Your brand has been encouraging customers to post photos and videos with your products on social media through your brand hashtag. It’s been a fruitful strategy to get customers engaging further with your brand on Instagram and Facebook, but, so far, that content has remained completely on social media. Now’s the time to ask: where can your customer content go from here? How about into your eCommerce website and product pages utilizing a User Generated Content platform!
User Generated Content (UGC) is 5x more likely to convert than professional content and is a powerful way to interact with your customers through authentic engagement. By taking the photos and videos posted by your customers on social media and integrating them into your eCommerce website/pages and across your marketing efforts with a User Generated Content platform, you create a dynamic social shopping journey that powerfully engages both loyal and potential customers.
When past customers see a brand display their content, it makes them feel a part of your community by humanizing the brand – bringing more sincere engagement and sales in the future. Meanwhile, potential customers have the advantage of seeing your products in action by people who are really using them, building trust and social proof to the point of purchase. Then, they can share a photo or video with their new product, and the circle of engagement keeps on rolling.
In this blog post, I’m going to lay out the ways in which a User Generated Content platform can benefit your eCommerce efforts and online shopping journey while displaying how to use current technology to get the most out of your UGC strategy.
How to build social proof by connecting your social media efforts with your eCommerce store
First things first, you have User Generated Content waiting for you on social media. Now it’s time to collect it.
This process is done through your brand hashtag, which customers have been encouraged to share throughout their buying process. When a user takes a photo and posts it with #YourBrand, you now have access to collect and deposit that media directly into a User Generated Content platform through your eCommerce platform. No matter which one you use, we integrate with it!
With all of your photos in one place, you have the power to compile and organise all of the fabulous content your customers are creating for you. Now comes the fun part of selecting the photos that most encapsulate your brand image to publish directly into any part of the online shopping journey, for example as a gallery, carousel, or mosaic.
Below is an example of how Spanish sports store, deporvillage, connects their User Generated social media efforts with the home page of their eCommerce storefront.
This social proof naturally becomes a compelling element of the shopping journey, as customers scroll through images of happy customers experiencing their product to gain a better idea of how to do the same. From here, shoppers can continue their interaction with the content by clicking on a particular image to further explore.
They now have access to the original caption on the post, further extending the recommendation of your product through their positive experience with it.
And it doesn’t have to end there. When shoppers click on “ver galería” (see gallery), they are then brought to a larger page to give them a better idea of the magnitude of your brand’s social proof. There, they are also encouraged to share their experience with your product (“Comparte tus aventuras con nosotros” or share your adventures with us!).
Next, let’s look at how you can utilize a User Generated Content platform to analyze the performance of a UGC campaign.
How to analyze your customer content from social media to better understand and relate to your customer demographic
A User Generated Content platform can also be used as a database for collecting customer content in order to analyze where it’s coming from and who’s providing it.
When Adolfo Domínguez initiated their #Estonoesunselfie (this is not a selfie) hashtag campaign, they looked to a User Generated Content platform to compile all of their hard earned content across the 3 months of the campaign.
While actively promoting use of #Estonoesunselfie, this premium brand used Photoslurp to organise and filter content, as well as track the performance of the campaign. With information like when and where the content was collected and even further to which specific users are posting it, Adolfo Domínguez had a comprehensive idea of how well they executed this particular campaign – giving them key insights for future activations.
Knowing which users are posting content for you, can give brands an idea of their market profile, as well as specific users to reach out to for further Instagram engagement. An active, well-followed evangelist (someone who posts multiple times for your brand) could be your next brand ambassador – and a User Generated Content platform can help you discover them.
While you can use a UGC platform just to analyze content, you’ll probably find that you’ve received some amazing photos and videos of genuine moments with your products – don’t let them go to waste! By inserting your customer content into the shopping journey, you’re giving customers an authentic way to shop your products. And here’s how you can make this strategy even stronger.
How to connect your brand’s products with UGC to improve the online shopping journey and humanize your brand
Once you’ve created a social media lookbook for your eCommerce storefront, it’s time to connect your products to your customer content to make the shopping journey that much more seamless. Let’s take a look at how watch brand CLUSE utilizes a User Generated Content platform to present customers with shoppable earned content.
From their stylish gallery, a user can click on a photo – just as they would on social media. What they see next is where the real magic happens.
Shoppers are brought directly to the content alongside the product that’s featured within the photo or video – in an instant the shopper goes from browsing the best of your social content to the exact product that could get them that look.
This UGC strategy works in a number of ways. By integrating customer content into your eCommerce store, you are providing shoppers with the social proof that your brand’s products are not only reliable but desirable. When they see how other users wear your brand, it gives them a connection to your products that professional content struggles to achieve. Why? Because seeing another user identify with the brand or a specific product encourages them to do the same.
Connecting your products to these photos is just the next natural step to seamlessly bridge the social shopping journey. You can even connect multiple products, with the Photoslurp MultiProduct Linking tool, to show how other users wear your brand in mass.
With a User Generated Content platform, this process is simple – and features like Photoslurp Recognize are designed to make it even simpler.
Photoslurp Recognize uses state of the art image recognition technology to detect products within customer content, allowing users to very quickly link collected UGC with products from their catalogue. For enterprise brands with large, constantly changing product catalogues, this tool is essential for expediting the process of integrating customer content into various marketing channels.
Once you’ve connected customer content and products, you now have access to an essential set of data that will help you show your shoppers what they want to see. Next, let’s see how you can turn that data into engagement!
How to analyze your customer content from social media to display the best photos and videos that relate to your customer base
User Generated Content platforms give you the control to ensure you’re always putting your best foot forward. This means choosing the strongest UGC – then making sure that everyone sees it.
How do you know what your strongest UGC is? The Photoslurp feature ‘Top Photos’ is designed specifically for that.
This tool analyzes which photos have been resonating with your customers providing key metrics like conversions, impressions, and click-through-rate (CTR) to give you complete freedom to filter as you please! The platform even let’s you see exactly how well each of your widgets is performing – down to the actual revenue driven per content piece.
Alongside this feature comes the ‘Evangelist tool’, which gives you an idea of where your most premium content is coming from (Instagram, Facebook, Twitter) and who your most prominent evangelists are. With this information, you can better understand the people that most frequently post for your brand to gain larger insights into your customer base.
Once you’ve found customer content that you love, the ‘Stickys’ feature guarantees that your premium earned content always remains at the top of the gallery. With this tool you can be sure that, while you continuously add new content to your galleries and carousels, each shopper is seeing your strongest customer content.
Let’s say that CLUSE collected, published, and analyzed the performance of this photo:
Based on its impressions and conversions, they see that it does a good job inspiring customers to purchase. Not only that but maybe it was posted by a well-followed evangelist who seems to understand the brand image. Then, CLUSE puts a Sticky on the photo to make sure it’s always at the top of their lookbook.
With the strongest customer content analyzed and selected, it’s time to see where else you can spread your User Generated wealth. Let’s talk about ads!
How to grow social proof and brand trust through your social media ads
With your UGC platform, you can also gather customer content for your next round of ads on Facebook or Instagram.
In a case study with Russian Pointe, we recorded a 31% lower cost per click on Facebook ads displaying User Generated Content. And this content was collected in the same way as always – through their brand hashtag!
After the customer content (below) was posted by a user and collected in the Photoslurp platform, Russian Pointe was then able to request media rights.
This step is important, as it ensures that you’re following proper procedure, but, don’t worry, it’s easy to request media rights within a User Generated Content platform.
Once your rights have been granted by the user, you’re good to go! Now you can directly send the image to the Facebook ads platform to get your UGC ad campaign going.
While this content is spreading across social – and gaining you clicks and engagement along the way – it can still be doing the same job on your website, further reinforcing brand image and trustability.
As soon as you start integrating UCG into your website with a User Generated Content platform, you’ll be sure to want to use it for all of your products. Next, let’s look at how a User Generated Content platform makes organizing all of your unique content simple.
How to best present earned content, making it easy for customers to shop all of your products in a real-life setting
Hopefully, you have so much UGC that it needs a bit of organizing. Your User Generated Content platform is there to help.
You can use the Photoslurp ‘Collections’ feature to accumulate your content into multiple galleries based on gender, product, location, style…whatever you want! That way, customers shop the UGC that’s relevant to the products that they’re interested in.
Shoeby has done just that, dividing their UGC campaigns into a few ‘Collections’ including women, men, accessories and more. For example, when shoppers click ‘Dames’ or women, they’re shown all of the UGC that your brand has filtered into that collection.
And the same with ‘Heren’ or men – so you can keep UGC shopping journey just as dynamic as the rest of your eCommerce efforts.
This feature is useful if you have a UGC gallery or carousel on your homepage but still want to filter the content on product pages. When a customer clicks through to a product that they’re interested in, they get to scroll the latest looks of that particular product. Then, rather than impersonal product shots, you present your customers with pictures and videos that show that specific product in a real-life setting. And the best part? It isn’t you who’s telling them how great it is!
Another way that this helps you improve your eCommerce strategy: you can see which products have the most UGC. If you can see that you’re lacking customer photos for a particular product, you now have the perfect idea for your next product giveaway! Or an incentive for what content you should ask your customers to produce.
How else can a User Generated Content platform improve your eCommerce efforts? A few more examples of creative UGC integration
Got creative ideas for your customer content? This User Generated Content platform is here to support all of you wildest UGC dreams. If you’re still brainstorming, here’s a few additional integrations to get your creative juices flowing.
Match your brand’s look and feel – like watch brand Technos has done with their UGC gallery.
You can take it even further by developing a creative presentation for showcasing content like Estilo Euro.
DENHAM The Jeanmaker was already seeing success with their in-website UGC Lookbook, showing off cool Dutch style featuring their classic jeans.
When they developed a shopping app – their virtual “loyalty card” for devoted DENHAM customers – they dreamed of integrating their earned content directly into the app. Photoslurp technology adapted to this desire, allowing the brand to seamlessly integrate shoppable product catalogues into their mobile app Lookbook, as shown below.
What to take home
When it comes to collecting, publishing, and analyzing your customer content, a User Generated Content platform is really the way to go. Photo and video integration is seamless, and it will do wonders for your eCommerce storefront.
Authentic engagement, social proof, and a trusted brand image are crucial for selling online, and all of this can be achieved by integrating UGC into your eCommerce website, pages, and across your marketing efforts. That plus an increased conversion rate (by 19% in the case of CLUSE) makes implementing a UGC strategy a no-brainer.
We hope this helped you learn the value of utilizing a User Generated Content platform for your online selling. But if you still have questions about UGC, we’ve got you covered. Check out our thorough resource which addresses all things related to User Generated Content.
What UGC platform features do you find most helpful? Tell us in the comments below!