UGC Social Media Ads: Why Your Brand Needs To Invest

 In Blog

Many people roll their eyes whenever someone mentions “influencers.” In 2023, it’s almost become a dirty word. However, there’s one simple truth that can’t be avoided: Using real people to sell your products works. In fact, it often works very, very well. 

Let’s dive into why this is a worthwhile strategy for D2C brands and how you can use UGC and influencer marketing in your paid ads. There are so many brands that have already seen huge success with UGC for paid ads on Facebook, Instagram, TikTok, and other platforms – we’ll share examples from some of the best ones later. 

Ok, so what exactly is UGC for social media?

UGC refers to user-generated content. Basically, it involves using real people to promote your products. UGC can be everything from product reviews left by customers that you then share on social platforms, or actual videos of people using your products. UGC can either come from paying customers, or influencers who use their status and audience to promote your products. 

Why is user-generated content for social so important?

UGC has become incredibly important in recent years, especially in the form of short-form videos. There are two main reasons for this.

The first is that the world now lives (at least digitally) for short-form video content. Instagram, Facebook, and especially TikTok all focus on this. It’s more interactive than a post with an image and some text, and way more engaging than a 3-minute Youtube video. Short-form video content (perhaps sadly) reflects our attention spans in 2023 – short. 

The second reason why UGC is so important for social media is that customers crave a personalized experience. Online shopping can be a very anonymous experience – we don’t speak to a sales assistant, we don’t interact with other customers, we don’t get to touch and feel the products. 

That’s part of the reason why we absolutely love seeing someone we can relate to actually using the product we are considering buying. UGC is basically the virtual equivalent of a long line of people waiting to buy the same thing as us – it’s extremely validating. 

Which brands have crushed it with UGC for social media?

Many, many brands have found incredible success with UGC on social media. One of the most high-profile examples is Airbnb, with its “Live There” campaign. This campaign focused on promoting Airbnb’s community of hosts and travelers with a series of photos and short-form videos. 

You got to see who the hosts really were, and hear first-hand from people who stayed in their homes. By all accounts, it was an extremely successful campaign. In fact, it became the most successful campaign in Airbnb’s history, with awareness raised by 2x its goal, and the most significant 6-month increase in consideration in Airbnb’s history.

Another successful example of UGC for social media is Coca-Cola and its unforgettable “Share a Coke” campaign. Coca-cola released a special edition range of bottles where the traditional labeling was replaced by “Share a Coke with X”, where X was either a common name like “Sarah” or something like “your boss”. 

Consumers shared photos of themselves with their personalized bottles, which Coca-Cola then used as marketing materials across its social channels. This campaign combined personalization with social proof and UGC, with amazing results. In the US, Coke sales had been declining for more than a decade, but the Share a Coke campaign resulted in a 2% boost in sales across the country. 

Should your brand use UGC for paid ads?

Although the examples here are from huge, established brands with a massive social following that could be used organically, they still give you an idea of the power behind UGC for social. This same strategy can be adapted for most D2C brands, most effectively in the form of paid ads. 

Changing data privacy regulations and the rising cost of PPC paid ads on social platforms have made some brands think twice about paid social ads. However, it’s still the most effective way for many D2C brands to use social media. Plus, UGC makes your pad ad strategy even more powerful for your social channels. Here are a few reasons why your brand shouldn’t sleep on UGC for paid ads. 

1. These ads are high-converting

It’s no secret that UGC is very high-converting when used on your website. For example, any form of UGC on your product page can increase conversions by almost 10%. When customers interact with that UGC in some way, the boost in conversions skyrockets to a 100% increase.

The same principles apply when you use UGC in your social ads. The power of customers seeing other people using your products, and the peace of mind that brings to them, shouldn’t be underestimated. 

2. Prospective buyers are already half-convinced to buy

When you use UGC in paid social ads, you’ve already done the hard work by the time customers get to your site. Your paid ads aren’t only working as retargeting or brand exposure, they’re also helping your products sell themselves. 

A customer that visits your site from an ad that’s simply promoting a new product still needs to be convinced to buy the product. A customer that visits your site from a short-form video of another customer happily using your products with great results is already halfway to the checkout.

3. You’re driving high-intent traffic 

When it comes to PPC ads on social media, it’s important for every brand to get the most out of its advertising budget. You don’t want to waste precious ad spend on driving low-intent traffic to your site, because your chances of securing a sale could be low. 

UGC for social ads do just the opposite. Customers are already familiar with your brand and are well on the way to being convinced about purchasing. You’re driving high-intent traffic to your pages and setting yourself up for success. 

4. It’s great exposure even when customers don’t purchase

The rise of the influencer has shown us that UGC can be incredibly powerful, even if customers don’t visit your site. A short-form UGC video can increase brand awareness, paint your products in a positive light, and help your target audience feel comfortable that this is the brand for them. 

Like many forms of marketing, UGC works somewhat subconsciously. Even if you don’t see the direct effects on sales from one UGC campaign, you’re building your brand and engaging with your target audience in a very powerful way. 

At Social Fire Media, we specialize in UGC for social ads 

With over a decade of consumer advertising experience, Social Fire Media knows how to create authentic, cost-effective UGC that converts. Our library of working content and carefully crafted, high-converting video templates makes Social Fire Media your obvious choice for developing your UGC content for social ads. With our network of over 30,000 creators, it’s easy for our experienced social media and content creation professionals to find the perfect, authentic, relatable voice for your brand. 

Don’t gamble with your ad spend. Contact Social Fire Media today to discuss your next UGC campaign. 

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