How to Leverage User-Generated Content Throughout The Customer Journey

Do you remember the Share a Coke campaign or the Ice Bucket Challenge for ALS? How about Starbucks’ White Cup Contest or Apple’s Shot on iPhone billboards? If I had to wager a guess, I’d say the majority of you have heard of, seen or participated in at least 3 out of 4 of these campaigns.

Although each of those brands and organizations run dozens of marketing campaigns every year, these are the ones that stand out most in people’s minds. Why do you think that is?

They were authentic, engaging and interactive; they were built around user-generated content.

User-Generated Content (UGC) is any content—posts, tweets, images, videos, etc.—created freely by consumers on any online or social network.

The Power of UGC

The Internet, smartphones and social media have given consumers more choice and access to information than ever before. As a result, consumers—particularly Millennials—have become experts at tuning out marketing messages. Instead, people now turn to the content their family, friends and peers are posting on social media.

UGC has become the most trusted, memorable and influential content marketers can get their hands on.

  • 92 percent  of consumers trust earned media (like UGC) more than any other form of media
  • Millennials find UGC 35 percent more memorable than other media
  • 81 percent of consumers’ purchase decisions are influenced by social media posts

It’s time to stop competing with people’s social feeds and time to start putting that authentic and engaging content to work for your brand.

From awareness and consideration to purchase and advocacy, modern marketers are leveraging UGC as a key element of their omni-channel marketing strategies—reducing content creation costs while boosting engagement, strengthening customer trust and driving sales.

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Drive Awareness with Impactful Advertising

Did you know Facebook and Instagram ads using user-generated photos see up to a 3x increase in click-through rates over ads with brand-created images?

That’s right. UGC has been proven to help break through the noise and improve performance for social, display and digital out of home (DOOH) ads.

By powering your advertisements with UGC, you’ll have an endless source of fresh, cost-effective content to keep your ad-exhausted audiences engaged.

Worried about obtaining the rights to use consumer’s content in your ads? With a comprehensive UGC platform, like Stackla, you can streamline the rights management process with automated workflows to easily request and receive legal permission to users’ content.

Create Engaging Web Experiences

Your website is the storefront of your brand and a go-to destination for people researching your products and services. If your web experience isn’t engaging, compelling or consistent, people will leave without a second thought and likely never return.

Websites featuring UGC have seen a 2x increase in pageviews, a 20 percent increase in repeat visits and up to a 90 percent increase in the time spent on the site.

By showcasing UGC across your homepage, blog and landing pages, you can effectively build consumer trust, provide social proof and boost online engagement.

Shorten The Path To Purchase with Social Commerce

Social media is about more than driving conversations; it’s about driving commerce. And authentic social content – particularly visual content—is a powerful way to show online shoppers products in real-world scenarios.

In fact, customers are 6x more likely to purchase a product if the webpage includes pictures from social media.

You can effectively turn browsers into buyers by supplementing your product images with real social content. And, with a leading UGC platform, you even make the social content across your site shoppable, linking visitors directly to purchase pages. Brands that have made UGC shoppable on their site, effectively shorten the path to purchase—improving conversion rates and boosting online sales by up to 30 percent.

Deliver More Dynamic Emails

Although email is considered a traditional marketing channel, it’s still one of the most effective ways for brands to reach consumers.

Add some dynamism and personalization to this static medium by infusing a steady stream of relatable, authentic content into your email marketing campaigns.

Featuring fresh, targeted and visually-compelling UGC in marketing emails has improved email click-through rates by at least 8 percent for brands like Amazfit.

Enrich Live Events

Whether you’re hosting a customer contest, a pop-up sale or an annual event, encouraging and highlighting user-generated content during live events can be a great way to reinvigorate your fans while driving two-way conversations.

UGC platforms, like Stackla, can enable you to find and curate all the content people are posting about your events across the social web and seamlessly showcase it in on live screens for real-time engagement.

For more in-depth insight into developing a UGC strategy, read The Ultimate Guide To Building An Effective User-Generated Content Strategy.

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