AI and UGC

Mike DahlbergMike Dahlberg

Product Manager

July 11, 2023

AI tools are quickly gaining attention and intrigue from marketing teams and businesses of all sizes. Already, they are providing avenues to optimize repetitive tasks, gain valuable insights into customer behavior and generate marketing material for use across channels. Let’s talk about how this applies to visual content.

Generative AI promises a near-endless supply of on-demand visual content, often royalty-free (although this is not without controversy). One might be tempted to turn to this for all of their visual content. But it lacks a key component: authenticity. 

We operate in a digital age where authenticity is at a premium. Consumers increasingly look to recommendations from real people to make purchase decisions. According to our recent study,  a whopping 90% of those surveyed preferred to see content from actual customers. 

3 reasons why AI-generated content does not replace UGC

(If you are new to UGC, check out our Beginners Guide to UGC)

Today you can type in a narrative prompt into any number of tools and get a dozen AI-generated images. But here are a few reasons those images cannot fill the shoes of your user-generated photos:

  • Contextual understanding: User-generated content is often rooted in a specific context, reflecting a locale, current events, or trends.  AI-generated content may struggle to grasp these contextual subtleties, leading to content that feels disconnected or irrelevant to users.
  • Diversity: AI models are trained on existing data, which means they can inherit biases, stereotypes, or limitations present in the training data. User-generated content, on the other hand, reflects the diverse perspectives and experiences of real people. 
  • Originality and depth: User-generated content captures genuine moments of joy, excitement, empathy, and humor. We get a taste of someone’s personal style, their personalities, their relationships. And through this, we can relate and trust.

While the UGC posted to social media can be low quality in its own right (if that's what you are seeing, check out our post on How to get better content from your creators), it represents a real moment in time with real people. And when a newcomer considers whether to sign up with your service, purchase your product, or enroll in your program, their decision will take into account what other real people think about you. Show them!

Marrying your AIGC and UGC

So maybe AI-generated content does not replace your UGC but should you wait to start using AI in your marketing? No! You can bet that your colleagues and competitors are finding ways to leverage them to become more efficient and stand out from the crowd (we loved this campaign from Coca-Cola which engaged fans AND used AI-generated content). 

At EnTribe, we help brands of all sizes regularly engage with their base through UGC activations to build a library of quality, rights-cleared visual content and a community of loyal, genuine fans who can be tapped as advocates when you need it. Here are just a few of the ways that AI makes UGC with EnTribe painless (and fun):

Find your fans and your best content on social

People are talking about you and your competitors on social media so it is a great place to find your current or potential fans and great visual content. Given the volume of content posted to social media daily, it can be daunting to sort through the pile. With our Smart Feeds, EnTribe analyzes hundreds of thousands of social posts across social channels to deliver you a curated feed of the good stuff. Here are a few ways we cut through the noise:

  • Logos: Applying machine learning to identify logos in piles of images. Great if it's important that your logo is prominently displayed (or you want to avoid showing logos from competitors).
  • Labels: Look for and categorize content based on anything from objects to scenes, to design qualities, to sentiment. Want to find and feature photos or videos with people and their dogs wearing your gear? No problem. Want snapshots of vacations at the beach? You got it. Not sure what you want right now but want to have it all neatly organized for you so you can you cherry-pick those in the future? Done. 
  • Caption Sentiment: Weed out or flag the negative reviews to find your true fans and advocates with built-in sentiment analysis. 

Content Curation and Publishing

Save time and headaches collecting, sorting, and sharing your content. 

  • Smart Albums: Our system recommends albums based on similar themes, labels, quality of content, location, and a huge range of other criteria. So your content is sorted and dynamically available to distribute or display wherever it is most relevant. 

Want to see how it works? Check out our click-through demo.

Other Opportunities for AI

We are always looking for more ways to integrate AI into our services. Here are a few we are excited about:

  • Content augmentation and transformation: Using AI to automatically change, compile or transform images and videos to create new and fun derivations of UGC while maintaining the authenticity of the original.
  • Publishing recommendations: Identifying content that performs well in organic and paid marketing and recommending images and videos to promote.
  • Ideation: Sourcing ideas for new campaigns, generating example images to inspire and guide creators


With the inevitable flood of AI-generated content onto our screens, consumers and fans will seek authentic visuals of your brand. With a combination of UGC, AI-Generated content, AI-augmented content, and AI tools to support your content collection, you can efficiently build a library of content and a growing base of ambassadors for your brand.

Key Takeaways

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