UGC For Direct-To-Consumer Brands: A Brand-Customer Relationship Guide
D2C brands are the ones that sell their products in their brand name and not through any other retailer website or store.
If we compare D2C with traditional retailing, then the supply chain is much shorter. The product gets manufactured by the brand, advertised through the marketing channels where consumers make direct purchases.
A traditional retailer, on the other hand, has to go through a larger supply chain. Starting from the manufacturer to the wholesaler and the distributor to the retailer, and finally, the consumer.
Many brands are gradually shifting towards the D2C phenomenon as they create better one-on-one customer relationships and focus more on customer experiences. That has primarily become possible because of the boon of social media and the growth in the number of social media users. 61% of D2C brands reach a majority of their customers through social media.
Now, if we are talking about customer relationships and social media, then talking about the next best thing user-generated content becomes a necessity. So, the question arises, how can UGC play a leading role in D2C marketing? Let’s find out!
How Can UGC Play A Leading Role In D2C Marketing?
User-generated content is created by common consumers sharing their genuine experiences with a brand. Now, as we see more D2C brands emerging to create direct customer relationships, it becomes vital to expand the incorporation of user-generated content into marketing channels.
That’s because UGC evokes the emotions of consumers. They find it relatable, inspiring, intriguing, and a lot more influential than branded content. 87% of brands are using UGC to share authentic content with their audience as they believe it helps them boost credibility.
User-generated content comes in different forms. It can be a customer review, a micro-blog, a social media post, a user-experience video. Anything generated by a consumer describing their experience with a brand becomes user-generated content.
The best part is that the direct-to-consumer brands can easily repurpose it across their consumer channels once they acquire the UGC rights to build stronger customer bonds and leverage many more benefits.
Continue reading to know some of them.
Benefits Of User-Generated Content For D2C Brands
User-generated content can be incorporated into any and every marketing funnel of direct-to-consumer brands bringing in endless benefits. Let’s find out some of the most promising ones.
Make Your Content Diversified
Incorporating user-generated content into your marketing channels helps you to create stand-out campaigns. User-generated content comes from different people who have their way of expressing themselves.
While your competitors are busy creating photoshopped and air-brushed branded campaigns, you offer the common consumers something unique. With UGC, you can expect different content from each one of your customers, bringing diversity to your campaigns.
Inspire Prospects & Boost Conversions
When you are a direct-to-consumer brand, boosting conversions is your ultimate goal. The marketing funnel eventually comes down to the number of sales generated.
When your prospects come across the user-generated content on your digital channels, it builds trust, and they get to see your products in action. They find it more relatable. Also, when they look at people like them using your products. They also get inspired to try out your products, helping you amplify your conversion rate.
Promote Brand Advocacy & Customer Loyalty
As a D2C brand owner, when you leverage user-generated content into your marketing strategies, you showcase the positive testimonials and brand advocacy by your customers. It exhibits their trust and reliability for your brand.
Not just that, it evokes your customers’ emotions and builds a sense of community among them. They become your loyal customers who are always ready to create UGC for you and recommend your brand to friends and relatives.
Create Social Proof Among Customers
Social proof is a ripple effect that affects users’ social activities when they see multiple people following a social pattern. When a D2C brand leverages user-generated content through its consumer touchpoints, customers see their peers as the face of the brand.
Grow your influence and instill social proof in your audience to create UGC for the brand, giving the D2C brand more UGC to use in marketing campaigns.
From Social Listening To The Ideal Product
Direct-to-customer brand marketing is all about focusing on the customers and meeting their needs. If a D2C brand wants to be its customers’ ideal choice, social listening becomes the key. Brands often use Social listening to understand their social reputation or what consumers have to say about their products and services.
Now, leveraging UGC into your D2C marketing strategies gives your customers the power to express more about your brand. It offers you more UGC that you can utilize in social listening for your brand and making improvements to meet your customers’ needs.
UGC Best Practices For D2C Brands
Here are some thought-provoking UGC best practices for D2C brands that you cannot miss out upon!
Always Ask For Reviews!
More customer reviews would mean a better reach for your brand. There are many ways to encourage your customers to share their experiences with your products or services. You can send out emails with the product review link to your customers once they have made purchases with your brand.
You can even offer review upload options on your product pages for customers to upload their reviews and visual UGC. It would expand the number of customer reviews for your brand. Not only that, but better user engagement, brand growth, and maximum conversions.
Plan Product Sampling Campaigns
We all love free stuff! It has become a common strategy among D2C brands to plan product sampling campaigns to send out free product samples to potential customers. Not only does this help D2C brands strengthen customer relationships and build trust, but it also encourages recipients of product samples to create a UGC for the brand.
Make sure you send out product samples only to those consumers interested in your brand or who have tried your products before. You can ask them to share their experience on social media or send them a review link to fill in their experience. The product samples would surely encourage them to give reviews for you.
Running Hashtag Campaigns
Running hashtag campaigns or contests is the most common strategy for brands to generate UGC from their audience. Many D2C brands are already on board with them to expand their brand presence on social media and acquire more UGC. You can do the same. Make sure to choose a unique or branded hashtag.
Have guidelines around the kind of content you want the participants to generate and announce prizes for the winners. You can fetch all the content created by the participants using a social media aggregator tool. Once collected, you can create and embed the hashtag campaign widget on your website. It is a great strategy to take your hashtag campaign beyond social media to expand its reach.
Your hashtag campaign is now accessible to your digital audience. You can offer Taggbox Widget’s new feature- ‘on-site UGC uploads’ to your website audience. They can directly participate in the hashtag campaign by uploading the content without connecting to any social media platform, making your hashtag contest a digital campaign rather than limiting it to a social media campaign.
Aggregate UGC From Social Platforms
As more than half of the D2C brands interact with their customers and prospects on social media, it becomes the ideal place for UGC aggregation. As a D2C brand, you must identify where the maximum number of your target audience and customers socialize and make it your focal social media platform.
Choose a social media aggregator to fetch all the posts like pictures or videos created by your customers. This UGC will be your customers sharing their real experience with your brand, empowering you to show your products in action in a realistic scenario, bringing credibility to your campaign.
Types Of User-Generated Content For D2C Brands
51% of consumers see it vital to receive a personalized experience through the brand’s various digital channels. User-generated content holds the power to add that touch of personalization into D2C brands’ marketing campaigns. Let’s see how.
Honest Words By Your Customer
Customer reviews and testimonials are the most common form of UGC for direct-to-consumer brands. These brands are already working directly for their consumer audience.
It is likely for them to receive a good amount of customer reviews. If you are a D2C brand, you can market this user-generated content on channels like websites, email campaigns, product pages, etc., to gain the trust of your prospects, encourage more customer reviews and boost sales.
The Visual Form Of User-Generated Content
It is common for consumers to share their experiences with brands on social media as videos, pictures, tweets, etc. It calls for a great opportunity to fetch visual UGC from platforms like Instagram, Tiktok, Snapchat, and more, created by your audience.
Over 85% of consumers look for visual content by existing consumers before making purchase decisions. With the Visual UGC, you get to showcase your products out of the studio lights in your customers’ lifestyle space, inspiring customers and leveraging better conversions.
Customer Interactions Around D2C Brands
As a direct-to-customer brand, your customers likely interact with you or around you on an everyday basis. It can be a Q&A forum where your customers interact with each other creating a brand community, or sending you DMs on social media, sharing their experience or queries with your brand.
Not only that, their comments on your social media posts. All that is the form of UGC that you can repurpose to highlight your brand’s presence, attract potential customers, and expand your brand community.
D2C Brands Incorporating UGC Marketing Strategies
Pedigree Australia’s Dog Selfie Campaign
Pedigree Australia initiated its dog selfie campaign, encouraging dog lovers to click selfies. They came up with a Dog Selfie App to encourage customers to upload selfies with their dogs on social media with #HOLLYWOODselfie. The aim was to create awareness around dogs’ dental health.
Pedigree Australia, with the help of Taggbox, added a UGC widget on their website that displayed # HOLLYWODselfie’s live hashtag feed showcasing dog selfies. The result? It boosted the users’ enthusiasm who clicked selfies with their furry friends and posted them in a good number. Not only that, the social media aggregator tool by Taggbox helped in raising SEO reach, better conversions, and improved ROI for Pedigree Australia.
Dune London Introduces UGC To Product Pages & Email Marketing
Dune London is a luxury direct-to-consumer shoe manufacturer brand. They decided to embed user-generated and influencer-created content on their product pages. The idea was to offer a source of inspiration to their audience to make better purchase decisions. The results? Within two weeks, Dune London saw a boost of 82% in sales as the shoppers started interacting with UGC on the brand’s product pages.
Looking at the results, Dune London took advantage of the UGC in their email campaigns in the form of a “Your Style Gallery”. They saw a rise in the click-through rates by 55% post the incorporation. All in all, the D2C brand saw a boost in conversion rate by 28% among consumers engaging with UGC as they shop. Speaking of their average order values, they have grown by 17% in the past few months.
Leveraging user-generated content into marketing campaigns for direct-to-consumer brands is the most obvious marketing strategy. If you have not done that already, then frankly, my dear, you are missing out on a lot.
It’s because D2C brands are all about customers and becoming their ideal choice. Nothing can beat the user-generated content if brands want to turn that goal into a reality.
With UGC, D2C brands get to be a part of customers’ conversations, create social proof, enhance buying experiences and boost conversions. Need we tell you more?