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What is UGC, and why is it so critical to your brand’s growth?

Struggling to bump up your on-site conversion rates? Stressed about scaling your ad campaigns? Tired of rock-bottom CTRs?

We may just have an answer to your problems. 

What if we told you there was a quick and easy way to generate reams of content to help effectively fuel your ad campaigns? 

Well, we’ve got good news. 

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There is.

It’s called UGC, and if you run an e-commerce business, then it’s absolutely essential to your digital advertising strategy.

But what is UGC, how does it benefit my brand and, more importantly, how do I go about getting it? 

We’ve got you covered. Read on as we dive deep into the ins and outs of this ever-popular content type, sharing everything you need to know. 

First things first – what exactly is UGC? 

It’s no secret – as humans, we like to express ourselves. And whether an experience is good or bad, many of us will instinctively share it online. 

Your customers are no different, and when they post content about your brand online, we usually call this User Generated Content (UGC). This content can be a powerful addition to your brand marketing strategy!

Great – but how does this help my brand? 

Good question, and we’ve got one simple answer: 

Social proof.

Since UGC comes directly from the real experiences customers have had with your products, your audience is more likely to trust what they see. 

And when social proof is such a powerful motivator for trust and purchasing decisions, UGC is one seriously powerful weapon that you don’t want to leave out of your marketing arsenal. 

However, the buck doesn’t stop with social proof. Let’s take a look at 3 other ways this content type can give your e-commerce brand that all-important added boost:

1. It feels more authentic 

A major benefit of UGC is authenticity. Because this is real content from real customers, it immediately feels more organic and trustworthy than traditional ad messaging. 

Your customers are primed and ready to create content about your products, and this could be anything from an unboxing video to a product selfie or even a short video testimonial. 

If two heads are better than one, then imagine what hundreds of customers can do for you! That’s right – your audience can quickly provide you with a huge amount of natural content.

Ok, but how can I put this content to good use? 

This rich customer content doesn’t need to sit collecting dust! All of this UGC can be lifted and inserted into your advertising channels, to help build your brand credibility, showcase your products and create that sense of authenticity. 

You can deploy this content in email automations, social ad campaigns, on your website and pretty much anywhere else you can think of – that’s the beauty of UGC! 

This content won’t feel like a typical advert, either

Consumers will recognise this, and relate to the inclusion of real human customers in your ads. This is where the power of social proof starts to kick in.

This is also why regularly interacting with users is so important – try to respond to feedback or reviews as often as possible to continue encouraging this dialogue and opening up new opportunities for UGC.

2. It perfectly complements your existing ad campaigns

Looking for a way to show off your product benefits and convince customers to click – without sacrificing trust on overly salesy messaging? UGC has you covered. 

Collect photos and videos produced by your customers and you’ll have authentic, original, trustworthy content that will tackle audience objections at every stage of the funnel and drive consistent sales.

Wondering where to get started? Take a look at some examples of UGC that’s worked well for our clients: 


This piece of UGC seamlessly identifies a common problem Kinvara’s target audience faces, presents their product as the solution, and gives a step-by-step walkthrough to show how easy it is to use. 

Featuring multiple customers discussing product benefits too, this UGC example oozes trust and drove significant campaign performance. 


Billbuddy proves that effective UGC doesn’t have to be long. In just 21 seconds, this video highlights both the service benefits as well as how customers can get up and running quickly. 


Looking for a way to utilise both photo and video UGC in one? Take a look at how Kissmwah made this happen for their brand. 

Combining Instagram content with video testimonials from their network of influencers, Kissmwah created a quick, engaging video to complement their advertising strategy.

3. It boosts your bottom line

Likes, comments and shares are great, but the true test of an e-commerce ad’s performance comes down to one key metric: 

Its ability to drive sales. 

If you can create ads that generate low CPC, CPM, high CTR and a positive ROAS, then you’ve found a recipe for success. And UGC ads drive all of these in spades. 

There’s good reason for this, too. Consumers are more likely to purchase products that are featured in UGC ads because your content will show real people, being actual humans, showcasing your brand in an authentic way. 

This means that if you incorporate UGC into your advertising strategy, you’re likely to see significant improvements in your conversion rates. 

How can I get my hands on more UGC?

There are a few different methods to help you obtain more of that sweet, sweet UGC.

1. Post-purchase emails 

If you don’t ask, you often don’t get, and that’s why post-purchase email sequences are extremely effective at helping you to collect more user-generated content. Since these customers have interacted with your brand very recently, they’re more likely to be receptive to your messaging – so it’s a great time to reach out and harvest some UGC.

Send out an email 1-2 days after your customer’s order has arrived asking them to take a selfie or shoot a short video with your product in return for a reward or discount. This doesn’t have to be anything crazy – a coupon for 20% should be enough to persuade customers to pick up their phones and start creating content. 

2. Facebook Groups

Got a brand Facebook Group? Great – it’s time to put it to work. If you’re inviting customers to join your Group after making a purchase, then you’ve cultivated the perfect audience for building a backlog of UGC. 

Simply pin a post to the top of your page asking new members to submit UGC in return for a small reward, and watch the content start rolling in. 

3. Ad campaigns 

Need more UGC yesterday? A Facebook advertising campaign could be the way to go – and it doesn’t have to break the bank either.

Set up a quick and easy campaign targeting new store customers, offering a free product or discount in exchange for a product selfie or video testimonial. You’ll have to assign a budget, but hit that sweet spot with testing and you’ll be amazed at how effective Facebook and Instagram campaigns can be at generating UGC at a consistently low cost.

Want to take it one step further? If you’ve got sufficient customer data through your funnel, you could even change your UGC campaign targeting from new customers to repeat buyers. If they’ve shopped at your store more than once, they’re arguably more likely to convert again.

Are there any tools that can help me on my UGC quest?

Absolutely! If you’re keen to really maximise the impact of UGC on your brand growth, Okendo and YotPo are two examples of tools that can really help you to dial up the benefits of UGC.

Both of these tools not only help you to collect valuable UGC (by identifying the best times to request feedback) but also help you to distribute it more effectively

Both Okendo and YotPo come with convenient widgets so you can easily add your hard-earned UGC to your site, and they seamlessly integrate with advertising platforms to help you get new campaigns off the ground.

Hopefully, you’re now convinced of the power of UGC and the plethora of benefits it can provide your brand with. If you approach it the right way, UGC can create a very positive cycle for your business growth – the more you encourage user content, the more you’re likely to see new content being produced, and the more you’ll benefit from using it in your advertising. 

If you can master the art of utilising UGC, then you’ll be seeing brand growth in no time! 


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