Guest Post: 7 Ways You Can Use User-Generated Content to Boost Your E-Commerce Brand

Oct 25, 2022

In the oversaturated e-commerce industry, business leaders are struggling to develop their brands’ competitive edge. Nowadays, it seems that every e-commerce brand is pouring money into advertising and taking up as much marketing real estate as possible to boost visibility. This kind of saturation often leaves the smaller brands unable to compete with the top dogs, at least in the traditional marketing and advertising sense.

If you can’t invest a lot of money into advertising and various other marketing strategies, but you still want tangible results, you should focus on user-generated content to grow your e-commerce brand. 

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User-generated content is any content created by your customers or partner influencers on social media, third-party websites, and review platforms. This kind of content can help you achieve many business goals and milestones. Let’s take a look at the best ways to use UGC to take your e-commerce brand forward in 2022 and beyond.

Boost engagement on social media

For e-commerce brands to develop a competitive advantage and achieve their sales and marketing goals, the first step is to dominate relevant social media channels. Quality posts, engaging imagery and videos, and effective brand presentation are all important elements of a successful social media strategy, but many business leaders omit user-generated content.

Boosting engagement on social media is not just about your posts - it’s about other people’s posts about your brand and products, and what they’re saying about you. If you want to achieve insights-led engagement based on what people truly think of your brand and products, you need to inspire people to create user-generated content, ranging from simple brand mentions to complete testimonials and product showcases.

It’s also a good strategy to engage with influencers to promote your products on their channels, which we’ll talk about separately later on. For now, let’s take a closer look at your website and the potential of UGC to transform your product pages.

Use UGC on your product pages

The product pages on a modern e-commerce website are so much more than simple product presentations. They are an integral part of the buyer’s journey, and when optimized properly and saturated with relevant, valuable information and content, they can help with everything from conversion rate optimization to brand-building and social proof.

The key is to start thinking of your product pages as an opportunity to elevate your brand experience as a whole rather than just another step to the checkout page. To that end, you need to start incorporating UGC into your product pages in the form of:

  • Genuine user images with your product

  • User-generated videos

  • Reviews and ratings

  • Personal, in-depth highlights of how a product helped a customer

If you are migrating your website to a different platform, like from Wix to Shopify, make sure to migrate the user-generated content as well to retain the value of each page. Keep in mind that people want to see how they can use your products and how they have benefited other customers, so highlighting this type of content on your product pages is a great way to inspire people to take the next step and buy.

Guest blogging and posting on authority websites

An equally important type of user-generated content is posting on other authority websites in your industry. One of the best ways to reach a larger audience is to be featured or get the link to your site published on a trustworthy site, whether it’s a blog or a partner e-commerce company.

You can get in touch with bloggers who guest post on these websites and platforms, or even delegate the process to blogger outreach services to get matched with the best bloggers for your industry and niche. Once you find your guest bloggers, you can begin publishing on other websites about your brand, or simply weave your brand and your products into the storytelling to create a compelling story for the readers of those websites. 

Make sure that the bloggers you work for have a standing relationship with the websites where they publish. 

Post UGC on dedicated landing pages

Ever thought about having a dedicated landing page for your user-generated content? In case the idea did not cross your mind until now, consider what a dedicated UGC landing page can do for your brand, your SEO and visibility, and your trustworthiness as an e-commerce company.

Featuring great customer feedback and user-generated content on a dedicated landing page is not only good for customer retention and repeat purchases, but also for attracting new customers and inspiring them to make a decision fast. This user-generated content is an additional opportunity to weave UGC-related keywords into the webpage and start ranking for keywords that are otherwise difficult to fit naturally into your site’s copy.

You can break up the text with user-generated videos and photographs and with highlighted customer testimonials. You can even create a section for the negative UGC and how you transformed those into success stories.

Weave user-generated content into your email campaigns

Email marketing is vital for growth-oriented e-commerce brands, as it opens a direct line of communication with the customer and allows you to deliver deals, discounts, and personalized offers directly to their inbox. More importantly in the world of e-commerce is that email efficiently retargets and reduces cart abandonment.

When sending out these automated, trigger emails in the hopes of getting people back to your site, shift the focus from the brand to their peers. Instead of talking about the amazing benefits of the products and what a shame it is that they’ve left items in their cart, you can highlight UGC in your emails and how these products have helped other customers just like them.

This puts a spin on the old e-commerce email strategy and brings something truly unique and valuable to the recipient.

Work with micro-influencers on social platforms

User-generated content is not just something that your customers and social media followers create - it’s also something that influencers can create to spread the word of your brand among their own followers. Partnering with micro-influencers to boost UGC is one of the best ways to expand your brand’s reach on social media and other websites.

Make sure that the influencers you partner with not only share your brand’s unique values, but also have a positive brand image themselves with a loyal and genuine following. This is why e-commerce companies look to work with micro-influencers that have fewer than 10k followers, as this type of follower base is generally considered to be more loyal and engaged, and therefore more likely to act on the recommendations of the influencer.

When your influencer starts posting about your products, you need to welcome the new website traffic with dedicated landing pages, and special discount links to your influencers as an added incentive.

Turn negative UGC into success stories

Last but not least, rather than shying away from negative user-generated content, embrace it and use it to your advantage. Negative testimonials and UGC represent a great opportunity to resolve specific customer issues and pain points, and show the world how you will care for them.

You can feature negative UGC on your dedicated landing pages, on your social media, and even on your blog. Use it as a case study to present the problem and then explain how you fixed the issue. You can end it with a quote from the customer and how they feel about your brand and the overall brand experience after you’ve addressed their issues and concerns.

Choose negative UGC with discretion; if the matter is a delicate one, consider handling it privately and then post only the results of your efforts to the public. Your efforts will show the online world that you are not perfect, nor should you be, and that you’re doing everything in your power to satisfy the needs of your customers. 

Over to you

User-generated content, when used wisely, can become a goldmine for a growth-oriented e-commerce brand. This is your opportunity to build social proof, boost brand visibility, and create a trustworthy image in a competitive and oversaturated industry.

Combined with other marketing and advertising strategies, UGC can help you create a comprehensive approach to marketing in the online world, allowing you to improve lead generation across the board and cut your time to conversion short. After all, when people see that others are already enjoying your products and are satisfied with your brand, they'll feel much more inclined to follow in their footsteps.

About the author

Guest Post: 7 Ways You Can Use User-Generated Content to Boost Your E-Commerce Brand - author bio

Nikola is a seasoned brand developer, writer, and storyteller. Over the last decade, he has worked on various marketing, branding, and copywriting projects - crafting plans and strategies, writing creative online and offline content, and making ideas happen.

When he is not working for clients around the world, he is exploring new topics and developing fresh ideas to turn into engaging stories for the online community.

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