For e-commerce shoppers, checking the five-star and negative reviews are probably their immediate action while they consider a purchase on the website. While the product includes a detailed explanation from the brand, it is often much more relatable when one finds another user sharing their experience with the product. That’s exactly what brands need to implement and also get it right. As the e-commerce segment evolves, businesses like yourself are looking for new ways to connect with customers and User-generated Content (UGC) might be the answer you are looking for.
UGC – asking customers to create content – has proved to be an effective method to build trust, establish connections and drive sales. In this blog, we will explore the importance and types of UGC content and dive into some e-commerce brand examples who have made UGC an important part of their digital marketing strategy.
Types of User-generated Content
User-generated content (UGC) enables customers to share their feedback, opinions and experiences with other potential customers regarding the product or service of a brand. The content is usually shared on discussion boards, review sites and social media channels in the form of photos, videos, blog posts, podcasts and more.
UGC content’s unique selling point lies in the fact that it is unbiased and authentic as it comes from a customer’s personal experience with the product or service of a brand.
Some of the popular UGC formats includes:
1. Customer Reviews
Customer reviews serve as are important in influencing purchasing decisions for potential customers. These testimonials detailing the effectiveness and overall satisfaction of a product or service, which helps others make an informed decision regarding their selections.
2. Social Media Content
Social media is a dynamic space where customers share their experiences and thoughts through videos and photos. Customer content such as personal stories, unboxing videos, product reviews, and recommendations can provide realistic first-hand experience for the potential buyers. Additionally, the personal touch on social media also creates a sense of connection and community among customers.
Blogs are another type of UGC content that are used to provide detailed information like tutorials, product reviews, personal experiences and more. Bloggers offer an in-depth view and personal perspective on a brand’s product or service, helping others learn more about your business.
Podcasts have increasingly become a popular audio content form that helps potential customers access product reviews, expert interviews, personal stories and engaging discussions. Audio-only podcasts fit into customers’ daily activities like commuting, exercising and more. While it helps customers enjoy informative and entertaining content, it helps brands connect with their audience through this content.
5. Video sharing platforms
Video-sharing platforms like YouTube offer users an opportunity to create and share a wide variety of videos like tutorials, vlogs, product reviews and more. Customers use their creativity and expertise to produce engaging but informative videos that help other individuals a visual perspective of the product or service.
Why is user-generated content important for e-commerce brands?
UGC can help brands build trust and also attract interest from potential customers. The best part about UGC strategy? It’s absolutely free of cost
1. Building trust
As e-commerce buyers, customers cannot touch and feel a product. Thus, trusting the existing content becomes a vital part of the shopping experience.
UGC-like reviews, photos and social media posts display your product or services in real-life settings, thereby creating a sense of trust and community around the brand. It serves as a word-of-mouth marketing strategy, which is more effective than logos and branded content on a third-party website.
2. Saving on marketing costs
For all ecommerce brands, marketing is an important part of the business, as without it, the customers will not know about your product, service or brand. But that also means spending a lot of time and resources on it.
As UGC is often created by customers who are already using the product or service, rather than professional creators, the brand saves money on content creation and overall marketing.
3. Driving sales
UGC can positively influence one’s purchasing decision, as customers are more likely to relate and trust the opinion of another customer. This can eventually result in increase of sales and conversions
4. Gain customer insight
UGC can serve as a valuable resource for customer insight and research. By analyzing the content and sentiments shared by customers, brands can understand the user needs, preferences and behaviours. This can guide in product development, marketing strategies, and provide a deeper understanding of your brand’s target audience.
Examples of UGC content by brands
Example #1: Mamaearth
Mamaearth, an Indian skincare and makeup brand, has been using UGC as part of its strategy for a few years. They have been successful in building brand loyalty and strong relationships with its customers. From hosting a Mother’s Day contest to planting trees for every order, they have managed to build an emotional connection with their audience.
In the most recent UGC contest, the brand promoted its rosemary products by asking its followers to replace song lyrics with the word “baal” which means hair in the Hindi language.
The users were supposed to comment or share the post as a story with the hashtag “RosemaryForTheWin” and the five winners got the chance to be featured and win a hamper. The announcement post received over 100 comments and 3000+ likes.
The contest was fun and innovative, and it encouraged customers to participate by providing incentives.
Example #2: Lenskart
D2C brand Lenskart. an India-based eyewear business, has also been leveraging UGC for strengthening its marketing strategies.
Lenskart has a dedicated hashtag “LenskartTribe” that allows users to post pictures of themselves promoting the company’s products. The consumers also get a chance to be featured on the brand’s official Instagram page.
The strategy has proved to be a cost-effective and organic content creation strategy with over 3000 posts being shared using this hashtag.
Example #3: Nykaa Beauty
Nykaa Beauty is another great example of a brand deploying UGC to promote and drive sales of their products.
Many Nykaa users often create makeup tutorial videos with the brand’s products on their Instagram page. The brand then shares them on their official page to attract interest from their potential customers.
Example #4: Dogsee Chew
Dogsee Chew, a natural dog treats brand by Khannal Foods, has one of the most unique UGC strategies that we have come across.
Everyone loves their pets and has a unique bonding story that binds them to their furry friends. Dogsee Chew invites its users to share their stories with the brand, along with pictures and videos, in their DMs. The brand creates Instagram reels from these stories and features them on its official pages.
Users featured would also often share these reels on their pages, which motivates other pet lovers to visit the brand’s page. Therefore, they have indirectly promoted their brand and products to other potential customers.
Example #5: Bunaai
Bunaai, an Indian clothing brand, utilizes multiple UGC strategies on its website and social media.
On their website, the product pages of the brand have a dedicated review section where users can post their thoughts on the products, along with star ratings and images.
Simultaneously. on its social media, the brand also features its customers wearing Bunaai products. The users can simply tag the brand for an opportunity to be featured.
Tips for creating user-generated content
Incorporating user-generated content into your marketing strategy is a powerful way to build trust, save on marketing costs, connect with your audience and grow your business. Here are some tips to keep in mind:
1. Create a branded hashtag
Creating a unique and dedicated hashtag that customers can use when sharing their photos or videos will make it easier for the brand to find UGC related to your brand. Additionally, it also encourages customers to participate in your campaigns.
2. Set clear goals
Make sure that you have set clear goals and guidelines on the type of UGC you want to feature and your plans for using it. This helps ensure that the content generated aligns with your brand’s goals and values.
3. Encourage customers to share
Sometimes customers are not going to talk about your brand without a little nudge. You can get them talking and sharing about your product or service by:
– Providing an incentive like rewards or discount on the next purchase
– Sent post-purchase communication to sought testimonials and reviews
– Host a contest or giveaway to encourage them to share content
Most of these tasks can be automated without having to dedicate time and resources personally to them.
4. Use a diverse content mix
Social media is considered the go-to option for creating UGC. However, consider incorporating a diverse mix of formats that helps to target a wide variety of audiences. Get on different channels like YouTube, Instagram and Facebook, and encourage customers to share on multiple platforms.
Leveraging UGC strategy can help brands drive customer trust, engagement, and conversations. It serves as social proof and also creates a sense of community.
Apart from this, user content can also help your target audience to also explore more about your other products and compare them based on the given reviews to find the best match for themselves. This way, their purchase experience is further enhanced.
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