User-generated content (UGC) has been a hot topic of discussion online since it went mainstream this past year, thanks to TikTok’s FYP (for you page). While some view it as disrupting the traditional job market for actors, models, and voice-over artists, others see it as a relatively new market with a lot of untapped potential. Kelly Rocklein, a leading direct response marketer and UGC creator turned coach by demand, has been at the forefront of shifting perceptions about UGC on both the brand and creator side and how it impacts how people consume and interact with content made for digital ads.
Kelly founded UGC Social when UGC first went mainstream in early 2022, with the goal of resetting expectations and educating the next wave of creators looking to build a firm foundation of understanding industry best practices. She shares her vast experience in digital marketing and her expertise in content creation and creative strategy to show creators and brands how to effectively create and leverage user-generated content in the paid media landscape. In her TikTok videos, Kelly highlights the importance of creating UGC content with the perfect balance of a natural on-camera presence, paired with direct response best practices, and organic social nuances, with the end goal of the ad feeling native to social platforms. She reaffirms that if done correctly, this approach helps form a connection with each brand’s target audience within a matter of seconds, which in return offers enhanced thumb stop and click-through rates, followed by a higher return on ad spend and overall investment (popular KPIs used by marketers).
Kelly explains that brands are choosing to hire UGC creators for digital ads, over traditional talents, because of the skill sets required to create UGC that converts into either growing a social presence online or making millions of dollars in sales. She goes on to explain that UGC creators that are hired to create content for a brand’s TikTok or Instagram account require an in-depth working knowledge of content creation best practices, community guidelines, and should be up to date on new social trends. Whereas, if a brand hires a UGC creator for ads, the creator needs a strong understanding of creative strategy and direct response marketing best practices for that ad to offer a return on ad spend (ROAS).
An advantage of user-generated content is that it is often considered more honest and trustworthy compared to traditional forms of advertising. Not to mention, UGC feels more native to the platform the ad is being launched on, which is why UGC creators are the top pick for digital marketing ads, compared to actors and models.
Kelly explains some of the psychology behind user-generated content. When potential customers are scrolling and stop to watch a UGC ad, the on-camera talent was strategically selected to reflect visual and audible similarities with the brand’s target audience. The ad was also strategically launched to find that niche customer persona. When the viewer sees the UGC creator who has similarities to them, using and enjoying a product while hearing them communicate the value the product has brought them and what sets it apart from other brands, the viewer is more likely to trust the brand and purchase the product. This is because customers trust social proof, whether it be in the form of a verified 5-star reviews, certifications, awards won, publication features, celebrity endorsements, case studies, or in this case, their peers’ opinions and experiences with a brand, in the form of a customer testimonial.
Kelly’s accomplishments on the brand and creator front have shown how UGC can become a powerful tool for brands to connect with their target audience and convert them into customers, in return helping her clients surpass their paid media goals. With the rise of UGC and new social trends popping up every day, it is clear that the future of digital marketing is ever-changing, and Kelly Rocklein is remaining an active leader at the forefront.
You can learn more about UGC on Kelly’s TikTok account, UGC Social, and expedite your learning with resources from her StanStore here. If you’d like to get to know her more personally, you can connect with her on Instagram. Additionally, she recently launched her YouTube channel and is an active user on LinkedIn.