“There is something to be said about raw and organic content and it tends to resonate with exactly who you’re targeting because you’re using your target audience to communicate what they love about it.”
In episode 78 of the Customers Who Click podcast, I had an invigorating chat about UGC (User Generated Content) with very talented Saunder Schroeder about how UGC works, how to create it, mistakes to avoid when creating UGC, and some tools and examples which can be useful in UGC creation.
The great thing about UGC is that it’s actually pretty easy to obtain. It can be used in advertising, on social media, on your website, and in your emails – you name it – UGC fits there.
A lot of brands implement UGC quite well while others make huge blunders with it that take away the raw appeal of UGC.
Saunder Schroeder is the CMO of Disruptive Advertising, a paid media agency. He originally started his career in digital marketing with his own company where he used UGC to sell watches manufactured in China. After moving on from the founding role, Saunder has gained an immense experience of 12 years in D2C marketing across various eCommerce companies and marketing agencies.
If you have any questions about UGC, feel free to email Saunder or reach out to him on LinkedIn, Twitter, or Instagram (just remember to start by building a genuine relationship and not push your products in the first message).
02:46 – 05:15 – The Current State of UGC and Long-form Video – The evolution of Snapchat, TikTok, and Stories on all platforms has shrunk users attention spans and has raised the stakes on the video hook. The long-form video has now been pushed to mid-funnel content down from top-funnel strategies. Creators without marketing-specific training have become platform experts and have driven this change.
05:16 – 14:48 – What is UGC, How to Generate It, and Where to Use It? – UGC stands for User-Generated Content. You can get the most loyal users or influencers to record video reviews and use them to market your products/services. To counter the poor quality of videos and to make them relatable, give them specific instructions on how to make a high-quality video and speak confidently on camera. Unscripted UGC videos let you tap into the customer’s voice without going through a lengthy VoC (voice of customer) data mining process. You can use them on YouTube video ads, other social platform ads, emails, or even your website to help reduce acquisition costs.
14:49 – 16:58 – Customizable Design and Augmented Reality for the Future – Website designs for fashion brands or mobile apps let users visually try out your product and see the final look on their bodies through augmented reality. These futuristic, but plausible, additions will boost customer curiosity and user experience in the future.
16:59 – 20:00 – Creating an Ad Out of A UGC Video – There’s no fixed rule as to how many UGC video reviews can be a part of a single ad or whether it will include production-quality clips. It depends on the company’s budget, the stage of the funnel they are targeting, and how their initial sets of ads perform.
20:01 – 23:37 – Where Can Brands Go Wrong with UGC? – Trying to make production-quality content look like UGC is the biggest mistake a brand can make. Such content loses the authentic appeal of the brand, even if the person reviewing the product is a real customer. Smaller brands with limited budgets can also use too much UGC – because it’s cheaper – and lose their opportunity to establish brand appeal.
23:38 – 27:07 – How Can Brands Get UGC Right? – Understand who your best customers are and from them, find those who can be your brand advocates. Use tools like Reviews.io to scout such users. Sweeten the deal with a gift so they are willing to put some concentrated effort into it.
27:08 – 32:44 – Trends in How Businesses Use UGC – Turning customers into models is a great sustainable way to get highly relatable visual imagery. Using tools like Hero to grow your eCommerce sales and foot traffic with virtual shopping is also greatly beneficial. Other tools exist which connect new customers of a brand to their brand advocate users (who are paid for their time).
32:55 – 35:53 – Working with UGC for Your Brand and Examples of Brands Using UGC Well – Having reviews or UGC on your website always works for business because it provides social proof. The exact type of UGC that works the best for your brand should bubble to the top after you test different formats across different platforms. Nani Swimwear and the Netflix campaign for the show “13 Reasons Why” are good examples of UGC.
Who Would Saunder Like to Take For Lunch in the D2C Marketing World?
Saunder loves GymShark’s UGC and so would love to chat with their team. He would also love to talk to the team from Felix Gray Blue Light Filtering Glasses. He would love to talk to and understand premium brands to see how UGC fits in their strategy. Some percentage of their premium customers would always be ready to show off with high-quality phone cameras.
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