UGC Marketing: Why your brand needs it in 2024

An example of UGC marketing feed embedded on a website
The most innovative brands embed UGC marketing feeds on websites, apps, and digital displays.

User-generated content, or UGC, has become a critical part of the marketing mix for e-commerce, travel & hospitality, higher education, sports, non-profits, and many other industries.


Firstly, because of the rise of Web 2.0 and social media, the internet became a two-way platform for companies and consumers to interact in real-time and for anyone to create content. As a result, a high percentage of everything online is consumer-generated content. Furthermore, the recent development of IoT, blockchain, metaverse, and future web trends indicate that the volume of data and user-generated content we create throughout our lives continues to grow.

Secondly, many traditional advertising methods are becoming ineffective due to tightening privacy laws. At the same time, some technology companies are proactively pushing for a future where consumers have more control over their data. Instead of relying on banner ads, brands must build engagement and reach in channels and apps where customers spend time.

Thirdly, the number of channels and platforms has exploded, and it is becoming difficult for marketers to create authentic content for each of them cost-effectively. Sometimes, user-generated content grows organically in channels where the brand has no footing.

With these trends in mind, let’s examine why your brand needs the UGC marketing plan.

5 reasons why brands can’t ignore UGC marketing

1. Advertising is getting harder to measure and less effective in finding the right audience

In Europe, the GDPR laws require website owners to ask permission before firing analytics and social media advertising tags on the page. As a result, a significant portion of the website analytics and re-marketing data is lost as many visitors opt out. California has already followed suit, and it’s only a matter of time before other states draw similar legislation.

If you have an iPhone and are using one of the latest versions, you must have noticed that the phone now allows you to control the data apps for better use in re-marketing and advertising. Your new iPhone helps you stop ads following you on the web.

At the same time, Google has announced that Chrome, the most popular browser, will phase out support for third-party cookies—some say it is the death of the third-party cookie. In general, the move will most likely make social media advertising pixels almost obsolete in the future.

For marketers, these changes mean it will become more challenging to measure the effectiveness and find the right audiences through traditional advertising methods. Instead, marketers must find innovative ideas and solutions to increase brand awareness and reach.

That’s where UGC marketing and a user-generated content campaign can help. By engaging your customers in mentioning your brand or branded hashtag on social media channels, you increase reach and drive traffic to your profile and websites. Instead of relying on paid advertising, your customers and fans will share authentic content on their social networks.

UGC marketing feed embedded on a website
Opus Art Supplies highlights beautiful artwork shared by their customers on Instagram and other social media channels and via an upload form on the website.

2. People expect to see customer testimonials and reviews supporting brand content

In the past, we might have asked our family and friends for recommendations when searching for a solution to a problem. Other than that, we had to rely on the information created by the manufacturer, trade, and specialist magazines, and other (mostly) advertising-funded publications online and in print.

Today, there’s a lot of authentic, trusted, and impartial information available through testimonials and online reviews.

Research shows that 9 out of 10 consumers read reviews before buying products. This means people expect to see customer testimonials and reviews on the brand website and find them in aggregated platforms like Google and Trustpilot. Before purchasing the product, we hope to see reviews that echo the promises and features of the manufacturer and the webshop owner. To complement that, the visual UGC and social proof embedded on your homepage and product pages make it easier for website visitors to imagine how the product and service look in real life.

One of my favourite UGC marketing examples is the Sohome website with social customer reviews and an Instagram feed embedded on the website. Sohome asks happy customers to share their stories using the branded hashtag.


3. Omnichannel marketing requires a LOT of shareable and authentic content

I’m sure you’ve heard of omnichannel marketing in your marketing meetings and conferences. It is a term that describes how marketing teams are looking to meet their consumers where they are, with the right message at the right time.

In today’s world, though, omnichannel marketing requires a lot of content. In addition to the physical world, your brand meets the customer on websites, live customer chats, and other digital apps, as well as through email newsletters, social media, Google searches, discussion forums, and other content distribution channels. Often, your brand has little control over the social media algorithms determining its distribution and popularity or how others talk about it.

A well-thought-through UGC marketing strategy can help you establish a trusted presence on channels where you are not in control and when there’s fierce competition for attention. You can, for example, get high-quality UGC for ads via the creator marketplace or launch a hashtag campaign, helping you build a positive brand image and increase reach with your employees, influencers, and customers sharing their positive experiences. UGC campaigns also help you scale content creation and make the content authentic.

A UGC platform helps you gather, moderate, and categorize UGC from multiple channels in one place. Your marketing team can then monitor the discussion and use some of the best content to support your omnichannel strategy.

Flockler UGC Platform’s integrated channel
With Flockler’s UGC marketing platform, marketers can combine, categorize, and moderate feeds from multiple social media channels.

4. Social Shopping continues to grow in importance

Social Commerce, the convergence of e-commerce and social media, will become mainstream in the next few years. With platforms like Shopify, webshop owners can seamlessly integrate products with their social media posts. As a person looking to buy, you don‘t need to leave the Instagram app to purchase products and services.

On the other hand, brands already embed social media feeds on their websites, and it’s easy to see how these two trends, social commerce and UGC marketing, intersect on these websites.

Brands won’t be able to tag products to UGC posts and customer reviews on social media apps, but tools like Flockler have this feature built-in. Turning Instagram and UGC feeds shoppable takes a few minutes, and you can embed Social Commerce on any website and digital app.

A product tagged into the Instagram post
With Flockler Commerce, marketers, and website managers make social media feeds shoppable for any website, app, and digital service.

5. TikTok will be the most popular social media channel in no time – UGC marketing is the best way for brands to join 

Despite working my whole professional career building social media apps, I must admit that I’ve been astonished to see TikTok exceed one billion users in 2021. In three years from launch, they overtook most established social media channels.

For brands, the rise of TikTok and video content, in general, presents a new challenge. While video communication is a natural part of Generation Z and younger audiences' lives, most marketers have grown in the text-heavy era. As a result, marketing teams might not fully understand TikTok's type of language, emojis, and memes—something that teenagers know intuitively.

That’s most likely one reason brands are hesitant to join TikTok. Influencer and UGC marketing campaigns are the best way for brands to test the waters.

An example of a TikTok feed for websites

Once you get started, you can embed TikTok feeds on websites just like any other UGC marketing campaign. With Flockler, you can gather TikTok videos from your organization and customers and display them on WordPress, Wix, Shopify, and any other website.

With Flockler, you can gather and display social media feeds from your favourite channels. See the full list of supported content types and sources

Flockler helps marketers like you to create social media feeds and display user-generated content on any digital service. Keep your audience engaged and drive sales.

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