UGC - The New Era of Amazon Marketing
Selling on Amazon or having your business there as a main revenue channel isn’t new.
You know what is new? The pace at which Amazon is changing by the year.
Before Covid, Amazon sellers would list their products in all niches and earn an honest living from it.
The foundation of Amazon altered when Covid came around and it seemed like anyone could create a thriving Amazon business due to the insane demand on the platform.
Now that we are entering into the post-Covid area, pandemic spending is waning, and the looming recession is more than quiet whispers… what now? What does this mean for Amazon sellers and how can they get ahead of it all?
As the founder of the fastest growing Amazon agency in North America, it’s my job to observe and discover new trends and how we can capitalize them for our clients.
Most tactics I’m discovering are nothing to report about, but some are absolute gems. There’s one marketing strategy that stands above all that I will share with you today. Utilize this correctly and you will easily cut through the noise of your competitors.
I’m talking about UGC AKA (User Generated Content AKA), the go-to strategy that the massive DTC brands are leveraging.
What is UGC?
User Generated Content is a fairly new marketing concept. You’ve definitely seen it before but in case you’re unfamiliar with it, you are asking an average individual (example: Creator or customer) to make content about your product.
This can be anything from unboxing to product showcase to product review and testimonials. It’s not meant to be shot in high production. Raw, authentic, and using a cellphone makes it lot more realistic as though a friend is facetiming you about the product.
And you’ve definitely seen it before when browsing through social media. Instagram and TikTok are known for showing this sort of content.
So, what’s the idea behind it? Why does this marketing concept work?
Ezra Firestone said it best — it creates ownership benefits. Someone who owns the product explaining why they purchased it, how they use the product, and how the product has benefited their life and solved their problems.
It’s creating a perception that your customers are doing these testimonials and selling the product for you.
This creates relatability. This creates a faster connection to the potential customer.
If word-of-mouth is an ad format, this is it.
So now you have a better understanding of this ad creative type, how can you leverage it with Amazon?
We’ll start with Amazon video ads.
UGC vs Amazon Video Ads
Amazon video ads or Sponsored Videos is a recent addition to the Amazon ad platform that is gaining fast traction. Some use it, some don’t, but most will eventually.
This is where UGC creatives truly shine. Sure, the style of UGC creatives may seem raw with a low budget production compared to a high production cost product showcase video but that’s the beauty of UGC creatives — it’s perfect for Amazon.
UGC creatives are commonly used in MOFU / BOFU (Middle of funnel, bottom of funnel) in marketing funnels. High production product videos are designed more for TOFU (Top of funnel), to bring awareness to a new prospect and get them intrigued by your brand and product only to be re-targeted by a MOFU/BOFU ad.
And here’s the thing – everyone is in a buying mood when on Amazon. 80 percent of customers visiting Amazon already know what they are looking for. Think of the last time you shopped on Amazon, did you have a product or item list in mind? I know I do every time I visit Amazon.
The buying intent on Amazon is high. Amazon customers are always ready to buy. So, wouldn’t it make more sense to use the creative that’s designed to convert customers rather than to create awareness?
We’ll show you next on where else you can take advantage of UGC.
How Amazon Sellers Can Take Advantage of UGC
Even though UGC is still fairly new in the marketing world, e-commerce businesses are taking advantage of this on their own stores outside of Amazon.
For some reason, it’s slower to be adapted on Amazon. I believe Amazon has its own unique trends but there is also a significant lag in adaptation from outside trends.
This just means you can act quickly and cash in on this sooner.
Even Thrasio, one of the largest Amazon aggregators, is already running UGC video ads for all their acquired brands.
Aside from Amazon video ads that was mentioned earlier, there are two other places that you can take advantage of UGC: Listing Video and Videos Upload section.
We all know that the listing video is a crucial part to an optimized listing. Instead of going the traditional route, which is to have a high-quality, professional video of your product, consider putting up a UGC mashup / compilation instead (I’ll speak more on UGC Mashups later in this).
What you can do with your existing listings is to edit UGC content and mix it up with professional product videos, those tend to do well as you get the best of both worlds.
Something a lot of sellers neglect. The section around the Q&A section but right before the product reviews. This section allows you to easily show more videos about the product or brand or both.
Is this section even important? The short answer is, yes. We surveyed 250 Amazon shoppers over the course of 3 months and here’s what happened…
76 out of 250 said they do check out this section to learn a little more about the product. 58 out of the 76 said that this section influences their buying decision.
Why is that? It’s very similar to watching YouTube videos about the product. (Unboxing, first impressions, reviews etc.) all without leaving the Amazon platform.
Great place to add more UGC content to create stronger testimonials. And if you don’t have at least 5 videos, Amazon will eventually replace the blank space with competitors’ video (you will know because the title is called Videos for related products. You could be leaking sales from this!
And the best part? Anyone can upload a video about your product, it doesn’t have to be a customer! Amazon’s only criteria is that they need to have spent at least $50 on Amazon in the past 12 months.
We usually ask our UGC creators to upload the video to our Amazon listing as part of the deliverables (more on this later).
How To Create Effective UGC
We’ve spoken a great deal of many things regarding UGC. You learned what was UGC, why it’s so effective and how you can utilize it on Amazon.
Let’s tie it all in and wrap it up — how to create effective UGC and where do you find these creators to make it?
UGC is free flow, there doesn’t have to be a set formula for making the video. As long as an average user / creator makes the content and keeps it raw and authentic, that can be considered as UGC.
Here’s Our Personal UGC Formula for You To Get Started:
Scene 1: Opening with the creator showing the product. Camera front facing. Talk about what they are showing to the audience.
Scene 2: Unboxing the product. Optional: They can do voiceover on where they got it from or how they came across it while opening the package up (Example: found it on TikTok)
Scene 3: Show off the main problem and how the product is solving it. Voiceover + B-roll footage of product or creator directly explaining it is fine.
Scene 4: Show off another 2 to 3 supporting features of the product.
Scene 5: Quick testimonial on why the product is amazing.
*Note: Amazon video ads are strict and do not allow call to action (CTA) in the video ad.
Why I love this formula is because it allows the creator to:
- Show off the product
- Do an unboxing
- Immediately address the main problem your product is trying to solve
- Show off additional features to reinforce the product’s main selling points
- Testimonial for social proof
Once you get 5 to 6 of this type of UGC video format from different creators, you can make what is called a UGC Mashup.
This is where you can chop up clips of different UGC creator videos and add them all together to give more variety to it. Creator video 1 and video 3, that’s a separate video you can run as an ad. Creator video 2, 4, and 5 — another video ad you can test etc.
This is a cost-effective method to start pumping out a ton of Amazon video ads with only just a handful of creatives.
Some other UGC formats that’s working well now are:
- Use case
- Split screen (product showcase + UGC)
- 3 reasons why
- UGC split screen (having two UGC creators side by side)
- Voice over
- Origin story
Now I’ll show you the best place to find creators that can make this type of content for your brand.
Where To Find UGC Creators?
There are websites such as billo.app, insense, and trend.io to name a few that bridges between brands and creators.
Personally, I would stay away from these platforms. Many of these creators are not doing it professionally and communication gets slowed down when trying to ask for revisions due to the platform acting as the middlemen.
Currently, we use Twitter to find UGC creators. There’s a massive community there and it’s thriving. These are smaller, independent creators who are passionate and trying to turn content creation into their full-time job. I respect that.
And because they treat their work seriously, they are willing to produce top quality work in hopes of repeat business or referrals. All you need to do is just type ‘UGC’ in the search bar and they will start showing up (hint: Most have the word UGC besides their name!).
If you wish to find more, you can just go to the You might like section to the right to see similar creators.
It’s a great place to start because most UGC creators on Twitter will have their email contact and even a personal portfolio page which shows their past work and pricing.
Don’t want to find creators and just have a bunch DM you instead? Tweet out that your brand is looking for UGC creators, you’d be surprised how many will respond to you.
One thing you can do as the brand owner is ask for extra deliverables on top of them making the content for you. We ask for:
- Raw files
- 3 re-edits
- Post video to Amazon listing
- Post video to their TikTok profile
- Add your Amazon listing link to their TikTok bio for 5 calendar days
- Full rights to use it for advertising.
Most will agree, but keep in mind when working with creators, it’s all about negotiating with them to find what makes sense for them and for you. You’re trying to build a continuous thriving relationship with them!
Now that you know what UGC is, why it’s crucial to your marketing efforts, how to structure your videos and where to find and engage with creators, it’s time to get going and start capitalizing on this gold rush for your Amazon channel.
To your success!