesses and offering to help them increase engagement with their audience.

All you have to do is walk into these small businesses and sell your marketing skills. If you’re struggling to get your foot in the door, you could even offer a payment plan where you only get paid if you produce results.

Sure, these small companies don’t have massive budgets, but the goal isn’t to make lots of money. It’s generating results and testimonials that you can use to attract top-quality businesses with larger marketing budgets.

Scott Lieberman, Owner, Touchdown Money

Have case studies ready to go

As someone constantly solicited to use marketing or UGC agencies, I’ll always check out their website. If you’re starting out, you may not have many clients or customers, but you can show off your knowledge and work history within the UGC space.

Have a few detailed case studies ready on why UGC works for companies, both small and large. Make it educational and discuss examples of UGC so people that may not be familiar with the concept understand it better. If anything, they will gain value from your website and see you as a resource.

Gaining the trust of potential customers is half the battle in getting them to use your services. If you’re starting your UGC agency, have those case studies ready to go to “wow” businesses with what you could do for them.

Seth Newman, Director, SportingSmiles

Make it easier to contribute

If you’re getting started with a UGC agency, the most important thing is to make it easy for your customers to contribute. Make sure everything is accessible, from registering as a contributor to submitting content and getting paid—focus on cutting down any barriers that might come in the way of customers creating great content and submitting it quickly.

I’ve found this helps ensure a smooth and enjoyable journey for everyone involved. Make sure everything you do is customer-centric, or you risk alienating potential contributors before the project even begins!

Rosmy Barrios, Director, Health Reporter

The success of UGC, or user-generated content, is heavily predicated on what’s trending among your target demographic. UGC content performs especially well on TikTok and social networks geared toward younger audiences. UGC’s appeal is conversational and informative—harkening back to the olden days of YouTube influencers sharing their favorite products.

Apps like TikTok heavily reward videos with trending sounds. UGC agencies can utilize these trends to promote products that their audiences will love. The best part about this soft-selling approach is that people will be entertained, which could cause them to buy your product.

Dustin Ray, Co-CEO & Chief Growth Officer, IncFile

Work on content rights management

The power of UGC is growing, but many are failing to grasp the importance of securing user rights. Simple screengrabs can turn into expensive legal battles, which can be avoided by simply using straightforward permissions.

As UGC content belongs to the users, the brand must understand and respect this. A simple slide into someone’s DMs to ask permission for using their content is all it can take to build a rapport with loyal customers and protect your brand from issues later down the line.

There are many ways to backtrack the original owner of an image using software and tools, which can save the headache of paying for lawyers and fees.

Alex Mastin, CEO & Founder, Home Grounds

Create a community

Finding the right influencers to work with is important, but creating a community around your UGC agency is what will really set you apart from the competition. Encourage your influencers to interact with each other, create conversations, and share content. This will help create a strong bond between your agency, the influencers, and the audience, making your agency more appealing and attractive to potential clients.

John White, Director, We Run

Curate a data-backed portfolio

Build a strong portfolio before you launch your agency. Though you’re not creating the content directly, you need to have the vision to plan UGC campaigns that effectively convince users to take part. Work to launch and measure successful UGC campaigns you can tie together in a digital portfolio.

Metrics are your best friend, so be sure to measure your KPIs and pull the supporting data for your campaigns. When you can say, “this UGC campaign earned our clients 20% more followers and increased revenue by $X,” you can build trust and credibility in an industry full of hollow promises. When brands come to you for their UGC needs, you want to have transparent proof that your strategies work!

Jack Underwood, CEO & Co-Founder, Circuit

Use UGC platforms

My best tip for someone starting a UGC agency would be to make sure you are using the most popular UGC platforms, like EmbedSocial and Yotpo

When I started my own UGC agency, leveraging these platforms allowed me to gain insight into how customers were interacting with different brands and helped me identify trends amongst popular reviews and customer feedback.

Having this type of data gave my clients an edge in improving their customer experience and responding to customer needs in real-time. In short, having access to the right data can make all the difference, so make sure you have the right tools in place right from the start.

Derek Bruce, Sr. Director, Skills Training Group

Stay on the right side of the law

When starting any business, company, or agency, it’s essential that you have the legal aspects of the business covered. I know, boring, right? But believe me, it will be beneficial in the long run.

Depending on the business structure you choose, your level of liability will vary, but you will be accountable to a certain degree. Therefore, it’s in your interest to be fully informed about the legal implications of your business decisions.

When dealing with user-generated content, it’s particularly important to be cognizant of copyright law and data privacy concerns. It’s also necessary to have policies in place to protect you if offensive or inappropriate content is shared, as they could hold your company liable for any defamatory content created in the course of a campaign.

Being aware of these eventualities enables you to safeguard against them, using disclaimers, agreements, and clearly worded policies. A labor attorney can help you with this.

Martin Gasparian, Attorney & Owner, Maison Law

Learn to differentiate real creators from false ones

While starting a UGC agency, the ability to differentiate a real creator/influencer from a fake one will serve you in the long run. Some third-party services allow social media users to boost their followers with inactive accounts or bots and create fake engagements on content.

If you pay attention, spotting these types of creators/influencers is easy. One of the fastest ways to identify a real creator/influencer is if the account is verified, i.e., if it has a verified checkmark. You can also tell by demanding the account’s metrics—this usually has all the information relating to how often the account is being visited, post impressions, and general account engagements.

Another red flag is if a creator has the number of views and likes on previous content turned off. This automatically implies that there’s something hidden and does not encourage transparency.

Megan Green, Writer, HowSociable

Examples of successful UGC agencies

Below, you will find the top 4 examples of successful UGC agencies and the services they provide to clients. Let’s check them up:

Glide Agency

Glide Agency is our first pick for this list – an agency that provides multiple services but focuses on UGC and e-commerce. As their slogan says, “likable, swipeable, inevitable,” their user-generated content services offer a more authentic, engaging, and cost-effective approach to creating video content for your brand or products.

Glide Agency’s UGC services are focused on TikTok UGC, YouTube and Instagram, allowing you to put your unique, fun, educational, creative and inspiring videos right in front of your audiences.

More concretely, they are here for their clients to provide services like UGC video creation for multiple social media platforms, scaling social media content, digital campaign managing, repurposing Instagram reels, etc.

Here is one UGC video example from the product using and unboxing directly from their service page:

glide-agency-UGC

Inbeat Agency

Another member of our list is Inbeat Agency. This is a UGC performance-driven agency focused on consistently scaling brands via UGC marketing, influencer marketing, paid advertising, etc.

Regarding their UGC services, they are here to help you in UGC marketing, which means creating UGC campaigns for you, including your happy customers. Inbeat Agency will create UGC content for you, pick strict strategies, and boost the campaign with the top 1% of influencers in your niche. The UGC types they are focused on are unboxing videos, testimonials, product videos, lifestyle shots, etc.

Here is an example of their unboxing images and the promo images by UGC creators for the brand “Prose” attached on the official service page:

UGC agency campaign

UGC-Shop

It’s more like a platform where you can order a UGC, but they have precise UGC services that make record numbers in the industry. UGC-Shop is on duty to deliver top-quality UGC services at affordable prices for every brand that needs them.

UGC-Shop offers services like TikTok ads creation, Instagram reels and TikTok UGC, product reviews, product demos, etc. Here is an example of their UGC product review video directly from the service page:

ugc-shop-content

The Social Savannah

The Social Savannah is a leading creative agency offering premium services for TikTok ad creatives intended for female-focused eCommerce brands like DRMTLGY, The Essence Vault, and Doe Lashes. For this purpose, this agency provides the clients with UGC content for their brand promotion, creating catchy TikTok videos and similar content showing, using, and explaining their products or services.

Here is a concrete example of a UGC posted on The Social Savannah case study section as a part of their collaboration with The Essence Vault perfume brand:

the essence vault UGC content campaign

FAQs about UG agencies

What is user-generated content marketing?

In marketing, user-generated content refers to content related to your brand that’s created by someone who’s not an official representative of your business, and it’s mostly your customers sharing their experiences. It could be a social media update, a review, a video, an email, or many other types.

Is TikTok a platform for user-generated content?

It’s all about the videos created by TikTok users and content creators that feature your brand in some form or the other. They might be using your product in the video and reviewing it or showing their viewers how to use it. TikTok is one of the best platforms for recording tutorials and unboxing videos, so it is an excellent platform for UGC,

Why is UGC important?

User-generated content is important because it helps businesses to connect with their target audiences more authentically and engagingly. It also provides valuable insight into what consumers are interested in and how they perceive your brand.

What services can I offer through my UGC agency?

There are a bunch of UGC services you can offer in your agency, such as creating UGC for different niches, managing UGC campaigns, providing different UGC types in one place, organizing UGC ad campaigns, and social media management with UGC content, etc.

How to generate user-generated content?

It would be best if you tried many ways and strategies to generate content from your customers. Some of the easiest methods to do it are auditing existing fan photos, identifying consumer trends, hosting an event for your customers, tapping into influencers to help you with it, etc.

What UGC platforms to use for my UGC agency?

If you are considering to run a UGC agency, than consider having a powerful tool to help you collect user-generated content for your clients, automatically and in settings. EmbedSocial is a powerful UGC platform that you will be able to use for multiple website and collect UGC from multiple social media networks. It is designed to accommodate large agencies and the needs of their clients.

Key Takeaways

This blog post outlined why user-generated content is worth considering when starting your own marketing agency and how it will help your potential customers. UGC gives an advantage to your customers as you can use it to get their voices to tell your story for you. It builds trust and loyalty in your brand, strengthens relationships with fans, and increases conversions.

Here are some key takeaways you should remember from this blog post:

  • A UGC agency is a marketing agency that provides UGC services to clients that operate on social media or other media. It provides a collaboration process between a brand and social media content creators or customers where the brand outsources the creation of social proof of using certain products or services.
  • One UGC agency should provide services such as creating and organizing UGC, managing UGC campaigns and social media ads, content repurposing, collaborating with influencers, etc.
  • Before starting your UGC agency, make sure you define your goals, build a professional team of content creators and focus on digital channels with which you have the most experience. Here belong all social media platforms, websites, web channels, forums, etc.
  • All successful UGC agencies provide unique services that help brands in any niche to grow and attract new customers. Bring your clients happy customers to grow your UGC agency with lightning speed.

FYI: You can embed user-generated content automatically with EmbedSocial’s UGC platform. Start a free trial and display your social media widgets now. 

embed Instagram feed

#1 UGC Platform to start collecting your brand’s UGC right now

Try EmbedSocial, a complete user-generated content platform to collect, monitor, and display UGC on any website.

All features included | Live support available