UGC Playbook

The makeup of a good UGC ad

April 14, 2022
10 minutes

To understand how to create a UGC ad that actually converts, we need to understand the basic skeleton of a direct-response video ad.

at every step of the video timeline, you should be eliminating reasons for the viewer not to purchase, so that by the end of the video there’s nothing left to do but convert.


A good hook captures the audience’s attention in three seconds or less. In the era of ever-diminishing attention spans, the quicker you can do it, the better.

This is arguably the most important part of your ad, as it “stops the scroll” of the viewer.

The easiest way to grab the viewer’s attention is to ask a question or propose a relatively common problem, and then immediately introduce your product as the solution in the next scene.

A great, simple UGC hook could be someone talking directly to the camera with a shocked expression, posing a question to the audience. “I had no idea I was doing this wrong”, or “This product is my new holy grail”.

Product Intro

Introduce your product immediately after the hook as the solution to the viewer’s problems. Is their hair falling out? This product makes their hair fuller than ever. Are they having trouble sleeping? This app can knock them out in five minutes.

Keep this quick and snappy, giving a brief overview of what you are offering.


When talking about your product, the benefits are more important than anything else. For the majority of your top of funnel ads, the viewers you are advertising to have never heard of your product before.

Narrow down your top two or three unique selling propositions, and use these to define how your product can distinctly improve the viewer’s life.

The benefits of UGC is that the creator can talk about their own life experiences using the product. Instead of a glossy, studio-made video talking about the benefits of a product, it’s a real person discussing real experiences.

Social proof

While social proof is a distinct element in traditional DR ads, UGC ads are basically all social proof. However, it never hurts to talk about the crazy number of 5 star reviews your product has, or the fact that Time and Forbes raved about it online.

Objection busters

The viewer has now identified the problem, knows your product will fix it, and sees that other, real people love it too. What are the final hesitations that would stop a viewer from purchasing your product? Do you offer free shipping? Is there a first time buy offer or a free trial? What is the return policy? Is there a satisfaction guarantee?

Call to action

You’ve convinced your viewer to purchase. Where can they find you? Make the call to action simple, quick, and actionable. Add in some urgency - why do they need to purchase right now? There might be limited quantity,  or maybe the item has sold out in the past.

Leveraging UGC

Now that we have a good understanding of how direct response ads work, let’s talk about how we can leverage UGC to create killer ads that convert.


Choose creators who are similar to your demographic. Find talent, or people whose stories will resonate with your viewers.

Alternatively, get your founder to film a quick video - founders’ stories are compelling and typically crush across the funnel.


When shooting user generated content, keep visuals at the forefront. Creators should be wearing non-distracting colors or patterns, and their backgrounds should reflect your product. For example, if you are selling a kitchen gadget, the creator should shoot in the kitchen.

Editing and Text

Keep editing minimal and as undetectable as possible. No crazy transitions or effects needed.

Utilize text in the same way an organic TikTok video does. Use text to emphasize points and reinforce unique selling propositions. Don’t be afraid to use the standard type and color choices from TikTok.

Make sure your video has some sort of closed captioning. A lot of viewers still watch without sound, so having captions ensures your ad is accessible to all.

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