Sponsored by Skeepers
The modern consumer is not a puzzle; their wants and needs are easier to identify than ever. Put simply, consumers want brands to be genuine, relatable and authentic.
The daily choices shoppers make are often influenced by understanding what others — people to whom they relate — are encountering, expressing and feeling about a particular product or service. That being the case, fashion and beauty brands offering an unfiltered voice are capturing an increasing share of shopper attention, and advertisers who rely solely on beautifully edited photos and strategically crafted ads risk falling behind.
UGC builds consumer trust while easing the burden on brands’ teams
The modern consumer lives in an era of pervasive doubt, where trust is a hard-earned currency and easily lost. Navigating a digital sea of options and information, consumers can see through the digital noise, seeking authenticity and reliability in every purchasing decision.
This skepticism extends beyond traditional advertising, as individuals increasingly turn to the recommendations and reviews of their peers for guidance. User-generated content (UGC) emerges as the bedrock of this trust-seeking behavior, offering unfiltered insights, genuine experiences and authentic narratives.
For any website, especially for e-commerce fashion and beauty brands, having a constant flow of unique content is crucial for ranking well on search engine result pages (SERPs). An active display of UGC keeps sites lively with interaction and engagement, attracting more customers to product pages. UGC is also a more cost-efficient way to collect content. Search engines like Google and Bing prefer original content, giving it higher visibility on result pages. This, in turn, brings more UGC to a brand’s platform — whether it’s reviews, unboxing videos or anything in between.
For brands, this means their teams can allocate their time and efforts to tasks more important than planning, filming and editing brand assets.
Authenticity overrides traditional storytelling
Authenticity has become the North Star guiding consumer preferences when it comes to brand storytelling. Modern consumers are hungry for narratives that ring true to their own experiences.
With the evolution of influencer marketing, the unfiltered voices of actual users are presented by nano and micro-influencers. Despite their modest following, they boast very high engagement rates. These influencers are now key players in shaping brand perceptions and driving meaningful conversations.
“So many of today’s buyers grew up in the digital landscape, and they see through traditional advertising tactics,” said Courtney Siegel, vice president of marketing at Skeepers. “With limitless options, consumers usually look to someone they trust for recommendations, whether that’s their friends or micro-influencers they trust. UGC goes beyond the glossy sheen of ads, bringing together real-life moments that build trust, forge connections, and create a shared identity between a brand and its consumers. Customers are the most passionate product users with the potential to turn into a brand’s best storyteller.”
Brands are future-proofing marketing strategies by integrating UGC
UGC is not merely a passing trend but a fundamental shift in how brands engage with their audiences, and it stands as a testament to the evolving dynamics of modern marketing. Platforms like TikTok, Instagram and Facebook have adapted and upgraded to support creators and brands to create more UGC. They are making content shoppable, giving creators new and improved features and brands a platform to do business.
The power of UGC can be harnessed in multiple ways. For instance, brands encourage customers to share their experiences on platforms like Instagram, TikTok or Facebook. By leveraging these social media platforms, they are amplifying UGC’s reach with broader audiences.
Another tactic involves incentivizing users to share their content to participate in contests, challenges or giveaways. This further fosters engagement and generates a steady stream of user-generated material. Curated UGC can be featured on brand websites, transforming sites into dynamic spaces that reflect the authentic experiences of customers.
UGC not only adds credibility but also serves as social proof for potential customers. This is done by displaying reviews on all product pages of an e-commerce site, which enhances transparency. Savvy brands engage with UGC, including positive or negative reviews, to demonstrate customer appreciation and facilitate communication. Highlighting testimonials also creates a halo effect when in-store customers read online reviews as they shop.
Finally, brands are incorporating UGC into their advertising campaigns. These visuals and testimonials add a layer of authenticity to promotional efforts that resonate more deeply with audiences.
UGC is a strategic imperative, not a fleeting phenomenon
UGC is not just knocking on the door of contemporary marketing strategies — it has already asserted itself as the linchpin of success as authenticity, relatability and peer influence take priority for consumers.
Armed with a plethora of choices and a heightened skepticism towards traditional advertising, consumers turn to the unfiltered narratives and experiences shared by their peers. This shift towards user-driven content is a seismic transformation shaping the very fabric of brand-consumer interactions. The future has arrived, and it echoes with users’ voices — each testimonial, review and shared moment contributes to a marketing landscape where authenticity is paramount.
Sponsored by Skeepers