UGC is becoming increasingly popular because it allows marketers to boost their conversion rates through the roof. According to research, 86% of brands who use UGC consider it an effective way to build an authentic relationship with audiences. However, just like any type of marketing campaign, it is crucial to measure the success of your UGC campaigns. With other types of campaigns, you can easily tell the performance using conversion rates, ROI or impressions.
But UGC marketing is used primarily to build trustworthiness and authenticity in the community. So.. how exactly do you measure the success of your UGC campaigns? We’ll cover some of the most effective metrics and techniques you can use. By the way, before we get started, if you don’t know what UGC is or how it works, check out our guide here.
Key Metrics to Measure UGC Campaign Success
Your UGC campaign's progress can be analyzed through various metrics. The best way is to compare the performance of your customer touch points before and after you started using UGC.
Here’s how you can do it on each channel:
1. Measuring UGC Campaign Success on Social Media
Once you start using UGC on your social media channels, pay extra attention to engagement metrics.
- Likes and comments. People tend to give likes to real authentic faces they see on social media. If UGC is working, you will see a boost in likes and comments, especially if you have been using corporate-looking content before.
- Shares. People almost never share ads or any branded content unless it resembles UGC. If you’ve always had very few people sharing your posts, using the right type of UGC should give you a boost.
- Hashtag reach and impressions. It’s no secret that Instagram’s algorithm gives more visibility to content that has the potential to get more engagement. Content that has real faces and real people is likely to get more impressions on all social networks.
According to stats, authentic-looking UGC should give you a 50% boost in overall engagement. That’s big when you consider the fact that it’s cheaper to post UGC than it is to run full paid campaigns (that usually bring poor results).
2. Measuring UGC Campaign Success in E-Commerce
Research says that a third of all young consumers refrain from making internet purchases unless they see photo or video reviews of real people buying the same products. E-commerce scams are very common and it’s hard for buyers to make a purchasing decision when they can’t even touch or see the product. That’s why e-commerce stores have to work extra hard to prove that they are real.
UGC is an excellent way for e-commerce brands to establish trust in the community. Here are a few metrics you can use to track your UGC performance as an online store:
- Conversion rates. The best place to put UGC is on your product pages. Online stores usually do it in the reviews section. Once conversion rates start going up, you can rest assured that your UGC strategy is moving in the right direction.
- Bounce rate. Whenever someone clicks on your ad to visit your store for the first time, you have only a few seconds to establish trust. This can easily be done by showing photos or videos of real people right on your homepage. A lower bounce rate – which is a measure of how many people exit your site immediately – indicates that UGC is doing its magic.
- Website dwell rate. The dwell rate measures how much time people spend on your site. Online stores increase this by using UGC galleries and Instagram carousels – people love scrolling through photos!
3. Measuring UGC Campaign Success in Paid Ads
As a marketer, you probably know that you are likely to get better results on paid campaigns if your ads don’t look like ads. Ads are intrusive – all they do is interrupt people from watching their favorite videos on social networks. That’s why nobody likes them. However, ads that look just like an innocent social media post don’t feel so intrusive. In fact, ads can look honest, authentic and trustworthy if they contain UGC from your customers.
Once you start using UGC in your paid campaigns, don’t just look at conversions or clicks. That’s because UGC is not just about getting conversions, it’s more about building trust. Use these metrics to measure the trustworthiness of your ads:
- Profile visits. This is a measure of how many people checked your profile after seeing your ad. If people are opening your profile, then it means they don’t think of you as a corporate robot. +1 Trust.
- Likes and comments. Nothing annoys people more than a social media post that reads “sponsored” on the top. However, if people interact with your post knowing that it’s an ad then it means that UGC is working.
- Click-through-rates. This is the percentage of people who click on your ad to visit your website. People generally don’t click on untrustworthy ads, so if your CTRs go up then it's good news for your campaign.
Some Other Metrics to Consider
Surely, the performance of your marketing campaigns doesn’t only depend on how people react to them. There are other factors to consider as well.
Here are some additional metrics you should use to measure the overall success of your UGC campaigns:
This is a measure of money spent on content over a specific period of time. If the overall cost of UGC starts to get more expensive than in-house generated content, then something is wrong.
Time to Acquire and Publish
The efficiency of your marketing campaigns is all about how quickly you can source content and publish it. If your marketing team is spending a lot of time collecting, organizing and then publishing UGC, then you might want to think about alternatives.
Growth of Marketing Assets
Good quality UGC can be hard to source and it takes time to build your digital asset library. Growth of marketing assets measures how many new assets you’ve acquired over a period of time.
Average Order Value
This is a measure of the average amount spent by each customer per order. If this goes down, then you might be targeting the wrong people with your UGC.
Drawbacks of UGC
Despite its potential power, UGC also comes with drawbacks. It is challenging to maintain a consistent brand image because the way people produce content might not resonate with your goals and values.
Additionally, managing UGC is difficult for smaller brands because they might lack the resources and the time. Identifying and curating user content, engaging with comments and interacting with users takes significant effort. This might put a strain on you if you’re still growing as a brand.
However, you can increase your chances of success by using a UGC platform.
What’s a UGC Platform?
Paysenger is a social marketplace that serves as an excellent UGC platform. On this platform, you can easily order content from creators from all backgrounds and industries. You don’t need to worry about the content not being in line with your brand image. Whenever you send a request to a creator to produce something for you, you get the chance to describe your requirements in detail. If the creator doesn’t deliver up to your standards, you can simply reject the delivery and get a full refund.
Other features for brands include:
- Paid messaging: It’s hard to connect with the right people on social media because everyone is constantly getting spammed by brands. On Paysenger, you can send a paid direct message to creators and influencers to immediately get their attention and have a quick real-time chat.
- Hashtag challenges: As a brand, you can run full hashtag challenges that distribute EGO tokens (the platform’s native currency) to all of the participants. This encourages people to create UGC for you in big numbers.
- On-demand content and collaborations: If you have a content idea that you think could go viral (and could also benefit your brand), simply use Paysenger’s interface to send an influencer or content creator a collaboration request. When the content goes viral, both you and the creator earn revenue and get exposure.
Case Studies of Successful UGC Campaigns
A well-placed UGC campaign can do wonders for your marketing. Here are some ideas from big brands for inspiration:
Starbucks' White Cup Contest
In 2014, Starbucks introduced the White Cup Contest, a contest in which people were asked to make artworks using empty Starbucks cups and post them on social media using #WhiteCupContest. The best design would be released by Starbucks as a limited edition cup. Over 4,000 people participated and Starbucks was mentioned over 4,000,000 times.
GoPro's Million Dollar Challenge
GoPro's Million Dollar Challenge had users post their top GoPro footage for a chance to win $1,000,000. The campaign collected over 25,000 submissions and over 35,000,000 views over social networks.
Common Mistakes to Avoid When Measuring UGC Campaign Success
Just like any marketing campaign, don’t think of UGC as your one-size-fits-all solution. While UGC can raise engagement levels, it’s not a substitute for a great brand story and a product people want. Even if you buy UGC using platforms like Paysenger, don’t expect them to work in the long-run if your brand doesn’t have solid foundations in place.
Remember: the purpose of UGC is to establish yourself as a trustworthy brand. Even if your content manages to convince people to make purchases at your store, they will retaliate on social media if they’re not satisfied with your delivery. UGC is very powerful – that’s why it can devastate your brand image if users start producing content against you. Don’t give them a reason to do so.
Measuring the success of your UGC campaign is critical for evaluating your strategy, optimizing your content, and determining ROI. By measuring engagement, reach, and conversion, using the right tools and platforms, and following best practices, you can effectively measure the success of your UGC campaign.
To efficiently source UGC, use Paysenger to mass-produce UGC by sending paid requests to creators. This will ensure you can grow your digital asset library quickly while spending less time and money. Join Paysenger’s social marketplace and start buying, selling and monetizing content. Purchase content from creators, run full hashtag contests, connect with influencers using paid messages and much, much more!