User-generated content has quickly become one of the most effective ways for D2C brands to gain more exposure while earning the trust and loyalty of consumers. It's a crucial part of any marketing strategy that converts. Better yet, it’s easy and cheap to produce! Why? The videos, product reviews, unboxings and tutorials are created by consumers who choose to support the businesses they love.
Need a few good examples of how user-generated content works? Gymshark, the popular sportswear company, has drastically increased its sales by $3BN due to user-generated posts on TikTok alone. Because of the consumers' love for Gymshark's products, the brand has brought in millions more in sales revenue than initially anticipated.
Another example is Kris Sugartan, who brought in a staggering $3M in sales from the Maine Get Lobster ad campaign.
Incredibly successful D2C brands have noticed the trends and are choosing to create more relatable campaigns. User-generated content speaks to the audience, resonates with them, and helps them make better buying decisions they’re less likely to regret. It’s naturally beneficial to businesses that want to make a name for themselves.
In this guide, we will analyse a €3M UGC campaign frame by frame, step-by-step so you can start doing it too!
All brands make promises, but some underdeliver. It's yet another reason social proof has become so telling for businesses of all sizes, big and small. If consumers see someone raving over a product, they're 90% more likely to believe the consumer over the brand itself that makes claims about what their product can do.
In a post-iOS 14 world: storytelling and trust are even more important
74% of consumers depend on the recommendations of others on social media before making a purchase.
+84% of consumers trust peer recommendations over claims from brands on different products.
+48% of consumers agree that UGC helps them discover brands and products.
49% of TikTok users find products through videos created by brands, creators, and other users. And at least 37% immediately bought the TikTok products soon after discovering it.
Source: TikTok’s Path to Purchase report (June 2022)
The first and perhaps one of the most critical steps in using UGC to drive sales is paying attention to and staying on top of consumer trends.
While ever-changing trends come and go, knowing what consumers like, want, and need in the current moment can help your brand stay relevant and appeal to the masses. Consumer trends change like the weather, but if you're doing enough research, you can expect to understand these behaviours and expectations from individuals who support brands like your business.
You can increase your unboxing virality potential when you utilise consumer trends. For example, a growing number of consumers prefer when businesses take an eco-friendly approach, reducing waste while producing products and minimising the negative impact on the environment.
Sustainable packaging alone can make people want to unbox their packages in front of the camera while raving over the experience with that brand. Ask yourself what can get people to tag your products while creating content surrounding what you sell.
Discover what’s trending now on TikTok
Discovering trends on TikTok is easier than you think. TikTok Creative Center allows you to find what performs well on the platform to better engage with your audience.
You can filter by country and industry then browse through:
﹟Hashtags: see the most relevant and top-performing hashtags, related creators, audience insights and interest over time for any given industry.
👉 Browse TikTok’s trend finder
🎵 Songs: find out which songs are already trending or get ahead of the competition and discover the ones that are gaining popularity.
Unfortunately, they don’t include user-created sounds. Don’t worry, we got a hack for you. Monitor the TikTok sound trend hashtag here to discover the more engaging and breaking-through sounds created by the platform’s users.
🙋♀️ Creators: filter by country and number of followers to find relevant influencers and creators to produce UGC for your brand.
🎥 And trending TikTok Videos to find inspiration for your brand’s content.
👉 Open your Creator Marketplace account here
Boost your unboxing virality as a sustainable brand
As an example, SMOON uses Bigblue's reusable packaging for its period-proof underwear. The highly sought-after garments are loved by women who want to experience more freedom during that time of the month. Consumers can enjoy the perks of having period-proof underwear and look forward to getting what they need in sustainable, eco-friendly packaging materials, giving them all the more reason to create content and post it to platforms like Instagram and TikTok.
👉 Discover Bigblue’s reusable packaging
Consider what motivates your customers, from product launches to marketing campaigns.
56% of consumers say the types of content they most want to see from brands are user-generated photos and videos—and they’re constantly creating them!
Ask yourself, "What makes people tag products?" You may have several answers, such as their love for the product, the quality of the item, the packaging, or even other small details that mean a lot to the consumers. If you can bring that WOW factor through product launches and marketing campaigns, you can get people to tag your brand for positive reasons that yield better results.
Once you’ve identified the UGC triggers for your brand, you are ready to unlock new sales. Brands are partnering with content creators and influencers of all sizes to promote their products organically on TikTok and Instagram through referral links.
83% lift on Amazon after a viral TikTok for beauty brands like CeraVe, Aquaphor, and Paula’s Choice.
Because many influencers have an Amazon storefront or a LinkTree account where that post links to their favourite products, it’s easier for social media users to find what they’re looking for after a product review.
✨ Manage TikTok campaigns from Shopify’s dashboard and measure conversions
If you use Shopify, it is quite simple to activate TikTok as a new sales channel account and deploy In-Feed shoppable video ads directly within Shopify.
More than 1M Shopify merchants have already activated the TikTok integration.
Use your unboxing experience to generate more UGC
Dermalogica’s unique unboxing made possible by Bigblue has revealed 155 million views on TikTok! To discover your brand’s unboxing virality potential go to TikTok Discover and look up your brand’s name + unboxing.
👉 Discover Bigblue’s unboxing experience
5 good reviews increase the likelihood of a purchase by a staggering 270%.
Companies with at least five high-quality product reviews have a tremendously high possibility of getting people to purchase their products.
Source: Council Post: How Revenue Can Increase Through Reviews
If customers upload photos or videos and mention your brand, whether tagging your business or in a hashtag, be sure to feature them on your website. You can create a section on the site highlighting your customers with a title that says, "Check Out What Our Customers Have to Say..."
It provides the social proof that consumers are looking for before making purchases. And, if they think that person looks fantastic because of something your business sells, you can expect them to feel more inclined to purchase the product, too.
⭐️ A BrightLocal study shows that 87% of people read reviews.
🤝 Of those people, nearly 79% of them will trust the reviews from influencers and total strangers as much as they would when receiving a personal recommendation from a friend or family member.
Because of this, online retailers continue to acknowledge the value of independent reviews and how those reviews can help them protect their bottom lines.
🦈 Learn from Gymshark’s success
On top of promoting client reviews on their product pages. Gymshark added a special section on their Instagram account “GS Family”, every Friday, a bunch of lucky customers get featured on Gymshark’s stories.
Lashilé Beauty displays customer reviews on its website to boost sales
Lashilé Beauty trusts Bigblue to delight customers with a 5-star-worthy delivery experience.
⚙️ Recommended tool:
Use Loox App to add video and photo reviews to your product pages like Lashilé.
👉 Discover Lashile’s case study
Hashtag challenges and contests generate a 21% increase in UGC video creation. While 50% of Hashtag Challenges drive $5 dollars of return in Ads spend
Don't miss out on the benefits of hosting a contest or a hashtag challenge!
Social media contests are a quick and effective way to increase engagement, create more awareness of your brand, and offer something incredible that gets people talking about your brand.
If you plan on setting up a contest, decide on the prize. Most brands will offer free products in the form of a gift basket full of items.
You can take this approach because it can improve your chances of having user-generated content created for your brand. In addition, the winner may look forward to unboxing their items, showing them off to the rest of the world, and talking about the specific things they love most.
Lashilé Beauty used their unboxing experience to launch a Golden Ticket contest for 4 lucky customers
Bigblue allowed the brand to integrate Golden Tickets in some packages, offering a weekend at Disney for 4 and a total of 3 900€ of vouchers.
A marketing operation that was a success.
👉 Discover Lashile’s case study
People love user-generated content because it's relatable. Consumers want to see influencers and everyday people talking about the brands they love and the products they use while showing what makes those items so spectacular. Depending on your brand and the product that you are trying to promote, you can go for either the girl-next-door or influencer aspirational approaches.
Seeing someone who looks like them, talks like them, or even comes from the same walk of life as they do is more likely to get their attention than someone who is out of touch with reality. Going for the relatable approach can help you garner the interest you want and need to make more sales to your targeted audience.
Chanel’s branded post for Les Beiges foundation on Instagram generated 147K views and 33K likes
Chanel doesn't advertise on TikTok.
Les Beiges UGC clearly overcame Chanel’s branded content:
4M views and 1.1M likes for Danielle’s honest review
Jumping on the trend, beauty influencer and girl-next-door Sol Peña generated 13M views and 1.3M likes for Chanel.
With this approach, you depend more on influencers who've already amassed a large following of people who trust their word and want to hear what they have to say about the products they use and love the most.
Some consumers love this content, especially if it's coming from an influencer they trust. However, this isn't always the right approach. It will depend on your brand, what you sell, and who you want to connect with, such as your targeted audience.
Charli D’Amelio partnered with Dunkin’ Donuts in 2020 to challenge Starbucks’ dominance over younger audiences on social media.
They co-created The Charli, a new beverage, that went on to sell hundreds of thousands of cups within the first five days of its launch.
There was also a 57% increase in downloads of the Dunkin’ Donut app, which the brand had been trying to push. There was a 20% overall sales boost for cold brews the day the drink was released and a 45% increase the following day.
Unbottled used Bigblue to build a conversion-oriented check-out and post-purchase delivery experience.
They enhanced their customer’s journey by adding features, such as estimated time of arrival, branded tracking emails, and super fast fulfilment, helping Unbottled boost monthly orders from 500 to 20K.
The enhanced experiences encourage consumers to speak up about brands and tell others how great they are.
👉 Discover how Unbottled uses Bigblue’s emails
Capitalizing on a feeling means that creators aren’t doing a sales pitch. While some people may still promote products they don't believe in that aren't effective, consumers aren't turning a blind eye to this anymore and will often call it out as they see it. For that reason, brands need authentic and reliable user-generated content that consumers can believe in and trust.
1. You want to capture the raw emotions and facial expressions.
2. Reading from a script is never a good idea. It makes a person seem inauthentic.
3. Honest emotions resonate with viewers. As they're watching, they'll feel like they're talking to a friend or family member rather than watching a stranger tell them about a product.
1. People can pick up on them in no time. The most important thing with user-generated content is to be as authentic as possible.
2. Use expressions such as: “Oh my gosh, I love it,” “it’s so delicious,” and “feels amazing.”
Matthieu, Co-Founder of the agency Stride-Up, recommends sharing UGC on your organic profile, a crucial stop in the customer’s journey. If potential buyers see a video with your product in it and visit your empty profile, they lose trust.
He gave us ready-to-implement hacks to increase your brand’s social proof with organic content.
1. Duet. Find top content about your brand and add context! Try, “this is why we did this..”
2. Stitch. Stitching on TikTok allows you to incorporate 5 seconds of content from another video into your own. Find the best hooks from creators and capitalize on them!
3. Use comments in videos. Find people are asking the same thing over and over? Respond to their comment with a video. Chances are, if one person is asking, many people are wondering.
4. Capitalize on trends. There’s no shortage of trends on TikTok. Check for trending sounds, formats, and jokes.
👉 Request a free audit of your Social Ads from Stride-Up
Unboxing videos have grown by a shocking 57% in one year alone…becoming an incredible phenomenon that captures and maintains a greater level of interest.
Unboxing videos are some of the simplest and most effective forms of user-generated content you can have for several reasons. Consumers see the products contained in the package within a few seconds to get a feel for what they'd receive if they made a purchase.
It also helps them get to know a bit more about the brand while seeing how the people behind the screen react to touching, smelling, opening, and applying the different items they've purchased. If you have people creating unboxing videos of your products, you want the rest of the world to see those videos.
With this simple unboxing, the person is talking about the packaging before opening it and then going through each item, usually providing a brief description of those items before opening them up, putting them on display, or even trying them.
For example, if someone orders a makeup kit with lipstick, lip liner, and blush, they might swatch these items on their arms for viewers to see the colours and the pigments firsthand.
Cabaïa, the famous backpack brand, masters the use of UGC in their Ads strategy! This Ad alone has generated over 30K likes in the last 30 days and has been shared over a thousand times.
In fact, UGC-based ads get 4x higher click-through rates and a 50% drop in cost-per-click than average.
What they do right:
An excited customer unboxes her new Cabaïa bag. The thumb scroller “It’s here 😍” grabs the viewer's attention in the first 2 seconds. She continues building a positive experience by describing the surprises she found in her package, including a thank you note for her purchase. And finally, she clearly presents the benefits of the product, all of that in 24 seconds!
Take it one step further by adding a flyer to each parcel with a CTA for your clients: “Share your unboxing on social media, tag us and get an X% discount on your next purchase”
Another popular unboxing style is the TikTok trend style, where the client will talk about how they wish they would've discovered the website beforehand and then start talking about at least three of the products inside the box and what they love most about those products.
And how can packaging help you get more UGC?
Bigblue allows brands to offer a premium unboxing experience by using custom packaging with your brand's unique style and wrapping paper to enhance the unboxing experience. On top of that, you can add flyers with promo codes, thank you letters, invitations to share their unboxing on social media with a hashtag, instructions for using the product, and free product samples to help customers discover new products.
What can the product do for the consumers? It's an important detail that needs to be discussed during the unboxing. People want to know why they should buy something before spending money on it. It helps to touch on what these benefits mean for the consumers and how they could potentially change their lives for the better, even if those changes are small and simple.
Knowing that content shared by employees receives 8x more engagement than content shared by brand channels, and it’s re-shared up to 24 times more than classic branded content…
LePantalon’s team clearly understood the assignment and effectively uses UGC to tackle one of their main challenges: helping customers choose the right size and fit for their pants.
Their UGC Ads strategy includes staff members presenting the new collections and trying them on the shops. The goal, give customers a real idea of the fit and how to style them.
Build trust with your customers and prospects from the first touchpoint. If you see that certain questions about the product are being asked over and over again, that means your product description isn’t demonstrating how well your product can solve a customer’s problem.
You've likely noticed the TikTok question bubble on the profile page of a TikTok account. It's a small bubble that says Q&A in red, bold text. Utilizing this feature is a problem and solution approach, and you're using a native TikTok format to achieve better results.
Product pages with Q&As experienced a 447% higher conversion rate compared to product pages with no Q&A, regardless of shopper engagement.
Source: The Shopper Experience Index, Bazaarvoice
Use some of the most frequently asked questions to create ads that viewers can enjoy. It enables you to elevate how you show the product to the audience, discuss the problem it can solve, and detail the specific solution based on what you sell.
Add Q&A feature on TikTok to produce UGC
CRO expert, Carl Weische recommends brands to take their FAQs and most common customer service questions and transform them into Ads for your retargeting audiences.
Allow your customers and prospects to ask you anything about your products or services. They are a goldmine to easily produce content for your organic feed and ads at scale. To activate it, simply follow the next steps:
1. Go to settings
2. Select Creator tools
3. Tap Q&A
4. Tap Turn on Q&A
5. If you haven’t guessed by now, the most frequently asked question from customers is “Where is my order” (17 billion search results on Google). Upgrade their post-purchase experience with Bigblue’s tracking page and tracking emails.
6. All the delivery tracking updates are available on one page with your branding. And your customers can check at all times.
7. Then the Q&A icon will be added below your TikTok bio. So viewers can tap the Q&A section, which looks like a question mark, to ask you questions or check the questions responded.
Go one step further and continue building trust once they’ve purchased from you. Bring your tracking experience to the next level.
👉 Discover how From Future reduced customer support tickets in half by using Bigblue’s tracking
It's the new value proposition, and it should include the following details:
Matthieu from Stride-Up recommends keeping it short. The 15 to 20-second mark is the sweet spot for these kinds of ads.
See how Odyssey Longboard uses UGC to promote its new line of Surfskates.
Believe it or not, the #TikTokMadeMeBuy hashtag has more than 6.1 billion views. It's a great idea to get in on that opportunity to get more people to see what your brand offers by having content creators post about your products while creating these kinds of videos.
If you've watched TikTok, you've likely viewed at least one "TikTok Made Me Buy It" video. Influencers and random content creators talk about a product they decided to buy after seeing it on TikTok, raving over it and detailing what it does for them. It's become one of the trendiest ways to review products or provide testimonials.
In spooky season, TikTok drove out of stock on 12-foot skeletons at Home Depot for the SECOND YEAR IN A ROW in the United States. And yes, it made it to Business Insider’s newsfeed.
Though the skeleton costs $299, if you're lucky enough to find one in a Home Depot store, the skeletons are being listed on eBay for double or triple the original price, with some sellers listing the item at as much as $1,200.
It’s best to take an approach where you’re operating as much as you can around the five senses: see, hear, imagine smelling, imagine tasting, and imagine feeling. Know how to create the content consumers wish to see. These are a few simple tips that can point you in the right direction to creating high-quality user-generated content that gets views and brings in more traffic.
1. Film with an iPhone
The quality is decent enough without looking unrealistic or as if a production company filmed it.)
2. Vertical (9x16)
3. Film with natural light/daytime light
It’s the best kind of lighting because it looks less planned compared to videos with creators using a ring light.)
4. Film their face
For the framing, it’s best to get as close as you can to the person’s face and the product they’re showing. We want to see, feel, smell…
It’s how we want to experience things in our daily lives, and it’s what we want to see in the videos we’re watching.
1. Record everything - Record at the moment and build your script later. It’s better to film everything to get authentic reactions instead of pre-planning them. Authentic reactions resonate best with consumers.
2. The experience of ordering on the website - Show what it’s like to easily and conveniently order something from the website.
3. Film the unboxing - Get viewers excited about the products through the unboxing process, starting with the unpacking of the box.
4. Demonstrate the product - Show what the product does, what it looks like, and why it’s special. The key here is to highlight the quality and what makes this product stand out amongst the competition.
5. React and show results - Get excited about opening and looking at these items and then show results based on what the products can do for the consumer.
A good UGC in a nutshell, the checklist by Stride-Up:
☑ Your UGC clearly responds to one of the AIDA framework levels of interest: Attention, Interest, Desire, Action.
☑ The more authentic it looks, the better. This could roughly be translated in the phrase “the uglier and amateurish the content, the better it performs”.
☑ Record everything, but only use the more relevant takes.
☑ The long format works best: 30 to 40 seconds videos.
☑ Add subtitles… because most of the time, people browse TikTok and Insta at work.
Although we’re information-rich, we’re also time-starved, so it’s important to make content that is detailed and informative yet gets straight to the point.
Taking these simple steps will help you create watchable user-generated content that won’t get skipped over. People want to see the unboxing and learn about products. However, they don’t want to have to sit and stare at the screen for too long because then they’ll quickly lose interest.
An authentic review and a satisfied customer willing to share their experience using your product can make a difference for your business. It's a fantastic way to promote your brand without costing a fortune. There are a few simple ways to get clients to produce UGC for your brand.
Sometimes, simply looking on social media for your brand's name can help you find consumers who've posted about it before. Connecting with them is a great way to increase your chances of getting user-generated content created because they already know and trust your brand. There are a few ways to search for these photos. You have the option to:
Use strategic hashtags that can help you increase your views on platforms such as Instagram and TikTok.
If you're hosting a contest or giveaway, have consumers use the hashtag in any post they create, making it easier for you to find user-generated content surrounding your business.
A little bit of creativity goes an exceptionally long way in the marketing world, especially when it comes to hashtags that quickly gain traction, become popular, and help you build brand awareness.
SHEIN has effectively leveraged the unboxing and shopping spree trends with the popular hashtag “#SHEINhaul”.
But to easily collect UGC and encourage their customers to produce videos for free, they added the call-to-action “Get featured using #SHEIN or tag @ shein_official” on their TikTok and Instagram pages.
Use your order tracking emails to ask your clients to create UGC
Using branded delivery tracking e-mails has many advantages:
☑ They have an open rate of 75% vs 20 to 30% of marketing e-mails.
☑ They are open up to 4 times during the delivery.
☑ Buyers that receive an email have a better repeat rate (+4%) than buyers that didn’t receive an email
☑ And reduce bad ratings by -60%: they reassure clients, and overall increase their delivery experience. They are also a great opportunity to help you get more UGC!
Bigblue’s client, Unbottled asked their clients to post their unboxing on Instagram using the hashtag #unbottled and #dropthebottle. The result: more than 1000 UGC unboxing publications for them.
👉 Discover Bigblue’s tracking emails
You can even take an approach that involves connecting with influencers in an attempt to offer products to them. Worry less about mega-influencers with millions of followers who are less likely to respond and focus more on the micro-influencers with a few thousand followers. These influencers tend to have better engagement rates and are more likely to reply to you or post a video going over your products when they receive them.
FROM FUTURE teamed up with us to ship their products from Bigblue’s Fashion warehouse. They benefit from specialized hanging storage racks and reconditioning processes to guarantee that their clothes are in perfect condition when customers receive them.
The company benefits from features like branded tracking emails and custom packaging, which encourages its customers to want to rave over their experience, ultimately leading to more user-generated content for the business.
Buyer satisfaction boosted to 89% in less than 4 months.
👉 Discover how FROM FUTURE uses Bigblue
Even if you love every product you sell, consider selecting the one that stands out the most. After selecting the product, follow these steps:
A thumb stopper must set the expectation and the premise of what you will get. It should spark curiosity. Is she actually going to do this? When it comes to social media and user-generated content, attention is the highest form of currency. Position yourself in a way that makes you look native to the feed and digestible for people.
Formats to test: collage vs no collage
Using a collage intensifies the viewer’s appetite for the product. Collages are an efficient way to give the viewer a sneak peek of what they will get. You have many different photos that can spark interest, so choose them wisely and put them together to create something spectacular to deliver as much context as you can in the most efficient way.
If the collage approach doesn’t appear to be working for your business model, you can try the no-collage format to see if you get better results from it.
Kris Sugartan’s €3M Ad campaign put the collage approach to the test.
She has developed her own TikTok Ads buying methodology to amplify D2C brand’s reach and customer acquisition.
👉 Download her step-by-step video formula to generate sales and engagement
Video reviews are 60.5% more effective than plain text reviews because they seem more genuine.
Seeing someone do something is an excellent way to fulfil the viewer's curiosity.
The people are curious and want to know more, so show them and watch how quickly you can see results from it.
If you can explain what something does and why it’s special, it’s easier to sell to the viewers watching the videos and checking out the photos uploaded to social media.
AverrAglows viral ads campaign
The Americann brands sells all-natural skincare products and was struggling to increase their Ad spend to drive at least 30K in monthly sales and get a target ROAS.
UGC was the key to unlock a 6x increase in revenue and a 3.7X ROAS.
The “see someone do” UGC approach helped the brand overcome Facebook’s strict advertising rules.
Sugartan’s team tested 2 different stop scroller every 2 weeks and used copy they collected from AverrAglow’s clients!
👉 Read the full story here
Try these different effects to captivate your audience and keep them engaged. According to Loft325.com, this technique can increase a person's attention by up to 30%.
CAVAL worked with Bigblue to implement a Prime-like delivery experience in their shop. By displaying multiple delivery methods (express, green, pick-up points, and free delivery), and providing precise delivery times, 92% of CAVAL’s clients are satisfied with their delivery experience!
Like Caval, allow your clients to rate their experience with shipping with their email thanks to their Bigblue app. A good way to boost engagement (and avoid bad surprises on Google or Trustpilot).
👉 Discover how CAVAL uses Bigblue
The green screen effect is native to Instagram reels and TikTok, and it's a super convenient effect to use for UGC. You can do just about anything you want with the green screen, creating custom, fun backgrounds as you'd like for the content you plan to post. The idea behind this is to make things look less like an advertisement and more like a relatable video or conversation one would have with someone close to them, such as a family member or best friend.
The split-screen content style is not uncommon on TikTok, especially when users choose to stitch one another. Having someone stitch a person reacting to the products while they do the same is a fantastic way to show how many people truly love what your brand can offer.
If you want to get thousands of viral UGCs, encourage your customers to unbox their goodies when receiving them. Put effort into consistent, high-quality packing. Host an in-person event and a giveaway contest simultaneously to get those hashtags going. When you're putting your all into the UGC strategy, you can reap the rewards that come with it.
Identify the most engaged users
- Anticipate a reward policy
- Define the process (ice breaker, counterpart, image rights, etc.)
- Analyse the feedback
- Create a detailed strategy for each social media platform
- Set actionable goals
- Host events
- Plan contests
The fastest and most effective way to get more UGC at a quicker pace is to host a contest/giveaway. People love to get free items, and having the chance to win without much effort makes the contest or giveaway even more exciting.
For example, you can host a competition that involves people using a specific hashtag to represent your brand. When thousands of people participate, it's a quick way to build more buzz surrounding your brand and get the user-generated content you desire.
Our recommended tool for this task: Wiink!
Wiink allows you to launch challenges and rewards for your most engaged users to help you generate UGC at Scale by activating your clients and influencers, assigning them motivating marketing tasks, and automating the verification and delivery of rewards
👉 Contact Joseph Aubry, founder of Wiink