Exploring the impact of user-generated content on small business marketing, we’ve gathered insights from seasoned professionals including Marketing Managers and Founders. From leveraging customer reviews for growth to enhancing visibility through reviews and contests, dive into the diverse experiences of fourteen experts on integrating UGC into their digital strategies. What is the impact of user-generated content on small business digital marketing?

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  • Customer Reviews Enhance Growth
  • Trust-Building UGC Increases Brand Equity
  • Employee-Generated content Boosts Brand
  • User Reviews Enhance E-Commerce
  • Content Contests Increase Brand Engagement
  • Branded Hashtags Amplify Authenticity
  • Video Testimonials Attract Leads
  • Playlists Create Viral Marketing Loop
  • Influencer Content Drives Ad Success
  • Testimonials Establish Trust and Credibility
  • Customer Engagement Through Authentic Endorsements
  • Authentic UGC Spurs Brand Loyalty
  • Influencer Ads Outperform Product Photography
  • UGC Adds Trust and Virality
  • Reviews and Contests Enhance Visibility

Customer Reviews Enhance Growth

We’ve started using customer reviews on our Google Business page, and it’s helped our business grow. Excellent reviews from customers make others more interested in what we offer.

We found it easy to get these reviews; we simply asked our happy customers to share their thoughts online. This has been a significant change for us.

Plus, we don’t just stick to Google. We also use sites like Clutch, which is great for our type of business. This step of collecting and showcasing reviews has been a big help in attracting new customers and building trust.

Marco Genaro Palma, Content Marketing Manager, PRLab

Trust-Building UGC Increases Brand Equity

I have taken advantage of user-generated content to build more trust for my small business brand and have thus been able to increase our competitive advantage and improve our brand equity. Today, thanks to our leveraging of user-generated promotional content, customers have become even more willing to patronize our brand, even when it costs a little more to do so.

The thing is, we live in a world where customers desire to get the best value for their money, which has resulted in a habit where they first observe and only spend their hard-earned dollars after they are guaranteed to be rewarded with value and satisfaction for their spending.

As satisfied customers endorse our product and brand for free, not only do they generate even more awareness for our brand and product, but they also help other customers develop trust in the quality of our brand, so much so that they will pay extra for our products.

Grace Chisom, Marketing Manager, Check CPS

Employee-Generated Content Boosts Brand

In the tech industry, we’ve made employee involvement a key part of our user-generated content (UGC) marketing strategy. I believe that for B2B companies, user-generated content doesn’t only have to come from online communities or target audiences. In our case, it often comes from our employees. 

If employees are willing to share, we ask them how they’d like to share their photos, videos, and posts and encourage them to do so. We capture images of trade show booths, conference speakers, event attendees, and other aspects of events our employees go to. These photos are great for social media posts or blog summaries.

This strategy has led to significant gains in our marketing efforts. Our employee-generated content has not only enriched our marketing materials with authentic and relatable content, but it has also strengthened our brand’s credibility and relatability. 

It has created a sense of pride and ownership among our employees, enhancing their engagement and connection to the company. It’s also good for our employee retention, as it fosters a strong, inclusive company culture that values and showcases its team’s contributions.

Precious Abacan, Marketing Director, Softlist

User Reviews Enhance E-Commerce

On our e-commerce platform, we encourage users to submit product reviews and ratings. This has boosted our conversion rate, as potential buyers trust the opinions of their peers. 

Additionally, it has reduced product returns, as customers have a clearer understanding of what to expect.

Tom Golubovich, Head of Marketing, Ninja Transfers

UGC Contests Increase Brand Engagement

User-generated content is a key strategy we use to amplify our small-business clients’ online visibility. An example is when we worked with a client in the fitness-clothing industry. 

We devised an engaging UGC strategy through user-generated photo and video contests. We encouraged our client’s customers to share their personal experiences through photos and videos of them in the client’s workout apparel. 

In return, they would receive gift cards, influencer shout-outs, or free workout garments. The results were outstanding, as there were 1,500 user-generated entries, with a 5.5% increase in click-through rate and a surge in brand engagement. Our clients’ brand organic reach skyrocketed by 110% as the UGC outperformed traditional ads. 

UGC is the magic that brings personalization and authenticity, especially in small-business marketing. It transforms customers into brand ambassadors by turning their unique stories into a powerful marketing tool.

Valerie Lavska, CMO, Promodo

Branded Hashtags Amplify Authenticity

User-generated content (UGC) has been a fundamental change in our digital marketing strategy. We incorporated UGC by creating a branded hashtag and inviting our followers to post their images and videos using our products. This increased our content pool, as well as boosted the authenticity and credibility of our brand.

As an example, we conducted an A/B test, comparing a brand image against UGC. The UGC image consistently performed better, resulting in higher engagement and increased revenues. This practice allowed us to connect more deeply with our audience, establish trust, and show real-life uses of our products, which were highly appreciated by our customer base.

In a nutshell, UGC has helped us strengthen our social media ROI, increase brand recognition, and enhance customer connections. Truly, social media can be a remarkable tool for business growth when used strategically.

Matthew Montez, Founder, The MBC Group

Video Testimonials Attract Leads

According to a recent report, 92% of consumers trust user-generated content (UGC) more than traditional advertising, and 88% say it influences their purchase decisions. UGC is a powerful way to boost the digital marketing efforts of a small business, as it can increase brand awareness, trust, engagement, and conversions.

I am Bhavik Sarkhedi, founder of Write Right, a 360-degree content writing agency, and its subsidiaries Estorytellers, Taletel, Kalam Kagaz, and Dad of Ad. During the days I was the CEO of Write Right, I leveraged UGC as video testimonials and customer reviews to showcase the value and quality of my services and to build a loyal and satisfied customer base.

It worked because of the authenticity and persuasiveness it brought. Both video testimonials and textual reviews captured the opinions and experiences of the customers who have used my services. This form of UGC helped me attract more leads, referrals, and conversions and improved my SEO ranking and online reputation.

I achieved this by encouraging and motivating my customers to leave honest and constructive feedback and to rate and review my services on platforms such as Google My Business, Trustpilot, and Clutch for textual reviews. I asked my clients for video testimonials, if possible, which they did wholeheartedly, and I shared these video testimonials on various platforms, such as YouTube, Instagram, Twitter, and my website.

I then monitored and responded to customer comments and complaints on various channels and used their feedback to improve my services and customer satisfaction.

I really believe for small businesses, reviews, and testimonials are some of the most potent user-generated content that increases your credibility and drives you to do better, resulting in exponential growth and exceptional results.

Bhavik Sarkhedi, Growth Head and CMO, Content Whale

Playlists Create Viral Marketing Loop

We’ve found user-generated content (UGC) to be an incredibly valuable tool in our digital marketing arsenal! Specifically, when I was at Grooveshark, we encouraged our users to create and share their playlists. This user-generated content not only created a strong sense of community but also created a viral loop as these playlist pages were often shared on various social media platforms.

UGC greatly contributed to Grooveshark’s organic growth. It fuels the content creation needs of a platform and serves as authentic testimonials for your product or service. Apart from boosting our organic traffic, UGC played a vital role in promoting user engagement and loyalty and even in improving our search engine rankings. 

The UGC helped us further optimize our artist and song web pages, which led to our top-10 Google rankings for artists’ search results, thereby providing a significant boost in our platform’s visibility and user base expansion.

Sam Tarantino, Founder, Harmonic Reach

Influencer Content Drives Ad Success

We run advertising campaigns on TikTok, Meta, and other channels where influencer videos will be part of the creative mix. We routinely see the following for influencer content: two to ten times higher click-through rates, lower cost per acquisition on e-commerce campaigns, and higher return on ad spend on influencer campaigns. 

Consumers want relatability and real-world use cases for a more authentic shopping decision experience. Influencers just get the job done better.

Robert Brill, CEO, Brill Media

Testimonials Establish Trust and Credibility

Through case studies and customer testimonials, UGC has helped Editorial.Link build trust with potential clients who are more inclined to believe the experiences of other users compared to us marketing ourselves. 

These testimonials establish an immediate connection with them, which boosts our credibility and results in higher conversion rates. We also use case studies and testimonials to simplify our content creation process, as they provide us with authentic, relatable content that we can repurpose for different marketing channels. 

It has helped us save resources and increase the relevance and impact of our messages. We have also seen a boost in our SEO from the natural mentions and backlinks we get through social media shares. Incorporating the case studies and customer testimonials has helped us harness the power of customer voices, and we intend to continue using it.

Dmytro Sokhach, Digital Marketer, SEO Entrepreneur, and CEO, Editorial.Link

Customer Engagement Through Authentic Endorsements

Utilizing user-generated content in our digital marketing strategy has been a game-changer. We can encourage customers to share their experiences through reviews, testimonials, and social media posts.

Not only has this created a community for our customers, but it has also acted as an authentic endorsement of our products. This user-generated content resonates well with potential customers, building trust and credibility.

We’ve witnessed increased engagement on social media platforms and a boost in brand loyalty. It has provided valuable insights into our customers’ preferences. Building an online presence is much cheaper and more effective when your customer base is actively involved.

Andrew Johnson, Digital Strategist, Giveaways

Authentic UGC Spurs Brand Loyalty

Having implemented user-generated content in many small-business digital marketing campaigns, the results have been nothing short of remarkable. By encouraging customers to share their experiences and opinions, we have witnessed a substantial increase in engagement, both in terms of likes, comments, and shares. 

User-generated content has proven to be a powerful tool in building brand loyalty and trust. Customers resonate more with authentic content created by their peers, resulting in higher conversions and repeat purchases. It’s a win-win situation for both the business and the customers.

Gillian Perkins, CEO, Startup Society

Influencer Ads Outperform Product Photography

I own a dress rental company and manage Meta and Google Ads campaigns. I regularly collaborate with local influencers to generate content for my garments and use this for ad creatives. 

The content they create is in situ, i.e., either at an event or while getting ready. I have tested this against more traditional product photography creatives and found a 26.3% increase in click-through rates. 

Even though the images are sometimes blurry, grainy, or of lower quality, ‌they seem to resonate more with my audience, and they are more likely to click on the ad. I would hypothesize that this is because the content is more relatable and endearing to my target audience than a standard product image.

Grace Davies, Owner, Dress Rental NZ

UGC Adds Trust and Virality

UGC has this unique charm—it’s raw, authentic, and comes straight from the horse’s mouth, so to speak. People trust it because it’s coming from folks just like them, not from some polished marketing team. In my experience, UGC not only ramps up credibility but also spreads like wildfire online. It’s like having your customers do part of the marketing for you.

Incorporating UGC into my digital strategy was a bit of a game-changer. It added a layer of trust and relatability that you just can’t get with traditional advertising. Plus, it’s amazing for social proof. The engagement levels shot up, and ‌people were not just seeing our content, but they were connecting with it. And let’s not forget the cost-effectiveness—content creation without the hefty price tag.

Scott Gabdullin, CEO and Founder, Authority Factors

Reviews and Contests Enhance Visibility

I’ve used user-generated content extensively in my marketing roles, particularly when I was Marketing Director at an AI-focused venture. We actively encouraged our customers to share their experiences using our product on social media, and this led to a significant increase in engagement and reach.

For instance, we implemented a strategy where our customers could take part in contests and giveaways on social media. This initiative naturally led them to create and share content related to our product, which served as authentic testimonials and enhanced our brand’s credibility. The increased interaction and engagement translated into a substantial boost in online visibility and lead generation.

When I was a Senior Content Marketing Manager at a leading tech platform, we regularly featured user reviews and real-life experiences in our content. By integrating this user-generated content into our blog posts and web pages, we increased our pages’ relevance and trustworthiness, leading to a significant increase in online visitors and potential customers’ interest.

Ken Fortney, Founder, That Local Pack