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What’s the difference between paid UGC and Influencer?

One of the more common questions when it comes to paid User-Generated Content (UGC) is: aren’t paid UGC content and Influencer content the same thing?


Both UGC and Influencer content is created by a user- but you don’t have to be an Influencer to create paid UGC. That’s the magical difference between paid UGC and Influencer content; paid UGC content is created by someone who is, first and foremost, a creator. They’re not necessarily building their own influencer platform or concerned with their own follower count - it’s this key difference that makes paid UGC content a lot more credible.

Side note: if you’re still scratching your head about the UGC definition because it used to mean something completely different, you’re not alone. You can also think about it as freelance creator content, or even micro, micro influencer content.

Does this mean we should stop using Influencer content all together? In short, no! Both have a place within your marketing strategy.



  • Much larger audiences

  • Recognizable persona to extend to your brand

  • Much more expensive; you’re paying for their platform and audience

  • Can be less credible because selling product is clearly how they monetize

  • Great way to drive awareness

  • Often they own the content; you pay a premium to use it in your own ads

  • Smaller audience

  • Not recognized at all

  • Less expensive; you’re paying only for the product and their craft

  • More credible because they are perceived as real people vs. actual influencers

  • Great way to drive authenticity and credibility

  • The brand owns the content and can use it in your own ads

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