The success of any ecommerce brand hinges upon its ability to attract and retain customers, and capitalizing on user-generated content (UGC) is a powerful strategy that can help brands to do just that. UGC is any content - such as reviews, videos, images, or stories - created by users about a product or service. Leveraging UGC can be hugely beneficial for ecommerce businesses; not only does it increase brand awareness and engagement, but it also helps to boost sales and conversions.
UGC has become increasingly popular in recent years as customers seek out the opinion of other consumers when making purchasing decisions. Sharing this content can build trust with new customers, create a sense of community among existing customers, and draw attention to the brand’s products and services.
Leveraging UGC is a great way to grow your brand. And in this post, we'll show you how to make the most of UGC.
What is User-Generated Content?
User-Generated Content (UGC) is any content created and shared by users on online platforms, such as blogs, social media, forums, and websites. UGC can include anything from written text to images and videos, making it one of the most dynamic forms of content.
It offers an invaluable opportunity for businesses to engage with their customers more directly than ever before, providing users with an interactive platform where they can provide feedback on products and services. UGC often provides an authentic look into a company’s products or services and its culture.
By empowering customers with a voice through UGC, businesses have the potential to foster relationships that are built on trust and transparency.
Furthermore, when it comes to search engine visibility, user-generated content plays a major role in boosting rankings due to its relevance and freshness; since users themselves are continuously updating it. This makes UGC unique in comparison to other types of marketing content which may become outdated quickly or end up lost among millions of other competing results.
Last but not least, user-generated content is also cost effective since it does not require large amounts of money for production or distribution; however, this does not diminish its overall value for businesses or consumers - in fact, it has the opposite effect.
Benefits of UGC for ecommerce brands
User-generated content (UGC) is becoming an increasingly popular way for ecommerce brands to advertise and promote their products and services.
Here's how your ecommerce brand can benefit from UGC.
Lower Cost Per Acquisition
One of the main advantages of leveraging UGC is that it can help reduce cost per acquisition (CPA). When customers see other users’ positive reviews, ratings, and photos on a brand’s website, it helps build trust in the product and increases the likelihood that potential customers will purchase. This reduction in CPA makes UGC an attractive option for ecommerce brands looking to save money while still generating leads.
Another great advantage of using UGC is that it encourages customer engagement with a brand’s website. Studies have found that customers who read user reviews or look through user photos spend more time browsing a product page than those who don’t.
Not only does this result in more views per visitor but also increases engagement with the website overall, as users are more likely to return for additional visits if they’ve had positive experiences on the site before.
Additionally, when users post comments or reviews about products they like or share them on social media sites like Instagram or Facebook, this contributes to increased organic reach and further engagement with potential customers.
Improved Brand Reputation
User-generated content can also help improve a company’s overall brand reputation by showcasing real customer experiences with their products. Reviews written by actual customers provide honest feedback that potential buyers can rely on when making decisions about whether or not they should purchase something from a particular brand or retailer.
Furthermore, since most people value recommendations from family or friends over traditional advertising methods, seeing other satisfied customers recommending your products is likely to lead to more conversions in the long run.
Leveraging user-generated content can be incredibly beneficial for ecommerce brands as it helps increase customer trust while reducing costs associated with acquiring new leads and improving overall brand reputation. Furthermore, encouraging customer engagement with UGC encourages visitors to spend more time browsing your website, which could ultimately result in higher conversion rates for your business.
How to Get Started Leveraging UGC
Develop a strategy for curating user-generated content
Developing a strategy for curating user-generated content (UGC) is essential to any successful digital marketing campaign. UGC is often seen as more authentic and trustworthy than traditional forms of advertising, making it a great way to build relationships with customers and foster greater engagement with the brand.
To create an effective strategy for curating user-generated content, marketers must first analyze competitors’ engagement tactics, understand the types of content their customers are sharing online, and establish a process for collecting, monitoring, and publishing UGC.
The first step in developing a successful UGC strategy is to analyze competitors’ engagement tactics. This includes looking at what type of content they produce, their overall brand messaging, how they use various social media platforms to reach their target audience, and how they interact with users who engage with their content.
By observing and learning from these tactics, brands can create strategies to help them stand out from their competition and better connect with their target audience.
Next, marketers need to understand the types of content their customers already share online. This could include observing what type of images or videos are popular on Instagram or TikTok, seeing which products or topics get the most likes on YouTube channels, or following hashtags associated with the brand on various social media platforms.
By understanding customer preferences and habits regarding UGC creation, brands can develop strategies based on what works best for their particular customer base.
Finally, brands need to establish a process for collecting and curating UGC for campaign use. This can involve leveraging existing tools, such as branded hashtag campaigns or creating contests where customers can submit UGC in exchange for rewards. Additionally, brands should monitor customer conversations across all channels to identify any potential opportunities or areas where further engagement may be beneficial.
Once collected and approved by the brand team, this content should be shared across multiple platforms to maximize its impact on audiences worldwide.
Determine how and where to display user-generated content
Determining how and where to display UGC is an important step to consider when building an effective UGC strategy.
When determining which product pages should include UGC, it is important to focus on the products that are most popular with customers or have the highest conversion rates. This will ensure enough UGC is available for those pages, making them more attractive and interesting for visitors. Additionally, displaying reviews and product ratings on product pages can be beneficial in helping customers determine whether or not they should make a purchase.
The homepage, blog, and social media channels are all great places to showcase UGC, as these are usually some of the first places people visit when they come to a brand’s website. Showcasing user-generated content on these platforms can help build trust between the brand and potential customers.
A good way to do this is by featuring customer stories about their experience using your products and services on the homepage or blog. On social media, businesses can look for user-generated content that mentions their brand or products and share it with their followers.
Finally, customer onboarding or retention emails are also great opportunities for using UGC in order to increase engagement from customers. For example, sharing positive customer reviews in onboarding emails can help reassure new customers who may be skeptical about making a purchase from a new brand.
Also, through retention emails, you could feature user-generated stories or images related to your products to keep existing customers engaged with your brand.
Implementing an effective user-generated content strategy requires thoughtful consideration of where and how you display it across different channels to engage your target audience. With careful planning, businesses can leverage successful UGC campaigns to create authentic experiences for their customers while building trust within their communities at the same time
Figure out how to incentivize users to share content
One way brands can incentivize customers to share user-generated content (UGC) is by offering rewards or discounts in exchange for content submissions. This incentive encourages customers to create and share content that aligns with the company’s values and goals, such as showcasing product features or capturing customer reviews.
An effective rewards program should offer good value for customers to be worthwhile, such as discounts on future purchases, free products, gift cards, or exclusive access to limited items. Additionally, the reward system should be transparent so that customers can understand the terms clearly and know what is expected of them.
Another way brands can encourage UGC is by allowing customers to participate in product development. Customers could provide feedback on product ideas and designs before they go into production, giving them a sense of ownership over their purchases. To make this more attractive to consumers, companies could offer rewards for successful collaborations, such as gift cards or discounts on their next purchase.
Additionally, products created through customer collaboration could have exclusive features only available to those who contributed to its design. This would create a sense of exclusivity amongst customers which encourages participation in future product development initiatives.
Examples of Brands Successfully Utilizing UGC
Nike's "Just Do It" campaign is one of the best examples of a brand successfully utilizing user-generated content (UGC). The campaign started in 1988, and since then it has used a wide variety of UGC to create an emotional connection with its customers.
Nike uses real stories from everyday athletes to show how sport can positively affect people's lives. By using UGC, Nike shows that its products are not just about performance, but also about providing an overall positive experience for its customers.
In addition, Nike has developed numerous platforms such as the "My Trainers" platform which allows users to share their stories and experiences with each other. This further reinforces the message of the "Just Do It" campaign, as well as creating a sense of community among its customers.
Warby Parker is another example of a brand that has successfully leveraged UGC.
Their #WarbyHomeTryOn hashtag encourages people to try on glasses at home and post pictures sporting their new look on social media. This simple yet effective strategy allowed Warby Parker to reach out to a much larger audience than if they had relied solely on traditional marketing methods. Since launching this campaign, Warby Parker has seen significant growth in sales and visibility across all channels.
Moreover, people participating in the #WarbyHomeTryOn hashtag become ambassadors for Warby Parker as they share their positive experiences online with friends and family, helping spread the word about the brand even more effectively than any other form of traditional advertising could do so.
How Cross-Store Selling grows your Shopify store
Want to know the open secret to growing your Shopify store? It’s Cross-Store Selling. With Cross-Store Selling, your brand can sell products from other stores and vice versa.
Sell your products on other brands’ websites
With Carro, we have a directory of the biggest brands for you to partner with. This means they’ll sell and market your products to their customers. But if you can’t decide which brands are the best fit, we have a tailored recommendation service where we introduce you to brands so you can begin working together.
The best part is you don’t have to pay for products like you would with traditional wholesaling. This allows you to choose different SKUs to see what complements your existing product catalog.
"Take my word for it, if you install Carro, you are going to see what I’ve seen. Which is a dramatic increase to average order value, especially on orders that contain Carro products, which for us is over 80% increase to AOV."
Ryan Pamplin, Founder & CEO of Blendjet
Virtual inventory makes fulfillment easy
Brand partnerships are not like wholesaling. With Carro, you don’t have to buy products from your partners. Instead, orders are automatically sent to your partner brands so they can handle fulfillment themselves.
“Before we joined Carro, we had put our company on the market. We thought we needed capital to expand our traditional wholesaling. Now, we’re able to meet our goals without having any cash come out of pocket. We’re tripling and quadrupling the numbers of units that we move because we have access to so much more inventory.”
Amy Richardson-Golia, June & January
Find new bundling & upsell opportunities to increase AOV
Perhaps the most exciting reason to leverage Cross-Store Selling is that it’s the best way to grow your Shopify store in the long run. By working collaboratively with other brands, your brand will set itself up for success. Your Shopify store will become THE destination for your niche.
One of the best reasons to shop on Amazon is convenience. Being able to buy everything you need in one place is a powerful motivator. Wouldn’t you love it if your Shopify store was the go-to place for your customers’ needs?
"In addition to a nice contribution to the bottom line, it was also one of the most highly-engaged social posts for the year."
David Krimper, Director of Shopify, Manduka
To learn more about how Carro can help your Shopify store grow, check us out on the Shopify App Store.