The Latest Look: Why Is User Generated Content So Important?

- 5 minute read
Senior Digital Content Specialist​

John is Foundation's Senior Digital Content Specialist. Passionate about all things content and AI, John enjoys getting deep into the data to create interesting stories that audiences love. John plays a key role in orchestrating the content strategy for our beauty and wellness clients, and loves learning about trending skincare techniques and products.

In recent years, experiential marketing has surged in adoption. Gone are the days of there simply being products, prices and margins, and in comes a wave of external factors that all culminate to result in customer acquisition. One major part of this new movement has been the acknowledgement of community engagement, specifically using user generated content (UGC).

As of the mid-late 2010s, consumers are now actively choosing to engage with and buy from brands that they can depend on, with 35% of UK beauty buyers saying that they trust what online reviews say about the products they buy, and 38% of them claiming to seek out expert opinions before buying expensive products.  

Source: Global Web Index

Join us as we dive into the importance of UGC in beauty marketing, and why you should consider making it a part of your content marketing strategy.

What Is User Generated Content?

User generated content, as its name implies, revolves around marketing content that can be derived from reviews, photos, or videos created by customers. Most UGC is delivered on social media, with consumers always being keen to show off their latest purchases to the masses.

We all know how pivotal influencers are in marketing, which itself feeds into the importance of UGC as a whole. Essentially, UGC allows you to turn your customers into micro-influencers, signalling to prospective customers that your brand is more dependable and worth paying attention to.

User Generated Content Benefits In Beauty

When looking at the beauty industry in particular, there are a few key reasons why UGC matters to brands old and new.

Providing Evidence

When showcasing a product on your website, you’re going to undoubtedly paint it in the best light possible. It’s one thing to list the benefits of a product, it’s another to show those benefits in action. User generated content is an excellent means of capturing your product in the wild, while proving its effectiveness in real-world conditions.

Settling Safety Concerns

Anything that promises to alter our appearance often comes with safety concerns. Allergic reactions, skin irritations and sometimes even fire hazards are all valid points of worry for consumers. If you can show your customers that your product is both effective and safe to use, then you’re on track to convincing them into making a purchase for themselves.

Boosting Representation

As a much wider topic, representation is a complex area of concern in the beauty industry. When we see people that look like us wearing clothes or makeup, we’re more psychologically inclined to picture ourselves using it.

User generated content is a real winner for representation, as it allows for people of all sorts of complexions, skin types and body shapes to have their say on fittings, styles and appearances.

Beauty Brands Leading the Way

There are a few beauty brands that we’ve seen killing it in the UGC space. Let’s look at our favourites:

Example 1: Revolution

With a bio that reads “YOU are the Revolution”, Revolution has given its audience the spotlight on its Instagram. Interspersed with influencer reels and image posts, there’s a clear dedication to customer representation across Revolution’s social media strategy.

There’s an array of content being offered, from product trials to buyer hauls. All of which showcases Revolution as a brand that cares.

Example 2: Drunk Elephant

“Suddenly, what started as a philosophy became a movement.”

Focused on sustainability, Drunk Elephant has taken a more empowerment-focused approach to its marketing outputs. The brand has developed a branded hashtag (#barewithus), with a quick search on Instagram showing over 5,000 posts from Drunk Elephant users.

These pictures are then used on Drunk Elephant’s website, to showcase real people using its products.

Example 3: Hair Burst

Hair Burst is all about evidence. From the scientific research section on its website, to the sheer level of audience-created content posted on its Instagram, the brand has some hefty claims to back up.

It does this brilliantly via video-based testimonials, and through encouraging customer feedback through a verified buyer scheme on its website. We counted over 3,500 reviews across all its products, with an average rating coming in at a perfect five stars. If there is a review less than five stars, the brand is sure to step in and respond.

Example 4: Never Fully Dressed

“Our customer is our influencer”

We couldn’t have said it better ourselves. Never Fully Dressed is quite possibly one of the most customer-focused brands we’ve ever come across. Yes, there are posts from influencers, but in between these posts are some genuinely strong trust signals from actual customers.

Front and centre on its Instagram sits a collection of stories titled “CUSTOMER LOVE” in which Never Fully Dressed talks exclusively about the impact the brand has had on the lives of its customers.

All in all, Never Fully Dressed captures the very essence of user generated content, with a tagline that shows a dedication like no other.

How To Use User Generated Content In Beauty

So, what can we learn from these brands? Throughout reviewing posts and following their progress, a few themes have been identified:

Re-Posts

Having your brand be tagged in a post is a true sign of trust. Not only has your customer decided to purchase your product, but they have then decided to show their friends and family where they bought it from. Posts like these are invaluable to any UGC strategy, so make sure you get them posted on to your brand’s timeline.

Use plenty of adoration and remember to always ask for permission.

Review Hosting

Hosting reviews is a fairly common practice in the world of ecommerce. Although it may not seem like it, reviews can even form part of your wider strategy with UGC. If you’re consistently getting five-star reviews on websites like Trustpilot, you should absolutely be shouting about them on your website and social media channels.

While hosting these reviews is a good measure, it’s also just as important to engage with the customers leaving them, good or bad.

Curate Heavily

While it can be tempting to just pick the first positive post you see and re-upload it, sometimes, mistakes happen. This is why you should always curate the content you post before engaging in any UGC activity. You never know when a customer has slipped in something overtly negative or problematic into their post, for it to then make its way to your brand’s official marketing outputs.

Save the embarrassment and double, triple, quadruple check anything before re-posting.

Incentivise Engagement

Of course, UGC relies heavily on your customer base. So, what do you do if there’s not much material to work with? Getting customers to take part in branded hashtag competitions, using engagement-focused copy in your posts, and really resonating with their personal struggles are just a few of the ways you can begin to build a back-and-forth, online dialogue with your audience.

Beauty-Focused Content Marketing Expertise

Utilising user generated content opens up plenty of directions that you can take with your content marketing efforts. If you’re struggling to keep up, we can help. At Foundation, we specialise in content marketing for beauty brands. With years of combined experience, we can level up your UGC game and give your beauty brand the exposure it deserves.

Contact us today to see how we can help.

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