Have you seen it too? Instagram is no longer confined to its quarters. On the contrary, the most visually compelling networking channel to date is taking over eCommerce too.
More and more brands are leveraging the power of visual storytelling. They are turning content shared by subscribers and influencers into an absorbing, image-only eStore inside their standard eStore.
The whole point of such an innovation is to give your official website visitors something to relate to. For instance, a loyal customer who is rocking green hair while using your product can intrigue punk boys better than a typical model. Ultimately, a design revamp leads to a major increase in the conversion rates.
However, we’re not talking about the expensive type of digital redecoration. This usually implies costly studio photography and a professional web design team. This new type of eStore, the shoppable gallery, requires next to zero time, investments, and efforts.
Therefore, today we’re going to expose the strategy international brands have been weaving into their main business plans over the last years. Watch carefully the 3 UGC case studies we prepared for you and adapt these strategies to your own brand!
Sitting on a Gold Mine and Not Using It
People use social media to share their best moments with their entourage. As consumerism is deeply intertwined with the modern lifestyle, an amazing shopping experience is not going to sit quietly in a corner.
On the contrary, social users are talking on their walls about the brands that made them happy. On Instagram, they even share photos where they enjoy their new acquisition.
Unfortunately, small businesses are not going all the way despite these auspicious circumstances. They stop at a ‘thank you’ comment or even a CTA tops to take advantage of further promotions and goodies.
By contrast, big brands are taking extra steps further in sync with today’s marketing trends. Data shows that people are highly responsive to influencer and user-generated content. Therefore, marketing teams are taking third-party content outside their native platform into a territory built specifically for conversions: their official eCommerce websites.
Let’s go over some UGC case studies on how exactly enterprises are building unique brand awareness using resources everybody has access to.
1. Collective Sends UGC to School
The biggest fashion brand in Romania, Collective is part of the FF Group and is well aware of the power of UGC. In 2018, Collective took the initiative and launched its own school. However, there is nothing traditional about it.
Within the digital walls of this institution, micro-influencers took the place of students, chats replaced blackboards, one-on-one consultations appeared instead of textbooks, and typical classes made way for training.
Through this project, Collective boosted the quality of their influencer and user-generated content. At the same time, the famous retailer created an inspirational community around it that is always on standby to spread the news on a new clothing line.
In their turn, local micro-influencers receive support from a leading company. Content creators learn how to collaborate with an enterprise, improve their posts from different angles, and are the first to learn about the latest industry tips, tricks, and trends.
The first in our list of UGC case studies is showing us a lot. By investing in driven creators, Collective had a lot to gain. For one, their Instagram account is full of exciting and inspirational images of youngsters wearing their collections. After all, it’s all UGC!
Just as important, Collective laid the foundation of an active and influential community. This goes beyond a basic influencer marketing strategy.
The school of micro-influencers gathered a large group of creators loyal to the company. Next time there’s a big product offer, the news will surely travel fast.
Surround yourself with micro-influencers, take them under your wing, believe in them, and help them succeed. The ramifications of your mentorship will leave a positive impact on your UGC strategy one way or another.
2. Visual Commerce Goes Collective
Collective continues our slew of UGC case studies as the brand took further advantage of ProductLead services. As a result, it opened its own Instagrammable gallery of UGC that visitors can easily shop from their official website. This proves that social media content can thrive as an outlander inside a reputable eCommerce website.
Venture inside the Collective official page and dive deep down its digital store. Close to the end of the page, a beautiful gallery unravels a glamorous series of UGC.
Here, young ladies and gents have one picture to tell the story of how they enjoy festivals, travelings, adventures, and summer vacations. What do they all have in common? They display creative outfits built with pieces from Collective.
So far, this gallery is a fresh source of inspiration for site visitors to try out new styles or improve their own. But this doesn’t end here.
Once you click on one of the images, a new window opens to offer more product details and reveal a shoppable pin. This is a portal that leads users directly to product pages where they can add their favorite clothes to cart.
By opening a shoppable gallery, brands automatically create a new and exciting customer journey. Let’s go over an example!
Site visitors see an outfit they like that an influencer passionate about fashion created. To replicate the exact look, all they have to do is open the UGC and click on the pins assigned to each item. In a few seconds, consumers order online the exact pieces that inspired them the most.
What would consumers have to do to in the absence of a shoppable gallery? Mostly, they would have had to search across hundreds of pages of products for their favorite items. This is a time-consuming endeavor that few are willing to embrace.
By building an intuitive shopping experience, Collective amplified the conversion rate by 250%. That’s what big data revealed after a few weeks of launching visual commerce.
3. Collective and the Ad Revolution
We all know how fiercely Instagram keeps away from external links. The social network goes to great lengths to keep users on its turf for as long as possible. If this requires an epic crusade against links, so be it.
Nonetheless, Instagram left a loophole for brands to guide social leads to their official websites: Instagram Stories Ads. This paid ad method encountered raging success for several reasons.
First, Sponsored Stories enjoy unique opening to mobile users thanks to their vertical format. However, the true reason why they are so effective is their non-intrusive nature. Sponsored Stories look as if they are part of the flow of organic Stories.
Back to our UGC case studies, Collective took full advantage of the nature of sponsored Stories. What the brand did was to use UGC in their Instagram ads and this way amplify their natural appeal.
Let’s analyze Collective’s ad – UGC combo from a business perspective:
- Zero photography studio costs;
- An instant collection of impactful UGC that tells stories without the need for a lengthy text;
- 9x improved ROI! That means that for each dollar spent on Instagram Ad Stories, Collective received $9 back in sales.
This last case study shows that businesses can amplify the power of UGC without leaving Instagram at all. In the end, sponsored ads get brands in front of new audiences that they normally don’t have access to. Therefore, paying for exposure might be the only way for new promotions to take off overnight.
Collective made the most of the ProductLead platform. In turn, their unlocked martech solutions helped them build successful marketing strategies with a minimum investment of time and money. Looking at the improved ROI and conversion rates, Collective made a smart business move when the brand started channeling focus on UGC.
Now it’s your turn! How is your marketing team going to leverage UGC beyond the realms of social media? Time has come to invite your leads to a new shopping adventure that inspires them in creative ways.