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3 Online Publishers Acing User Generated Content

By OpenWeb Staff

Spot.IM is now known as OpenWeb.

User Generated Content first began with the big brands such as Coca-Cola, Starbucks and Doritos. But the practice is expanding big time–moving to a variety of industries including of course, online publishing.

As we have established, user generated content is any contribution to your site or social page that originates from your users rather than your company. The reason it works is because you give your users a chance to get creative and engage with your brand. For this reason, user generated content marketing has proven to increase brand loyalty. In addition, it is 20% more effective than other types of content.

While we generally think of UGC as being social media contributions such as pictures, videos, art, and other creative work–UGC can actually encompass a whole range of output including articles, comments, and more. This makes it easy for publishers to get on the UGC bandwagon in a variety of innovative and clever ways. Here are some of our favorites.


HelloGiggles is a leading lifestyle publication for women. The site’s main UGC strategy is the option for users to contribute. We all know reading an article is generally passive, but when you give users the opportunity to write themselves, they become active.

When your users feel content is a two way street and their thoughts are given value, they are significantly more likely to engage in your content and play a larger role in your community.


If you’re an avid fan of entertainment, you probably have read Entertainment Weekly at some point. The site is the fourth most visited website in the arts and entertainment category, drawing in over 35 million visitors a month.

Their UGC strategy lies in their comment system and its ability to transform their site into an online community. They use Spot.IM’s social sidebar which allows users to converse in real time, while also exploring content through notifications and news feed. In terms of UGC, the real-time conversation feature lets users talk about their opinions on various stories in a manner that is natural and flowing.

As a result, users are able to contribute opinions and promote lively discussions right on your website, making your community even stronger and creating lasting loyalty.

The Guardian

The Guardian is a leading world-wide news site that reaches over 300 million viewers monthly. To take their engagement rate to the next level, they employed a UGC strategy by launching GuardianWitness.

GuardianWitness allows user to contribute pictures, stories, and experience pertaining to particular topics and trending news.  By getting these stories from users, they are able to make their content more diverse, while also giving the users greater opportunity to participate in your brand.

So as you can see, UGC is a great way to grow your community and keep your audience loyal. Thankfully, there are plenty of great ways to employ these tactics on your site. Do you have any other UGC strategies? Comment below and let us know.

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