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Kyle Wong CEO & Co-Founder Pixlee

Top 5 UGC Trends For Brands in 2019

In 2018 user-generated content (UGC) helped brand marketers scale their content production costs while driving meaningful relationships with their community. 2019 is shaping up to offer even better opportunities in terms of UGC, as this content can reach far beyond just social media. As new changes unfold, savvy marketers are shaping their UGC strategies accordingly. Whether you’re new to UGC or have been using it to drive better conversions for years, there’s a lot you can learn to make 2019 a success.


1. Instagram remains a top channel

Despite recent technical changes to Instagram’s Graph API, which caused concern for marketers already utilizing the channel for UGC, Instagram is still the champion channel for UGC. Instagram has been a hub for UGC because it fosters a unique environment for engagements between brands and individuals in a highly positive and organic manner.

In 2018, hashtags ruled Instagram. But the forward-thinking marketers need to look elsewhere in 2019. To collect UGC from Instagram, marketers should focus on quality engagements, primarily in the form of location tags and mentions. Think quality, not just quantity.


2. AI will be critical for curation

In 2018 AI moved seamlessly from buzzword to practical application in the world of UGC curation. Curating UGC can be a highly manual process, in which marketers scroll through and tag UGC for specific products and image attributes. But AI is making helping to streamline this process. UGC platforms like Pixlee use AI and machine learning to help automatically identify specific products in UGC and filter out spam. In 2019, brands should expect to see these features become more sophisticated.

Using AI to do the heavy lifting around UGC will be critical to marketers who are hoping to efficiently scale their curation efforts while optimizing the top UGC to drive more conversions.


3. UGC will be impactful beyond social media

Collecting UGC to reshare on social channels is an obvious and practical use of UGC. But it’s not even the best one. As consumers become increasingly numb to traditional content types, standing out in every marketing channel will become tougher for brands. Brands can stand out in 2019 by using UGC to resonate better with their customers.

For example, cosmetics brand Morphe Brushes saw their conversions double when using UGC in their email campaigns, compared to traditional photos. Testing different creative isn’t a new concept, and as smartphone cameras enable consumers to capture high-quality images, brands can expect to see UGC that works terrifically across multiple channels.


4. Brands can collect great UGC, regardless of influencer size

2018’s influencers educated 2019’s average consumers on how to capture a brand’s attention, how to take high-quality photos, and how to foster authentic engagements from their followers. While there remains significant merit to working with sizeable influencers, brands can collect high-quality UGC from consumers with any size following.

Influencer marketing relies on the simple premise that consumers now trust people who they relate to over brands. In fact, 83% of consumers trust recommendations of friends and family over other types of advertising. Influencer marketing is essentially word-of-mouth marketing but at a much larger scale. UGC from passionate brand advocates has the exact same effect, which brands should strive to utilize in 2019.


5. UGC to bridge the gap between digital and physical retail experiences

Every year the state of retail seems to grow increasingly more perilous, according to headlines. While it’s true that retail is going through a transformation, retail is far from irrelevant. Retailers hoping to remain ahead of the curve can use UGC to create highly interactive digital experiences at physical locations.

Retailers like Rebecca Minkoff have experimented with digital advancements in their fitting rooms, which lead to increases in clothing sales. Brands can use UGC in stores to provide a more interactive experience for customers to add value to the consumer’s experience in the store.


2019 is gearing up to be an exciting year in the world of UGC. With the promise of driving conversions, lowering content costs, and building better community relationships, marketers should be excitedly taking advantage of everything UGC has to offer.