How User-Generated Content Can Skyrocket Your Sales

Brian Mechem

Brian Mechem

User-generated content is an effective tool to grow your sales. It not only saves time and costs for branded content creation, but also lends authenticity to your brand and products. According to a Stackla report, 60% of consumers find user-generated content to be the most authentic form of content.

What are the Benefits of User-Generated Content?

  1. It Provides Social Proof - People often consider others’ opinions and actions before buying a product. User-generated content helps customers validate their buying decisions if other people, especially influencers, are also buying that product.

    According to a Twitter study, there is an 88% increase in purchase intent when a brand is promoted by an influencer. So you can repurpose content created by influencers as social proof that can help get more people to buy your product.
  1. It Showcases Products in Use  - Seeing products in use by actual customers or authority figures helps customers make their own buying decisions.

    You can even turn high-quality influencer-created content into ads to create a bigger impact out of UGC. If you’re not sure how to do this, download our guide on repurposing influencer UGC.

Types of User-Generated Content

Let’s take a look at the most common types of user-generated content leveraged by bands to grow their sales:

Comments

These are the comments on your company’s blog posts, product pages on e-commerce sites, and social media posts.

Brands can get more comments on their posts or blogs by adding a call-to-action (CTA) such as asking the readers to share their experiences of using the products or services.

Customer Reviews and Ratings

These include reviews provided by people who have bought and used a company’s products. These are one of the most important types of user-generated content.

According to a Yotpo study, customers are up to four times more likely to buy products that display star ratings on the buy page.

And according to a BrightLocal study, 85% of consumers believe that online reviews are equivalent to personal recommendations in terms of trustworthiness. 93% check out local reviews to determine whether a business is good or bad.

How to Get More Reviews

Send a post-purchase email to customers to ask for reviews. In the example below, a customer purchased from Ulta Beauty and received this post-purchase email:

Towerdata

Image Source: Towerdata

Incentivize customers to write reviews by offering them coupons or loyalty reward points in exchange. Vanity Planet uses this technique to generate customer reviews:

Vanity Planet website

Image Source: Vanity Planet website

Expert Product Reviews

These are reviews done by a relevant third-party, such as influencers or bloggers, and are often paid reviews. Brands can leverage influencers to write detailed product reviews and include direct purchase links within their content.

To identify and manage influencers, you can use tools like Grin and BuzzSumo. These tools can help you identify relevant influencers in your niche. And using Grin, you can even manage your whole campaign, including discovering verified contact information and sending outreach messages.

Below is an example of a product review of Neutrogena products by the Makeup and Beauty Blog. The blog post also includes direct product purchase links apart from mentioning the product’s features.

Makeup & Beauty Blog

Image Source: Makeup & Beauty Blog

Social Media Posts

These are the social media posts about a company’s product or brand created by a customer or influencer. They may be simple brand mentions, pictures of users wearing a particular brand or product, or detailed posts reviewing a product or showcasing product details.

Here are a few examples:

Brand Mentions

In the example below, whiskey enthusiast, @peatandmore, mentions the whiskey brand, Ukko, in his Instagram post.

peatandmore

Image Source: Instagram

Product Reviews

In the example below, hairstylist, Meg Boswell, reviewed a hair product from Loreal Professional, detailing its features and benefits. While this is not a sponsored review, the stylist participated in the brand’s event and subsequently wrote this review.

Meg Boswell

Media Source: Instagram

Brands can also collaborate with influencers to write paid reviews, promote their giveaways, or for any other form of social media influencer marketing.

Videos

These are user-generated videos that talk about a company’s products or services. They can be tutorial videos, shopping hauls, unboxing videos, product reviews, or any other video that talks about a brand or its products.

Unpaid Videos

Pampers is a brand that often reposts user-generated videos of parents with their babies, on their Instagram page. Here is an example:

Pampers

Image Source: Instagram

Paid Influencer Videos

Brands can also leverage influencers and video bloggers to create a video featuring their products.

OUAI Haircare often collaborates with YouTube influencer, Andreea Cristina, to create tutorial videos featuring the brand’s products.

In the example below, the influencer has featured the brand’s products in the video. She has also included purchase links in the description and has added links to OUAI’s social media pages.

OUAI

Image Source: YouTube

Ways to Leverage User-Generated Content to Grow Sales

Let’s take a look at some of the best ways to leverage user-generated content to grow your sales.

Showcase User-Generated Photos on Your Website

Showcasing user-generated photos is a good way to lend authenticity to your product images and influence buyer purchase decisions. According to another Yotpo survey, 77% of online shoppers said that user photos influence their buying decision more than professional photos.

Watch company, MVMT, showcases pictures of people using their products on Instagram and on their website. There’s a “Shop Our Instagram” section, which showcases these pictures with an option to shop the look.

This not only displays the products being used by other people, but also makes it easy for other customers to purchase those products.

MVNT

Image Source: MVNT Website

Repost User-Generated Content on Your Social Media Profiles

Many brands post user-generated content on their social media profiles to showcase their products being used by other customers. These posts seem more authentic than professionally photographed product images or advertisements.

Here is an example:

Garmin Outdoor

Image Source: Instagram

Garmin has a separate Instagram page for user-generated content. On their Garmin Outdoor page, they repost users’ social media posts showcasing their products in use. They also have a specific hashtag #GarminPro to highlight these users.

Apart from posting user-generated content on your social media profiles, it is also important to make it easy for customers to buy the featured products. As we’ve discussed before, there are three easy ways to do so:

A Link in Bio

By including a direct link to your brand’s website in your bio, you can direct traffic from social media pages to your ecommerce website. Below is an example of the clothing brand Zara’s Instagram bio, which has a link to their website.

Zara

Image Source: Instagram

Action Buttons

This is more nuanced than pasting a link in bio, as this can take the customers directly to the product listing. There are options to add buy buttons on most social media platforms, such as Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and Facebook.

In the example below, watch brand, Daniel Wellington, has posted user-generated content on Facebook and has added a “shop now” button. You can also use the same tactic when repurposing influencer-created content for your ads.

Daniel Wellington-2

Image Source: Facebook

Instagram Stories

The “swipe up to buy” feature on Instagram Stories can be used by brands that have more than 10,000 followers. Clothing brand, H&M, uses direct product or collection links in their Instagram Stories. Here is an example:

Clothing brand, H&M

Image Source: Instagram

Showcase Customer Reviews and Testimonials on Your Website

This is another great way to provide social proof and influence potential customers’ buying decisions. Brands can use customer reviews and testimonials in several ways, here are a few examples:

Showcase Reviews as a Part of the Product Listing

Cosmetics company, Boom, adds a product review above the product title and also showcases videos with customer testimonials or makeovers using the featured products.

Boom productBoom videos

Image Source: Boom Website

Showcase Reviews on Your Website’s Homepage

Skincare brand, BioClarity, showcases customer reviews, both in videos and quotes format, on their website’s homepage.

BioClarity

Image Source: BioClarity

Showcase Reviews for Each Product Listing on the Product Pages

Birchbox showcases customer reviews and ratings below product listings on their website. Here is an example:

customer reviews and ratings

Image Source: Birchbox

Use User-Generated Content to Build a Community

Several brands add a Q&A page or chat forums where customers can share reviews and ask or answer questions. They can also discuss other topics related to the brand or their products.

This not only increases customer engagement, but also increases sales as customers return to the brand’s website more frequently.

Sephora is a cosmetics company that has successfully leveraged user-generated content to build a community of followers. They has groups to discuss skincare concerns and related topics, a Q&A page, a forum to post photos and videos, and several other features to generate user content.

Sephora-1

Image Source: Sephora

Wrapping Up

User-generated content is an effective way to skyrocket your sales. You can use the tactics mentioned above to grow your business.

If you have more ideas on how to leverage user-generated content or examples of unique content types used by brands, please share them in comments below. And don’t forget to download our guide on how to repurpose influencer UGC for your ads.


Brian Mechem

Brian Mechem

Brian Mechem is COO and Co-Founder of Grin, a software solution for companies who run influencer marketing programs. Grin's software powers some of the best influencer programs in the world, providing insights on ROI and adding efficiency to the influencer marketing process.

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