In general, there are three ways how brands get their social media visuals: taking photos themselves, using stock images, or sharing user-generated content. In recent years, increasingly more brands have turned to influencer-generated content – it’s like user-generated content but created by social media influencers.
What are the perks of influencer content and how to get started with it? Here’s an overview 👇🏼
What exactly is influencer-generated content?
Influencer-Generated Content (IGC) refers to a collaborative approach between brands and influencers where influencers create visuals specifically for the brand but do not post them to their own social media channels.
Unlike traditional influencer marketing, where influencers promote products or services to their followers, IGC focuses on creating high-quality branded content such as videos and photos that the brand can utilize for its own marketing purposes. This mutually beneficial collaboration allows brands to leverage the creativity and authenticity of influencers while maintaining control over the distribution and messaging of the content.
By harnessing the influencer’s unique style and audience connection, IGC provides an effective means for brands to enhance their visual storytelling and reach a wider audience with compelling content.
Promoty’s Instagram feed mostly contains only influencer-generated content
User-generated content vs influencer-generated content
In general, there are three ways how brands get their social media visuals: taking photos themselves, using stock images, or sharing user-generated content.
User-generated content is gaining more and more popularity. 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust content created by customers more than brand-created content: when a consumer sees someone like them in the picture, they are more likely to relate to it than to a photo with a regular model.
That’s why images taken by “real” people have a more authentic effect than content created by a company’s marketing department – especially compared to stock photos that often give a fake impression and tend to be seen on different brand accounts.
This trend has also led to a change in influencer marketing: whereas before the focus of influencer collaborations has been on posting the created content to the influencer’s own profile, more and more marketers are now using content creators to get visual material for their brand’s social media channels. The reason for this is simple: content created by influencers is authentic and “real” while being high quality and eye-catching.
The benefits of influencer-generated content
IGC has become the strongest trend in the industry for a reason: it’s affordable, engaging, and brings better results on social media. Here are 4 reasons you should consider working with influencers!
🤍 10x more affordable than creating content yourself
Producing visuals is terribly time-consuming: from planning the whole creative solution, finding a photographer, models, and a location to editing and waiting for photos. Not to mention that you also need to pay the photographer, models, stylist, and makeup artist, cover the location fee, etc.
Using content created by influencers requires significantly less time for the marketer and is way more affordable than organizing a professional photoshoot.
Additionally, the content is a lot more diverse. Nobody wants to see 30 photos from the same shoot – but by collaborating with 15 creators and requesting 3 photos from each, the brand receives 45 different visuals that can be used on their social media.
🤍 They know what works on social media
Influencers are social media natives – as they create content daily, they know exactly what kind of content works on social media.
This is especially important when it comes to new channels like TikTok. For most marketers, creating engaging, non-cringy TikTok videos that might go viral is extremely difficult (not to mention that it’s super time-consuming!).
Therefore, it would make sense to rather outsource it from a gen Z TikTok native who knows exactly how to create that scroll-stopping content. Eventually, you will save time and get much better results.
🤍 IGC has higher engagement
41% of marketers consider engagement rate to be the most important KPI to keep an eye on in marketing: it shows how much the brand’s content matters to their followers.
On the other hand, engaging followers as a brand on social media is relatively difficult: it is a place where people seek communication, entertainment, and inspiration, being allergic to all kinds of sales and commercial messages. This is where user-generated content comes in, which creates more emotion, therefore making people comment and like it.
About a year ago, we did our own little survey where our Account Manager looked at a dozen brands’ Instagram accounts. Surprisingly, she found out that photos with influencers had almost twice as many likes and comments as other posts. So if you’re working with influencers, make sure to repost their content! Otherwise, it’s just a waste of social proof.
The same applies to ad visuals: this year, Meta announced that ads with influencer-generated content have a 53% higher click-through rate. That might also mean a lower price per click!
🤍 Professional visuals that can be used anywhere
The biggest issue with regular user-generated content is that it can be a little.. low-quality. As a brand with an established visual style, you can repost it in the stories – but you might not want to see it on your Instagram feed. Usually, the user-generated content is not high-quality enough to use on the website, in ads, and in other marketing channels.
The sweet spot between authentic, relatable, user-generated content – and professional, high-quality corporate content. This is one of the main reasons why this trend has taken off.
Some IGC content examples created by Mirjam Loddes (@mirjamloddes)
How to get started with influencer-generated content?
The first step, of course, is finding the right creators for your brand. Unlike in regular collaborations, the number of likes or followers’ demographics is not important here – instead, you should be looking for a visual style that matches your brand.
When it comes to finding UGC influencers, you basically have 2 options:
a) trying to find relevant creators manually on social media, using hashtags, keywords, and locations;
b) using an influencer search tool (such as Promoty) to find relevant influencers in seconds.
Finding UGC creators on Promoty (learn more about it)
Once you’ve chosen influencers of interest, you can reach out to them with a personalized pitch. Clearly explain your collaboration proposal, highlighting the benefits for both parties. Discuss project timelines, deliverables, compensation, and any contractual agreements. Maintain open and transparent communication throughout the collaboration process.
When the collaboration is confirmed, provide them with clear brand guidelines and creative direction. Share mood boards, brand assets, and examples of visuals that resonate with your brand. Ensure that the influencers understand your brand’s tone, style, and aesthetic.
Make sure to also establish agreements regarding the rights and usage of influencer-generated content. Clarify whether you have the freedom to repurpose and share the content across your marketing channels. Ensure that you have appropriate legal permissions and consent in place.
Finally, your task as a marketer is reviewing the influencer-generated content to ensure it aligns with your brand’s standards and meets the agreed-upon guidelines. Provide constructive feedback to enhance the quality and consistency of the visuals.
How to track influencer content?
If you also want the influencer to post the content on their feed, the tracking part might become extremely annoying. No marketer enjoys constantly checking Instagram to see if the collaboration stories were posted and spending hours on creating campaign reports.
That’s why you need an influencer content tracking tool. Promoty is one of them: when any of your influencers post something with your brand hashtag, the content will be saved on Promoty. This way, you can see all your collaboration content in one place – without having to constantly check if the stories were posted or not.
To wrap it up: IGC is a mutually beneficial collaboration that allows brands to leverage the creativity and authenticity of influencers while maintaining control over the distribution and messaging of the content. By harnessing the influencer’s unique style and audience connection, IGC provides an effective means for brands to enhance their visual storytelling and reach a wider audience with compelling content.
If you’d like to leverage Promoty to find the right creators for you, get started here: