UGC has skyrocketed into mainstream marketing with 79 percent* of consumers saying it highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
But many marketers have yet to unlock the full funnel potential of UGC.
Here’s our advice for crafting a UGC strategy that ushers an audience down the funnel from building brand awareness to driving conversions. Each stage is paired with examples of scroll-stopping concepts to inspire your next paid social campaign.
Upper Funnel: Capturing Attention and Building an Experience
Audience awareness is lower at this stage. Assume users have never heard of your brand and are not in-market for your product.
To avoid falling victim to the endless scroll, your UGC video must contain a highly intriguing hook and a short, yet enjoyable, viewing experience. The following are concepts that accomplish that across industries—
The best product tests are those that push the boundaries of normal product use with creative, over-the-top methods to show product benefits rather than tell. For instance, a brand selling fake nails can hire a creator to repeatedly tap their fresh nails on different surfaces, dunk them in steaming water, scratch them against a brick wall, etc. to prove their durability. Include the craziest test method in your hook, and your audience is locked in.
UGC that features trending challenges is a perfect way to insert your brand into a platform’s culture and to build awareness. Packing challenges thrive on TikTok because they surprise viewers with how much fits into one suitcase. This trend should be a strategy staple for all luggage brands that want their product to be synonymous with storage capacity. Even if the content doesn’t directly drive purchases, brand recall will be high and your consideration set will grow. Focus on making your product an extension of the trend rather than convincing viewers to take action.
Mid Funnel: Informing and Building Trust
The mid funnel is home to the sector of your audience that has some knowledge of your brand and is likely to be in-market for your product. The name of the game here is developing concepts that lower the purchase barrier, offer value props, and trigger brand recall.
When done clearly, walkthroughs are the simplest way to cut your audience’s hesitation in half and double their trust. For example, imagine marketing a fuel discount app and you need to convince users to install the app and register. The solution could be a series of UGC videos walking viewers through what they can expect from downloading the app to filling up their tank. Sprinkle in a value prop — like how much money users save using the product — and you’ve set yourself up for success.
Testimonials + Tutorials
People increasingly seek out creators to learn what to buy and what brands to trust. A healthy mix of UGC testimonials and tutorials appeal to this need in multiple ways. For instance, a detox drink brand with videos that not only show viewers how to make the drink, but also share before and after results, provides social proof and can greatly increase consideration.
Lower Funnel: Driving Conversions
The time has come. At this point, your audience is familiar with your brand and has developed some affinity for your product(s). A successful direct response UGC approach consists of strong CTAs, special promotions, and compelling reasons why a viewer needs your specific product now.
Product displays highlight the many reasons why purchasing is a no-brainer. Clothing brands have mastered this category with styling videos like “five ways to style one denim skirt.” The goal here is to hone in on the versatility and benefit of the denim skirt so much so that the viewer already knows exactly how they’ll wear the product when purchasing.
Sales + Special Offers
Nothing drives conversions like savings and convincing CTAs. Consider promotions that are offered exclusively through your UGC videos. Due to the authentic nature of UGC, viewers are more likely to perceive promotional info as genuine and trustworthy when communicated by everyday creators as opposed to brand influencers. Paired with clear CTAs like “order now for 20% off!”, viewers are left with zero confusion and numerous reasons to purchase.