The Benefits of User-Generated Content for Brands in 2022

You’ve got a marketing strategy in place for your brand, and it’s a well-oiled machine. Your emails are automated, social media calendar is strategic, and media buying is up.

But something’s still missing: user-generated content.

User-generated content (UGC as the pros call it) is your key to unlocking a wealth of content and generating more sales for your product. Whether it’s pictures your customers snap of your product and tag you in on social media or thoughtful reviews, some of the most powerful content for your brand is the kind you don’t make yourself.

Ready to work smarter, not harder? Read on to learn why UGC has become critical for eCommerce brands and the types of UCG that drive the most conversions, sales, and brand loyalty.

What Does UGC Mean?

UGC stands for User-Generated Content. This is any content that your customers and brand evangelists make about your product or company and post online.

Just about everybody has a smartphone these days, and platforms like Instagram and YouTube allow consumers to post photos of things that inspire them to share with their friends and family.

What used to be reserved for professional photographers is now accessible to anybody with a mobile phone. Everybody can be a micro-influencer and share their thoughts on the products they love with their followers.

Why is UGC Important for eCommerce?

UGC heavily impacts buying behavior. In place of window shopping is a digital marketplace of rich images, videos, and ads to capture the attention of new customers.

Of over 7,500 U.S. consumers surveyed, several things became clear about the ultimate power of UGC:

  • 86% of consumers always or regularly seek out photos and videos prior to purchase (up from 72% in 2016).
  • 80% of consumers find photos from other customers more valuable than photos from brands or retailers (up from 44% in 2016).
  • One third of Gen Z consumers and 21% of millennials won’t purchase a product if it doesn’t have visual UGC.

It’s not a matter of if UGC will impact your brand, but rather how much.

User-generated content not only shows other leads how much people your product and brand, but it can help you round out your social media calendar with authentic content from your biggest fans.

Sure, you can boast about your brand. But wouldn’t that be more meaningful coming from people who actually use your bags?

The best part is, it’s entirely free to optimize UGC. All you have to do is encourage your audience to do what they’re already doing: sharing pictures and photos online.

How Do You Get User-Generated Content?

UGC has to be authentic to work.

If Gen Z is one of your personas, they don’t care for sales pitches. They’re 99% more likely to buy a product if they see reviews and images posted by real customers.

That means that including UGC in your marketing strategy can make or break a sale.

Our Paid Advertising Director Eric showing off his BK swag. Suddenly feeling inspired to get a digital marketing quote with BK? We thought so.

Why Does UGC Drive Sales?

UGC adds an element of authenticity to your brand and shows your customers that you care about showcasing their product experiences. It’s an additional form of storytelling for your brand to show your dedication to your following.

In addition to collecting UGC, it’s important to put it to use to further your company’s overall ROIs and brand goals.

The benefits of user-generated content aren’t just for your ego (although who doesn’t love being raved about?). Including UGC can fundamentally make a difference in your website traffic, sales, and conversions.

UGC marketing can:

  • Add a personal touch to campaign emails
  • Is perfect for email automations (welcome email series, abandoned cart series, etc.)
  • Be added embedded in ongoing blogs
  • Be featured on your home page and product pages
  • Are excellent additions to social media ads, posts, and stories

Combined with your already robust marketing strategy and social commerce, UGC will elevate your brand, drive sales, and increase brand affinity among your fans and soon-to-be customers.

BK UGC by our CEO Brad Moss.

How to Leverage UGC Content for Ecommerce Brands

But how do you go about getting UGC in the first place? We’re gad you asked.

1. Leverage Reviews

Start by making sure you have an effective process in place for gathering customers reviews. Add a widget on your website that encourage them to leave pictures and/or videos to show what they like about the product.

Ask for reviews in an automated follow-up email drip for anyone who has purchased your product or service. This encourages them to show off their product, especially if you include an incentive (ie. “snap a picture with your review and be entered into next month’s contest!”).

2. Get Social (On Social Media)

Make a habit of engaging with your followers on your social media channels. Include an ongoing engagement strategy to like, comment, and repost any positive UGC from followers. Be sure to always thank them for the love, too, and post your favorites to your feeds.

You can host a giveaway with the following parameters to encourage participation:

  • Tag your brand
  • Tag a few friends who would enjoy the product
  • Answer a question to a prompt (ex. “What does ‘Fierce’ mean to you?”)
  • Incorporate a branded hashtag to use (this gives you more bang for your buck as it also increases reach and engagement!)

3. Turn UGC into Content

Shoppers love seeing your products being used by real people, not just models. Ask customers to pose with their products or respond to a prompt relating to a new product release and compile that content to use across your marketing channels.

You’d be surprised by how many people want to be featured on your website, social channels, or just tagged and thanked for a thoughtful review.

If you’re utilizing a Shopify integrations like Instagram Shopping, Linkin.Bio, or LinkTree, go ahead and link your UGC to the actual product in your store. That way, when other users click on the UGC, they’ll be directed right to the shopping page.

Generate More Leads in 2022

Beyond UGC, there are countless ways to reinvigorate your brand’s strategy with a few strategic changes.

Take lead generation. When’s the last time you revamped your lead magnet, landing pages, or ran an A/B test to increase on-site conversions?

And if you’re looking for the support of an expert, look no further than our Paid Advertising Director/Conversion Rate Optimist, Eric.

Optimize your lead strategy with BKMedia Group today >

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