With over 12 million e-commerce shops, it’s becoming increasingly difficult for brands to attract, and retain customers.
Traditional marketing channels are becoming more and more expensive, and Customer Acquisition Costs (CAC) are at an alltime high. In such a competitive environment, brands need to be creative when marketing themselves to thrive among their competitors.
One way they are accomplishing it is through user generated content (UGC.)
In the last few years, brand strategies focused on increasing user generated content have skyrocketed in popularity – because they work. In fact, UCG is up to 42% more effective than brand-created content, and generates almost seven times more engagement.
In the social media age, UGC strategy is dominating the marketing sphere as one of the most lucrative tactics for businesses – especially, for e-commerce brands.
What is user generated content (UGC)?
Any content created by your customers about your brand is user generated content.
In practice, this could be anything from clients sharing reviews on social media, to posting entire YouTube videos unboxing products they purchased from you.
Two of the most effective platforms for implementing UGC strategy are Instagram and TikTok.
Instagram’s reputation as a picture-posting platform makes it the ideal hub to share photos of products and experiences. What’s more: the ability to use hashtags allows pictures to be easily associated with your brand – and direct leads towards your online store.
Similarly, TikTok and its trend-fueled culture has been driving video views, and influencing users in their purchasing decisions in everything from beauty products to books.
What makes user generated content special is its authenticity. Which allows consumers to connect with a brand. Actually, consumers are around 2.4 times more likely to view user generated content as authentic than content created by brands.
User generated content examples exist because customers want to create content about your brand. So, they do – without being influenced
In this article, we’ll see why UGC are so interesting for your business and how D2C brands integrate them into their marketing strategy.
1. Consumers listen to other consumers.
Traditional marketing methods – in which messages about products come from the brands themselves – aren’t as effective in the social media age.
Instead, consumers look to the opinions of other people when they are considering buying a product. Over half of millennials look to friends and family members when making a purchasing decision.
As such, 64% of marketers believe word-of-mouth marketing is the most effective form of marketing.
Well, user generated content is the word-of-mouth marketing for the digital age.
Through social media platforms such as Instagram, YouTube, Twitter and TikTok, customers are posting about their interactions with brands. In doing so, they’re influencing the purchasing decisions of their followers.
If your brand successfully implements a UGC strategy, it’s akin to distributing a sea of personal recommendations. This is incredibly effective because the content is coming from a source your new potential customers trust: other customers.
2. Generates trust.
If customers have never heard of your company or seen other customers use – or review – your products, they’re probably not going to trust your brand.
A lack of brand trust can be fatal – especially to e-commerce businesses.
After all, to feel comfortable entering their card details onto your site, your customers need to trust the legitimacy and quality of your brand and its products. The good news is that 92% of customers are more likely to trust a brand recommended by their peers.
Simply knowing of your brand through user generated content examples helps to generate awareness and familiarity: the cornerstones of brand trust.
Knowing that more of your customers have had successful, positive experiences with your brand – shown through their UGC content – helps further build this trust.
3. Drives brand loyalty.
By offering chances to engage with your brand, you create opportunities for the relationship between your brand and your customers to grow.
When you encourage customers to create content with their purchases, like their posts and/or repost their user generated content on your own platforms, you increase engagement and loyalty towards your brand.
Why is brand loyalty important?
Because it keeps customers coming back to your brand (crucially, over others). Since it’s less costly – and more profitable – to encourage repeat customers than to attract new ones, this is vital to e-commerce success.
What’s more: brand loyalty generates brand advocates that deliver positive word-of-mouth marketing to potential future customers.
4. Presents the opportunity to receive feedback.
Perhaps a less obvious advantage of user generated content is its ability to generate feedback.
Receiving feedback is an essential cog in the business machine. Feedback allows problems with your product/service to be identified, so that you can make improvements and keep customers happy.
As a result, user generated content and word-of-mouth marketing about your brand should stay positive and encourage sales.
Feedback also allows your brand to take stock of its strengths, identify its unique selling points and market accordingly to boost sales.
5. It boosts brands’ online presence.
As discussed earlier, customers are more likely to view and engage with user generated content than content created by brands. This makes UGC excellent for boosting brand awareness.
More than this, because of the digital native nature of UGC, it’s unparalleled for your web presence. The best user generated content campaigns boost SEO and let search engines know that browsers are engaging with – and interested in – your brand and products.
Customers sharing reviews on social media, posting photos of your products among countless other user generated content examples all direct traffic back to your online store.
The cumulative effect of these things can help to boost your site rankings and expose your brand to more leads.
6. Often, it doesn’t cost a thing.
68% of customers would be willing to leave a review after their order if you ask! The most incredible part about user generated content ? It’s free !
What is user generated content? It’s content created by customers.
In other words, in addition to being an incredible marketing tool it’s also one of the most cost-effective. After all, your customers create your marketing content for you.
You’ll indeed need to put some energy into inspiring your customers to make content about your brand and products. However, once you’ve got this formula down you can look forward to viewing high quality branded content made by your customers – that cost you nothing and increase your sales!