Amazon stands as a prominent leader in the digital shopping landscape of today. With a staggering number of over 300 million active users, the platform not only facilitates shopping experiences but also fosters a culture of product reviews and user-generated content.
You could be an experienced Amazon seller using a whole host of the best Amazon seller tools, but if you are not utilizing UGC to your advantage you are leaving dollars on the table.
In this blog post, we answer the question - what is user-generated content? And, we'll also give you some user-generated content examples with the goal of increasing your sales on Amazon.
What is User-Generated Content?
I would classify user-generated content also known as UGC primarily as images or videos created by almost anyone — they could be artists, content creators, influencers, or regular Joe's.
The beauty of UGC is that it allows individuals to showcase their creativity, and share their experiences and ideas in the digital world. It is this very ability to create content that has transformed the way we interact with brands and products alike.
In fact, UGC has become an essential tool for brands to build their authority and connect with their customers on a personal level. The era of user-generated content is here, and it's a fantastic opportunity for everyone to get creative and share their voice with the world.
Why is UGC important for Amazon Sellers?
I'll list below a few reasons why you should be generating UGC in your Amazon business, and how you can use it to your advantage.
Encourage More Product Reviews
One thing I have learned from selling on Amazon over the years is The Flywheel Effect — small positive changes to your listing can have a pronounced effect on your conversion rate, which leads to more sales.
By trying to encourage more customer reviews with UGC, obviously, in a white hat way, you will likely get more reviews and more sales. Win-win.
A strategy I have used with good results is to offer a prize (and this can be small in monetary value) if the customer shares a picture of the product being used, or unboxed. Be sure to stay in line with Amazon's TOS and you will be fine.
I never mention anything about product reviews, but oftentimes, these customers will generate some content as well as leave a glowing review on Amazon itself.
Videos have proven to be a very powerful tool in digital marketing, catching people's attention and keeping them engaged. If you have tried out TikTok, or Instagram Reels you'll understand what I'm talking about.
On Amazon, your UGC campaign can be used to give buyers an in-depth look at products, helping them understand how the product works and its main features. These videos can show customer testimonials, which are a great way to instill customer trust and loyalty. Sellers can offer discounts or free samples in exchange for videos, which can boost your conversion rate significantly.
If you are able to get UGC sent to you off of Amazon, via your own website, for example, this content is easy to repurpose. For instance, one video could be shared on Instagram, TikTok, Facebook, and even back onto Amazon under Amazon Posts.
Utilize the Question & Answer Section
Amazon has a dedicated Q&A section below the product information, where potential buyers can ask questions and gain insights from other users who have already purchased the product. This section can be utilized to increase sales if you answer any questions potential customers have. The valuable information provided in these responses can not only help the buyer make a more informed decision. But can also show the seller’s expertise and exceptional customer service, which builds trust in the buyer.
You can now post short videos in this section too. I had an email that someone had asked a question on a listing of mine, so I just shot a quick 30-second video which is still live on the listing today.
Social media has revolutionized the way businesses market their products. Leveraging social media platforms and influencers to support your Amazon business allows you to be noticed by more and more customers. If you can get your product into the hands of an experienced marketer you are onto a winning strategy. If they have a strong following and share content with their audience, it can explode your sales.
Try reaching out to smaller micro-influencers with under 10k followers. These guys and gals are normally happy with one or two free products most of the time, one for them to keep, and one to give away to their followers. Try to do a promo in collaboration with them, so you can use the content too, and then repurpose on your social media channels further down the line.
Having a social media page where customers can share their experiences, reviews, and images of the products can dramatically boost the sales of your products. You can experiment with particular hashtags, and encourage customers to share their UGC by participating in a social media contest.
Great Examples of User-Generated Content
Here are a few examples to get your creative juices flowing and put your brand or product in front of more eyeballs.
GoPro came out for the gates firing. At a time when social media was just getting started, they used UGC to build a billion-dollar business. Key elements of GoPro's strategy include:
Incentivized challenges: GoPro engages its community through challenges with attractive rewards.
Strategic partnerships: Collaborations with athletes and tourist attractions promote the brand and reach potential customers.
Hiring aligned employees: Employees who share customer values and use GoPro products reinforce the brand's authenticity.
Ease of sharing: GoPro's apps simplify capturing, editing, and sharing user adventures.
Media company approach: GoPro's social media prioritizes user-generated content and stories, focusing on entertainment and engagement.
Consistent branding: GoPro's channels consistently communicate feelings of adventure, excitement, and enjoyment, fostering community belonging.
GoPro's success lies in its focus on selling a lifestyle not necessarily the product. Leveraging user-generated content and building a platform for adventure lovers.
Starbucks ‘White Cup’ Campaign
Starbucks launched a really creative user-generated content marketing campaign some years back with their White Cup Contest.
Starbucks launched the #WhiteCupContest in response to numerous customer submissions of decorated cups that were not being recognized by anyone.
Participants were tasked with creating an original design on a white Starbucks cup and posting it on Instagram or Twitter. The winning design was planned to be produced on a limited edition cup in the fall of 2014.
This contest gave customers full creative control and allowed them to express their artistic abilities. Submissions were aggregated on Starbucks' Pinterest page, showcasing another form of online branding and media.
The #WhiteCupContest was in line with Starbucks' brand image, known for fostering a creative atmosphere in its stores. This contest served as a means to enhance and further Starbucks' brand, where customers acted as the marketers.
The contest had specific guidelines for the art. Designs needed to leave a 1/2 inch horizontal space clear on the top and bottom, could only be printed in four colors (one of which had to be the logo color 3425 Pantone), were not allowed to manipulate the Siren logo, and could not include gradients, glitter, metallics, or translucent paints.
Coca-Cola ‘Share a Coke’ Campaign
Coca-Cola launched an ambitious digital media campaign called ‘Share a Coke’ back in 2012 in Australia and then in Britain in 2013. The campaign included marketing strategies like TV commercials, billboards, and custom-made bottles. The campaign became hugely successful mainly through digital platforms where each bottle mentioned the hashtag #shareacoke, encouraging users to share bottles with their names on social media.
The primary objective of the campaign was to increase their sales. The secondary objective was to engage with its customers more personally and create a platform where people wouldn't just consume the product, but also develop a love for the brand.
The campaign was rolled out through various channels like newspapers and TV commercials, but it picked up steam on social media channels, particularly Facebook. Consumers were encouraged to SMS their friend’s name, which would be displayed live on the iconic Coca-Cola sign in Sydney. The user would then receive an MMS which they could share on Facebook or send via email.
A huge amount of social media content was created by encouraging consumers to participate, especially those active on social media.
The campaign's name ‘Share a Coke’ was a powerful Call to Action, encouraging people to purchase Coca-Cola and share their memorable moments with their friends and family on social media.
As a result of the campaign, the ratio of young to adult consumption of Coca-Cola increased by 7%. Traffic to Facebook increased by 870%, and their Facebook page grew by 39% in terms of fans.
To Sum Up:
User-generated content is a powerful strategy that Amazon sellers can harness to increase sales and build trust among potential customers on the platform. Positive reviews, visuals, and videos and utilizing social media campaigns can all be used to gain a competitive edge in the market.
Even though huge brands are utilizing the concept of UGC in their marketing, no brand is too small to embark on the journey. You should be doing it too!