Did you know that 55% of consumers trust user-generated content more than other marketing strategies?
55%! That's a huge number of consumers!
It just proves that consumers love seeing content from their family and friends. And that includes product recommendations.
Since we are living in the digital age, it's easier to share photos and videos about the products we love.
This is called consumer-generated content.
But wait, having your consumers post about your products is not an easy task.
You need to give them a lot of reasons why they should post about your products and eCommerce brand.
Not only that... but you also need to understand consumer-generated content to produce a solid strategy.
Doing so will help you collect a lot of content from your customers. They are the ones who genuinely want to recommend and talk about your products.
So, in this blog, we'll talk about:
- What is consumer-generated content?
- Why do you need to encourage consumer-generated content for your eCommerce brand?
- What are the 3 main goals you can set before creating a UGC strategy?
- 3 typical ways to encourage customers to create consumer-generated content for you.
- 5 eCommerce brands that are leveraging consumer-generated content.
Now that you know what you're up to, let's discuss...
What is consumer-generated content?
Consumer-generated content is media created by consumers. It's also called "user-generated content."
It can be text posts, videos, and photos. Usually, consumer-generated content is on social media channels. They are posted by customers who want to talk about a product to their followers.
Let me tell you...
Why should consumer-generated content be a part of your marketing strategy?
You should strive to have more user-generated content because...
1. Consumer-generated content is authentic
Social proof is essential to any business. And user-generated content is one of the most authentic forms of social proof.
Taking fantastic and captivating product photos can make your eCommerce website look sleek. But the truth is... potential customers want to see the actual look of a product.
So, user-generated content can help with that because...
2. It can build trust and credibility
Consumers trust content created by existing customers.
When they see that a lot of existing customers are raving about your products, it's easier to make a decision if they should buy or not.
Through user-generated content, they can see the products in action. They can also see reviews if they're not yet convinced.
Please check this blog post to learn how DTC brands use User-Generated Content and Reviews to drive their conversions.
But another benefit of user-generated content is it...
3. Can strengthen brand loyalty
Building brand loyalty is important to your eCommerce store.
When you have loyal customers, you have people who support your brand.
And loyal customers will genuinely talk about your brand and products for free.
You see, it takes some time to take photos or videos of products and post them online. It means they are really in awe of your products and service.
But to achieve this, make sure that you are making them feel seen.
And before creating your user-generated content marketing strategy, here are some goals you can set.
3 Common goals for user-generated content
1. Raise awareness
User-generated content can help you increase brand awareness.
If there are a lot of customers who create user-generated content for your brand, their followers can see it.
And when they see your brand on social media platforms, more people become aware of your brand.
So, when crafting your UGC strategy, you can set this as a goal. This is the start of the sales funnel before you can convert them into actual customers.
2. Increase engagement rate
Keeping an engaged community is important in building long-term relationships with your customers.
That's why this is also an essential goal to set when planning your marketing campaigns.
This will also help you enhance your marketing method. Why?
Because if you want to increase engagement rate... you can brainstorm a campaign that's interactive and entertaining. Not just promoting your products.
3. Boost brand mentions
If more people create content for your brand and talk about you on social media networks, you can also boost your brand mentions.
Brand mentions are important in building an online reputation. You want more people to talk about your brand in a good way.
I'm sure you're wondering how. So, here are...
3 Ways to encourage consumer-generated content
To gain more consumer-generated content, you need to...
1. Make them feel like they're part of a community
Consumers can be your biggest and most trusted brand ambassadors.
They aren't just your customers. They are your brand's biggest advocates.
As I said, if they feel good about your products, they will talk nicely about them to their family and friends online.
But another way to encourage them is to make them feel like they're part of your community.
This means they need to feel included.
For example, you're planning to launch a new product. You can invite them for product research or give them early access to your products.
Or you can also create a branded hashtag or an exclusive group for your loyal customers.
Again, make sure they feel like a part of your brand. Not just customers you're selling to.
It's also important to...
2. Acknowledge their content
To make sure they'll talk about your products again in the future, don't ignore them.
If they post a video or photo talking about how great your products are, thank them and/or repost their content.
It's important to avoid making them feel that their effort is wasted.
Say "thank you." This is also a great way to establish a sincere and long-term connection with your customers.
And last but not least...
3. Give them incentives
There are such things as customer loyalty programs.
The good news is, that you can do something similar for customers by creating user-generated content for you, too.
You can give them an exclusive discount code or any perk whenever they post about your products.
Aside from it will help you make more sales, which will also encourage them to post more about your products when they purchase again.
So, are you ready to get more user-generated posts for you? Let me show you...
5 User-generated content examples to inspire you
To start your own user-generated content strategy, you need to see how these five brands do it!
Apple has a great user-generated content campaign, and let me tell you why.
Their #ShotoniPhone UGC campaign gets content generated for them... FOR FREE.
Since the camera is one of the iPhone's best features, users can showcase their iPhone shots using the hashtag.
This is an excellent campaign because they are getting valuable user-generated content that helps promote iPhone.
Who wants their photos blurry, anyway?
#ShotoniPhone showcases the power of the iPhone camera, which can encourage more customers to buy. It also motivates the users to release their creativity.
There are 26,018,554 under the hashtag #ShotoniPhone. 🤯
Another brand that is utilizing their customers' content is...
2. Tim Hortons
Getting your coffee run from Tim Hortons? Use the hashtag #TimsRun!
Who doesn't like to drink iced coffee with a view like this?
This branded hashtag can keep track of who is posting their Tim Hortons coffee wherever they are.
And just like Apple, Tim Hortons also makes sure to acknowledge the posts of their customers by reposting and tagging them.
Here's another brand that loves joining the fun...
Chipotle's TikTok is a goldmine of entertaining content!
When TikTok creators post content about Chipotle, be it a funny or practical one, Chipotle reposts them.
They even leave comments on humorous videos about them on TikTok, which is a way to engage with their customers.
Takeaway: interact with your audience to humanize your brand. Add some humor to make it more engaging.
Wait, there's another user-generated content you might like.
Casetify's #ShowYourColors UGC campaign encourages users to express themselves.
See? It's not just to showcase their Casetify cases because they want the customers to show off their style and capture every moment!
Of course, Casetify also shares the content on their Instagram page.
And last but not least...
Parker and Home sell handcrafted homewares in the United Kingdom.
Whenever a customer tags them on their stories or social media posts, Parker and Home makes sure to repost them.
What I like about this is they also put them on their highlights, which is fantastic for social proof.
So when potential customers browse their Instagram, they can easily see the actual product photos.
With all these tips and examples, it's time to...
Create a solid UGC strategy and start your campaign!
There's one thing you need to remember: before you share user-generated content... make sure you get explicit permission from the original owner.
They own their content and even if they post about your brand or products, you can't just grab the photos and use them on your campaigns.
You see, user-generated content is a genius marketing method.
You get to boost brand awareness, engage your community, showcase your products, and have people talk about your brand on social media!
If you want to know more...