How To Build Brand Equity For Long-Term Success

Marketing, Tip and Tricks
18 August 2023

In the realm of eCommerce, engaging customers and building trust is crucial for success.

The saying that ‘content is king’ is tried and tested, and reigns supreme. And while traditional marketing strategies have their place, the rise of user-generated content (UGC) has transformed the way brands connect with their audience. Perhaps we can say that user generated content is queen, and she’s taking over.


In this blog post, we delve into the concept of user-generated content, its significance, and how it plays a pivotal role in the world of eCommerce. The power of user generated content cannot be ignored.


So then, what is user generated content? User-generated content refers to any content created by consumers or users of a brand’s products or services. Think about what comes up when you search hashtags on Instagram, or the recent campaigns we see in magazines or TV – it’s not as often that we see celebrities but instead ‘real people’ with ‘real stories’, even if those stories are premeditated or crafted. These types of user generated content can take various forms, including reviews, ratings, testimonials, photos, videos, social media posts, blog posts, and more. For the millennials out there reading this, Tik Tok is one of the most popular examples of UGC content, particularly with younger generations, but not excluding grandparents gaining serious traction (and their grandchildren making serious coin).


UGC is voluntarily (and sometimes paid) shared by customers (or influencers), offering authentic and unbiased perspectives and opinions on their experiences, making it a powerful tool for building credibility and fostering brand advocacy, and in a lot of cases, conversions.


Let’s get into the benefits of user generated content in detail:


Building Trust and Social Proof:

In the digital age, consumers are increasingly wary of traditional marketing tactics. We’ve previously discussed the simple idea that after a decade of seeing brands on social media, content fatigue is truly setting in. Nowadays, consumers seek validation from their peers and rely heavily on recommendations and reviews before making purchase decisions. It makes sense intuitively – we trust the people around us, that we can relate to, more than strangers. UGC serves as social proof, providing potential customers with real-life experiences and opinions. By showcasing UGC on eCommerce platforms, brands can enhance credibility, build trust, and influence the purchasing decisions of prospective buyers. It’s probably important to note the blurred lines between UGC and influencer content here, and how brands and marketing agencies exist to create this content, making it less authentic than it has been in previous years.


Enhanced Customer Engagement:

User-generated content encourages active participation from customers, creating a sense of community around a brand. Consumers (especially Gen Z) want to be a part of the brand’s journey and creation. They like to feel like they’ve been there from the start, growing with the brand as they personally grow too. By leveraging UGC, eCommerce businesses can foster deeper engagement and strengthen the bond between customers and the brand. Interactive features such as product reviews, discussion forums, and social media campaigns enable customers to actively contribute, share their experiences, and connect with like-minded individuals, leading to increased brand loyalty and customer satisfaction.

Authenticity and Relatability:

In a world inundated with polished advertising campaigns, UGC has been a breath of fresh air, standing out for its authenticity and true connection potential. Customers trust the opinions of their peers more than brand messages. UGC allows potential buyers to see how products or services are genuinely used and enjoyed by real people. The relatability of UGC humanises a brand, making it more approachable and relatable to the target audience.

Amplifying Reach and Brand Awareness:

User-generated content has the potential to reach a wider audience and amplify brand awareness. Case in point: Tik Tok’s organic algorithm, whereby brands can reach millions of viewers in hours, less achievable on platforms like Instagram or Tik Tok anymore. When customers share their experiences on social media platforms, they expose the brand to their network of friends and followers, extending its reach organically. By leveraging popular hashtags, contests, or user-generated campaigns, eCommerce businesses can encourage users to create and share content related to the brand, increasing visibility, search engine optimisations (SEO) and attracting new customers.

Driving Sales and Conversions:

UGC has proven to be a valuable tool for driving sales and conversions. Authentic product reviews and ratings influence purchase decisions, as potential customers feel more confident in buying products endorsed by their peers. UGC can also inspire further user-generated product demonstrations or unboxing videos that showcase a product’s features and benefits, serving as powerful promotional tools that drive further conversions.


What are some of the best user generated content examples we’ve seen? Well, a lot of them are examples of user generated content on Instagram or on Tik Tok. In fact, we get most excited about user generated content campaigns, whereby brands call out to their community, asking for one-off or ongoing responses to questions be it audio or video responses. In this case brands can save big within marketing budgets, avoiding the costs of professional photographers, models, designers or other contractors. There’s a chance to connect deeply with creators who care about your brand or product, more than just an agency/talent who is being paid to do so.

Examples of Successful User-Generated Content Strategies:

One example within the beauty space is that from Australian brand, frank body, who produce a range of caffeinated skincare products. Their original coffee scrub launched on Instagram in 2013 using the hashtag #thefrankeffect, whereby hundreds of thousands of consumers uploaded selfies of themselves covered in the highly visceral product (put simply, it looked like people were covered in dirt) – at the time, the skincare industry was extremely clinical and scientific (read: not fun), as brands were navigating the social space and apprehensive about where to take their marketing efforts. By inviting their audience into their marketing, frank body was one of the first few brands to harness the power of user generated content, opening up thousands of micro-communities and referrals where people rushed to create and share their own experience with the product, and gain their 15 minutes of ‘social fame’.


But it’s not just lifestyle brands, in Australia, we’ve watched Telstra take an innovative, youth-driven approach to their own Tik Tok channel, garnering 6M likes and over 160,000 followers. For a telecommunications company who is known for it’s less than satisfactory customer service, this foray into UGC was a risk that has paid off, with trend driven content not directly relating to product, specifically connecting with (especially younger) consumers.


It’s worth noting that with any UGC strategy, you’re bound to attract positive and negative feedback. Social media has also allowed people to anonymously share their preferences and opinions with little to no repercussions. So in this case, it’s important to keep in mind that you can’t please everybody, and that sometimes, making enemies also means you’re making fans. Better to be everything to someone, rather than something for everyone.
Examples are one thing, but now you’re probably wondering about your own brand, and how to get user generated content or how to encourage user generated content with your customers.
While strategy is important, it’s also important not to overthink it. Trusting intuition and being aware of your own personal preferences and responses to brands/or consumption of products, can help navigate the best practices for encouraging your customers to create and share UGC. Sometimes being a part of a brand’s story and social content (re-sharing) is enough, however incentive and reward examples such as competitions, loyalty points and discounts can increase interaction/entries.
So what about the future of user generated content in eCommerce? The potential impact of emerging technologies, such as virtual and augmented reality, including the polarising metaverse, has also impacted UGC in eCommerce, taking content to another level and allowing artists access to brand collaborations and different audience markets where they previously couldn’t before. Make sure you think outside the box and look to emerging technology trends as to where you can take your own UGC.
In summary, user-generated content has revolutionised the eCommerce industry, providing brands with a powerful means to connect, engage, and build trust with their target audience. Harnessing the power of user-generated content in eCommerce can be achieved by leveraging the authenticity and relatability of UGC, so that eCommerce businesses can enhance brand reputation, drive sales, and cultivate a loyal customer base. Embracing user-generated content, rather than resisting it, is as an integral part of any marketing strategy, essential for brands that seek to grow and thrive, in the ever-evolving eCommerce landscape.

In Conclusion:

In summary, user-generated content has revolutionised the eCommerce industry, providing brands with a powerful means to connect, engage, and build trust with their target audience. Harnessing the power of user-generated content in eCommerce can be achieved by leveraging the authenticity and relatability of UGC, so that eCommerce businesses can enhance brand reputation, drive sales, and cultivate a loyal customer base.

Need some support embracing an appropriate user-generated content approach? Reach out to JTB Studios. Our team is ready to help you implement this integral component into your next marketing strategy, which is essential for brands that seek to grow and thrive these days in the ever-evolving eCommerce landscape.

Contact us for more information or reach out [email protected] to arrange a chat with one of our amazing staff.



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