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8 places user-generated content thrives – beyond social media

Social media is no longer just for individuals to stay connected with friends across borders; brands use it to promote and launch their products, influencers use it to share content and build communities of loyal followers, and general users use it to shop, stay entertained, and learn about the world around them.

Social media is a massive piece of marketing today because of the diverse user-generated content (UGC) that’s shared across these platforms each day. Smartphones today give anyone the opportunity to be a creator, meaning brands have access to a wealth of authentic, community-driven UGC that can be used to add social proof to marketing campaigns.

Sharing UGC today

Since ​​84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations above all other sources of advertising, it’s no wonder that 87% of brands use UGC for authentic (and free) content. However, the growth of digital marketing in the last decade lends itself to UGC thriving outside of social media platforms as well.

Pixlee’s CRM platform [Pixlee TurnTo is now Emplifi] automatically pulls in customer content from a brand team’s channels of choice, and allows brands to publish this UGC far and wide while tracking success metrics. From email marketing to in-store displays, there’s no shortage of creative places your brand can use UGC.

8 innovative ways to reuse UGC

1. Community newsletters

UGC in emails is essential for brands looking to incorporate their communities better. Customer photos, videos, and reviews center your marketing around people rather than products — while putting those products in context and inspiring your email recipients to think about how they could incorporate your brand into their daily lives.

By focusing your newsletters on community, you’re likely to promote more UGC from your fans and find additional advocates for your brand. Create personalized newsletters for your fans filled with photos by people like them, and you’ll see how UGC can improve your email performance.

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Carnival Cruises inspires future vacationers to plan their next trip by sharing vacation stories through customer UGC in its email newsletters.

2. Live displays / Billboards

Digital billboards and displays can be more creative and more targeted when brands use authentic UGC to populate their content. This improves brand awareness by exposing a new audience to your brand community and social proof marketing efforts.

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Brookfield Properties featured Pixlee-powered UGC at its various in-person shopping and dining establishments, inspiring visitors to share their own photos.

Showing user-generated content on digital billboards also lets your team monitor, track, modify, manage, and display content at your leisure, in real-time, and at your discretion.

3. Inspiration galleries

Community-driven brands are loud and proud about showcasing their valued community members, and your brand’s website is the perfect place to do that while also inspiring site visitors to envision themselves owning your product.

Inspiration galleries give visitors an avenue for visual product discovery and a clear path to purchase, as they’re already on your website. Pixlee’s Shoppable Gallery Badges allow site visitors to shop directly from customer UGC for products featured in each piece of content.

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With Pixlee, brands can create live inspiration galleries on any site page; Navy Hair Care has 16 galleries live site-wide, and saw a 264% increase in repeat-visit rate after implementing this UGC.

4. Product pages

Contextualizing products is crucial to improving user experience and boosting purchase confidence for online shoppers. Customers are more hesitant to buy items based solely on a brand’s product photos, which are sometimes misleading. Seeing products in action from real customer photos removes any lingering doubts about an item’s quality or effectiveness.

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This is why showcasing UGC on your product pages is a great move. Think about the times you’ve scrolled through the reviews on a product just to see what it actually looks like in real life? Give your customers an easy way to find that contextualization.

5. Email unsubscribe page or 404 pages

Get creative with where you’re sharing UGC on-site beyond product pages! This could include putting a carousel of UGC on your 404 pages to draw site visitors back into your live site, or even showcasing your community on your email unsubscribe page.

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HYLETE’s email unsubscribe page features an endearing carousel of Pixlee-powered UGC, catching customers at an often overlooked stage of the email marketing journey.

6. Order confirmation "Thank You" page

Just because a shopper has already purchased from your brand doesn’t mean you’re all out of opportunities for UGC marketing. Share community content on the “Thank You” page directly after a customer makes a purchase.

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UGC shows consumers how real people interact with a product (even a highly-priced one), adding a sense of comfort to customers when they purchase that item. Extend this to the post-purchase experience and you leave your buyer feeling confident in their purchase and connected to your brand.

7. Order tracking page

The post-purchase experience doesn’t end with the order confirmation; when customers visit your site to track their purchases, you can use this as another opportunity to deepen your relationship by showcasing visual UGC from your community. Each touchpoint in the online shopping experience has an impact on how customers perceive your brand, so take advantage of every time they return to your site.

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Annie Selke’s order tracking page is loaded with CTAs and a gallery of customer content to inspire recent shoppers looking forward to receiving their products.

8. In-store displays

As we’ve shown, UGC can be a valuable tool to convert shoppers by letting them see how other consumers like them interact with your brand and product. One way to incorporate this element into your brand’s in-person shopping experience is by utilizing digital signage or in-store displays. Through this approach, you’re able to maintain the quality of your UGC (even videos) while making it accessible to those who aren’t shopping online.

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Puma’s use of Pixlee-powered UGC on interactive in-store screens lets shoppers browse UGC photos and videos while they're shopping in person, providing an added level of social proof.

Social media is essential to a well-rounded approach to community-driven brand marketing and serves as a platform for inspirational customer content your brand team might not have even thought of. However, this doesn’t mean UGC needs to stay there; its full potential for conversion, increased brand awareness, and community-building is unlocked when it’s used across your marketing channels.

Editor's Note: This article was originally published on pixlee.com. Any statistics or statements included in this article were current at the time of original publication.

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