11 Simple Strategies to Integrate User-Generated Content Across Multiple Channels

November 13, 2023

Integrating UGC has now become an essential and basically a lifeline for any e-commerce brand. If you want to have a shot at having a successful company in this day and age, it's important you know what it is and how to utilize it across multiple channels. Having a wide variety of UGC is not only good for your customers, it's good for your brand; it enhances customer satisfaction, aids brands in understanding their audience, builds a user community, and benefits from inherent peer review, making it highly reliable. The majority, if not all, brands have become comfortable reposting and sharing user's posts on their Instagram account, probably even creating their own niche hashtag to let users know where to find this content. Doing this can create a good amount of social proof, but having said that, there are many more ways to get UGC to work for you and drive your sales. In this article, we will dive into 11 different types of UGC and how to implement them into your user-generated content strategy.

UGC In Emails

It is one of, if not the last-standing, old-fashioned way to market your company online. Just because emails are old doesn't mean this old dog can't learn new tricks. With email marketing campaigns having a higher efficiency rate than social media, it's important to remember this is just as important as your Facebook or Instagram when turning those clicks into cash. This is a great place to start, as a third of the people who receive emails say it's not personalized to them, with a lot of companies that send out a generalized email campaign. This doesn't mean you have to completely start over and throw your whole campaign away. With a little fine-tuning and a touch of creativity, you can easily use the examples below and incorporate UGC in your emails.

Getting Started with Opt-Ins

A great way to get started and organically build your email list is by incentivizing people to subscribe. Have you ever gone to a website and a pop-up instantly asks for your email in exchange for a coupon code? I have. Getting people hooked on an opt-in and a little 15% discount while showcasing your UGC has been a proven way to ultimately grow your email list.

Hashtag Campaign 

A simple yet effective way to start. Involving a hashtag in your email campaign connects you to your customers quickly by allowing them to create UGC in a flash. This allows you to take it from the email to various social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and TikTok. 

Take Toms for Example. A good message and a short hashtag. It's that simple.

This message alone generated over two hundred thousand hashtags, which is all usable UGC. The numbers simply don't lie. 

Combining Forces

Taking UGC images from your Instagram and Facebook is a great way to spice up your email with a visual aid. This type of promotion effectively serves as an advertisement for your products and social feeds simultaneously. Still, in this case, you get to use your customers as your ads.

A prime example is shown above by LittleSoho. Showcasing your current products for sale while using the power of UGC is a win-win. You could even add a coupon for free shipping or a voucher to really sweeten the pot. This is not only a great thing for your email campaign but also encourages future customers to make UGC and keep their email notifications on.

Cart Abandonment Campaigns  

One of, if not the most important thing when it comes to email marketing is cart abandonment campaigns. Almost deserving a category of its own, it has the highest conversion rate of any email marketing campaign. Cart abandonment campaigns, as the name suggests, focus on shoppers who've added items to their carts but left before completing the purchase. This is a common occurrence where only 3 out of 10 shoppers buy during their initial visit.

An amazing example is Adidas incorporating UGC into the cart abandonment email.

What makes these campaigns compelling is when they feature a user-generated content review for the same product the customer abandoned, making it even more persuasive.

Dedicated Landing Pages

You're probably thinking, what's the difference between my website and a landing page? Websites are more general and should allow the customer to easily browse throughout the website. Landing pages are designed with just one clear goal, better known as a call to action. Think of a landing page as a one-way road; there is no turning back. The landing page offers and shows various testimonials, UGC, and features specifically customized to the offer that brought them there in the first place. Landing pages give you a better chance at converting clicks to cash, bringing them directly to what they want rather than having to browse your website. Simple yet effective ways to get traffic to your landing pages are through email campaigns and paid search traffic.

Types of Landing Pages

There are plenty of different types of landing pages out there, depending on the business you're in. There are the two main landing pages you'll tend to see in your field of work and your personal life.

Squeeze Pages

Squeeze pages, also referred to as lead generation landing pages, tend to use a sign-up form as their call to action. This form is usually pretty straightforward and grabs the customer's name and email address. This is valuable for the companies as it builds them a list of potential customers. Different variations of landing pages include:

Webinar Landing Pages- This is a great landing page that collects registrations, usually by offering a free webinar about a topic your customers are interested in.

Ebook Landing Pages- If you're looking to offer valuable information that can be easily translated into a book or a how-to guide, this is the landing page for you. Customers are usually more than happy to give you their contact information.

Click-through Landing Pages

This landing page is used very often by successful e-commerce stores. There is usually a straightforward call to action in the form of a button that sends the customer through the process of a checkout to complete their transaction. Landing pages can be found in many forms, such as:

Sales Landing Pages- As the name refers to it, this landing page is all about getting the customer to make a purchase. This page should show the product in action, Build trust with social proof and UGC, and provide clear next steps for easy checkout.

Ecommerce Landing Pages- This entire page should be dedicated to showcasing the product's features, images of the product and its benefits, slowly bringing the customer closer to making their purchase.

Sign-up Landing Pages- With this landing page it helps encourage the user to sign up for a subscription service or newsletter. 

A company with a clear landing page that relies basically 100% on user-generated content is GoPro. They have a dedicated landing page for those who want to submit UGC and be a part of their challenges. It not only benefits GoPro but helps out user growth and engagement as well.


Shoppable Galleries 

Have you ever seen a photo of someone wearing a top you really liked but couldn't find out where to buy it? Even after slowly scrolling through the comments, you still have no luck…. It's an absolute pain. Shoppable galleries are starting to fight back against those lost hopes. Instagram has implemented a shopping section on their platform where you can view the product directly from the photo. Taking UGC and incorporating it into the shopping page with Instagram is a power move. Also, bringing that same effect to your website has become a lot more common recently.

A brand that has really done a great job with this is Under Armor.  

Even though you might not be able to get Dwyane the Rock Johnson to pose for your user-generated content, the idea of real people using your product on your social media pages and your e-commerce site is becoming the new normal for any brand's user-generated content strategy. 

Encouraging Reviews and Testimonials

Throwing it back all the way to 1995, believe it or not, Amazon was one of the first websites to ever have customer reviews, soon followed by other websites in the late 90's. Customer reviews play a vital role for e-commerce businesses, showcasing their credibility and customer satisfaction. These reviews serve as valuable assets, enabling brands to assess whether their products and services meet customer needs. With the help of UGC, businesses can analyze experiences, make necessary changes, and attract new customers along the way.

Two examples below are by Traditional Medicinals and Molekule. The style is different in their own right, but both are very effective.

It's also important to remember both positive and negative reviews contribute positively to organic brand growth. Consumers tend to trust fellow customers' opinions, finding them more credible than brand advertising itself. Integrating customer reviews into ad campaigns helps the likelihood of reaching new audiences. Testimonials on e-commerce websites are able to enhance the product's authenticity and image. Utilize them to create appealing banners and advertisement campaigns, encouraging customers to share their feedback on social media platforms.

  Always time for Q&A

Your FAQ on your website is a nice touch, but sometimes, it doesn't leave all curious consumers satisfied. Hosting regular Q&A's through Instagram, Facebook, TikTok, Snapchat, you name it, can really help build trust and boost your engagement through the roof. There are two ways to go about this, and both are effective. 

Spontaneous Q&A

The first, and probably most simple, is through your social media platforms. By posting a story and responding to questions is great and not overly complicated. This method is great for an upcoming or newly launched product. Answering your consumer's questions before the release date can put them at ease and help them be ready to make a purchase.

An additional step you can take is to save the questions you've answered and add a FAQ stick right on your Instagram page for easy access.

Unique but Effective

The second way is having customer's Q&A right on your website. It's a different approach, but a website that has really mastered this technique is Amazon. They have a dedicated area where customers can not only leave reviews but also browse questions asked by people who are looking to buy or have already purchased the product. A major benefit to this method is that your question will always be up on your website, whereas with Instagram story Q&A's, they can disappear within 24 hours.

Product Details Page 

Product details page, the final page before your product is in the cart. You want to do everything you can to get the product in the cart and out of the store. We already know UGC encourages purchases, so why not add it here? There are multiple outlets and services online to help you add UGC to your product details page, some being more expensive than others. It's a good move and definitely worth a little investment. All the way through cheaper sources such as Canva, where you can take the UGC image and add their Instagram handle to show it's from a real consumer. To full paid services such as  Bazaarvoice. Leveraging product reviews becomes even more impactful when customers share photos with their reviews. This visual aspect allows potential buyers to see the product on real customers, influencing their purchasing decisions significantly. Nearly every shopper, almost 100%, not only appreciates online reviews but actively looks for them before making a purchase.

A brand that has this nailed is Lulus; they show user-submitted photos and reviews on the product details page. This is really well executed and is something you should try to implement into your user-generated content strategy.

Simplify the customer journey by placing user-generated content and reviews on the same page as the product customers are interested in, facilitating their next steps seamlessly.

Paid Ad Campaigns 

This can be costly, but if you're willing to front the budget, it can definitely help you reach a larger audience. This is where you have to weigh the pros and cons completely based on where you're at and what your company needs. Video ads, both UGC-created and produced by a third party, are more effective but take significantly longer to produce and cost more than an image. This is where you also need to factor in what platform you post on. Social media platforms such as YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and now even Instagram all have more effective click rates with video-produced content. Still, one of the bigger advantages of image ads is that they are smaller in data size. This makes them more compatible with a number of different browsers, devices, and platforms.

If you can't afford the budget for big video production or pay an editor, it's time to get creative and think of ideas to get users and customers to make videos themselves. Yes, once again, we are circling back to UGC, but it really does offer a budget-friendly solution.

Video Content

A company that has thousands and thousands of UGC videos is Fenty Beauty. Solely providing content from their users, it makes sense why they have over 13 million followers. 

Furthermore, an ad campaign doesn't only mean you'd pay for videos. Images can be expensive and hard to get as well if you don't have the right resources. Having professionally produced content is great, but a healthy mix of UGC is a must. 

Image Content

The company Parachute is a bedding brand that created a need for users to post their bedding in a natural way, aka lifestyle posts. This saves you and your team a lot of time and money. It also offered a fresh look and wasn't just the same bed with different sheets every other post.

To simply put it, the numbers don't lie, and their click-through rate is soaring above most companies. 

Making Your Employees Work

The last line of defense, your own employees. Your employees are hard workers, and they're the only reason you can call yourself a boss. This is something that needs to happen organically and can only happen if they want some time in the limelight. It's beneficial for both groups, growing the companies and their own online image. You're probably thinking this isn't UGC, but you couldn't be more wrong. Having videos or images of your employees or co-workers using the product in a natural way or having fun will definitely build a sense of trust between you and the consumer. It also allows everyone to see who's behind the brand and build a connection on a personal level. 

Building The Brand

Starbucks has established this centralized account where employees are encouraged to log in, share their experiences, and stay updated on company events. Additionally, they have a dedicated Twitter and Instagram feed for employees to express their experiences. They provide clear guidelines to employees about permissible content and conduct continuous Leadership Lab training. This approach not only maintains their brand narrative but also fosters a strong sense of belonging among employees. 

Building a Personality 

Another version of this is video format with employees, mostly through YouTube or Facebook videos. I feel like cooking channels have really got this down pat. People love cooking videos, and it's something that always grabs the user's attention. New York Times Cooking has really nailed this with Claire Saffitz. Having employees who post their own content or already have a following is a great thing to promote. It builds a following and a trust that can't be formed in many other ways. Although NYT Cooking has a huge budget, and Claire is currently closing in on a million of her own followers, it doesn't mean that you have to have that. Everyone starts from the beginning, and it is exciting for fans and customers to watch them grow and be showcased from time to time. By starting with fun reels and quizzes or mini competitions between employees it definitely helps round out your user-generated content strategy.

As with any type of UGC, this strategy has dual benefits. The first is that it saves your marketing team from creating content. The second is it makes you look more authentic because consumers love hearing from actual people rather than brands without a face and a name.

The Finals Thoughts on UGC 

Although there are trends within the term UGC that will come and go over the years, the overall idea of UGC will never actually leave. People love authenticity; it's something all humans seem to crave. Consumers are actively already posting about your content on social media, so it's your turn to leverage that in your favor. By re-sharing images that already exist, it creates a sense of engagement and recognition. Follow up by launching a campaign that further incentivizes customers to create more content and share it with you, helping build that UGC portfolio. Use your UGC in websites, emails, print campaigns, blog posts, videos, you name it, get it out there. Give photo credit to the owner by tagging them. Once users see that, they get a sense of what type of content will get featured. They'll take the hints and start producing user-generated content that fits your strategy.