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The Rise of User-Generated Content: Leveraging Customer Stories for Brand Success

User-generated content (UGC) is all the rage right now. Read our blog to learn how you can create and use it to drive sales for your e-commerce brand.

May 24, 2024
The Rise of User-Generated Content: Leveraging Customer Stories for Brand Success
User-generated content driving brand success through customer stories

Have you ever come across a video of a person showing off their latest purchase while scrolling Instagram at night? They talk about the product, show how they’ve been using it, and suddenly you want to buy it. It could be anything- a mattress, make-up, clothes, or even a kitchen gadget. This is the power of user-generated content (UGC). 

Why should UGC be part of your brand success strategies? 

User-generated content (UGC) is any content—text, images, video, or reviews—created by consumers and not the brand. It’s arguably the most powerful type of content when it comes to recommendations and word-of-mouth marketing. Think back to the unboxing and haul videos that were popular on YouTube a few years back. These videos single-handedly drove top-of-the-funnel awareness and even conversion for many e-commerce brands. 

User-generated content is the strongest form of social proof. It provides endorsements from your brand directly from real-life users. Everyone knows that, 

People trust people.

Need statistical proof? Look at these-

  • 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust user-generated content more than content created by brands
  • User-generated content is 9.8X more impactful than influencer content when making a purchasing decision
  • UGC videos on YouTube get 10X more views than videos made by brands.

Clearly, consumers and marketers both love user-generated content. It’s easy to understand why-

User-generated content builds credibility

With almost every brand marketing online, it’s hard to know whom to trust. Audience attention and trust are the most critical commodities. Authenticity is what drives this trust. Because user-generated content is created by users and not brands themselves, it comes off as authentic. This is why 86% of consumers trust brands that share UGC.

UGC improves audience engagement 

Since user-generated content is more authentic, audiences like engaging with it. UGC often rakes in more views, comments, and shares than branded content. Think about all the monthly favourites, new hauls, and fashion lookbook videos we see online. They often have thousands of likes and comments.

User-generated content has a high ROI

User-generated content is the most cost-effective way of scaling your content production. Producing a brand film or hiring influencers requires a massive investment. In comparison, asking your customers to produce content for you costs next to nothing.

How do you get started with user-generated content (UGC)? 

Before we get into the steps for starting UGC creation for your e-commerce brands, let’s talk about the two types of UGC you can create.

  1. Organic user-generated content (organic UGC) and 
  2. Paid user-generated content (paid UGC)

Organic UGC is content that your actual customers are sharing on their own. It’s the most authentic type of user-generated content. It includes customer reviews, testimonials, photos, videos, and even social media stories and posts.

Paid UGC, on the other hand, is created by UGC creators. Unlike influencers who promote your product on their personal pages, UGC creators use your products to create content you can promote on your brand page.

Paid UGC is a great marketing strategy for new brands that don’t have vocal customers yet. It will ensure that your brand seems authentic and credible to prospective customers.

Now let’s talk about how you can create user-generated content in 4 simple steps.

  1. Identify and encourage happy customers to share their experiences

Find repeat customers who have left good reviews and ask them to share their experience. This can be a testimonial, an audio clip, or a video. Develop a practice of actively prompting customers to share their expertise. Make creating content hassle-free for them and guide them every step of the way. 

  1. Create a branded hashtag

Make it easier for consumers to find your brand online by creating a branded hashtag. 46% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations from family and friends. A branded hashtag will help prospective customers find all the content your users have generated easily on social media. 

Some good examples of this are GoPro Red Bull, and OnePlus with Shotononeplus

  1. Incentivise user-generated content creation 

The opportunity to be featured on a brand’s official page is a great incentive for some customers. But other customers might need a little more push. The best way to get them to create user-generated content for your brand is -incentives. These can be anything from discount coupons to giveaways. Develop an incentive program to reward customers who are happy to be your brand ambassadors. 

Using UGC in your marketing strategy

We know that user-generated content is key to driving awareness, credibility, and conversion for your brand on social media. Instead of just reposting it on social media, take it one step further by using it in your entire marketing strategy. Make the most out of your user-generated content by using it on,

  • Website
  • Ads
  • Emails

User-generated content on the website 

Show what your product looks like on “real” people by incorporating UGC videos on your website homepage and product pages. You can do this easily with a tool like Whatmore. Whatmore helps you add Instagram stories and videos to your website quickly. What’s more, you can make these videos interactive by adding the ‘Add to Cart’ and ‘Buy Now’ buttons to them. This will help your customers directly purchase the products in the videos and boost website sales.

User-generated content as ads

UGC ads are more relatable and impactful than branded ads. They’re more believable than traditional ads because the praise comes from a new user and not the brand itself. Most e-commerce brands are now using user-generated content as ads since they generate higher CTR than over-produced, inauthentic, branded ads. 

UGC for email marketing

Sending out user-generated content in newsletters is a great way to engage and nurture customers who have almost made a purchase. It’s also effective for re-targeting one-time customers. Constantly sharing how other customers are using and enjoying your products will generate curiosity and trust. 

Ultimately, people trust people. They trust them more than brands and definitely more than celebrities. When you think about using user-generated content in your marketing strategy, think of it as a modern version of word-of-mouth marketing. Every marketer and brand owner knows that word-of-mouth is the most effective yet hardest form of marketing. But the good news is that user-generated content has made it easier. Use real, authentic, user-generated content to build stronger connections with your target audience and scale sales. 

Want to boost conversions for your e-commerce brands with engaging and interactive videos? Talk to us today!


  • Adding the Whatmore component doesn't have any impact on the loading time of the website. As the videos are loaded on demand when the user clicks on the video. The videos are served the CDNs (Content Delivery Networks) which doesn't impact the website loading time.

  • Yes, definitely. Video shopping helps in increasing the user engagement and retention. We recommend you to start integrating shoppable videos as early as possible.

  • We have few inbuilt color schemes to match your shopify theme. However, if needed we also provide customizations. Please send us a mail at and we will reach out to you.

  • Shoppable videos have conversion rate upto 10-15%.

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