Direct response formula for UGC

UGC Script Writing 101

Creating UGC ads is one thing: creating UGC ads that can convert is another. To script a converting UGC ad — and in this instance we mean sales — you need to leverage the direct response formula


This formula is considered industry best practice and has been used by marketers across both digital and traditional media for years. UGC is no exception. 


Marketing best practices have a lot to do with psychology. The more you become familiar with the formula, the more you can tailor it to the target audience, and the better your UGC ad’s performance will be.


So, what does the direct response formula look like?

What Is The DR Formula?

As a reminder, you can rearrange the formula in any order. You can also make the problem/solution, a unique selling point, or social proof the hook if it’s attention-grabbing enough! Believe it or not, you can also feature the CTA in the hook and re-mention it in the final scene if it’s a discount.

Step 1: Hook

Establish a hook within the first 2-3 seconds (this includes visuals, audio, and copy on screen) — and make it a good one. To this, you’ll need strong thumb-stop and relevance. 


Not all social platforms are designed for sound on, which means you need to tailor your UGC concepts to fit each platform. The platforms designed for sound on are TikTok & Snapchat (Instagram stories aren’t considered “sound on” since some people watch/scroll without audio). You’ll want to make sure for Facebook & Instagram; you include closed captions or call-outs in your UGC concepts to be safe! 


As a note, in any UGC concept I do – regardless of platform, I opt for either closed captions or call-outs to guarantee the viewer can read and listen along.

Step 2: Problem/Solution

Feature a problem the potential customer viewing this UGC concept may experience, followed by a solution that the brand/product you’re creating the concept for can solve. 


For example: if the brand you’re doing a concept for is Blueland – a problem the potential viewer may have is how difficult it is to go plastic-free, but with Blueland’s product offerings (all of which are plastic-free), they make it easier! Any existing product was created to help solve a problem or multiple problems. 


It’s our job as UGC creators when writing scripts to present to the potential customer the problem the product solves.

If you haven’t tried (x)… watch this!

Getting my daily (x) hits different with…

TikTok made me buy this.

When you LOVE feeling (x) but don’t have the time to (x) every day.

I tried every X out there, and here are the results.

Want (x)? Then stop scrolling!

Step 3: Value Props

Communicate value props that set this product apart from its competitors. 


Value props are a synonym for USPs, which stands for unique selling points. Every brand out there has at least one competitor and MANY value props. 


It’s essential to be selective and choose the ones that truly set this product apart from the rest of its competitors.

Step 4: Social Proof

Sprinkle in additional social proof if you see an opportunity! UGC is a form of social proof; however, it is not the only kind. Remember, types of social proof include (but are not limited to):

  • Publication features
  • Awards won
  • 5-star customer reviews
  • Case studies

So, how can you incorporate this into a  script writing? Implied credibility. There is a wide variety of ways you can leverage implied credibility.


Outside of stating the obvious – literally, you can have implied credibility sprinkled into your UGC concept without saying anything. Instead you can have it strategically placed visually.

Featuring social proof, such as positive reviews or awards won, behind you using the green screen effect. So they visually see the social proof, rather than you saying it.


You can also just explicitly say it. Hooks that infer social proof include:

I was finally able to get my hands on the this viral TikTok product.

Things TikTok made me buy, #BeautyEdition…

My friend’s mom, who’s a dentist, couldn’t stop raving about this toothpaste.

I saw this product on the news multiple times and was curious to try it out myself.

Step 5: Call To Action

Establish your CTA, which is an acronym that stands for “call to action.” For example: Get yours today! Don’t miss out! Grab yours before they sell out AGAIN! Get 20% off today with code NEW20!


The goal is to communicate shop now with a sense of urgency. 


Brands need conversions, so a CTA at the end of your UGC concept will help move traffic from a social platform to the brand’s website. 


Creating a branded, organic, and direct response-driven concept is genuinely an art and is all about balance. This is a skill set, and it’s going to take you time to master it. Start practising today: your future self will thank you.

Further reading

Picture of Kirk Axley
Kirk Axley
Max Axley is the founder of The UGC Club. With nearly 10 years of digital marketing experience he set out to create a community that helped UGC creators learn the ropes (without having to spend a penny).

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