Community-generated content: How today’s creators and brands access UGC

Written by Taz Sharp

The essence of community is fans sharing their passions with each other. For many fans, that means celebrating creativity, capturing live moments and finding inspiration in the community.

This is the evolution of content created by users: from user-generated content (UGC) to community-generated content (CGC).

User-generated content has been a cornerstone of the Web for nearly two decades. But as social media fragments and users search for authentic voices in the crowd, more and more fans are moving to dedicated safe spaces like Discord communities to celebrate their specific passions. Levellr builds and manages communities like these for artists, sports teams, podcasts and brands from Fall Out Boy to Starbucks.

Just as communities allow brands to tap into the power of superfans, branded communities also bring the focus onto community-generated content (CGC). Directly inspired by an artist, creator, sports team or brand, this content is 100% organic and driven by engaged superfans.

Communities can be a treasure trove of user-generated content. Images, audio and video posted by superfans into a community range from quick voice notes to fantastic remixes, from selfies to capturing an amazing moment at a live event, from memes to lovingly-crafted fan art. A fan's imagination can take the brand in unexpected directions, and these pieces can form the basis of powerful marketing moments and social posts.

Why is this so valuable? Research shows users trust UGC 50% more than other media. Consumers are 3x more likely to value UGC as authentic (compared to branded content). Consumers trust UGC.

On social media, UGC posts have an engagement rate 28% higher than typical brand posts. Fans are 73% more likely to leave a positive comment on a social media ad when it features UGC (compared to a standard ad). So consumers trust UGC and engage with it.

A shirtless singer performs on stage against a red backdrop.
A fan captures this powerful image of Obongjayar, who performed alongside Fred again.. at Alexandra Palace.

As such, UGC is also highly monetisable. The vast majority of consumers barely even register online adverts - a phenomenon known as "banner blindness". But research from Power Digital shows that websites which include UGC see a 20% increase in return visitors, while people spend 90% more time on the site. When a product page also includes user reviews, there's a 108% increase in traffic, a 92% spike in sales, and crucially, a 65% boost to conversions.

Tapping into CGC

Community-generated content supercharges UGC by tapping into the creativity of the most passionate and most engaged fans. But when you run a community based on your brand, how do you find the best content to reshare, champion, and potentially reuse in official campaigns?

The Levellr dashboard surfaces community content. This means community owners can instantly see the most popular media posted into a community, as rated by community members themselves. You can search, sort, and filter content to easily specify what you're looking for, bringing up the best show photos, remixes or fan art, or whatever incredible content your community is producing.

From here, you can immediately jump to the message where the media was posted, see the user who posted it, and download the media.

Screenshot of software managing photos.
Levellr's content dashboard helps you surface the most popular community-generated content.

With Levellr’s Digital Asset Management (DAM) tool, customers can now:

  • see data on how many pieces of UGC are generating from the community each month.
  • find all UGC content housed in one space, which can be filtered by popularity to find the most powerful content for re-use on official owned and operated channels.
  • send approval requests to community members via DM from a custom community bot, securing permission to use their content with a single click.

The results

On average, each Levellr community produces 58 pieces of community-generated content per day. That's 1,752 pieces per month, and over 20,000 pieces of content per year.

It's a game changer for our customers, who now have a wealth of compelling content at their fingertips. And the cost?


On average, the price creators charge for a single piece of UGC in 2023 is $150. But within a shared community, fans proactively create and share their creativity, saving many of our customers thousands of dollars per month on UGC spend.

But most importantly, fans love it when you use their content. It shows they’re genuinely interacting with the artist or brand, they feel seen, and they feel a genuine part of the team on the artist’s journey. Levellr's tools not only surface CGC seamlessly from the community, but also make it easy to ask fans’ permission to repurpose their content, an important step in ensuring fans are onboard and pumped for brands and creators to use their content.

It's amazing to see how this content is used by our customers, in particular Fred again... The Brit award-winning and Mercury Prize-nominated musician and producer takes a highly collaborative approach to his music, sampling videos and voice notes in his songs. He can now crowdsource this in his ‘samples’ channels on Discord, where his 30k+ strong community shares amazing samples with Fred on a daily basis.

A DJ performs on stage to a delighted crowd.
Fans' images capture the excitement of a live event like this Fred again.. show.

And in his Discord community, set up with Levellr, he encourages fans to share videos and photos from live shows they’ve attended as well as inspirational photos from their daily lives. Fred’s fans love being part of his story, as their image might be seen by countless fellow fans as a Spotify Canvas video when streaming a track,as a post across Fred's socials and even at live shows - anyone see the stunning backdrop for his emotional Glasto set?

Another great example is Maisie Peters, who achieved her first no. 1 album this year boosted by a highly engaged Discord community. The acclaimed singer is also tapping into CGC, not only accessing hundreds of amazing fan images but also encouraging fans to share their content on their socials. As they share, Maisie's superfans grow into influencers, creating a powerful loop of content from Discord out onto traditional platforms.

The future of UGC is CGC. Whatever your brand, Levellr are here to help you tap into it.

Your superfans are waiting. Contact Levellr today to find out how you can build a community which works for your brand.