4 Ways to Use User-Generated Content to Drive More Sales

User-generated content (UGC) is easily the most valuable form of marketing content you can get your hands on. As much as it pains me to say it, even the most skilled copywriter in the world couldn’t hold a handle to the wildfire effect of the images, social posts, and reviews shared by your actual customers.

Think this is a hyperbole for the sake of this post? It isn’t, and we’ve got data to back it up:

It’s clear from these statistics that UGC is extraordinarily and irreplaceably valuable to businesses of all types, so we know that we need to milk every last drop of marketing gold from the UGC we get on our accounts. To do that, repurposing is the best strategy. In this post, you’ll learn 4 different ways to repurpose your user-generated content to get more sales in no time.

1. Share it On Your Site

If you want to truly maximize your user-generated content and leverage it to get more sales, you absolutely need to be featuring it on your site. There are a ton of great tools out there that can set up social and UGC displays directly on your site– including on product pages– so that you can use its natural selling power to earn more conversions. These include widgets and add-ons that you can add to WordPress sites, Shopify stores, and more. A personal favorite is Pixlee.

Above the UGC displays, put a CTA encouraging users to submit their own photos and include your hashtag they can use to share their content on Instagram.

how to use user-generated content to get more sales

The fact of the matter is that potential customers trust other customers more than they trust you. They want to see what those shoes will actually look like with a full outfit and without editing; they want to know that other diners before them are scarfing down that new dessert you’ve perfected. You’ll sell significantly more if you’ve got UGC displays on your site, and plenty of evidence is available to prove it.

2. Create New Social Media Posts

One of the fastest ways you can benefit from user-generated content and drive more sales is to share it on your social media accounts. Social media accounts are a common first touchpoint for new users, and having plenty of UGC on your profiles can help win them over.

Twitter allows you to retweet content, and Facebook makes it easy to share. When it comes to Instagram, ask for permission from the creator and then upload it as a new post and tag them (at least until the new, still-in-testing regram button is widely released). Always thank the creator for the great content, and include additional calls for additional UGC.

3. Attach Review Text Over Images

This has always struck me as one of the most creative ways to repurpose user-generated content, and it’s not a strategy I see brands using too often. All those reviews that customers submit are clearly fair game to use, and in addition to sharing them on multiple sites when appropriate, you can also repurpose them by attaching them to images.

You can use text overlay software or graphic design tools like Snappa to add review text onto the images of relevant products. If you want to use these images for Facebook or Instagram Ads and worry a bout the 20% rule, you can also place the review text in the description of the ad instead of directly onto the image, as pictured below.

4. Compile It Into a Video

Videos present a great way to compile a large amount of UGC into one single marketing asset that you can easily promote across multiple channels. Use video editing software like Shakr to add multiple user-generated images and/or reviews to a single video, add music and text, and you’re ready to go. These videos make exceptionally compelling Facebook and Instagram Ads; showcasing user-generated content to new cold audiences is a great way to pique their interest and show them that other customers before them loved your brand and product.

To make this as easy as possible for you, Shakr has easy-to-use, high-converting video templates. Just add images and text into each slide, pick some background music, and you’ll have a gorgeous video you can download instantly.

Final Thoughts

User-generated content truly is the most valuable and beneficial type of content you can get your hands on. Potential customers are much more likely to trust your brand and purchase from you if you have solid UGC and social proof built up on your site and social media accounts.

Remember to ask for permission to use UGC when appropriate, which pretty much follows common sense thinking. You should be good to go if you want to promote a review that a customer left, as long as you don’t list their last name.

Taking a picture someone posted of themselves and their two daughters at your restaurant and sharing it on your public account, on the other hand- definitely not ok to do without asking first. Getting consent is as simple as commenting on the picture asking them if you can share the image on your social profiles. If you’ve got a yes, it’s fair game, but before that, play it safe.

What do you think? Do you use any of our five ways to repurpose user-generated content to increase sales? How do you encourage UGC from your best customers? Leave us a comment and let us know what you think! 

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Ana Gotter is a business writer specializing in social media and content marketing, though she writes on a variety of other niches and subjects. She can be contacted at anagotter.com.

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