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Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
The   Bazaar   Voice
Strategies, research, industry trends — your pulse on the marketplace
amplified marketing

Here’s some good news for lean marketing teams: if you have customers, then you already have everything you need to supercharge your engagement and sales. What’s the secret? User-generated content (UGC) meets amplified marketing.

For small marketing teams with limited bandwidth, an amplified UGC strategy is one of the most effective ways to boost conversions — without breaking the budget. 

The power of user-generated content in amplified marketing

First, a quick review: UGC is content created by real people to promote your brand. This includes ratings and reviews, photos, videos, and audio that your brand’s customers, followers, ambassadors, or even employees create and share online. 

As the #1 user-generated content platform on the market (in the words of G2) we’ve written a lot on the power of UGC: what it is, why it works, and how to build a UGC strategy for your brand. 

Amplified marketing is the process of collecting and marketing all that UGC to position your customers as the experts of your product and build brand credibility.  

Amplified marketing is like a megaphone for your UGC

Instead of spending precious resources writing content from scratch, building new promotions entirely in-house, and generally reinventing the wheel, amplified marketing hands the mic to a credible source customers already listen to: each other.

Why user-generated content is perfect for lean marketing teams

Combining amplified marketing and UGC offers the most marketing bang for your buck. It’s cost-effective and authentic. It’s also one of the most effective ways to drive customer engagement. Even with limited resources, UGC-focused marketing strategies can achieve incredible results, including:

  • 90% increase in average visitor time on your website 
  • 50% increase in social engagement for campaigns featuring UGC 
  • 20% increase in repeat visits to your site 
  • 203% increase in conversion rate after shoppers interact with UGC 

Why reviews are so important in modern amplification marketing

For successful amplification marketing, UGC is king — especially UGC in the form of customer reviews.

95% of shoppers rely on reviews to learn more about products. 85% of consumers say they consider online reviews just as trustworthy as recommendations from friends. So encouraging authentic reviews from your customers is crucial for your brand’s credibility.  

There’s another major advantage to customer reviews: A nearly infinite supply of low-effort, high-impact content for your marketing team (with strategic repurposing, of course). Think of UGC as the printing press for your brand’s ultra-engaging content library. 

How to source high-quality UGC and reviews 

Before implementing an amplified marketing strategy, you’ll first need some UGC to amplify. There’s three main ways to find and create high-quality UGC:

Invite customers to leave reviews

This is often easier than you think — customers love to share their opinions with their favorite retailers and brands. Nearly 70% of shoppers are willing to provide feedback when asked. Request reviews from your customers, just make sure you’re not cherry-picking feedback or review gating. Authentic feedback, even if it includes negative reviews, is important to consumers.

Host contests or campaigns on social media.

You can generate quality UGC by hosting targeted social media campaigns. Start by searching hashtags associated with your brand. This will reveal any enthusiastic customers who have already posted about your products.

Reach out to those users and offer discounted or free products in exchange for more UGC. If your brand has limited organic UGC, you can generate it by simply asking your customers to make content featuring your products with a contest or giveaway.

For example, say your cosmetics team plans a social media contest to generate more video UGC. Advertise the contest on your Instagram stories and feed. Create a hashtag for the promotion. Tell your followers what requirements their videos have to meet and what the prizes are. It could be a free gift or early access to a new product you’re about to launch.

The contest will generate buzz on social media as your customers post submissions and share their videos with followers. And longer term, you’ll have a new cache of UGC to repurpose into amplified marketing material for product pages or paid ads.

Collaborate with micro-influencers or loyal customers for content

To drum up even more chatter on social media, consider partnering with relevant influencers and your most loyal customers — especially if your target audience is younger. According to a Morning Consult report, over 50% of Gen Z and millennials say they trust influencers’ advice about brands and products. You can send influencers samples of your new product and ask them to use a specific hashtag when posting about the product on their social channels. 

How to amplify UGC with easy content creation

You asked, and your customers delivered. Your team now has an abundance of reviews and other UGC to utilize. Now what? It’s time for a little content creation — but there’s no need to reinvent the wheel. Marketing amplification is all about using what you have.

  • Turn your positive reviews into testimonials, social media posts, or case studies
  • For specific user feedback, incorporate the information into relevant blog posts and FAQ sections
  • Don’t forget the visual element. Mine your reviews for UGC well-suited to infographics, illustrated testimonials, and video clips

Amplified marketing in action: How to distribute your UGC

After you’ve built a library of UGC, you’ll need to strategically distribute and amplify this valuable content. To make the most of their power, highlight customer reviews at every customer touchpoint, whether it’s paid or organic. This means sprinkling UGC throughout your brand’s social media, emails, website, and product pages. How to amplify UGC in:

  • Paid advertising. When your advertising budget is modest, UGC offers the most engagement bang for your buck. Reviews are easy and inexpensive to collect and display across channels. Ads with UGC have 4x higher click-through rates — which leads to a 50% drop in cost-per-click rates. Cost-effective advertising for the win!
  • Social media and email campaigns. Regularly monitor your social media mentions and hashtags to find organic UGC. Then, share and repost the content with the customer tagged. It’s free and always has the potential to go viral. You can also keep your content calendar stacked with featured testimonials and customer case studies
  • Websites and product pages. Don’t forget about enhancing your website and e-commerce shop with prime UGC. Shoppers are 6x more likely to make a purchase if the product page contains social content — especially for apparel, food and beverage, home furnishings, health and beauty, and pet products

How to know if your amplified marketing is working 

To accurately measure the success of your brand’s UGC-centric amplified marketing, you’ll need to know what you’re looking for — and the right tools. There’s 3 important metrics to monitor for UGC success: engagement rate, conversion rate, and reach.

  1. The engagement rate shows how much your audience loves your content based on the number of likes, shares, and comments — it’s all about the buzz
  2. Conversion rate is how successful your content is in turning the engagement into desired customer actions, like making a purchase or opting into newsletters
  3. Reach measures how far your content travels and who’s tuning in

Keep in mind these numbers are just starting points. For a deeper dive into other metrics like ROI, CTR, ROAS, and more, check out our primer on metrics for digital marketing success.

Bazaarvoice’s UGC Value Calculator quickly shows you the impact a UGC-amplified marketing strategy could have on your sales. Using 12 months of benchmarking data, the calculator predicts how UGC will increase your brand’s revenue, conversion rate, SEO impact, and even in-store sales. 

Adapt your amplified marketing strategy with UGC-based insights 

UGC amplified marketing is well-suited to lean marketing teams for many reasons — including its flexibility and adaptability.

With basic data from metrics like engagement, conversion, and reach, you unlock valuable insight into which content performs best for your brand. This builds into a positive feedback loop, in which your UGC engagement metrics guide your content refinements for continually better results.

For example, if one type of UGC gets loads of likes but not so many sales, that’s a good indicator that you need to tweak the ‘ask’ or how the product is presented. 

Best practices in UGC amplification

Do maintain authenticity. Don’t gate reviews. We’ve said it before, but it bears repeating: when it comes to using UGC in your amplified marketing, authenticity is of the utmost importance. Sharing the good and bad customer reviews is one of the most important things you can do for your brand. Negative reviews offer a fair counterbalance to positive reviews, which builds credibility with customers.

Stay updated on UGC rules and regulations. Legally, UGC is considered a form of advertising when used by brands and retailers. This means it’s regulated by the following consumer protection laws:

While each of these laws have different specific details, they all aim to protect customers from fraudulent, deceptive, and misleading advertising. Violations of these laws can be costly — not only financially, but to your reputation as well.

Amplified marketing in action: Real-world examples

Check out these examples of brands amplifying their UGC.

1. Fresh

Boost reviews for the Rose product collectionSeasonal sweepstakes with a $100 gift card reward for reviews145% increase in review activity, product ratings improved from 4.6 to 4.8, 11% of reviews included customer photos
Source: Fresh case study

2. Midland Radio

Increase reviews and feature customer images on the siteCollaborated with Bazaarvoice to increase online reviews from 150 to over 2,500. Used these reviews as testimonials for Facebook ad campaigns322% increase in time spent on-site, 143% increase in average order value, 27% conversion rate increase
Source: MidlandRadio case study

3. Villeroy & Boch

Showcase products in real-life settings. Encouraged customers to use #yesvb when posting product imagesReserved a spot on the website home page to feature fresh UGC regularly175% increase in time-on-site, 275% conversion rate increase, 29% increase in average order value
Source: Villeroy & Boch case study

Key takeaways for your amplified marketing strategy

Remember that your customers are your greatest asset. By harnessing the power of UGC and implementing an amplified marketing strategy, even the leanest of teams can achieve remarkable engagement and sales.

  • The vast majority of shoppers check reviews and trust them as much as personal recommendations. This means reviews and other UGC are pivotal for e-commerce brands. Amplified UGC marketing is a cost-effective and powerful strategy for lean marketing teams
  • Centering high-quality UGC in your marketing strategy significantly boosts key metrics
    like website visit duration, social engagement, repeat site visits, and conversion rates
  • To cultivate effective UGC, set up a system to solicit customer reviews. Host social media contests and campaigns. Collaborate with influencers and loyal customers
  • Get the most from your UGC by distributing it throughout all customer touchpoints. Repurpose reviews into content you can use in paid ads, social media, emails, websites, product pages, and more 

It’s all about making the most of what you already have and turning it into a conversion-boosting powerhouse. Here’s to supercharging your marketing efforts without stretching your budget!

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Actionable insightsDrive conversionElevate MarketingSMB
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