How to Use User-Generated Content in Your Social Media Ads?


Are you tired of the same old product on a white background appearing in your social media ads? Are you finding that your paid ads on Facebook and Instagram all look the same – and they need something to give them more pep? Well, here’s some good news: it’s now possible to replace those boring old backgrounds on Dynamic Product Ads with real photos taken by Internet users. In fact, more and more brands are starting to integrate User-Generated Content (UGC) into dynamic product advertisements on social networks – and getting impressive results. Why not take advantage of it too?

What is UGC exactly?

The expression “User Generated Content” refers to all content that is created and published by Internet users. For a brand, UGC refers more specifically to the content posted by the people who follow that brand on social networks, and who highlight its products or services. Want an example? When a subscriber to Sephora’s Instagram account posts a photo of her trying on some lipstick in one of the brand’s stores, it’s pure UGC gold.

Of course, this type of content is not limited to using products. The reviews left by users on TripAdvisor are also UGC. Selfies taken by Coca-Cola drinkers proudly holding bottles with their first names printed on them also count. And so do the Airbnb hosts who introduce future travelers to their neighborhood.

This content can be extremely useful for brands: it makes it possible to benefit both from the visibility offered by users to their community, and from the positive effect of the content on the purchasing decisions of other consumers. That’s because of the fact that when 92% of customers place more trust in content published by their peers than content from a brand (HubSpot), the authenticity conveyed by UGC is a powerful way to drive sales. This content is the result of a form of free expression that guarantees trust from consumers: no one forced these users to post a photo of themselves wearing a pair of Nikes or playing the Switch!

The use of user-generated content is nothing new in the marketing world. What is really new is the idea of integrating these contents into Dynamic Product Ads. That changes everything.

How do Dynamic Product Ads differ from conventional ads?

To truly understand why the combination of UGC and DPAs (Dynamic Product Ads) is revolutionary, we need to understand what distinguishes these ads from conventional advertising on the web.

Dynamic Product Ads are an advertising format based on retargeting. They make it possible to automatically generate personalized ads, and to display them on the path of targeted Internet users based on their browsing history. These advertisements are “dynamic” because they are created in real time from a base template (a white background on which you place your distinctive brand elements), to which the product image and information related to the latter are applied, and then shown to people who may be interested.

Let’s say that a visitor to your e-shop has looked at the page for your new frying pan for a long time, but left without buying. When that user checks his Facebook feed, he sees an advertisement that features the pan he saw before: he has the opportunity to click on the ad to go back to the product page and be able to buy this choice piece of kitchenware.

The big advantage of DPAs is that they automatically adapt to consumers based on where they’ve been on the web, they are personalized, and they are displayed everywhere, across devices and channels. In addition, within advertising agencies, everything is done to simplify the creation of Dynamic Product Ads campaigns. The only problem with this format since its arrival has been the obligation for brands to place their products in front of drab white backgrounds. That is… until now!

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Why integrate UGC into Dynamic Product Ads?

This is how it works: instead of placing your product in front of a white background on the DPAs, you now have the option to embed user-generated content. This content is incorporated into the advertising templates, which themselves are used to create personalized campaigns in real time. In this way, brands can make their products stand out by swapping out boring still images on white backgrounds for real photos, taken by real users in the process of wearing or using the product in question.

Putting the products in context in your Dynamic Product Ads helps to change the image that consumers have of them. They get a better idea of the product, how it can be worn or used, and the additional value it brings to them. It is a powerful tool in influencing decisions. And better still: it helps drastically reduce return rates (which are a real concern for e-merchants).

The brands that have tested this combination have seen a major impact on click-through rates, on conversion rates, but also, more broadly, on the ROAS (return on advertising spending), with ads that have a greatly improved reach. In short, using user-generated content boosts the benefits offered by Dynamic Product Ads standards.

How do I integrate users’ posts with DPAs?

This innovation is all set to see a rapid expansion with brands. Unfortunately, applying it in practice may seem complex. Since the advertising agencies of social networks do not allow for DPA templates to be modified, the only solution is to import the desired images previously integrated into your product catalog yourself. And at that point you’ll probably think that it’s too hard, that it’s gone wrong, that you’ll have to find something else, etc.

But actually, it’s quite simple. As long as you have the right tools! Lengow makes it very easy for you to integrate your UGC into your product catalog, so that you can send pre-configured product images to the advertising platform, ready to be reused in your Dynamic Product Ads. With just a few clicks, you can generate a product feed containing the photos you want to include, and export it to a dedicated interface on Facebook or Instagram. Now your catalog is all ready for use with just the right content generated by your users – which you have taken care to select beforehand.

All you have to do is do your own tests with Lengow!

Get a demo!

Naomi Botting

Field Marketing Specialist

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