Streamlining UGC and influencer content for ecommerce brands

Make the most out of your content strategy by aligning influencer marketing and UGC

Vinsenta Sleitere

Influencer marketing has become an increasingly popular strategy among ecommerce brands. Data suggests that in 2023 marketers plan on spending over 40% of their marketing budget on influencer marketing. And it’s easy to see why: influencer-generated content typically receives an average of 8 times more engagement than branded-made content. In fact, the influencer marketing industry has grown from $5 billion in 2018 to nearly $14 billion in 2021.

And it is predicted that the influencer marketing market size will reach $22.2 billion in 2025.

Source: Statista

However, as influencer marketing continues to boom, authenticity remains the key to success, and this is where user-generated content (UGC) comes into play. By showcasing content created by customers who genuinely use and love the products, UGC can help brands achieve the level of authenticity that’s difficult to reach through paid influencers alone.

In this blog, you’ll learn why ecommerce brands choose influencer marketing, what are the advantages of combining UGC and influencer content, and find out how these two marketing strategies can bring out the best in each other.

Let’s dig right in!

What is influencer marketing?

Influencer marketing is a marketing strategy that focuses on using—surprise, surprise—influencers to promote a brand and its products. 

But what is an influencer?
Influencers typically have a large following on social media platforms like Instagram, YouTube, or TikTok, and they can use their influence to affect their followers’ purchasing decisions.

They consistently share content relevant to their audience, earning their followers’ trust and attention.

What type of content do influencers make?
Influencers create promotional content related to their niche and share it on social media, such as:

  • product reviews
  • sponsored posts
  • giveaways
  • tutorials, and other types of eye-catching digital content

Why do ecommerce brands collaborate with influencers?
One of the main reasons influencer marketing has become highly popular among ecommerce is the opportunity for brands to tap into the influencer’s large and engaged audience.

Who can be considered an influencer?
Influencers come from various backgrounds, including A-list celebrities, social media personalities, bloggers, and experts in specific fields. There is a wide range of people who are considered influencers. For example, Beyonce is an influencer; but your next-door neighbor with 25K followers on Instagram who promotes gym equipment is also an influencer.

Influencers are often categorized based on their follower count:

  • micro-influencers with 1,000—100,000 followers (like your gym neighbor)
  • macro-influencers with 100,000—1 million followers
  • mega-influencers with 1+ million followers (like Beyonce)

Note that follower count is not the only factor to consider when evaluating an influencer’s impact. The quality of their content and engagement with their audience is the most crucial indicator of their influence.

The biggest influencer marketing challenge in ecommerce

Unfortunately, many brands struggle to leverage influencer-generated content effectively. The typical flow goes like this: an influencer shares a single post on social media, the content runs its course, and that’s the end of it. Considerable time and money are invested in influencer partnerships and content creation. If brands would reuse influencer content, they could extract additional value from their already established content.

But what’s the fix?

The first step is recognizing that many brands have the legal rights to reuse this content. Pro tip: check your influencer agreements. Once you’re aware of this opportunity, you’re already one step ahead of the competition.

Step two is seamlessly incorporating influencer content into your campaigns across various marketing channels. And this is where Cevoid steps in—it's our mission to make it easy for ecommerce brands to gather and showcase influencer content.

It’s time to say goodbye to missed content opportunities. Make every move count, and squeeze every value drop from your influencer partnerships!

As you delve deeper into influencer-generated content, you might wonder: is user-generated content similar to influencer marketing? Are they two sides of the same coin? In the next section, we’ll unravel this mystery and explore the differences between these two content types.

Is user-generated content the same as influencer marketing?

In short: not really. 

Sometimes influencer content is also considered part of UGC. However, these are two different content marketing strategies. Let’s explore how they differ.

Key differences between UGC and influencer content 

One of the main differences between UGC and influencer-generated content is the people behind it. While UGC is created by customers who use and trust the products—and typically don’t get paid for promoting them—influencer-generated content is created by influencers who are paid to promote the products. 

As a result, UGC is often seen as more authentic and credible than influencer content. However, while it might be true for influencers who don’t have as much experience, seasoned and reliable influencers that care about their authenticity and follower base won’t risk promoting products they don’t stand by.

Because what happens when influencers promote products they have not tried for themselves? The promotion feels inauthentic. A successful influencer marketing strategy focuses on authentic, reliable content from influencers who are trusted within their community and have earned their respect as experts in their niche.

Creative control
Another difference between UGC and influencer-generated content is the level of control brands have over the content. 

When working with influencers, brands generally have more control over the content that is being created. They can specify what the influencer should show in their photos and videos, or even provide specific guidelines. 

When it comes to UGC, brands typically have less control over what’s created. They can encourage customers to create content, but they cannot control the message or the way it is presented.

In terms of cost, UGC is generally less expensive than influencer-generated content. In most cases, customers share content with their favorite brands without expecting to be compensated. Plus, customers tend to feel flattered to see their photos and videos used in their favorite brand’s marketing campaigns.

Meanwhile, influencer-generated content can be quite pricey, especially when working with influencers who have a large follower base.

Benefits of influencer-generated content

One of the main advantages of influencer marketing is that when you work with influencers, you can be sure they’ll create captivating content. And since they have a more extensive follower base than a standard customer, they are guaranteed to reach a larger audience.

Another benefit ecommerce brands can get from influencer marketing is increased engagement. This is because shoppers are more likely to like, comment, and share content from someone they admire. Plus, influencer content also allows brands to showcase products in a more organic and natural way, as opposed to traditional ads that can come across as forced or inauthentic.

Benefits of user-generated content

User-generated content is a valuable asset for any ecommerce brand, particularly regarding authenticity and credibility. Since UGC is created by customers who use and trust the products, it’s more authentic and relatable to other potential customers than any branded content or paid promotion.

Another benefit of UGC is the potential for increased brand awareness and reach. When customers create and share content related to your brand, they’re essentially acting as promoters for your business. This can help increase your brand’s visibility and attract new customers who otherwise may have been unaware of your products. 

Additionally, UGC is a cost-effective marketing strategy. Rather than investing in expensive ad campaigns or photoshoots, brands can leverage content created by their own customers for free.

Read more about the benefits of UGC for ecommerce brands.

Since UGC is more cost-efficient and wins the authenticity game, does this mean you should prioritize customer-made UGC over influencers? Absolutely not. Despite multiple differences, UGC and influencer marketing are not mutually exclusive. They complement each other, and combining influencer marketing efforts with UGC will give ecommerce brands an absolute content powerhouse.

Streamlining UGC and influencer content

UGC and influencer marketing are not mutually exclusive. This is why combining UGC with influencer content creates a dynamic, engaging, and authentic marketing strategy that you should definitely try.

UGC can boost influencer-generated content by creating a sense of community and user engagement around your brand or a specific product. In return, influencer content can help UGC: when influencers share UGC, it gets exposed to a wider audience and increases credibility. 

Plus, influencers can guide and inspire their followers, encouraging them to create and share UGC related to your brand.

Get more out of your influencer marketing collaborations

The process of influencer marketing typically includes brands paying influencers a flat fee for an agreed-upon deliverable. Coupon codes are one of the most popular ways to measure influencer content performance, but unfortunately, they're not entirely reliable. Measuring the true impact of an influencer’s content piece is an ongoing challenge, but it’s one UGC can help with. 

Brands could incentivize influencers to create campaigns to get high-performing UGC for a specific product. For example, the influencer can put out a call to action for their followers to shoot a selfie with a particular product and upload it through a dedicated link. This would generate fresh UGC and make successful influencer marketing campaign metrics more traceable, as the UGC doubles as proof of purchase.

Another way to improve your influencer content is by partnering with influencers for long-term collaborations instead of one-off campaigns. This approach allows for more creative freedom and authenticity, leading to more reliable content and higher engagement rates. 

Plus, if customers notice an influencer having repeated collaboration with a brand instead of a one-off, they’ll be more likely to trust and try out the promoted product.

Encourage your customers also to do the influencing

Your customers, regardless of their follower count, are influencing their audience daily. They have friends, family, and social media followers who care about their whereabouts and hold their recommendations in high esteem.

The customers don’t necessarily have to be considered “real” influencers to promote your product. While they may have a smaller following, your customer’s product suggestions usually hold more power among their peers since they come from someone they know.

Encouraging your customers to create UGC for your brand is a fantastic way to boost your word-of-mouth marketing and get the customer more hyped about your products. When customers feel their contributions are valued, they’re more likely to purchase from your brand again and keep engaging with you in the future.

Read more on how to encourage your customers to create more UGC for your brand.

Combine UGC and influencer content across your storefront

When it comes to captivating your website visitors and providing a truly inspiring experience, the combination of user-generated content and influencer content can work wonders. By strategically integrating these two types of content throughout your storefront, you can create a dynamic, engaging, and inspiring environment that resonates with your customers. 

Here are a few effective ways to bring UGC and influencer content together and leverage their power:

1. Showcase UGC and influencer content mix on product pages
Greet your shoppers with a captivating gallery with real people enjoying your products! Incorporating visually appealing galleries highlighting how other customers and well-known influencers use and endorse your products creates strong social proof and inspires website visitors. Plus, it helps customers understand how your products look in real life.

2. Create a Community Wall
Dedicate a page on your website for your beautiful community members. On this page, curate and display UGC and influencer content to allow your website visitors to explore diverse content created by your creative community members. You create a sense of inclusivity and belonging by showcasing this mix of authentic and influential content. And, if you add an upload button to your gallery, you can inspire other customers to join the conversation and become part of your brand community.

3. Benefit from UGC and influencer content on any other page
Consider adding galleries with both UGC and influencer content on other relevant pages throughout your website. For instance, a gallery like this could be highly beneficial on "Trending" or "Inspiration" pages, where visitors seek inspiration and validation for their purchase decisions. A combination of influencer content and UGC offers a dynamic and visually appealing experience that motivates customers to engage with your brand and further explore your product offering.

By strategically combining UGC and influencer content across your storefront, you create a smooth synergy that highlights the authenticity of your community and inspires customers.

Just remember—the key is to curate and showcase this content in a cohesive and visually appealing manner that aligns with your brand's identity and resonates with your customer base.

Head of Product

Then, experiment, analyze the results, and refine your approach to find the perfect balance that keeps your customers engaged and eager to be part of your brand story.

Choose the best tools for your influencer and UGC needs

While UGC and influencer-generated content are different types of content, they can beautifully work together to create a more effective and authentic content marketing strategy. By leveraging both UGC and influencer-generated content, ecommerce brands can reach more potential customers and build stronger relationships with existing ones.

Combine influencer platforms with Cevoid
This is a trend we've noticed among Cevoid customers. Ecommerce brands use influencer platforms and then capture influencer content through Cevoid to make the most out of it alongside UGC.

With Cevoid, you can effortlessly collect and showcase influencer content and UGC, manage each creator individually, and make informed decisions based on their performance and preferences.

Our hands-on team at Cevoid would love to help boost your visual content efforts and take your brand beyond. So if you’re ready to elevate your business and take a load off your busy-bee team, give Cevoid a go with a free trial.

Or, if you’d like to talk in more detail, schedule a call with us.
We’re always happy to help! 💜

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