Real Talk: Why you need to take UGC seriously in 2024 | ©/Alota x Brancoy

Real Talk: Why you need to take UGC seriously in 2024 | ©/Alota x Brancoy

Real Talk: Why you need to take UGC seriously in 2024 | ©/Alota x Brancoy

Hey and welcome to dive deep about UGC and how to leverage it throughout the whole customer journey! 

Let's dive straight into a topic that you simply cannot ignore if you want to grow your Shopify brand. 

By 2024, UGC isn't just an option; it's the cornerstone of authentic, relatable, and truly humanized brand communication. Imagine blending the voices of your most passionate customers with your brand narrative—this is the power UGC wields.

It has truly risen from a buzzword to a fundamental strategy, empowering brands to engage with their audiences on a deeply personal level. As we look toward 2024, the role of UGC transcends mere optionality, solidifying itself as the linchpin of authentic, relatable, and undeniably human brand communication.


Matias Myhrberg from ©/Alota - How It Influences Consumer Behavior and Decision-making

Think back to the last time a friend raved about a new find. That personal endorsement? That's the essence of User-Generated Content in its raw, impactful form. 

When this concept is amplified across digital platforms and the whole customer buying journey, its power to build trust becomes monumental, serving as a bridge that narrows the gap between your brand and its community. It transforms your narrative, showcasing real, lived experiences of those who've already embarked on the journey with your products. Through UGC, brands can forge genuine connections, fostering a sense of community and trust that traditional advertising methods can scarcely achieve.

Beyond the buzz lies the truth: In the realm of UGC, authenticity isn't just preferred—it's essential. Today's discerning consumers demand UGC that is genuine and unfiltered, seeking stories that resonate with real, raw experiences over polished endorsements. The era where creators could merely hype products for entertainment, devoid of a meaningful narrative or genuine brand connection, has passed. 

Now, to cultivate trust and embody authenticity, your brand must elevate UGC beyond the ordinary. Strive for content that's not only authentic but also distinctively aligned with your brand's ethos, creating a narrative that's as unique as your identity in the marketplace.


How does UGC impact advertising results?

The proof is in the pudding—or in this case, the stats. As many as 79% of consumers say UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions. This isn't surprising when you consider that ads featuring UGC see a 5x higher click-through rate.


But let's put stats aside for a moment and talk real impact:


Case Study:

  • Gymshark leveraged UGC to transform their brand story, showing real athletes achieving their personal bests with Gymshark gear. The result? A worldwide recognition for the brand, incredible growth rate and a ROI uplift that would make any brand green with envy. This is tangible evidence that when your customers speak, the market listens.
  • Skims used UGC to showcase real women of all shapes and sizes finding confidence and comfort in Skims wear, breaking the mold in the shapewear industry. The outcome was phenomenal—enhanced brand trust, skyrocketing sales, and a community fiercely loyal to the Skims philosophy. Here, authentic customer stories became the brand’s most compelling advertisements.
  • Kylie Cosmetics harnessed the power of its vast fanbase, encouraging users to share their beauty transformations using its products. The brand’s strategic use of UGC led to instant sell-outs and a passionate customer base eager to be part of Kylie’s world. This strategy underscored the undeniable impact of making customers feel intimately connected to the brand’s success story.

How to get unlimited content for your Shopify brand?

From 'Free Gifts’ to Authentic Engagement

Have you ever pondered why people offer drinks to others at a nightclub or why some stores provide free samples? 

The principle behind these gestures is the law of reciprocity: offer value first, and naturally, you'll receive value in return. This principle isn't confined to personal interactions; it plays a pivotal role in the business realm, especially in generating UGC.

Here are 3 core tactics you can use with your brand to collect and generate UGC content.  

Tactic #1 - “Free Drinks” Analogy

In our quest for authentic, high-quality UGC, we've embraced a strategy akin to offering "free drinks." We seed products to creators with no strings attached. This approach is grounded in the law of reciprocity. 

When creators genuinely enjoy the product, they're naturally inclined to share their positive experiences, creating UGC without any explicit request or compensation from us. If they're not impressed, the only loss is the cost of goods sold and shipping—a small price for the potential of authentic endorsement.

This strategy mirrors tactics employed by brands like Gillette since the 1990s, leveraging the law of reciprocity to foster genuine brand engagement and drive significant returns.


Tactic #2 - Engage Your Best Customers

The most authentic UGC often comes from those who've already bought into your brand—your best customers. 


They've experienced the value of your products firsthand and are ideally positioned to share genuine, persuasive content. There are several ways to approach this:

  • Utilize your brand community or social platforms to solicit UGC, offering incentives like gift cards.
  • If a direct community doesn't exist, identify top customers based on purchase frequency or lifetime value and reach out via email.
  • Employ tools like VideoAsk to facilitate easy video testimonial submissions.
  • Consider a more personal approach by inviting customers to share their stories through a recorded Zoom call, providing a rich source of authentic content.

Tactic #3 - Leverage Existing Creator Networks

While the first two tactics prioritize time and minimal financial investment, the third tactic shifts the balance, requiring more budget but significantly less time. Through ad creative agencies, like use ©/Alota, brands can publish campaigns and quickly receive applications from content creators eager to collaborate. This approach is particularly valuable for time-strapped brands seeking efficient, effective ways to generate high-quality and proven to convert UGCs.

This method requires a little bit more research on the frontend to choose the right agency and get them onboard with your brand but then generates the fruits on the long run. That’s where a concept like our Cumulative Creative Scaling System comes handy. Creating content that converts is all about perfecting the ICP, the angles, the production and then refining what doesn’t work and cumulating what works. 


Bridging the Gap: Idea Generation to Execution

Beyond sourcing UGC, the challenge often lies in continuously generating fresh, engaging content ideas. It's a common hurdle for brands to feel stuck with a limited range of concepts. However, by thoroughly analyzing customer reviews and employing tools like ChatGPT for new perspectives, brands can uncover a wealth of untapped angles and hooks for their UGC campaigns.

Use ChatGPT and create a CustomGPT and give it all of your marketing assets and materials you have about your brand, products, and your customers. 

Then we can give the AI context about your brand and the specific things we want it to do. 

To generate unlimited content ideas, you can use this framework with AI to expand your mind and generate ideas for your content.

First you want to determine different factors to discuss regarding the product

These could be:

  • Desired result vs. worst-case scenario
  • Timeline of getting results
  • Assumed probability of success
  • Simplicity of use
  • Negative or positive statements

And then from these different points determine a handful of different personas from whose point of view you want to cover

  • The potential customer
  • Their partner
  • Their family
  • Their friends
  • Their neighbor

And then choose from which time you want to create

  • Future
  • Past
  • Or current

There you have from these different points an unlimited number of combinations to do.

There's ample opportunity for your brand to explore a multitude of fresh, engaging angles for UGC, ensuring your content remains relevant, relatable, and resonant with your audience.


By adopting these strategies, brands can navigate the journey from UGC creation to conversion more effectively, turning authentic customer experiences into compelling narratives that drive brand engagement and loyalty.


Arttu Hietala from Brancoy -  Innovative Ways of Using UGC: Shopify Apps That Revolutionize Content Use

User-generated content (UGC) has become a game-changer in e-commerce, providing authenticity and trust that resonate with potential customers. In 2024, the influence of UGC in e-commerce, especially on platforms like Shopify, has only increased, thanks to innovative apps and tools that assist businesses in leveraging user content in new and impactful ways.

Our growth concept for Shopify brands, the HI Concept©, puts a spotlight on the critical role of user experience (UX) and user interface (UI) design in driving traffic and conversions. While digital marketing and tech innovations are essential, they fall short without exceptional customer experiences. The essence lies in optimizing every touchpoint - from the moment a customer sees your ad to their journey on your website. It’s about crafting an experience that enhances conversion rates, solidifies your brand, and enriches product interactions.

Historically, business growth was bound to leadership and organization. Fast forward to recent years, and the focus shifted towards technology. Today, the emphasis is on brand and customer experience.

Succeeding in e-commerce now requires more than just an online catalog and a checkout process. It’s about setting your brand apart with engaging, interactive, and memorable experiences. Prioritizing e-commerce design can transform your site into a destination that customers love to visit there.

Let’s dive into the world of Shopify and UGC apps. At Brancoy, we collaborate with the best in the industry and bring top-class solutions to our customers. Here are some of the key players in UGC:

  • Yotpo: This app excels at gathering customer reviews, photos, and Q&As, integrating smoothly with your Shopify store to encourage customers to share their experiences. It helps enhance your site’s credibility and trust by showcasing real customer feedback.
  • Cevoid: This UGC platform for e-commerce lets brands collect and display content from social media and direct uploads. Features like shoppable UGC galleries make it easier to manage rights and use community content to boost engagement and sales.
  • Okendo: Similar to Yotpo, Okendo focuses on customer reviews and UGC, supporting rich media like photos and videos. It’s tailored for Shopify, offering deep integration to improve the shopping experience.

UGC Strategies for Your Shopify Store


With the surge in popularity of short-form content through platforms like TikTok and Instagram Reels, Shopify store owners have a golden opportunity. Brands that are using Shopify like Contour Cube, Glow Recipe, and GymShark have brilliantly used UGC and TikTok to increase brand awareness, engage with their audience, and drive sales.

  • Contour Cube tapped into TikTok to highlight its products, quickly amassing a large following and significant engagement, proving TikTok’s effectiveness in brand growth.
  • Glow Recipe uses TikTok to funnel followers to their products, showcasing how strategic social media use can directly support sales.
  • GymShark’s #gymshark66 challenge illustrates the power of engaging the community in brand-related activities for viral success.

What these brands have done in the concept is creative and there are a few strategies behind it:

  • Hashtag Campaigns: Encourage sharing around a specific hashtag to generate content and build a community.
  • Contests or Giveaways: Boost visibility and engagement by requiring participants to create and share content featuring your products.
  • Influencer Partnerships: Work with influencers to inspire your audience to create their content.
  • Offer Incentives: Reward customers for sharing their content, through discounts, loyalty points, or features on your channels.

Leveraging UGC through Shopify in 2024 isn’t just about using apps to showcase user content, it’s about creating quality short content. UGC increases engagement, builds brand trust, and increases sales, making your Shopify store stand out from the competition.


Summary

As Shopify brand owner, you're not just selling products; you're crafting experiences. UGC allows your customers to co-author your brand's story, bringing authenticity and humanity to the forefront of your marketing strategy. Looking ahead to 2024, the question isn't whether you should leverage UGC, but how creatively and effectively you can weave it into the fabric of your brand narrative.

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