The bond between a brand and its customers is unfathomable as the influence and impact they have is practically immeasurable.
People buy from ecommerce brands they love, and brands thrive on what their customers say about them.
Jason Goldberg, Founder and CEO of Fab, gets the point across precisely when he says that ecommerce is moving into an exciting phase. Now brands should focus on selling emotional products—the things people cherish.
User-generated content (UGC) bridges the gap between what an ecommerce business is selling and what the customers are looking for.
Of the various ways to increase ecommerce sales, UGC marketing has emerged as a highly potential tool in the hands of marketers.
A survey conducted by Olapic proves that UGC is the most trusted form of content in the ecommerce landscape.
Would you be interested in unraveling the potential of UGC marketing for your ecommerce business?
I will take you through a list of expert tips on how to promote your ecommerce business using UGC marketing.
Why Does UGC Marketing Matter for Ecommerce Businesses?
People find the content generated by regular people to be more credible than the hype brands say about themselves. That’s the reason why UGC weighs more when compared to other ecommerce marketing materials. Every digital marketing aspirant during his digital marketing degree is mentored to utilize UGC to create a comprehensive User Experience.
The tactics that were once reserved to attract the younger customers have become a worthy inclusion in every marketing strategy irrespective of the target audience. Customers now want to explore what other users say about a brand or a product before making a purchase online.
If you are strategizing how to rank high on Google, let me tell you, the search giant prioritizes UGC as much as any other original and fresh content. It is, after all, a formidable tool for branding.
Websites like Instagram, Wikipedia, and YouTube thrive on user-generated content. Marketers are going to great lengths to back their claims with quality UGC. This proves that UGC marketing is here to stay and dominate.
How to Use UGC Marketing to Promote Your Ecommerce Business?
UGC marketing has revamped the marketing industry drastically. It is a far-reaching weapon that can be used to benefit your ecommerce business in multiple ways. Let’s take a look at some useful tactics.
1. Use UGC for Social Proof
In his book ‘Influence’, Robert Cialdini first used the term ‘social proof’ to explain a peculiar collective behavior. People are more inclined to follow the actions of the masses.
What does it mean in the ecommerce context?
It simply means that UGC marketing can provide customer validation for your products or services.
From Instagram Reels to Snapchat stories, unboxing videos to reviews—a wide variety of user-generated content influences potential buyers.
Seeing your products or services being used by others bears a significant impact on purchasing decisions. UGC marketing can be smartly channelized to gain social proof for your business and drive more organic traffic.
2. Make Your Brand Go Viral on Social Media with UGC
What better way to make your ecommerce brand go viral on social media than using UGC. When you post social media content, encourage your followers to like, share, and comment on it.
Apple has shown an excellent way to utilize user-generated content to go viral on Instagram. The smartphone manufacturer asked its users to click spectacular photos using the latest iPhone models and post them on Instagram using the hashtag ‘#shotoniphone’.
Users are seen going to any lengths to click some breathtaking images just to be featured by Apple.
The handpicked photos are reposted on Apple’s official page, and the number of likes these posts receive is in the hundreds of thousands range.
Isn’t that clever marketing?
Well, it is and you can do it too.
3. Use UGC in Your Ads
The most powerful element in advertising is truth, and what better way to make your ecommerce ad more credible than using UGC marketing.
But it is not as easy as it seems. You can not undermine the fact that ads have to be attractive and convincing too. You can use some good visual tools for marketing experiments that help you focus on the core elements of your business or product that need to be marketed.
UGC is quality content that is free, and when you incorporate these images, videos, reviews, and so on into the ads you create, you give the customers what they want.
4. Utilize Product Reviews to Boost Sales
Reviews validate what an ecommerce business is selling. According to research, 87% of consumers consider reviews to be precious as they help them learn from the experiences of others before making a buying decision.
In such a case, why should businesses hesitate to leverage the benefits of user reviews? So marketers should emphasize the importance of UGC marketing and add it to the best practices for online sales.
Do not shy away from asking your customers to rate you or share reviews on your website, Google, rating platforms, and social media channels. These will directly influence potential buyers to prefer your brand or ecommerce business over others because you have good reviews.
You should never ignore negative reviews, as it may cast a shadow over your brand’s authenticity. Professionally address them and try to convert that negative feedback into a positive one.
5. Build Strong Community
The real purpose of UGC is building a versatile and close-knit community for your business.
Take YouTube, for example, which recently launched Super Stickers, Super Chat, and Super Thanks for the benefit of its users. Fans can now purchase one of these elements and get featured in live videos on chats. While such features get some revenue in the hands of contributors, fans can enjoy instant stardom as well.
UGC marketing can be used to build a sense of community between a brand and its users. On one end, your fans are generating content that adds to your credibility, and on the other end, you are honoring them by rewarding them in the form of mentions, reposts, etc.
Incentivizing your loyal customers is one of the powerful ways to grow your ecommerce business in an uncertain market.
The opportunities for using UGC marketing for promoting your ecommerce business are endless. Brands that leverage premium quality user-generated content could rise above the crowd and build their credibility.
As a brand, you should learn to listen to people, engage with them, and win their trust. Then, discover what wonders UGC can do for you.
Gaurav Sharma is the founder and CEO of Attrock, a results-driven digital marketing company. Grew an agency from 5-figure to 7-figure revenue in just two years | 10X leads | 2.8X conversions | 300K organic monthly traffic. He also contributes to top publications like HuffPost, Adweek, Business 2 Community, TechCrunch, and more.