The biggest digital marketing trend right now is producing native-looking UGC ads. Channels like TikTok, Instagram, and YouTube are major players driving this trend. Users are constantly consuming user-generated video content, spending nearly a full day per month on apps like TikTok, making them adept at recognizing authenticity and sifting through artificial, ad-like content. This familiarity presents a unique challenge for marketers: they must create ads that blend into the native look of these platforms, yet still make a remarkable impression on the audience. In other words, marketers are facing the unique challenge of standing out while blending in. How can this be achieved? The following guide will illuminate the process of creating native-looking UGC ads that stand out and engage users on platforms like TikTok.

Understanding Your Audience

Your first step is to intimately know your audience. Users on TikTok, for example, are typically younger, ranging from teenagers to young adults. They appreciate content that is fun, creative, and authentic. Research and understanding of what appeals to this demographic should be the bedrock upon which your UGC video ads are built. Think about what type of content they engage with, what kind of music they listen to, and what influencers they follow. Then go consume that content yourself. By assimilating these aspects into your ad, you ensure it resonates with your target audience.


A top-performing UGC video ad we produced for Kabam's Shop Titans mobile game

Keeping it Authentic and Relatable

One of the key elements of successful UGC video ads is authenticity. A common mistake marketers make is producing polished, overly-produced videos that scream "advertisement!" Instead, aim to create content that looks like it could've been made by the channel's users. This doesn't mean it has to be low-quality; instead, it should be informal, genuine, and relatable. Use realistic settings, everyday people instead of professional models, and a natural conversational tone in the script.

Mastering the TikTok Style

Embracing the native style of the platform in your UGC video ads is crucial. TikTok, for instance, is characterized by short, snappy videos often paired with catchy music and filled with creativity. Leveraging these elements will help your ads blend into the users' feeds while still being able to grab attention. Don't shy away from popular trends or filters – they are popular for a reason. Use them to your advantage to enhance the native feel of your ads.


A UGC video ad we produced for the Hopper app, leveraging a popular filter

Partner with a UGC Agency

Shameless plug time! But seriously, a UA agency that specializes in UGC ads can save you time, money, and headaches. A good UGC agency will be able to pitch concepts and scripts that represent your brand in a natural way on TikTok, Instagram, and other popular channels. They also take care of the talent or influencers. And they can even help lower your costs because they have an optimized pipeline already in place. Our clients save 20-60% on creative costs with Airtraffic compared to other vendors.

Harnessing the Power of Creators

Creators and influencers are a powerful tool in your digital marketing arsenal, and TikTok is no exception. Partnering with creators who align with your brand values can help make your UGC video ads look native and gain traction. Remember, the creators’ followers trust their recommendations, so choose someone who genuinely likes your product and can present it in a natural, authentic way. And most importantly, give the creator freedom to create, otherwise the result maybe have the opposite effect.


A TikTok video ad we produced for Crunchyroll's Street Fighter: Duel mobile game, leveraging the talent of a TikTok creator

Keeping it Short and Sweet

Lastly, TikTok users are used to consuming content quickly. Your ad should be short, snappy, and engaging right from the first frame. Lose the lengthy introductions and instead focus on delivering your message quickly and efficiently. Remember, you only have a few seconds to make an impression.

Creating UGC video ads that look native yet stand out on TikTok involves understanding your audience, focusing on authenticity, leveraging popular trends, and partnering with a UA agency that specializes in UGC video. With these strategies in place, your UGC video ads are sure to engage and captivate the TikTok audience.