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Author's profile photo Louis Sawyer

Shoppable UGC – The Next Era of E-Commerce

What does the future hold for eCommerce? Shoppable UGC for E-Commerce has a direct impact on brand promotion to the mainstream. Types of UGC: free and paid. In this blog you will find out how to benefit from and influence user-generated content.

The Сoncept of User Generated Content

User-generated content is a concept associated with web promotion, lead generation, and even conversions. You can also say that it’s not direct advertising for your brand or service. It is content posted by users themselves with any reference to a brand.

User-generated content is used not only by startups, and medium-sized businesses but by large corporations as well. Why do they do it?

The primary effect of user-generated content is a rapid growth in brand credibility. Moreover, such content stimulates the production of a brand’s content: it includes ideas, challenges, and promotional campaigns.

How UGC Affects a Purchase

Because the user sees how your brand or service has already been bought by other people, they become ready to shop for it themselves. After all, this isn’t a direct ad from a brand, which can be embellished. It’s a visual guide to what the product looks like in reality, what are the pros and cons of it.

Types of UGC

Online reviews

As you know, there has already been a statistical study that showed that reviews from ordinary people are 12 times more trusted by potential customers than direct advertising and other marketing methods and web development.

Testimonials from real customers, supported by photos or videos, are one of the most effective marketing tools at the moment. The same goes for negative reviews. It’s better to have bad feedback than no feedback at all. After all, a company can respond to poor feedback and somehow make up for the situation, thereby showing its loyalty to the customer and increasing the reputation of the brand.

Unfortunately, customers tend to leave reviews more frequently if they didn’t like the experience than if everything went smoothly. For this reason, a brand should encourage customers to leave reviews after every interaction. This is accomplished by establishing customer response.

A credible, positive review of your company will not only increase a customer’s confidence in you but will also be an argument for those who had doubts about the purchase.

The Hashtags

When it comes to the use of hashtags as a beneficial UGC, the most fertile platform is, of course, Instagram. Here everything collaborates: hashtags, photos, videos, stories, etc. You can’t deny the user enthusiasm and interaction on Instagram.

This platform has managed to nail the users’ skills in creating amateur photos to such an extent that some of them can easily compete with professional ones. In other words, companies get free promotions thanks to the positive experiences of their customers. They, in turn, are always ready to share their outlived emotions.

Another plus of the Instagram platform is that brands get closer to their customers. Instead of expensive advertising on TV or YouTube, they can run a prize challenge and take advantage of the virality of the platform, thereby gaining loyal customers, recognition, a new target audience, and a source of inexhaustible ideas for their content.

Paid UGC

Yes, progress, as you know, does not stop in one place. For the quality promotion of your business, especially if it lies in the field of sales, business owners should not disdain such a measure as paid UGC. How does this arrangement work?

This is where it’s worth distinguishing between Opinion Leaders and Brand Ambassadors.

An Opinion Leader can be any blogger who has no skills in the field, but has an audience that falls within your target group. That is, this person has an established readership that voluntarily responds to his or her opinions. Such people can be actively recruited into your brand’s marketing campaign.

You can make prior arrangements that the blogger receives your products for review in exchange for money or by barter, and then retransmits it to his or her audience. There is no need to hunt for the millionaire bloggers with inflated subscribers to do this. Their advertising will be expensive and ineffective. Cooperation with small and medium-sized opinion leaders can be more productive, as long as your target audience matches.

Cooperation with Brand Ambassadors is conducted more transparently. The company can choose an opinion leader, or even a media person (as far as the budget allows), and entrust the responsibility of promoting the brand to the masses in social networks on a contractual basis. This person can not only post mentions of the brand’s products but also engage the audience, again through hashtags and reposts.

Conclusions from all of the above

In the era of unlimited social media and online venues, you don’t have to involve astronomical budgets to promote your brand to the masses. A good product that the brand produces or sells is enough, and people will want to share it on their own. If a brand makes customers happy, customers will give the brand recognition. It’s a word-of-mouth effect. Don’t you agree? Share your opinion down below.

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