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Twitch Ads Explained: Grow Your Brand With Streaming Ads

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Twitch became popular as a platform for live-streaming video games, but these days, that’s changing. The platform has seen a rapid increase in non-gaming streamers. Brands now have a new opportunity to reach their target audience through Twitch ads.

Music streaming, for instance, became one of the most watched streams on Twitch as of 2021, with over 270 million hours of streamed music content. Other creators, from big brands to DIY entrepreneurs, are catching up quickly.

The growing platform has opened up new advertising grounds for brands to promote their products and services. But because they’re so new, Twitch ads remain uncharted territory for most.

In this article, we’ll cover everything you need to get started with Twitch ads.

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Bonus: Download a free guide to social advertising and learn the 5 steps to building effective campaigns. No tricks or boring tips—just simple, easy-to-follow instructions that really work.

What are Twitch ads?

Twitch is a live-streaming platform that draws millions of users from across the globe. It lets users live stream on any device and browse through channels by searching for specific keywords based on their interests. Twitch takes a community-first approach to brand collaborations and promotions, even in ads.

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Twitch ads are short paid advertisements that either appear before or during live streams. Advertisements that appear before live streams are called “pre-roll ads,” while ads that appear during streams are known as “mid-roll ads.” Pre and mid-roll advertisements on Twitch can be anywhere between 30 seconds to 3 minutes long.

The platform currently supports seven types of Twitch ad formats: Homepage Carousel, Homepage Headliner, Medium Rectangle, Stream Display Ad, Streamables, Super Leaderboard, and Twitch Premium Video.

Twitch advertising ad formats

Brands can also partner with Twitch streamers to run manual ads on their channels.

Why should you advertise with Twitch?

Here are five reasons why Twitch advertising should be a part of your marketing strategy:

1. Reach a diverse audience

Since Twitch is no longer solely a game streaming platform, the content has diversified into multiple categories. From music and sporting events to food and entertainment, Twitch attracts a massive 31 million average users daily. This provides marketers with a brand new varied demographic audience to target.

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2. Twitch viewers are increasing by the minute

Twitch has seen insane growth in the number of users year after year. The platform’s user base has grown from 1.26M in 2019 to 2.63M in 2022 and continues to do so. Our Digital 2022 report also uncovered that 30.4% of internet users engage with video live streams each week. If this trend continues, Twitch will only become more important for advertisers and creators alike.

3. Viewers love supporting their favorite creators

Most active users, if not all, are regular viewers of their preferred Twitch streamers. These loyal users would love to support their favorite channels and creators, but they’re not always willing to pay for a regular subscription.

When Twitch viewers watch ads on their favorite creator’s channel, the creator gets paid without the user spending a dime.

4. The platform is a true community

Twitch streaming is all about real-time conversations. Creators and viewers often interact and make personal connections while streaming. A live streamed football sporting event, for instance, attracts a like-minded community of sports fans. These viewers often end up sharing personal views and building mutual trust on the platform.

This leads to a much higher engagement rate on the ads placed natively while the stream is ongoing.

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5. Right now, competition is low

Because it’s so new, many advertisers tend to overlook Twitch’s marketing potential. This restricts how they use the platform to reach their target audience in terms of the content or the type of campaigns they run on Twitch ads. So even if you’re in a competitive industry, you’re combatting lesser competition here!

See also  Selling on Shopify in 2022: A Step-by-Step Guide

Types of Twitch ads available

We’ve mentioned how Twitch ads are more native and intuitive to interact with. Here’s a look at the different Twitch ads formats that make this possible:

Homepage carousel

Creators can use homepage carousel ads to promote their channel at the front and center of the Twitch homepage. These are useful for creators and not brands.

These ads are in the form of rotating carousels where users scroll through the content.

Ad specs: Stream description copy; maximum 250 characters.

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Twitch ads example - homepage carousel ad

Homepage headliner

Homepage headliner ads appear behind the carousel ads. They can scale depending on the changing screen resolutions and display sizes.

Every unit is divided into three parts: two images on the left and right and a middle section with the hex color code that can vary depending on the selection.

Ad specs: Left and right graphic for branding – 450×350, with size up to 150 kb (to avoid overlapping), and JPG/PNG format with layered PSD. The hex color code (primary background color) must be included in the file name or sampled from the template.

homepage headliner Twitch ads example

Medium rectangle

Medium rectangle is an animation-supported ad unit. These ads appear as users scroll through the content on the Twitch browsing page.

This format does not support videos but supports graphics such as images, GIFs, and other animated elements.

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Ad specs: Dimensions – 300×250, max file size – 100kb, file format – GIF, JPG, PNG, and animation length – max 15 secs or 3 loops.

Medium rectangle Twitch ad example

Stream display ad

Stream display Twitch ad example of KFC

As the name suggests, stream display ads appear during live streams. These are one of the most organic ads to engage users and promote your brand. This format, too, supports animated elements over videos.

Ad specs: Dimensions – 728×90, max file size – 100kb, file format – GIF, JPG, PNG, and animation length – max 15 secs or 3 loops.

Streamables

Streamables are for mobile game brands. They help increase viewer traffic of the displayed brand (a Twitch-partnered mobile game).

Once the user opts in, they watch a 30-second unskippable video stream. They can continue watching the stream on Twitch by swiping up or can continue on their original app.

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Ad specs: Minimum width – 250 px with dark backgrounds.

Streamable Twitch ad example

Super leaderboard

Super leaderboard ads appear as banners on top of the page while the users scroll through Twitch browsing for content.

This format, as well, does not support videos but supports graphic elements like images, GIFs, and other animated assets.

Ad specs: Dimensions – 970×66, max file size – 100kb, file format – GIF, JPG, PNG, and animation length – max 15 secs or 3 loops.

Super leaderboard Twitch ad example

Twitch premium video

Twitch premium video ads are mid-rolls (run by creators) and pre-rolls. They typically range from a standard 30-second video to a lengthier 60-second video (mid-rolls only – paid extra). These are unskippable ads, making them highly engaging and visible.

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Note: Pre-rolls appear before the stream starts, and mid-rolls appear during a stream.

Ad specs: Length of up to 30 secs. Charged extra for 60 seconds. Ideal resolution – 1920×1080, min bitrate – 2000 kbps, peak audio – -9dB, required video file format – H.264 (MP4), and frame rate – min 24FPS to max 30FPS.

Twitch advertising example - premium video (pre-roll)

How to advertise on Twitch

Unlike Google Ads, TikTok for Business, or Meta’s ad manager, there is no dedicated do-it-yourself ad studio for Twitch ads. Instead, you must fill out a “Contact us” form with Twitch.

Once you’re ready to start advertising on Twitch or need a sneak peek of what it’s like, you can contact Twitch directly. You supply your budget range, industry, country, and more. You can offer a bit more detail about your interest in Twitch ads so the team can guide you accordingly.

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Once you submit the form, the team will reach out to you with the next steps to launch your Twitch advertising campaigns. They can also help you understand Twitch advertising cost and targeting in detail.

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How to advertise on Twitch - contact form

Best practices for Twitch ads

Twitch ads are a relatively new concept to most, with few examples to learn from. But we can help! Here are some of our top tips and best practices to create unskippable campaigns on Twitch.

Start small

If you’re new to Twitch and experimenting with the ads, take things slow.

It’s always better to test the waters before going all-in on paid ads. Start with a smaller budget to see what strategies work and how the audience responds to your ads before scaling the campaign.

Get familiar with the platform

Successful advertising depends on how well you understand the platform and how the ads behave. Be sure to take a thorough walk-through of the platform. Watch live streams, interact, and take inspiration from existing advertisers.

Start with shorter ads

According to studies, short video ads perform better as they are less annoying to a user when interacting with a platform.

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So stick to shorter ads and start with 1-minute ads per hour. You can slowly increase this number and build it up until 3 minutes per hour (three 1-minute ads per hour). This tactic ensures you’re not imposing on the community during a live stream.

Announce the ad breaks

Stacking too many ads causes major viewing interruptions — no one likes those. If you are working with creators that run ads manually, make sure they inform the community about the upcoming ad break. This shows that you value the creator’s audience.

Space out your ads

Another Twitch ads best practice we recommend following is spacing things out. Ensure that when you’re working with creators, there is at least 15 minutes between ad breaks for an optimal viewing experience. This also ensures that your previous ad’s message is well consumed and remembered.

Create compelling ad copy

The correct ad placement or type won’t matter if the ad copy isn’t compelling. Your ad should include an engaging headline, brand name, body with the offer, and CTA.

Make sure your ad gives your target audience the information they need. 61% of internet users are seeking information that enables them to make informed purchase decisions.

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Automate or delegate ad breaks

It can be a pain for creators to run Twitch ads manually, which can also often lead to timing and targeting errors. Using an automation tool such as Nightbot or Mootbot to plan your ad campaigns with them better. You can also offer to provide a point of contact from your brand’s side to delegate this task for better results.

Create eye-catching ad designs

Make sure your ad doesn’t stand out for the wrong reasons. All assets, including graphics, images, and icons must be top quality and compliant with Twitch terms of service. Ensure your designs stay consistent on all streaming mediums, from mobile to desktops.

Most ad types, such as super leaderboard, medium rectangle, stream display ads, and others, do not support videos. Do your research before creating animated elements you don’t need.

Listen to your audience

Understanding your target audience and their needs can help you hit the bull’s eye with your Twitch ads. With this clarity, it’s easier for you to create ads that your audience resonates with, helping nudge them forward in the sales funnel.

See also  Engagement Rate Calculator + Guide for 2023

Since the audience on Twitch is younger compared to other platforms, they tend to latch onto evolving trends. Twitch has reported that nearly 75% of their viewers are between the ages of 16 and 34. This is where the importance of social listening and monitoring comes into play to stay on top of what keeps them hooked.

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Tools like Hootsuite Insights enable you to process millions of online conversations to identify trends and recurring patterns in your target audience with ease.

Hootsuite Insights is only available to enterprise users, but if you’re serious about learning more about your audience, it’s the only tool you’ll need.

Request a Demo

Leverage all targeting options

While running top-of-funnel ads to drive maximum traffic might seem appealing, narrower targeting can yield better results. Twitch offers great options to filter for gender, age, location, and other parameters. Using this ensures your ads reach the intended audience.

Find the right partners

Go beyond traditional paid ads. Try connecting with partners or popular Twitch influencers to market your brand on their channels. They can manually run your ads on their live streams and drive promising engagement due to their established following.

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That’s why brands often make influencer collaborations a key part of their Twitch marketing strategies.

Monitor and optimize your ads

Twitch ads, too, require continual optimization like other platforms. Make sure you keep a close eye on how different ad campaigns and formats perform. Create a set cycle for optimizing your ads in terms of placements, targeting, formats, ad copies and time to get more ROAS on them.

Is Twitch advertising the next big thing?

Twitch’s growing viewership cannot be downplayed — it’s estimated to reach 36.7 million users by 2025 in the United States alone. The increasing number of users across the globe and the rising trend of live streaming make Twitch a promising platform for advertising.

Twitch may not have a traditional no ad studio yet; but the platform has recently announced its Ads Manager tool to help creators schedule and optimize campaigns.

If your audience is already on Twitch, we recommend taking the early mover’s advantage and start experimenting with Twitch ads now.

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Frequently asked questions about Twitch ads

How much do Twitch ads cost?

Twitch has been remarkably secretive about the cost of advertising on the platform. According to some reports, each ad impression is estimated to cost around $2 to $10, which may vary based on your target audience and industry.

How do ads pay on Twitch?

Twitch’s Ads Incentive Program (AIP) offers a reliable, fixed monthly ads-based incentive to its creators. These predetermined payments are based on the number of ad-dense streaming hours a creator completes each month.

Can you run ads as a Twitch Affiliate?

Yes, affiliates can earn revenue from all video ads on their channel’s live streams. You can now also run ad breaks to earn revenue during natural pauses in the live streams.

How much money do you make per ad on Twitch?

According to one Quora user/Twitch streamer, Twitch pays their streamers roughly $3.50 for every 1,000 ad views.

How often should I run ads on Twitch?

We recommend spacing out your Twitch ad campaigns to ensure a non-intrusive experience for viewers. You can schedule one 90-second ad every 30 minutes for optimal viewing without risking churn.

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How This Underwear Brand Won with an Anti-Black-Friday Social Campaign

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Ah, Black Friday.

It’s no surprise that the official kick-off day for the holiday shopping season is responsible for a massive annual surge in consumer spending, reaching $8.9 billion in the United States alone in 2021. But while this is a yearly slam-dunk for big box retailers, Black Friday can bring more challenges than benefits for small businesses.

Slashing prices to make sales cuts straight into their bottom line — and with limited marketing budgets and resources, competing with big brands takes courage, insight, and creativity. That’s why the small businesses that stand out during the holiday season are the ones that connect with the unique wants and needs of their customers, get bold with their marketing strategies, and create thumb-stopping content that’s sure to get people talking.

Last year, UK-based sustainable underwear brand and Hootsuite customer Pantee won Black Friday with a campaign that broke convention and raised awareness of unsustainable impulse buying. We interviewed Pantee’s founders, sisters Amanda and Katie McCourt, to learn how they did it, what the results were, and what they’ve learned for future campaigns.

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What is Pantee?

Pantee is an underwear brand making a difference: their products are made using “deadstock” fabrics, or unsold inventory that would otherwise end up in landfills. Designed by women, for women and the planet, Pantee’s products are created with comfort and style in mind, while helping prevent unused garments from going to waste.

@pantee_uk We launched a business in lockdown! Here’s how we did it ✨🩲 #smallbusinesslaunch #howtostartabusiness #smallbusinesscheck #whatididduringlockdown ♬ Bubble – Official Sound Studio

For Pantee, sustainability isn’t a buzzword or trend to jump on; the brand was founded with this purpose at its core. The idea came to life in a thrift store in 2019, when Amanda was browsing second-hand clothing stores in London and was blown away by the number of brand-new t-shirts lining the shelves, tags still on them.

“It was crazy to me how many people had given away clothes before even wearing them once,” says Amanda. “It got me thinking: If this is how many discarded clothes we can see, how much is there that we can’t see? Once I started researching, I knew that we could make a difference. It’s very difficult to get buying right in the fashion industry with trends and shopping cycles changing so frequently, and as a result, many companies overproduce. I became fixated on the idea of what we could do with deadstock clothing.”

The short answer to Amanda’s question on how much waste we can’t see: a lot. The fashion industry produces an estimated 92 million tonnes of textile waste each year, and approximately 30% of clothes made are never even sold.

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With a bold passion to make a difference for our planet—and after realizing that the soft cotton t-shirt fabric everyone loves would lend itself well to underwear and wireless bras—Amanda and Katie named the business Pantee (an abridged version of “pants made from deadstock tees”) and got to work bringing the concept to life.

@pantee_uk Upcycling never felt so good ♻️ link in bio to learn more about how we make sustainable underwear! #sustainablefashion #smallbusinesslove #fyp #comfort #recycledfashion ♬ luxurious – milo

Since initially launching their Kickstarter in November 2020 (where they raised £11,000) and Shopify site in February 2021, Pantee has grown into a successful sustainable startup—upcycling more than 1,500 kgs of deadstock fabric in its first 1.5 years alone. Pantee also plants one tree for every order placed (resulting in over 1,500 trees planted!) and is a proud member of 1% For the Planet.

Flipping the script with a ‘Blackout Friday’ campaign

Leading up to the Black Friday pandemonium in 2021, Amanda and Katie had one thing on their minds: overconsumption. Already an issue in the fashion industry during the regular season, Black Friday was sure to encourage consumers to make unnecessary purchases—many of which would go unused and end up back on shelves or, worse, in landfills.

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So, while many small businesses grappled with whether or not to run sales and promotions, Pantee asked a different question: how could they create a successful campaign while staying true to their mission?

  • The solution: Reclaim Black Friday by rebranding it “Blackout Friday,” an initiative encouraging consumers to rethink their purchases and avoid impulse buying.
  • The message: Stop and think before you buy. Is it something you love? Is it something you need? If so, go ahead— buy and enjoy your new purchase. But if you weren’t already going to make that purchase, consider going without.

“Black Friday is the biggest impulse buying day of the year, and people get easily sucked into sales,” says Katie. “But the mentality should be: Is it really a bargain if you weren’t going to spend the money originally? Our campaign stance was not to encourage impulse buying, and we saw a lot of engagement because of the shared values and common ground it established with our audience.”

“There is so much overconsumption on Black Friday,” adds Amanda. “Our stance wasn’t necessarily don’t make a purchase, but if you’re going to, buy something you’ve wanted for a really long time.”

Pantee didn’t stop there. To bring the campaign to life and put their words into action, the retailer turned off their website to all but their engaged customers, who were only able to access the website through a code they sent to their existing mailing list.

The results

The campaign was an overwhelming success, leading to a significant increase in sales, social engagement and reach, brand awareness and new customer acquisition.

  • Engagement on social media doubled throughout the campaign (from 4 to 8%), and organic social impressions reached over 4x the total followers at the time.
  • The campaign organically increased web traffic by 122% month-over-month in November 2021 without any supported paid spend.
  • Pantee’s mailing list grew by 33% in the week leading up to Black Friday.
  • The success of the social campaign extended far beyond Pantee’s Instagram, with the initiative featured in top-tier press including The Observer, Drapers, Reuters, The Daily Mail, and more.
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“While we didn’t run a sale or any promotions last year, Black Friday was the biggest sales day of the year,” says Katie. “By simply taking a stand and leveraging social to get our message out, we drove a month’s worth of web traffic in a matter of hours and had loads of people signing up for our email list. We saw a ton of new, first-time customers just because they valued what we were doing.”

“Brands often think that you can have values, but they won’t convert to sales,” adds Amanda. “But we think that’s changing—and this campaign is a great example of that.”

Pantee is now launching the campaign for the second year and looking forward to even more impressive results.

4 lessons learned from one unconventional campaign

Whether you’re brainstorming future creative campaigns, building out next quarter’s social marketing strategy or already getting started on planning for next year’s holiday season, Pantee’s Blackout Friday campaign holds great lessons that every marketer should keep top of mind. We asked Amanda and Katie for their top four recommendations—here’s what they said.

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1. Hone in on your purpose

“We talk a lot about our values as a brand,” says Katie. “And time and time again, we’ve seen that if we talk about an issue, our values, or something with substance behind it, our engagement is so much higher. That’s what people want to see: something that gets them thinking.”

Amanda adds: “I think at one point, we lost our way a bit and became more product and sales heavy on our social channels, and we noticed that we weren’t getting the same reach. Pushing product works through email marketing and other areas of the business, but with social, we’ve seen a bigger opportunity to educate our audience and share useful information that they can walk away with.”

See also  Engagement Rate Calculator + Guide for 2023

2. An engaged community is everything

“There’s a huge difference between growing a following and growing a following that also has engagement,” explains Katie.” When it comes to social, what we’ve found is that people who engaged with us early on have become advocates for our brand. We see so much value in community and engaging with our customers beyond getting the sale. Many brands see social as a platform to get their message out, but for us, it’s a two-way street.”

3. Don’t be afraid to be bold

“We learned quite early on with our social that the highest peaks of engagement happened when we took a stand for something,” says Katie. “We’ve always been quite mission driven, but we like to have fun with it and not be too preachy. When we’ve launched campaigns with our sustainability mission at the forefront, the engagement has been through the roof.”

4. Remember that there’s more to social than what you’re posting

“Social media isn’t just about what you post, it’s about how you engage with other accounts and make people feel,” explains Amanda. “Spending time on your social platforms connecting with others, building relationships and establishing an engaged community is invaluable. We use our social channels for two-way conversations with both customers and our community – there is so much you can learn when you talk with them instead of at them.”

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If there’s one takeaway that rises above all the others, it’s that social is one of the most powerful tools that brands can use to ignite their business, turning bystanders into loyal brand advocates, awareness into sales, and your mission into positive, tangible change. Just ask Pantee.

Find out about the biggest trends shaping social media so you can stay ahead of the game—and make sure your next social campaign is a winner. 

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Bonus: Download a free guide that teaches you how to turn Facebook traffic into sales in four simple steps using Hootsuite.

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How To Find and Use Business-Friendly TikTok Sounds

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TikTok is many things to many, many people — a daily vlog, a place to get news and an incredibly popular search engine. Still, it’s important to remember that TikTok started as a place for sounds.

Yes, before it was the all-consuming social media beast it is today, TikTok was mostly known for music. In fact, it merged with a lip-synching service called Musical.ly in 2018 to become the app we know and love today.

Whether it’s a song, a movie clip, a lip-synch or something else, sounds make TikTok special. In fact, 88% of users say sound is vital to the TikTok experience.

Whether you’re promoting your personal page or your business profile, mastering TikTok sounds is always in your best interest.

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Read our handy guide to learn how to find sounds on TikTok that work for your business.

Bonus: Get a free TikTok Growth Checklist from famous TikTok creator Tiffy Chen that shows you how to gain 1.6 million followers with only 3 studio lights and iMovie.

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How to find trending sounds on TikTok

In a way, TikTok sounds work like hashtags do on other social media apps. Add a trending TikTok sound to your video, and you’ll enter into a larger conversation happening around that sound.

If you choose the right sound and do something special with it, you could make a lot of waves. Here’s how to find TikTok sounds that will click with your audience.

Your own FYP

The beauty of trending content on TikTok is that it’s easily presented to you right on your For You Page. Unless you’ve royally messed up your algorithm with weird browsing habits, chances are you’ll have viral content on your FYP when you open the app.

And if you notice a sound that’s been used more than once on a cursory scroll, you might have a trending sound on your hands. Tap on the song (at the bottom right) and take a look at what else is happening.

A video on TikTok's FYP with an arrow indicating the sound in the bottom right

The song’s landing page allows you to add the song to your favorites, share with friends, or use the audio right away.

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But this is also a great place to see if an audio trend has really gone mainstream. Check out how many other videos on TikTok use that sound and you’ll have a pretty good sense of whether a song is truly viral.

A TikTok sound's landing page with an arrow indicating the number of times a song has been used in a TikTok

Meghan Trainor’s “Made You Look” has been used in 1.5 million TikToks, so it’s safe to say that it’s a pretty popular audio.

TikTok’s search bar

In addition to its timeline, TikTok has a powerful search function. You can find plenty of great trending content just by hitting the search bar. Even something as obvious as “viral sounds” will bring up, well, plenty of viral sounds.

You can hit the Hashtags tab of the search results for another set of popular options. Users often hijack trending songs with content unrelated to the trend, but you should strike gold without too much effort.

The hashtags tab on TikTok's search

TikTok’s sound library

It’s obvious, for sure, but still worth noting that the best place to find trending TikTok sounds is, well, the TikTok sound library.

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The sound tab makes it easy to find a list of recommended playlists with trending sounds. Be sure to look at the “Featured” and “TikTok Viral” playlists for more inspiration.

The sound tab on TikTok's search allows you to search by song, artist, or curated playlists

TikTok’s Creative Center

TikTok has made it even easier than searching for sounds yourself, however, thanks to their Creative Center.

This resource lets you see real-time stats about specific songs and sounds on the app. You can see how well a sound is doing based on specific regions too. This is super helpful if you’re targeting a part of the world that you’re not currently in.

@tiktokforbusinesssea 💥 Visit TikTok Creative Center at our bio for all the inspo you need to bring your #creative A-game. #tiktokforbusiness #tiktoktips ♬ original sound – TikTok for Business SEA

You can view limited info on the Creative Center without logging in, but you’ll need to create a free TikTok Business Account if you want to dive deeper.

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External TikTok trackers

You don’t have to stay within TikTok to find the best trending sounds.

In fact, a small cottage industry of third-party trackers has emerged, and sites like TokChart and TokBoard have become super helpful.

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You can use these sites to view stats like which TikTok songs are charting and where. You can even see which hashtags are associated with the song.

Music industry resources

If a song is trending on TikTok, it’s likely trending worldwide too. TikTok is inherently tied to the modern music industry, so it’s wise to keep an eye on trends at large. If a song is incredibly popular on Spotify or YouTube, it will likely do well on TikTok too.

You can even put on your music industry hat and start watching the Billboard Hot 100 chart to see which songs might be future trends. You could even follow Billboard on TikTok.

@billboard Here’s a breakdown of @Taylor Swift’s big week on the Billboard #Hot100. 💯 #taylorswift #billboard #swifties #midnights #theerastour #antihero #taylornation #billboardcharts #tsmidnights #tsmidnightsts #tsmidnightsalbum ♬ smiles & sunsets – ultmt.

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How to use TikTok sounds as a brand

You’ve learned how to find trending songs, so now all you have to do is add a new Taylor Swift song to your latest video, right? That’s technically the case for influencers, but it’s not so straightforward for business accounts.

Business accounts do not have access to major pop songs — or really, songs by any well-known artists. That’s because potential copyright issues could arise if they use them in an ad.

If your business account tries to use a copyrighted sound, you’ll see the following disclaimer:

The TikTok landing page for the Beyonce song CUFF IT, showing the song is not licensed for commercial use

Fortunately, there are still plenty of options for using TikTok sounds as a brand.

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Here are some options for what you can do.

Use royalty-free audio

TikTok feels your pain and knows you wish you could put Blink-182 on your ad. But they’ve done the next best thing and created a Commercial Music Library full of royalty-free audio.

The home screen for TikTok's Commercial Sound Library

There are over 150,000 pre-cleared tracks from just about any genre. You won’t have any shortage of options that are suitable for your content.

You can search for songs by genre, hashtag, mood or song title, and there are even playlists you can browse for inspo. It’s an easy solution for branded content.

@nfl that fake out tho 😮‍💨 @49ers #rayraymccloud #sanfrancisco ♬ Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Viral – WZ Beat

The track “Beat Automotivo Tan Tan Tan Vira” by WZ Beat is an example of a royalty-free sound that has gone superviral on the app.

Work with Sound Partners

If your marketing budget has room for audio production, consider using TikTok’s in-house sound marketing partners. Last year, TikTok expanded its Marketing Partner Program to include Sound Partners.

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The program now boasts offerings from international music companies like Butter, 411 Music Group, Sonhouse, AEYL MUSIC and many, many more.

See also  How to Use TikTok for Business: A Step-by-Step Guide

The home screen for TikTok's Sound Partners program

The cost will vary depending on the scope of your campaign. Some of the production houses also offer subscription services in addition to per-project fees. You could even work with them to strategize the sounds of your entire brand TikTok page.

Make your own sounds

If you’d rather not use some stock music as your audio track, there are plenty of other options available to you if you opt to make your own sounds. Depending on how ambitious you feel, they can be as complicated or simple as you want.

For one thing, you could make or hire someone to make original music for your TikTok page. That could look like messing around in Garageband or collaborating with an audio composer and musician.

This option isn’t necessarily ideal if you have no musical knowledge whatsoever, but it could pay off in major ways. After all, a branded audio sting or TikTok-ready jingle could travel far if other users want to use it in their videos.

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That last point is also why you could do just as well to create an official sound that is just, well, you talking. If you say something memorable enough that others will want to quote, you might find your sound being reused in other videos.

If you’ve named the sound and included mention of your brand somewhere, that could pay off for your project in the long run.

@elfyeah Poof! 💨 Poreless putty can make anything disappear! Show us your #elfvanishingact ✨ @rominagafur #porelessputty #elfyeah #elfcosmetics ♬ Vanishing Act e.l.f. Poreless Putty Primer – elfyeah

The cosmetic brand e.l.f. works with agencies to create original songs that go viral and launch TikTok trends.

Ask for user-generated audio

If you’ve had some luck with Duets or noticed you’ve developed a bit of a following on TikTok, you could straight up request user-generated content from your fanbase. Framed correctly, a user-generated campaign could pay off very well.

Think of ways your specific demographic would want to participate in your campaign. You can try asking for a testimonial or tutorial about your product or even something more creative like a joke or a jingle. If it applies to you, you could encourage fans to react to your work or have them come up with a comedy sketch. You could even incorporate the user-generated content into a contest of some kind.

Another great way to inspire user-generated content is to encourage Duets. If your branded video is the kind of thing that users will want to collaborate with, it will likely make some waves throughout TikTok. Think about what kind of Duet someone might want to create with your content and go from there.

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@yoleendadong #duet with @vessi wow no more wet socks pretty cool kinda freaky deaky ✨ #nomorewetsocks #vessi #waterproof #waterproofshoes #ketchup ♬ December (April Remix) – The Young Ebenezers

The shoe company Vessi encourages Duets with contests, call-outs and, well, extremely weird videos that are begging for live reactions.

If you post anything made by someone else, you should always credit them in the caption. This will keep you safe from any issues should the users choose to copyright their audio later on.

You should also avoid reposting audio that includes copyrighted music, even if it’s in the background.

See also  12 Top-Rated Shopify Integrations to Help You Grow your Business

Obtain a licence

Okay, we get it: you absolutely need to use a Carly Rae Jepsen song in your TikTok brand campaign. There’s simply no replacement for her uniquely crafted, emotive pop music.

In that case, you could license a song to use in your video. This might get expensive, but it is technically possible. Start by seeking legal advice from a copyright or music licensing lawyer — and let us know how it goes!

Frequently asked questions about TikTok Sounds

Still confused? Here’s a breakdown of some frequently asked questions about TikTok Sounds.

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Can businesses use TikTok sounds?

Yes. Businesses can use TikTok sounds in their videos so long as they are cleared for commercial use. The best ways to incorporate sounds into business posts are to use TikTok’s pre-cleared commercial audio, make your own original sounds or use user-generated content (and credit the creators).

What does “This sound isn’t licensed for commercial use” mean?

If you receive this error, it most likely means that you are trying to access a “mainstream” song while using a business account on TikTok.

TikTok users with personal accounts can use any sound they like — including the world’s most popular pop songs — but TikTok does not allow businesses to use mainstream music in their videos.

They implemented this policy in 2020, at which point they introduced the royalty-free music available in their Commercial Music Library.

@timmycobbsfitness #moda #problemsolved #fyp #business ♬ Meet Me At Our Spot – THE ANXIETY & WILLOW & Tyler Cole

How do you access TikTok’s commercial music library?

TikTok’s commercial sound library is available on both the app and your desktop browser.

If you’re using the app:

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  • Open the camera and tap Add sound
  • Then tap Sounds and search Commercial sounds.

TikTok's sound search showing the commercial sound library

This will bring you to the Commercial Music Library, where you can browse your options.

TikTok's Commercial Sound Library

How do you download TikTok sounds?

There’s no direct way to download a sound from TikTok onto your device.

If you want to save your favorite sound on TikTok, tap the bookmark icon to add a sound to your favorites. This will save it within the app, so you can easily use it later.

How to save a TikTok sound for later: tap the bookmark icon or Add to favorites

If you really want a TikTok sound for use outside of the app, you could consider screen recording or downloading a TikTok video with a third-party app or website.

How do you find saved sounds on TikTok?

Once you’ve added a TikTok sound to your favorites, it’s as easy as tapping the Favorites tab when you’re making a post.

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.The popup that appears when you've successfully added a TikTok sound to your favorites

When you add sound to a new TikTok, just tap the Favorites tab. All of your previously saved sounds will show up under that banner.

Where to find saved sound on TikTok

Can you add more than one sound to a TikTok?

You can’t add multiple sounds to the same TikTok within the app. If you’re looking to stitch together more than one sound, you’ll have to use a third-party video editor to create your video, then upload it to the app.

If you do this, however, you will likely miss out on having your video associated with that particular sound in TikTok’s database.

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What Is a UGC Creator? Follow These 5 Steps To Become One

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Have you ever dreamed about becoming an influencer and getting paid to create social media content without needing a big audience? Well, a new wave of people is doing just that: UGC creators.

If you’ve spent time on TikTok or Instagram in the last 6-12 months, chances are you’ve come across UGC creators. Even if you don’t recognize the term, you’ve probably seen content made by these creators on your favorite brands’ accounts.

By the end of this guide, you’ll know the exact steps needed to become a UGC content creator.

Bonus: Unlock our free, customizable pitch deck template to successfully reach out to brands and lock down the influencer partnership of your dreams.

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What is a UGC creator?

A UGC creator is someone who creates sponsored content that appears authentic but is designed to showcase a specific business or product.

The most common format for UGC creators is video, especially on platforms like Instagram and TikTok. Creators usually film and narrate the content from their perspective, which gives it an authentic feel.

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The main difference between UGC creators and influencers is that UGC creators create and deliver to businesses without the obligation to post it on their channels (although some UGC deals may add this for an extra fee). With influencers, the company usually pays for both content and exposure to the influencer’s audiences.

@itstarachristina

Replying to @ROY KANYI What is UGC? Quick summary of what UGC content is, what UGC content creators do, and how you can become a UGC creator! #ugccreator #whatisugc #ugc #whatisugc? #ukugc #ukugccreator #ugccreatoruk #startugc #ugchelp #ugctips2022

♬ original sound – TaraChristina🍒Content Creator

UGC content also tends to appear less polished and professional than influencer content, which helps to preserve the authenticity of UGC.

Why is UGC so valuable?

While being a UGC creator is a new concept, traditional user-generated content (UGC) is not. It’s become a proven tool in social media strategies for building communities, increasing brand awareness, and driving sales.

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Despite the name, UGC creators are not creating traditional organic UGC. Normally, UGC is created organically by customers in the form of photos, videos, testimonials, product reviews, and blog posts and shared spontaneously. Businesses can choose to re-share a customer’s UGC, but no payment or contracts are involved.

UGC creators create content that emulates traditional UGC, using the same unpolished and authentic filming style that an everyday creator might use when sharing a review of their favorite product.

As driving awareness and sales are valuable results for any business, it’s no surprise that brands are willing to pay UGC creators. Understanding the reasons why can help you better pitch yourself for UGC jobs.

It feels authentic

Consumers are 2.4 times more likely to view UGC as authentic versus content created by brands. UGC is the social media equivalent of product reviews and word-of-mouth.

User-created content will always have an organic feel that can’t be matched by brands, no matter how “cool” they are. As such, UGC tends to be more eye-catching and engaging, which is invaluable to brands.

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@rebel.socials

✨You always ask to post UGC examples for new beginners or UGC video examples with no voice. This is an organic UGC example, aesthetic/ Asmr skin care. What is UGC? It stands for user generated content. If you wondering how to become a UGC creator, I post best content creator tips and tricks on my page. #ugcvideoexample #ugcvideoexamples #wheretofindbranddeals #howtougc #ugcforbeginners #ugcfornewbies #ugcnewbie #ugcnewbies #howtoworkwithbrands #skincareugc #ugcskincare #ugccreators #howtoworkwithbrands

♬ original sound – 🤓Kate // Creator coach

It’s cheaper than influencer content

When working with influencers, brands need to pay for both the content and the posts on the influencer’s channels. The more reach and engagement an influencer has, the more a brand has to pay — which can be in the millions for celebrities!

With UGC content, brands only need to pay for the content itself, which often can be the same quality (or better) than the content from influencers. It also gives them complete control over the distribution and positioning of the content.

It can influence purchase decisions

Many brands pay to get UGC to use in social media ads because it influences purchase decisions. UGC acts as social proof, showing that real people are buying and using a product, which can drive more sales.

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Moreover, UGC doesn’t look like a blatant ad, which can make it more engaging when used in ad campaigns.

It’s faster than producing content from scratch

By sourcing content from UGC creators, a brand can get way more pieces than if it created them in-house. Brands can distribute a UGC brief to multiple creators, who will produce and deliver the content back to the brand by the same deadline.

Here are 6 more reasons why UGC is so important for businesses.

How to become a UGC creator

Anyone with a decent smartphone or camera can become a UGC creator. You don’t need a bunch of followers or professional video editing skills.

That’s the beauty of UGC — the more authentic and natural the content is, the better.

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@itstarachristina

The absolute beauty that UGC content creation is 🧁 #ugc #whatisugc #ugccontentcreator #becomeaugccreator #ugccreatorlife #ugccreatoruk #ukugccreator #ukugc #ugccontentcreation #ugccreatorhelp #ugccreator2022

♬ original sound – TaraChristina🍒Content Creator

We’ve put together five steps to get you started as a UGC creator.

Step 1: Figure out your filming setup

You can shoot UGC almost anywhere — at home, outside, or in a store (as long as there isn’t too much background noise). Many UGC creators create content in the comforts of their homes, where they can perfect their filming setup.

In terms of equipment, you only need a phone with a decent camera and a tripod to stabilize your phone for product shots.

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Some optional upgrades:

  • Ring light. Useful for closeups of your face and filming at night or in darker rooms.
  • Lavalier mic. Plugs into your phone’s audio jack and improves the quality of your recorded audio. Alternatively, you can also use the mic on a pair of wired headphones.
  • Backdrops. You can get creative here – paper, fabric, and construction materials all can serve as backdrops.
  • Props. Varies depending on the product, but find props that match the lifestyle or use cases of the product you’re showcasing.
@haleybauler

Episode 1 | WFH with me 📸💕 #ugccreator #ugccontentcreator #ugctips #ugcwork #ugchowto #sahmlife #wfhlife #sahmwfhm #contentcreators #contentcreatortips #wfh #momsoftiktok #ugccommunity

♬ Law – Yo Gotti

@jenahfir

The 5 things every ugc creator or content creator should have (aka my ugc starter kit). PS: they all count as a business expense so feel free to splurge on better quality items (I’m not a CPA, please consult an actual tax professional for advice 🤪) #ugcstarterkit #ugcmusthaves #contentcreatormusthaves #contentcreatorbusiness #ugccreatorsoftiktok #ugctipsforbeginners

♬ original sound – agatha apologist

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Pro tip: Don’t let the quality of your equipment or filming setup hold you back. Many UGC creators produce great content with just a phone, the product, and themselves. Once you get more experienced and start receiving feedback from brands, you can upgrade your equipment and setup.

Step 2: Build your UGC portfolio

Ah, the old chicken-and-egg dilemma: To create UGC content, you need products. However, brands will only send you products once you have a portfolio. So, how do you get started?

The answer: Make content for free featuring your favorite products. You don’t need permission from brands as long as you don’t portray it as a paid deal/sponsored content if you choose to post it.

There are several common types of UGC content:

  • Unboxing. Opening a new product’s packaging and revealing all the contents. You can narrate the functions of the included pieces and how to use them.
  • Review/testimonial. Giving your honest opinion on a product and how it works. UGC testimonials are different from other product reviews in that they should be short and not as in-depth, perhaps only focusing on one aspect instead of the whole product.
  • How to/use cases. Demonstrating how you use the product. These can be more lifestyle-focused videos, showing how you naturally use the product during your daily life, or more tutorial-style videos.

Pro tip: When you’re just starting your portfolio, we suggest focusing on videos, as this is the most common format for UGC requests. Aim to have at least one example from all UGC types above.

@maritza.artola

Replying to @theresatetty #CapCut here’s what my what ugc portfolio looks like! Your portfolio can make the biggest difference when it comes getting ugc gigs! Things that will help with creating your portfolio: ✨️ Knowing what to include in your ugc portfolio ✨️ Including high quality (not just talking about aesthetics) ugc examples ✨️ Knowing how to optimize your portfolio so you’re seen as a professional Hope that helps! #FomotionalFinds #CapCut #ugccreator #ugcportfolio

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♬ Rainbow City – Aves

Step 3: Practice your editing skills

Once you’ve recorded your clip(s), the next step is to edit them. The typical length for UGC videos is 15-60 seconds.

Editing videos can be tricky to learn, but luckily there are many apps to make it easier. Two of the most popular apps are CapCut and InShot. The in-app editors within TikTok and Instagram are also quite user-friendly and have many of the same features as third-party apps.

If you’re creating UGC for TikTok, here are 15 tips on how to edit your videos.

Pro tip: Practice, practice, practice! There is no shortcut to becoming good at video editing. The more you get used to the tools, the quicker you’ll get. We recommend incorporating TikTok trends into your UGC videos to make them more engaging.

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Check out these clips for editing inspiration:

@theugcgirly

Another oldie, but goody for my September UGC Example Challenge! Can you tell I love @pacificabeauty products? #ugc #ugccontentcreator #ugccreators #ugcexamplevideo

♬ original sound – erin • UGC creator

@shanmy_c

Example of a UGC video I created for my portfolio! 🙈#ugc #ugccreator #ugcconcept #ugccreators #ugcportfolio #ugcexample #ugcexamples #ugccommunity #contentcreator #makeup #skincare

♬ Stunnin’ (feat. Harm Franklin) – Curtis Waters

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@alliemcguffin

the best glow you could ask for @btan.rocks available now @ultabeauty #selftanner #glowyskin #protectyourskin #dailyspf #girlygirlaesthetic

♬ original sound – carneyval

Step 4: Post your UGC (optional)

This step is optional, as posting your content isn’t generally required as part of UGC contracts. However, it is an excellent way to practice and get feedback on how to improve your content. Even with a small audience, you can learn what works and what doesn’t work by checking the analytics for your posts.

Posting your UGC on your account also allows brands to see your content, after which they may reach out to you to offer UGC gigs.

Pro tips: If you want to increase the chances of brands discovering your UGC, don’t use hashtags like #UGC or #UGCcreator — these will signal the algorithm to serve your content to other UGC creators. Instead, use industry- and product-related hashtags.

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Secondly, add your email (or another way to contact you) to your bio to make it easy for brands to reach out to you.

@zoewu_

How to get inbound leads as a UGC creator #ugc #ugccreator #ugccontentcreator

♬ She Share Story (for Vlog) – 山口夕依

Step 5: Get paid

Now you’re ready for the next stage: Getting paid for your UGC! Once you have a portfolio, you can start applying for UGC gigs. We know this is easier said than done, so we’ve expanded our tips into a whole section below.

4 tips for getting paid as a UGC creator

1. Use platforms to find brand deals

With UGC’s rise, there are new platforms dedicated to facilitating UGC brand deals. Some post opportunities for creators to apply, while others require you to create a listing for your content creation services.

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Here are some platforms to search for UGC opportunities:

@rebel.socials

✨Content creators tips for beginners. If you’ve been searching for brands that work with small creators and how to make money as a content creator on Titkok, start with these apps. Super easy to apply, you don’t have to search for brands that work for creators, or brands contact info. Just apply! #howtomakemoneyontiktok #howtoworkwithbrands #brandsthatworkwithsmallcreators #sahmjobs #sahmlife #momprenuer #howtougc #ugcpitchtips #contentcreatortips #ugcforbeginners #ugcfornewbies #ugcnewbies #ugcnewbie #brandsthatworkwithmicroinfluencers #beginnercontentcreator

♬ GASLIGHT – INJI

2. Network with brands and business owners

If you want to be more proactive and work with specific brands, then your best bet is to network via platforms like Linkedin, Twitter, and TikTok.

You can use these platforms for networking in several ways:

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  • Personal branding. Post updates on your account sharing your journey as a UGC creator, and add a CTA for brands to contact you for UGC
  • Cold outreach. Think about brands you genuinely like and for which you would enjoy creating content, and reach out to folks who work at those companies

Pro tip: Smaller companies like startups and small businesses just starting to build their social media presence are more likely to need UGC.

3. Perfect your pitch

Pitching yourself to a brand for a UGC opportunity is like applying for a job. As more and more people become UGC creators, it’ll become more competitive. That means you need to make your pitch stand out.

Keep your pitches focused on the brand (not yourself) and the value you’ll provide for them through your UGC.

Pro tip: Tailor your pitch for each opportunity you apply to. In your portfolio, curate examples that are relevant to each brand’s industry and will appeal to that brand’s target audience.

@rebel.socials

✅How to pitch UGC content in 2022? Until you fix your brand outreach strategy you will not be able to scale as a content creator. No responses from brands = no brand deals = no money. Everyone keep searching where to find brands to work with, or best platform to pitch UGC, but until you fix your pitching strategy no need to even search for those brands. #howtoworkwithbrands #wheretofindbranddeals #ugcnewbie #ugcnewbie #howtougc #ugcpitchtips #ugcguide #contentcreatortips

♬ Spooky, quiet, scary atmosphere piano songs – Skittlegirl Sound

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4. Know your worth

As with influencer marketing, payment rates for UGC creation vary widely. The brand or platform usually sets the rate for brand deals. Nonetheless, staying up-to-date with market rates will empower you to choose deals that pay fairly. This benefits you and ensures equitable compensation for other UGC creators.

Pro tip: Follow UGC creators on TikTok and Instagram, as they often post content sharing behind-the-scenes details on how they negotiate brand deals and how much they get paid.

@itstarachristina

Replying to @lauracaitlinv How to set your prices as a UGC Content Creator as a beginner! #ugccontentcreator #ugccreatortips #ugccreatoruk #ugcforbeginners #ugcforbrands #itstarachristina #ugcprices

♬ original sound – TaraChristina🍒Content Creator

Frequently asked questions about UGC creators

How many followers do I need to get paid as a UGC creator?

You don’t need a certain number of followers to become a UGC creator. Many UGC brand deals are content-only, meaning you only have to create and deliver content, with no requirement to post it on your own channels.

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How do I find brands to work with?

The easiest way to know if a brand is looking for UGC creators is to use platforms that curate UGC brand deals. Brands may also advertise call-outs for UGC creators in their feed posts or Stories. You can also DM brands with your pitch in case they’re open to working with UGC creators.

How do I create a UGC portfolio?

You can use a free tool like Canva or Google Slides to create your portfolio. If you need help getting started, check out our free brand pitch deck template.

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