Let me guess – you have a strong social media presence, an amazing product, and tons of user-generated content from your customers.
But you’re facing one major problem:
You don’t know how to use your customer content to increase conversions and engage your audience: You need to implement user generated content campaigns.
So, that content sits in a folder on your computer, or worse – you ignore it completely.
If that situation sounds familiar, you better believe that you’re stopping your eCommerce business from reaching its full potential.
Think about it – if your product is so great that your customers are sharing it with their following, wouldn’t it make sense to use that content to win even more paying customers?
Of course it would. And in this blog post, we’re going to talk about exactly how you can implement user generated content campaigns.
But first, let’s talk about what could happen if you ignore your user-generated content. Here are 3 major risks associated with not using UGC in your eCommerce marketing strategy:
- Missed sales opportunities – Did you know that UGC is 20% more influential on purchasing decisions than all other media types? You’re likely missing out on lots of sales if you aren’t using your UGC to its full potential.
- Low conversion rates – When customers see UGC while shopping, conversion rates go up 4.6%. When customers interact with UGC, it goes up by a whopping 9.6%! If you’re not using UGC, there’s a good chance your conversion rate hasn’t hit its full potential.
- Limited brand engagement – Sure, people might interact with your professional content. But sharing real customer-generated content is what will help you bring in a bigger audience and more engagement than ever!
You should also know that these risks of not using UGC are magnified if your target audience is millennials – check it out:
- 71% of millennials engage with social media and UGC daily.
- 86% of millennials say that UGC is a good indicator of brand quality.
- Millennials report that UGC is 20% more influential on their choice of purchases than other media.
Based on this data, you can tell how UGC could transform your business and help you bring in more sales and engagement than ever.
Now that we’ve talked about the risks associated with not using your UGC, let’s go over several ways you can use UGC to your advantage. By the time you’re done reading this post, you’ll be well-equipped to reach your eCommerce marketing goals and execute a successful UGC sharing strategy.
How to Execute Successful User Generated Content Campaigns
Align your UGC strategy with your overall eCommerce marketing strategy.
Don’t use UGC just to use it. First, you need to create a plan for your UGC based on your business goals.
- If you want to increase conversion on your product pages, you may find it appropriate to prominently display customer reviews on those pages.
- If your ads aren’t converting and you want to improve them, you might decide to insert a customer video that shows how your product is used into your ads.
- If you feel like your brand is seen as out-of-touch and your customers aren’t engaged, you could share user photos several times every week on Instagram.
See how that works? When you focus on your specific business goals, you can take a strategic approach to UGC that allows you to accomplish those goals.
And don’t worry – if you’re short on time and/or resources, you don’t have to implement every UGC strategy at once. Just start with the one that’ll help your business the most and go from there!
Put your UGC to work for you
Regularly share customer photos to your Instagram account to build a stronger brand image on social media.
Professional content is great because it helps you build a strong brand presence online. You need to share professional product photos and videos on social media as part of your eCommerce marketing strategy – that’s for sure.
But don’t underestimate the power of sharing user-generated content on social media. You could be missing out on tons of sales opportunities if you neglect to use UGC – especially on social networks like Instagram and Facebook, where eCommerce brands tend to flourish the most.
Fortunately, it’s easy to share UGC on social media – all you need to do is collect it, ask the customer’s permission to share it, and post away!
Much like posting UGC on your website, posting UGC on social media works well because it shows potential customers what it’s like when real people use your products. On top of that, when someone shares your products with their social media following, your brand gets some easy exposure!
Create a page on your site dedicated to your user-generated content.
Most people would love to see one of their own photos published on a popular eCommerce site. And it’s easy to understand why – just about anyone can appreciate some exposure for their social media accounts.
And your customers are no different, so why not give them what they want?
To try it out, dedicate an entire page on your website to feature the best user-generated content you’ve collected. You’ll want to pick photos that really show off your products so you can entice more customers to buy from you.
Here’s how CLUSE – an eCommerce business that sells watches – does it on their “Lookbook” page:
Keep in mind that you shouldn’t limit the UGC on your site to that one page. You can increase your conversion rates by displaying your best customer photos and videos on product pages!
Use product reviews to your advantage.
You probably already have lots of customer photos to share, and maybe you’ve got some solid customer videos too. But if that’s the only UGC you’re using in your eCommerce marketing strategy, you’re missing something:
That’s right – reviews are considered user-generated content too, and research shows that they create a 74% increase in product conversion. Imagine how much of a difference that could mean for your company’s profitability!
If you already have reviews, make sure you’re displaying them prominently on your product pages. The last thing you want is for your product reviews to be stuffed at the bottom of the page where your customers can’t see them to read about how awesome your products are.
Foster stronger relationships with your brand’s raving fans.
I don’t know about you, but I always feel more loyal to a brand if they give me a genuine shout-out on social media.
And I’m not alone. 62 percent of millennials say that if a brand engages with them on social networks, they are more likely to become a loyal customer.
So, regularly share customer photos to your Instagram account (or another social media account). And while you’re at it, take some time to genuinely engage with your customers on social media too.
I’m not talking about setting up automated Twitter DMs or leaving the same comment on 20 different Instagram accounts. These days, building a strong brand is all about being genuine and building relationships, and that’s what you’ll need to do if you want to build an eCommerce business that’s profitable for years to come.
Let me give you an example.
Not too long ago, an eCommerce brand called Strange Women Society left a comment on one of my Instagram photos:
I thought it was really nice of them to do that, and it was clear that they took the time to write a personalized comment as opposed to an obviously automated comment (like “nice picture!”).
As a result, I checked out their website/products and followed them on Instagram. There’s no doubt that I’ll be engaged with their brand for a long time.
The lesson here?
Don’t underestimate the power of UGC and engaging your target customers. It will pay off if you’re consistent and genuine in your interactions!
Create high-converting ads to monetize your social media following
If you’ve been marketing your eCommerce business for a while, you’re probably already using social media ads to some degree.
But did you know that using UGC in an ad can cause a much higher conversion rate and lower customer acquisition cost?
It’s true. Data even shows that UGC can increase click-through rates for Facebook ads by 300%, resulting in a 50% drop in cost-per-acquisition.
So next time you run a social media ad campaign – whether it’s on Facebook, Instagram, or elsewhere – add some customer photos, videos, and/or reviews.
That way, you can build trust with potential buyers by showing them how your product works and allowing them to see what your past customers’ experiences have been like using your products.
Because if you use UGC to prove that your product is awesome in your ads instead of just saying it, you’ll find far more people are willing to make a purchase!
Measure your results and adjust your eCommerce marketing strategy accordingly
There is no “one-size-fits-all” approach to eCommerce marketing. Yours should depend on your brand, your products, your audience, and many other factors.
That’s why it’s so important for you to measure the results of everything you do and adjust your strategy accordingly.
For example, say you create 2 Facebook ads for one of your products. One of the ads uses a customer photo, and the other uses a customer video.
You’d want to track the results of each one to see which resulted in a higher conversion rate and more sales. After testing this way a couple of times, you should be able to accurately determine which type of ad consistently produces the best results for your eCommerce business.
Here are some more things you should measure:
- The effectiveness of each of your social media accounts – You need to determine which social media sites are most popular among your target customers so you can focus most of your UGC sharing efforts on that site and stop spending excessive time and effort building a presence on social media accounts that have low potential to bring in sales for your business.
- How people interact with your UGC before they buy – Once you learn how paying customers interact with your UGC, you’ll know how to use your UGC to get even more people to buy from you.
- How conversion rates change after adding UGC to product pages – Experiment with different types of UGC in different locations on your product pages until you find out what produces the highest conversion rates.
- The effectiveness of your UGC page – Find out whether or not your UGC page is driving visitors to your product pages, and see which products are getting the most attention.
As you can see, it’s important to measure results from all of your UGC sharing tactics. That way, you know exactly how your UGC is affecting your sales, and you can constantly work to improve your approach.
Repeat: Consistently build your collection of customer UGC
You might have a lot of UGC at your fingertips right now, but that doesn’t mean you should stop collecting it.
Top eCommerce brands know that they need to constantly collect new UGC and share it on their social media accounts and website to stay relevant.
If that sounds like a daunting task, I’ve got some good news for you:
You don’t have to collect your UGC manually – you can use Photoslurp to automate many steps in the UGC collection and curation process. For example, Photoslurp:
- Makes it easy for you to discover and collect customer photos that feature your product.
- Allows you to make photos shoppable, which can help drive more sales.
- Allows you to publish your collected customer photos with a single click.
To learn more about Photoslurp and how it can help you increase your eCommerce sales, read about our visual commerce platform!
Remember to always choose the best UGC for your brand!
I know that I always consider what others have said about products before I try them myself. I look for reviews on everything from movies to makeup.
And there’s no better rave review than user-generated content showing someone using a product I’m interested in.
Whatever you choose, make sure you highlight your customers’ unique experiences using your products. If your product works as promised, there’s no doubt people will enjoy it and share proof of their experiences.
When you share your UGC, keep in mind that publishing a customer photo without asking permission first could anger the customer and hurt your brand. So, you should always check in with a customer before you share their media to your own account.
Of course, if you’re running a branded hashtag campaign where you tell your following to submit photos for you to share using a specific hashtag, you can go ahead and post their photos to your account.
Now, get out there and start putting your UGC to good use!
The reason you created your product in the first place was to a fill a specific need — and UGC shows beyond a doubt that your product fills that need.
So, don’t make the mistake of always using whatever stock photograph you can find to promote your products. It doesn’t matter how happy the model using your product looks, because your customers will know the difference.
How will you use UGC as part of your eCommerce marketing strategy? Share your favorite tactic in the comments section below!