The Internet is the true equalizer when it comes to business. With a few hundred in capital, anyone can start a business with a global reach now. Any person can make their voices heard through user-generated content or UGC.
Today, one of the scariest things for many businesses is getting negative reviews from their customers because they know it carries weight. Ninety-four percent of consumers will not buy a product with negative reviews. Only 3% will consider buying from companies with an average of 2 or lower star ratings.
But customer reviews are not the only power consumers wield in the e-commerce space to influence the behavior of others like them. Social media apps are also rich sources of other types of UGC. These include posts, unboxing videos, tutorials, testimonials, blog articles, discussion forums, and live game streaming. UGC can lead others to discover new products and get information about a particular brand, product, or service.
Many people feel the need to share their experiences online. This can be a double-edged sword for brands and businesses. The trick here is to use the right marketing strategy to put that drive to good use. It’s a good thing there are UGC apps for that.
As the term implies, user-generated content or UGC is content created by users, not brands, and published online. UGC may be text, images, videos, or audio.
Technically, UGC could be anything uploaded by anyone to their personal accounts on social networks, blog sites, or discussion boards. For example, if you take a picture of your dog scratching its ear, that is UGC. It might be cute, but it is unlikely to have any marketing value.
But in marketing terms, a UGC is original, unpaid content by an individual referring to a specific brand or lifestyle associated with a brand. Your scratching dog post satisfies this definition of UGC if you mention a flea powder brand.
The whole point of UGC marketing is the potential for engagement with a brand or company. If you recently bought a smartphone and posted an unboxing video about it, that qualifies as UGC. The questions and comments posted by other people about your video are also UGC.
This interaction is critical to the value of UGC. Influencers count on the active engagement of followers and subscribers with their content to create buzz around their channel. Similarly, the use of relevant UGC to represent a brand and draw attention is central to many digital marketing strategies.
The problem with using UGC is curation. You cannot control where and when organic and authentic content appears. You can search for brand mentions using hashtags, but not all content creators are so accommodating as to include them all the time.
Manual collecting of UGC is an excruciatingly slow and inefficient use of resources, but there is another way. UGC apps can do much of the work for you by automating the curation process.
Some apps can even help you create UGC by engaging users directly during live events or through customer community forums. Below are nine of the best UGC apps to make user-generated content work for you.
Many UGC apps focus on popular social media platforms to get the goods. Instagram hit 2 billion active monthly users globally in December 2021, so to say it is popular is a gross understatement.
Instagram claims that 70% of eCommerce shoppers turn to the platform for product discovery. Many people depend on word of mouth when making purchasing decisions. This makes Instagram a very attractive venue for online businesses to share testimonials and invite customers to read them--if they can find them.
Archive helps with that through their Archive App, the only Shopify store add-on that automatically curates all relevant Instagram UGC for you. Archive is free to install, and you can use it for up to 100 saved UGC.
Adding the Archive App to your Shopify store gives you the following benefits:
1. Detect UGC in real-time
2. Download and save detected videos and photos to your Archive App library
3. Label and categorize UGC to quickly find the assets you want
4. List the UGC in chronological order, with the most recent ones first
5. Use the curated UGC for marketing campaigns with the requisite permission of creators
After the first 100 saved UGC, you can get a paid plan starting from $9.99/month for up to 500 saved assets. You can cancel your subscription any time you want.
Arena.im is an interactive customer engagement platform that offers three ways to interact with customers in real-time: Live Chat, Live Blog, and Content Wall. The Live Chat and Live Blog tools provide excellent functionality for customer engagement. Still, for UGC curation, the hero is the Content Wall.
The Content Wall is a central repository that automatically collects relevant UGC from over 100 platforms. These include Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, YouTube, and Reddit.
When configured correctly and screened for objectionable UGC, the Content Wall can attract the attention of users and invite customers to the site. At the same time, you can use the curated UGC to augment or create marketing strategies.
Arena.im provides these three tools plus a bunch of other features with the Free-forever plan for up to 1000 page views a month, so it can't hurt to try. The installation and integrations are seamless and do not require any coding experience. Paid plans start from $99/month for up to 25,000 page views, which you can cancel anytime.
Bazaarvoice is one of those UGC apps that are primarily product review platforms. Integrating the Bazaarvoice Conversations API to your website allows you to retrieve and submit the following:
Bazaarvoice also identifies likely advocates for a brand. You can send them samples and invite customers to write reviews.
The platform also has a customer community of more than 6.5 million reviewers. It generates over 11 million reviews a month for its clients. Suppose you are launching a new product or want to elevate the hashtag visibility of your brand. In that case, Bazaarvoice provides you with the reviews you need.
Aside from review requests and generation, Bazaarvoice also offers functionality for monitoring social media platforms, tracking brand and product exposure, managing negative feedback, moderating reviews, and screening for objectionable UGC.
The site does not impose a setup fee and offers a free trial, but it does not provide pricing details. Some users state that Bazaarvoice is significantly more expensive than its competitors and its customer support needs improvement.
Notified is a SaaS event and PR management platform. In terms of UGC apps, the relevant service is its Notified PR product for tracking your social monitoring stream and social listening.
Notified PR also has a media contact database that can be useful for content platform marketing. Still, its ability to provide a real-time overview of online and offline brand mentions and media exposure is what makes it unique. Aside from social media, online news, blogs, podcasts, and forums, you can also curate UGC from print and broadcast sources from more than 150 countries.
Your Notified PR platform subscription includes Amplify boards where you can create a feed of UGC on Instagram and Twitter for a specific hashtag. You can publish them directly on your Newsroom to invite customers to stay longer on your site.
The site does not publish Notified PR platform pricing, and there are very few customer reviews available. It is unclear if the company offers a free trial.
One of the more tedious aspects of leveraging UGC from disparate sources is getting legal rights to collect and publish them to benefit your company. TINT focuses entirely on curating and managing UGC for its subscribers. Its UGC apps allow you to find, obtain permission, and integrate authentic UGC for business use across all online platforms. These include social media platforms, websites, emails, online ads, events, etc.
Primarily a social media aggregator and UGC curation platform for the education and hospitality industries, it focuses on creating social media walls for use at events. But it has many built-in features and add-ons you can use to improve your UGC campaigns, such as creating landing pages and contests. TINT integrates with Hootsuite, Salesforce, Mailchimp, Woocommerce, etc.
Pricing information is not publicly available. Some users state that the navigation and search functionality need to improve, and the platform has persistent glitches. Most users agree that customer support is excellent.
Did you know? Users are 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic than brands' content?
Crowdriff targets the travel and tourism industries, providing subscribers with a visual marketing platform for sourcing, organizing, and publishing UGC and proprietary visuals that engage the target audience. The platform uses artificial intelligence (AI) to combine effective UGC curation with content delivery to the visual user.
Among the key features of Crowdriff are the following:
Crowdriff does not publish its pricing on the site. Some users report some issues with filtering irrelevant posts. Crowdriff does not have a mobile app.
Yotpo is an eCommerce marketing platform with built-in UGC apps for customizing the generation, collection, and display of reviews, ratings, and social media UGC. It also gives you a quick way to ask permission from the creator to use the UGC and organize them into albums.
Yotpo makes it easy for eCommerce brands to include social proof on their site and social media pages, gaining the trust and confidence of customers and boosting sales. Aside from UGC curation, you can use Yotpo for the following:
Yotpo offers bundles for its UGC apps but does not provide pricing details. You can use the free version of the Review & Ratings feature or subscribe to a paid subscription starting from $15 a month. The Visual UGC feature also has a free version, and paid plans start at $9 a month. You can cancel paid subscriptions at any time.
Taggbox is a UGC aggregator for social media platforms, curating posts that relate to your brand for sharing with your audience on a content wall on your site. It collects posts from Pinterest, Facebook, Tumblr, Vimeo, YouTube, and Instagram. You can embed the posts on your site using a code or link. You can also filter the posts you collect according to relevance and quality and customize how you want to display them on your site based on your branding.
Taggbox provides different pricing for various UGC apps. The relevant plan is for the Widget, building and publishing UGC designed to accommodate webpages, email, and hashtag campaigns. The Widget bundle has a free version for up to two feeds, three platforms, and 2,000 views a month. Paid plans start from $29/month; cancellable anytime.
Online stores can benefit significantly by installing Photoslurp, a platform for automated UGC collection from social media networks including Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Its advanced AI Visual Search engine detects and filters high-quality UGC based on tags, hashtags, brand mentions, and stories and links it to your products.
You can also use the tool to optimize your workflow by enabling you to submit bulk requests for legal rights to use UGC. It also automates sorting photos and videos on social media according to its performance on your site. Photoslurp also helps you create shoppable content and integrates this with most eCommerce platforms.
Photoslurp does not publish its prices on the site, although it does offer a 14-day free trial. If you have a Shopify add-on, you can use it on your site starting from $349/month.
Most consumers expect to see social proof and reviews on businesses' sites and social media pages. That makes UGC marketing critical for building buzz, trust, and confidence around your brand and business. The UGC apps above might not all fit in the same mold, but they all have one thing in common: they leverage UGC to increase conversions for their subscribers.
Unfortunately, most of the UGC apps above are expensive. An established brand can afford them. However, most small and medium-sized businesses, which arguably need them more, cannot. Archive stands out among the best UGC apps because it is an effective tool that all eCommerce businesses can afford.
Archive keeps its costs low by being strategic in its scope for its Archive App. Its primary purpose is to leverage UGC on the most popular platform for product discovery —Instagram—to optimize your marketing return on investment. If you want a cost-effective UGC app, you need not look further than the Archive App. Try it today.
Try Archive, a user-generated content app to impact your branding strategy significantly, today. Visit us and see for yourself what it’s all about.
You should use user-generated content or UGC to increase your brand’s visibility and credibility. UGC can help drive brand awareness, increase social engagement, expand market reach, and increase conversions. In other words, UGC can help grow your business.
Surveys consistently show that 85% of consumers trust UGC more than brand-provided content. UGC also has 9.8% more impact on purchasing decisions than influencer content, and sites with UGC get a 20% boost in traffic. Additionally, more than half of Gen Zers (65%) and Millennials (60%) will not buy from a store with no UGC. It would be safe to say that UGC is one of the most effective marketing strategies for many brands these days.
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