The growth of TikTok and Instagram's Reels feature has made consumers eager to share videos about themselves, their lifestyles, and even the products they buy. Thus, the growth of user-generated videos!
With UGC videos, online brands can amplify customers’ voices and experiences with their products to successfully increase brand trust and conversions.
As an eCommerce brand, you're missing out if you aren’t taking advantage of user-generated videos for your marketing strategy!
This extensive guide helps you understand what UGC videos are and where to find them. You can pick up tips on how to organically get consumers to share user-generated videos and best practices to engage and convert better through UGC.
Let’s get started!
What is a UGC video?
User-generated video content is any video content created by consumers about a brand rather than by the brand or a commissioned creator. Unlike videos made by brands or for paid campaigns, user-generated content videos are created with everyday equipment like a smartphone. When sharing videos about the brand, customers also use hashtags relevant to the brand.
Dig deeper into what user-generated content is through this quick explainer.
Types of user-generated content
UGC videos are just one form of user-generated content that customers share online. There are five types of user-generated content that you can leverage:
Images are commonly shared by consumers on social media platforms. Customers may share a carousel of pictures, of the product being used, or even before and after pictures.
We already know of user-generated videos! Thanks to the popularity of Reels and TikTok, this is the most common form of UGC that is shared and consumed.
3. Product reviews
Product reviews are usually shared by customers on the brand's product pages. These are one of the most effective forms of user-generated content, driving better conversion for brands selling online.
Testimonials are written quotes directly from loyal customers, used to build trust with potential customers. Many brands receive testimonials via email or on various social media sites, as customers share how much the product has impacted them.
5. Blog posts
Blogs are another form of user-generated content, where customers may share listicles of products, review them, and even share in-depth analyses and comparisons of these products.
Examples of user-generated videos
Brands from every industry have been leveraging user-generated content on social media as well as their website to engage better and convert their customers. Here are 3 brands that do it well:
1. Pillow Cube - Increasing social proof with videos from real customers
Pillow Cube is made for side sleepers, the first of its kind. Due to their products' high price tag, the brand needs to do a little more to convince potential customers to buy. They've imported TikTok videos made by real customers and placed them at different touchpoints of their website. This gives visitors more information about their products' benefits and features, helping them make an informed decision.
2. Sama Tea - Sharing customers’ daily routine
Sama Tea is a tea brand that uses adaptogens in its products to provide balance in your body, mind, and heart. The brand encourages customers to share their daily tea rituals, resharing these UGC videos onto their social channels.
3. Busy Baby Mat - Showing how the product works on the homepage
Busy Baby Mat has created silicone suction placemats that help to keep babies' favorite toys, teethers, and utensils in place and ensure they stay sanitary. Since the product can't be fully explained through pictures, the brand has added video content created by customers onto its homepage. These videos better explain how the product works and why it's worth buying.
Find great examples of user-generated content (along with why they are effective) in this blog.
Benefits of using UGC video for eCommerce
User-generated content videos are essential to any brand's marketing strategy, with advantages outweighing strategies like influencer marketing. Here’s why every eCommerce brand must leverage UGC videos:
Unlike other forms of marketing like paid ads, influencer marketing, or even affiliate, user-generated content requires little to no investment.
Since customers are eagerly creating videos about the brand and its products, all brands must do is reshare these videos. This is what makes UGC videos the most cost-effective marketing tactic for brands online.
Since these videos are created and shared by customers of the products, potential buyers are more likely to trust them than videos created and shared by the business.
With user-generated videos, businesses can put the voices and opinions of past customers in the spotlight, providing an authentic perspective and building better trust among new customers.
3. Helps build a community
When customers create and share UGC videos online, businesses have the opportunity to turn them into their brand advocates, letting real customers prove the value of their brand and products. Seeing real customers on the brand's social platform would make potential customers also want to buy and share their experiences with the product.
As more people share their experiences with the brand, their community grows larger, with more customer interactions and conversations between the brand and its audience.
User-generated content has the power to help brands build a community organically.
4. Understand customers better
User-generated content doesn't just give you new content to repurpose for your marketing. It also gives a ton of information on your customers and their preferences.
You can understand how customers like their products, how they use them, what features or aspects they aren't fond of, etc. With these insights, you can identify how to improve your products, what new pain points you can create products for, and even tailor your marketing campaigns and customer experience.
5. Increased engagement
Since user-generated videos aren't promotional, customers are more likely to watch them. By featuring UGC videos on your social media channels, your existing followers would better engage with your video content.
With better engagement, your content can reach new audiences easily.
6. Better conversions
When potential buyers see videos featuring real people, they are more likely to consider your product and click through to browse the product page. By showcasing real customers and their experience of your products, you can provide potential customers with a better understanding of your products, build better trust, and give them the confidence to buy from you.
In fact, having any form of UGC on product pages increases conversion by 8.5%
UGC videos are a sure way to increase conversions for your eCommerce store.
What types of user-generated videos do consumers share?
User-generated videos fall into different categories based on the type of video being shared.
Here are 8 types of user-generated video content that consumers would usually create and share:
1. Before and after
Many people share a transformation or improvement like a home renovation project, skin changes, etc. These videos show a comparison of the "before" and "after" states to highlight the progress made over time. These UGC videos are a great way to show viewers the positive effects of your product.
For instance, when talking about skincare products, many consumers share a before and after video of using an anti-acne serum, showing how well the product worked on their skin.
2. Product review
Another common type of user-generated video is a product review. In these videos, consumers share their thoughts and opinions about a particular product, sharing the features it has, benefits they say, as well as drawbacks of it. The consumer may share advice on the best way to use the product within these videos.
Product reviews are a great way for viewers to compare different products and make an informed purchasing decision.
3. Product usage tips
Many consumers on social media tend to share videos on how to use a product more efficiently. These user-generated videos are beneficial for customers new to the product.
For instance, consumers passionate about tech create videos sharing hidden features of a new smartphone. Or, a consumer who shares fashion content could show 7 different ways to style one piece of clothing.
With videos on product usage tips, brands have external sources verifying the credibility and effectiveness of their product.
Vlogs are one of the first types of user-generated videos that were shared on the internet. In these “video logs,” people share their daily life or experience with their audience.
Through these vlogs, people may talk about or even use products. Since they see the person sharing the video as a reputed personality, viewers would be interested in the product and even go so far as to purchase it themselves.
As a brand, you can pick out snippets from vlogs where your product is featured and reshare them on your social media or embed it within your website to increase credibility.
Tutorials teach audiences how to do a specific task or skill, from makeup to cooking to DIY. Tutorials usually involve step-by-step instructions that guide the viewer on how to complete a task, including tips to help the viewer get the best results.
In a tutorial, people are likely to show the products they use to help viewers pick the right one. For instance, people sharing beauty content may show how to draw the perfect winged liner and even share eyeliners they use that have the right texture for the same.
In an unboxing video, people film themselves opening and unpacking a new product, showing viewers how the product is packaged and sharing their first impressions of the product. An unboxing video is a great way for people to share why they bought the product— problems they hope it would solve and benefits that the product promises.
These UGC videos are most popular for tech products, beauty, fashion items, and subscription box services.
Pro-tip: Brands can reshare these unboxing videos to hype up new products.
Many people online share educational videos in an attempt to teach their audience about a particular topic or subject. These user-generated videos can be short explainer videos or even longer lesson-type videos.
A consumer sharing beauty content may share videos on specific skincare ingredients, how they work, etc., while recommending products.
8. Product Hauls
Product hauls are a type of UGC video content where people showcase their recent purchases, with opinions and thoughts on why they bought the item. These videos are seen to be entertaining for viewers, making it easier for them to get ideas on new products to buy.
Platforms for collecting UGC Video Content
Brands typically collect user-generated video content through popular social media channels. These are the five common ones that brands rely on:
With more than 1 billion active monthly users, Instagram is one of the most popular social media sites for sharing UGC videos. This is mainly thanks to “Reels,” which many people use to share short-form video content.
Brands can encourage audiences to share videos using branded hashtags or even use other engagement formats like Stories. This lets you build a community that will then eagerly share video content without being asked to!
TikTok has seen massive popularity in the last few years. The social video platform is primarily popular among younger audiences.
What’s unique about picking up user-generated content videos from TikTok is that the social channel has highly niche spaces where customers share videos about specific interests. Due to this, there are more videos being made by customers about brands and products that they love.
As the pioneer in video content, YouTube is best known for its ability to function as a search engine. Here are 2 ways to use YouTube for user-generated video content:
When people on YouTube share UGC about your brand, you can export and repurpose that video on various social media platforms and even your website.
As a brand, you can also upload UGC videos to create a library of customer testimonials and videos about your products. This can help your brand rank better on search engines.
When collecting user-generated videos from YouTube, you don’t need to go scour the largest video library online! Instead, you can automatically find and use YouTube videos that mention your brand and your products using Videowise.
As a YouTube Compliant Partner, Videowise makes it easy for your eCommerce brand to find videos made and add them to your website. Learn more about the Find UGC.
While Facebook's popularity has declined, the platform is still relevant, especially among slightly older audiences. While consumers don't actively share UGC on Facebook, it's always best to keep an eye out.
How to organically get more UGC videos about your brand
People online aren’t just going to create videos featuring your brand and products. Getting consumers to create UGC videos about you is purely about ensuring you’ve built a significant brand presence as well as products worth recommending.
Besides creating and selling value-adding products, here are 5 ways you can encourage consumers to share user-generated video content for your brand:
1. Prioritize customer experience and build loyalty
When customers share products they love, they are also thinking about the experience they had buying the product. Providing a great customer experience— from social media to browsing the website to checkout to receiving the product— is critical in turning shoppers into loyal customers.
When there’s higher brand affinity, these customers would eagerly talk about the product on social media and recommend it to their network.
2. Engage with your audience
Even the small ways of engaging with your audience add up. You can slowly build a relationship with your audience by responding to comments, creating surveys, and replying to their Instagram Stories about your products. This two-way dialogue will make your audience eager to discuss your brand and products actively.
3. Use your social media platforms to collect responses
One way to get user-generated content from your audience is by asking for their opinions. Using your social media platform, you can create polls, ask questions related to the industry you sell in, and even ask for feedback.
Doing this lets you pull in new content, building a relationship with your audience. They would then be more eager to share their experiences with your products, even without being asked to.
For instance, a health and wellness brand could ask its followers to share their morning routine. Or, when talking about a stress-relief supplement they sell, the brand could ask their followers to share how they manage their stress.
4. Run a campaign encouraging people to share their experience with your brand
Another way to pull more user-generated content is by running a campaign, asking people to share how they use your brand. The campaign could be a contest where consumers with the best response could win prizes. If you aren't open to running a contest, you can just ask your followers to share their experience with your brand for a chance to unlock a discount or be featured on your social media.
Putting your consumers at the center of your marketing is one of the best ways to get more user-generated videos organically.
5. Make it about the mission
When talking about your products on social media or even your website, make your messaging more about the mission and less about the products you sell. With your mission, you can make your audience feel like they are a part of something value-adding, rather than it being about your brand selling more products.
For instance, a skincare brand might have a mission to create scientifically formulated and safe skincare products. They could use this mission to champion transparency and talk more about how their products align with this mission than just about the outcome of the products.
Best practices when sharing UGC video
When sharing user-generated videos on your social media channels or even on your website, you need to keep these best practices in mind:
5. Embed these user-generated videos within your eCommerce store
1. Ask for permission before resharing
Before resharing user-generated content video, always ask the customer for permission. You can send them a message or comment on the video asking if you can reshare it. Getting permission helps you avoid copyright infringement.
2. Credit the customer when resharing
When sharing the UGC video on social media, credit the customer who shared the video by tagging them within the post or mentioning credits in the caption. By giving credit to them, you show that you value the customer’s efforts and give them the deserved highlight.
Pro-tip: Use the caption to appreciate the person like pointing out how uniquely they've used the product.
3. Add a caption that highlights more about your product
Besides crediting the customer, you can use the caption to share more about the product used in the video and its features and benefits. This additional context can help viewers understand your product better and even convince them to learn more about it.
Don’t forget also to name the product within the caption so shoppers can easily find it in your store.
4. Reply to comments made on the post
Once you've shared the video, actively engage with the comments, replying to your audience. By engaging with your viewers, you build a better rapport with your audience and make your followers eager to continue engaging with your posts. This way, you can organically build a community.
5. Embed these user-generated videos within your eCommerce store
Besides sharing them as social media posts, we recommend hosting user-generated content videos on your website. New visitors browsing your store will be able to see stories of real customers and their experience with your product.
This will help them gain more trust in your brand, get an unbiased opinion about your products, and give them all the information they need to decide to buy.
“Another great way to leverage UGC is to put all the lights on it! By that, I mean that D2C brands should integrate user-generated videos on their product pages to provide social proof and help customers make purchase decisions. This can also help to increase time spent on the site and reduce bounce rates”
Mihaela Tudorache, Product Manager at Videowise
Add UGC videos onto your eCommerce store with Videowise. The platform lets you import UGC videos from various social media sites and add them to any page on your site.
Book a demo and see how Videowise works!
6. Leverage UGC videos within your email campaigns
UGC videos can also help you improve conversions for your email campaigns. Instead of driving the CTAs on your emails to your website, you can take subscribers to a landing page where you’ve embedded user-generated videos. This keeps your subscribers better engaged, and the videos let you educate them about the product. Once convinced to buy, subscribers can check out right through the video.
Platforms like Videowise let you create dedicated pages with an embedded video player so that you can deliver an immersive shopping experience through your UGC videos. Once they watch the video, shoppers can instantly add the item to the cart and checkout without interruptions.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What are some common mistakes to avoid when using UGC video for eCommerce?
When sharing user-generated videos, there are a few common mistakes that businesses make:
Not getting consent from the customer
Before sharing the UGC video, get permission from the customer who shared it. By not asking for permission to reshare, the content could be at risk of being pulled down, and worse, you may end up violating copyright laws.
Not acknowledging the customer
When resharing user-generated videos, you must make sure that you thank the customer for sharing and even providing your input, like commenting on their unique use of your product.
Not integrating UGC videos on your website
User-generated videos shouldn't just exist on your social media channels. Your website is the most important touchpoint for your brand, helping you turn visitors into customers. Adding UGC videos to different parts of your website is the most engaging way to educate shoppers about your products and drive purchases through these videos
2. How can eCommerce merchants repurpose UGC video content for different marketing channels?
Online businesses can leverage UGC video content at different touchpoints of their brand in different ways:
Social media: Reshare the user-generated video on various social media platforms like Instagram or TikTok to help new audiences discover your brand.
Website: You can add UGC videos to different parts of your website to increase trust, give more information about your products, and increase conversions. Adding user-generated videos to the homepage and product pages especially is sure to drive more sales.
Email marketing: Instead of taking customers to your website, you can create a landing page featuring UGC videos so that subscribers engage with your brand better and learn more about your products in an immersive manner.
Advertising: Instead of creating a polished video for your paid ads, amplify user-generated video content. This way, your ad will seem more authentic, and audiences will be more likely to engage and click through to browse your products.
Increase engagement and conversions with UGC videos
With user-generated video content, brands can increase trust, engage audiences, and convert shoppers better with an authentic and cost-effective marketing strategy.
Adding UGC videos to your eCommerce store is especially crucial since it's one of the main touchpoints where customers evaluate the product to buy. Adding user-generated video to your online store is easy, with Videowise.
Using the eCommerce shoppable video platform, you can import UGC videos from social media channels like TikTok and Instagram, add these videos to different parts of your store's pages, and make the videos shoppable so that visitors can add them to your cart instantly.
Get started with Videowise now!