The Covid-19 pandemic has dramatically shifted consumer behavior towards e-commerce.
The companies that managed to quickly transform into a digital company and provide touchless points of sale are the ones that survived.
This shift is definitely the future, but it occurred in a few weeks instead of 5 years.
To quickly transform into a digital-first company, most SMEs adopt e-commerce platforms such as WooCommerce, the worldwide leading e-commerce software platform in 2020, with a market share of 28.24 percent.
Interestingly, some companies did not need to immediately set up an e-commerce platform and process payments in order to adopt. We’ve seen companies building brands just with their Instagram accounts and doing sales with simple order processing through their DM messages or simple landing pages.
According to the Instagram internal data, 90% of Instagram users follow a brand, which gives a tremendous opportunity for consumer-centric companies to establish a serious presence and utilize Instagram as a successful sales channel.
This post will show you how to create a UGC widget with Instagram posts.
What is UGC?
UGC stands for user-generated content. As the definition suggests, this content is created and published by the actual users or customers of certain services or products.
In most cases, customers share UGC on social media. It is positive, meaning the user intends to showcase their satisfaction with their experience with a product or service.
The simplest example of a UGC is an Instagram post created and published by a customer that recently purchased a great T-shirt with organic cotton and tagged the brand that produced them.
How to get UGC
There is no one-fit-all strategy when it comes to user-generated content. It is something that other people post and want to post about you. And usually, you can’t pay for natural and genuine content by real people.
But, here are some things that can work:
Ask customers to share
One of the simple methods to encourage customers to share content around your brand is to ask them. Usually, when satisfied, customers will be happy to share how the new clothes fit or food they ordered looks, they purchased from a brand they like.
Encourage through giveaways
Sometimes, users need to be encouraged to share by getting something in return. Giveaways are not a new practice, but it still works. The easiest way is to ask people to share your products and use them and select the best photo or most creative one that will win a prize.
Most of the companies that make this sort of giveaway have already established excellent relationships with their community, so they are usually pleased to enter this contest.
Provide unique experiences
Brands that invest in packaging, customer service, interior design, or overall give an added value with their products or services are the ones that will naturally get great UGC.
Once your Instagram followers start posting your UGC, you will need to use a tool to collect and generate it. Usually, these tools can monitor posts published by other people that tag a specific hashtag or mention the brand’s Instagram username in the caption.
Choose a UGC plugin for WordPress
There are many options for aggregating social media content. And when it comes to the content shared by other people on Instagram, you will need software that has permission to do that.
That means you will need a professional social media aggregator with approved API integration with the Instagram platform.
To find a UGC plugin, go to the WordPress Plugins directory, and look for the popular ones such as EmbedSocial or search in Google for Instagram plugins.
Most of the API approved plugins will ask to connect your Instagram account to get permission to update the widget with new posts continuously.
Places to display UGC on WordPress website
The best positions to embed an Instagram feed that is pre-generated with a social media aggregator are usually the following:
- Homepage bottom area – Usually reserved to showcase customer success stories or customer testimonials. And now, with the UGC, a more interactive widget.
- Dedicated UGC page: Most companies create a unique social media wall that is a separate page containing all posts on Instagram by their customers.
- Product Pages – alongside the brand’s product photos, it is useful to show a widget with real people’s real usage of the product.
Benefits of displaying a UGC widget
If you are trying to find ways to make your website more interactive, fresh, and engaging, UGC widgets are a great way to achieve all of that.
Here are more details of having a UGC enabled website:
Increase the reach of your social media footprint
As mentioned previously, the UGC plugins help brands to re-use their social media content and, at the same time, increase their reach beyond the Instagram apps. This allows other people who are not necessarily on Instagram to interact with the UGC content and possibly follow back on your Instagram accounts.
Save time and money.
Marketers frequently face the problem of manually re-purposing the content they produce for different placement formats. For example, the design, crop, and upload almost the same content on their Instagram or website.
But having a plugin to re-use the already created content automatically will save you tons of resources in content production.
The user-generated content is proof of the quality of your services or products. Having real people’s posts on your website will give new prospects insights behind the scenes shared by actual customers. This is an excellent method to establish trust and engage with potential customers.
Increase sales and conversion
Establishing trust on your website and giving a format for web visitors to see how your products are actually used can help them make faster purchasing decisions. Therefore, help you increase sales and online orders.
D2C or direct to consumer strategy is becoming the future of commerce. Having simple tools to generate and repurpose how people use your products is a powerful tool to build trust and sell more.
Building a community around products helps brands become customer-centric, cut the middleman costs, and create a channel of customers who will continually buy without using complicated e-commerce technology.
CMO at EmbedSocial