This episode of the Ecommerce Coffee Break Podcast features a conversation with Paul Benigeri, Co-founder and CEO of Archive at archive.com. We talk about how to save Instagram stories, reels, and posts.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- The significance of user-generated content in modern times
- Techniques for leveraging existing user-generated content
- A tool for easily discovering relevant content
- Tips for handling copyright concerns
- Maximizing the potential of user-generated content for merchants
- Common mistakes and pitfalls to avoid when working with user-generated content
Links & Resources
Shopify App Store: https://apps.shopify.com/archive-app-ugc-instagram-stories-tiktok
Facebook Page: https://www.facebook.com/archivedotcom
About Our Podcast Guests: Paul Benigeri
Paul is Co-founder and CEO of Archive, a company that develops software to automate e-commerce digital marketing workflows. He's a founder and operator who's done everything from building custom e-commerce platforms to deploying millions in ad spend. Prior to Archive, Paul was VP of Growth & Engineering at [H.V.M.N.], running the direct-to-consumer brand's digital marketing, e-commerce, and engineering teams. He also received a BS in Computer Science from Stanford in three years.
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Claus Lauter: Hello. Welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Coffee Break, user Generated Content, big topic for all merchants out there, easy and very trustful way to generate content and to build up your brand and trust with your brand. everyone is on Instagram, Be it on TikTok and all the other social channels, but sometimes very difficult to find out where actually user generated content is posted about your brand.
And that's what we're gonna talk about today. [00:02:00] So on the show I have Paul Benigeri with me. He is the co-founder and c e o of archive, a company that develops software to automate e-commerce. Digital marketing workflows is also found, and operator has done everything from building custom e-commerce platforms to deploying buildings and ad spend.
Prior to archive, Paul was VP of Growth and Engineering, H H V M N, running the direct to customer brands, digital marketing, e-commerce, and engineering teams. He also received a BS in computer science from Stanford in three years. So let's welcome Paul to the show. Hi Paul. How are you today? I'm doing
Paul Benigeri: great.
Excited to chat.
Claus Lauter: glad to have you. Paul, tell me a little bit, why is user generated content so important nowadays
Paul Benigeri: , there's two main reasons. First of all, People have gotten sick and used to a lot of traditional marketing formats, whether that's banner ads or whether that's, a video ad that's produced.
And so seeing other people use a product that you might be interested in purchases down the line is a really great way for customers to discover new content. They'll see it in a real case. It's [00:03:00] very believable. There's social proof it's just a more fun and. Native to, the current platform's way of consuming content.
The other reason why it's super important is because these social algorithms have completely changed. Back in the day, if you had a million followers on Instagram, you could post a video and literally almost a million people would see it. Now you can have a million followers on Instagram. If you post a crappy reel or a crappy TikTok video, no one's gonna see it.
And so if you rely on your community to generate awesome content for you, Every single one of those pieces of content has a chance to rank, to go viral. And typically brands that are generating these U G C content machines, they're able to go viral on TikTok and get way more attention, through these new platforms than if you're just creating your basic, photo or video of your products and posting that on Instagram or.
Claus Lauter: Okay, before we go into how you can harness this kind of content that is out there, what's the best strategy for , a small, medium enterprise working on Shopify to get content out there that is shareable, where people [00:04:00] basically generate content from? Is there any kind of triggers? , how would you do that?
Paul Benigeri: We can talk about a couple of examples. So let's imagine you have a number of customers that are purchasing from you already. You could very easily set up a flow in Clavio and Postscript and attentive after people receive their product and be like, Hey, look, we know we're here to grow. Hope you like the product.
Here's some sort of an incentive if you'd be willing to share content or post on TikTok or Instagram. And those incentives could be a call with the founder. They could be credit, they could be payment, all sorts of things. , so that's just like a really quick, easy way. You've got customers coming in.
Just set up , an automation, just how you do card abandonment or replenishment series to encourage people to post. That's if you already have customers. If you don't have customers, then you've got a cold start problem. What you can do instead. Make a list of your top 10 competitors, or 10 hashtags on Instagram and TikTok that's relevant to your brand.
Find some of those influencers whose content you feel like is good quality and they're getting maybe some nice comments and nice engagement and literally get [00:05:00] in touch with them. Oftentimes you can DM them. Oftentimes they'll have an email or a contact form. Reach out to them, let 'em know you want them to try your product either for free.
or potentially you can offer to pay them, to try the product and create content and have those conversations with those small, influencers. You start off with 10 and maybe you'll get five good ones, if you like them, you can put 'em on payroll, right?
Where they get some sort of compensation every month to create new content for you. Maybe that compensation, again, it could be store credit, it could be new products. It could be cash, and then you can build up the flywheel, right? You get five in January, five in February, five in March, and then you've got 15 creators that are pumping out three pieces of awesome content every month, potentially, right?
So you can stack that nicely. Okay, makes
Claus Lauter: perfect sense. Now, the biggest problem use scratch firstname.lastname@example.org about on how to solve that is that a lot of this content disappears very, very quickly. Stories 24 hours gone reel sort of disappear and they have this huge boost of post. So it becomes very time consuming and labor intensive for a small, [00:06:00] medium enterprise for Shopify solopreneur or Site Tesla to find all this content.
You found a solution for that. Tell me a little bit about.
Paul Benigeri: When we used to run our, community marketing programs at companies before archive, we'd sometimes work with thousands of influencers and generate, sometimes hundreds of posts in a single day. If you're taking a screenshot and putting that in Google Sheets, that's a lot of work.
A lot of stuff disappears and not a lot of fun. And so we built technology to automate all of that. So with Archive, our technology can help brands automatically detect anytime a customer. An influencer. Your mom that's supporting your brand. Anyone mentions or tags your brand on Instagram or TikTok stories reels, feed posts, TikTok videos, all that good stuff.
We'll detect all that for you. Save all of that for you so you can manage it in one really nice, easy to use dashboard. So even by doing that, we can save you tons of time. And even though you might not be paying attention to your socials every day. Now once you have archive, when you are launching that Black Friday campaign or that Mother's Day or Valentine's [00:07:00] Day campaign, which is coming up, you'll be able to have a ton of content ready to go that you can think about using for those campaigns.
Right? So you want to turn it. Let it go on autopilot, have it save a bunch of content for you. And then from there, when you actually do need U G C, whether you're redoing a campaign, you're launching a new page on your website, you'll have that ready to.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I understand. When you're working with influencers or content creators, there might be some user right issues there because they are the original creator.
Normally the copyright lies with the creator. Are there ways to deal with that? How do you do that?
Paul Benigeri: Yeah, great question. , typically there's two things that happens. If you're working directly with an influencer and have a contract, usually that's good to go. But one of the sticky things is what happens if this awesome customer tags your.
and you've got a really cool reel or story that you want to use and you don't have that contract. Well, normally you have to go find their email. You have to do all sorts of things to track it. Ask 'em if they can use it and it's a huge mess to find their contact, shoot 'em an email, follow up, and then , keep track that you actually have [00:08:00] permissions for that content.
In archive, in two clicks you can request usage rights and so you go on archive, you find a post, you like click, click, boom, send Influencer gets a d. They can approve or reject in one click, and all of that data is saved with an archive. You can see all the content that's approved, all the content that's not approved.
And again, we make your life super easy. And, fun fact, some people are like, oh, big influencers are like too cool to receive automated messages. Well, Kim Kardashian actually got an automated usage rights request from archive and approved it. So Kim Kardashian the limit.
If it works for Kim, it'll probably work for most people. Right.
Claus Lauter: I agree. , now with all the content you have and do you wanna repost it? Obviously it comes to different format, so it can be a real, it can be a story, can be a video, it can be just a post.
What's the best way for merchants to really make the most of this content that they have now on.
Paul Benigeri: , there's a bunch of ways you can use user generated content. Some of the really basic ones is you can use it for your ads, right? So when you think of doing [00:09:00] a, story format, Facebook ad or a TikTok ad, a lot of this U G C will work super, super well, you know how it is.
And if you're a little bit fancier on the ad side, you can actually launch a bunch of your U G C in a, dynamic creative ad on Facebook. And that Facebook kind of optimize and pick the winners for you. You can use it in your, Email campaigns or SMS campaigns, if you've got an offer or like a new campaign, sometimes it can be a lot more interesting to, instead of sending another photo with a white background that everybody gets, right, your standard product shot, you could send some U G C or story of a customer using that.
So you could create a, a gif of three to five photos and drop that into your email and make that a little bit dynamic. So we talked about Facebook ads and TikTok ads. We talked about email. , we actually have functionality that can help you embed this U G C on your website, so you can imagine on your homepage.
Pulling up your five favorite tos, of your customers using and talking about your product. You can actually embed those tos on your homepage that can help with discovery, that can help with branding, that can help with social proof. We can also put it on your product pages or on your [00:10:00] collection pages, and people can kind of like scroll through that TikTok content, see which products tagged in click and buy, right?
So you can actually like bring in all that. User generated content that performs really, really well in terms of telling your brand story, in terms of explaining the product, in terms of server proof, and in a couple clicks, embed that on your website. , we've seen all sorts of things. People have even launched billboards with U G C.
There's some famous Twitter campaigns where, they show people's tweets and stuff, It's just like awesome ammo for marketing that you can use. That's like super, super easy to create. And generate that can perform really, really well in many different formats and use cases. So, so many ways to leverage u g.
Paul Benigeri: I'm a bit
Claus Lauter: curious about the technical aspect of it because stories vanish after 24 hours. , so you can't access them How do you do it? Where's this content stored or how does it
Paul Benigeri: work? with the brand permission, we'll capture that into archive, and then as you collect usage rights, we can now save that forever for you, right?
So, may we make that super, super easy for brands and get rid of that problem in its entire.
Claus Lauter: Okay. You worked with a lot of brands. Obviously you also see the downside, so somebody who's doing it completely wrong. What are the biggest pitfalls or errors that people make when it comes to user generated content?
Paul Benigeri: , we have almost a thousand paying customers, mostly brands on Shopify. , it's really hard to screw up, the main thing I would say that people can mess up with user generated content is [00:13:00] trying to control it too much, right? So if you're talking to your five influencers,
One of them's a mom, one of them's a dad, one of them's a teenager. They're all gonna have different voices. Whether it's me or you were like, Hey, here's the script. Here's what you gotta do. You're gonna potentially lose a lot of authenticity. Versus maybe giving them a couple of talking points, maybe giving them a couple of guidelines or really letting the creators be themselves, be creative.
So I think that's like a big aspect of it. , other than that, really hard to screw up cuz you're just generating content and if you have a bad piece of content, it doesn't really matter because for every crappy piece of content, you have a bunch of other great content.
So, because the volume is so high, you don't need every single piece of content to be amazing. You just need a couple winners. .
Claus Lauter: That makes sense. Now, if you're a starter, your shop is brand new, you have a very small followership, it might be a little bit difficult , to have people out there creating content from what stage in your business does it really make sense to reach out and grow your user generated content?
Paul Benigeri: From day zero, if I was starting a brand from [00:14:00] scratch, I would actually include user generated content as much as possible in my prototyping. , I would send samples to influencers, be like, Hey, I'm developing this really cool skincare brand that's focused on, this demographic.
Here's why it's gonna be awesome. , would love to include you on your journey. Can I send you some samples? Right? And so as you're actually telling the brand story, you can actually include these awesome people on TikTok that are actually trying your samples, giving you feedback. So that's an example where you might not even have a Shopify storefront, but if you have an idea and you're starting working on the product, you can actually leverage creator.
And user generated content to tell your story better. That actually works really well on, TikTok right now. People are following these behind the scenes stories of brands being built. People are really excited about that kind of stuff. And so that could be a great strategy. Again, as long as you have product and maybe a little bit of investment potentially, 10 bucks, 50 bucks, a hundred bucks, depending on, you know, how big of an influencer you wanna work with.
Those are the numbers you're really talking about to start off. And so I don't think anyone is too early to think about working with the user generated content.
Claus Lauter: That's definitely [00:15:00] great. Tip. From your experience, what's happening right now on social media, , TikTok rowing, , shrinking down or the other way around?
Give me a bit of a prediction.
Paul Benigeri: I think that TikTok is gonna continue to grow. I think the, the big risk with TikTok is that, you know, a lot of people in the US are talking about it getting banned or not. I, you know, suppose and hope that on the by dance side of things that owns TikTok, they're just being quite calculative with respect to the risk and they will find a landing spot, whether that's working very closely with regulators in the US to make sure that all the policies are compliant and whatnot.
or selling TikTok to a US entity. , I think that product and the amount of traction is, too big to fail. People really love. and so something is gonna stick. That is my personal prediction. I also think that Instagram reels are getting better and better. YouTube shorts are another format that's growing really, really quickly, there's a ton of opportunity specifically around this short form content, right? If I was a [00:16:00] brand, if I was gonna focus on a couple different things, I would go all in on short form content. And I would work with creators, or I would have a strategy that helps me create short form content and then hedge across those three channels, reels, TikTok, shorts, reels, YouTube, shorts, and TikTok, right?
It's similar format that you can get leverage across all channels. We see a lot of times brands are reposting or repurposing their reels on TikTok, their reels on shorts and vice versa, and that strategy works really well. No,
Claus Lauter: that's a great tip. Now somebody wants to get in touch with you guys, , what's the best way to get
Paul Benigeri: started?
Head over to archive.com. We have an awesome free trial, so you can try everything on the platform at zero risk, start capturing your content. And if you wanna get in touch with me personally, you can find me on Twitter. It's my last name at Benny Jerry, b e n i g e r.
Claus Lauter: Okay, we'll put that in the show notes.
Give me a bit of an idea on, , the pricing structure of archive.com.
Paul Benigeri: Starts off at 30 bucks a month. We've designed it to be super affordable. Larger [00:17:00] brands with a ton of content are gonna be paying more than that, , but it starts off at 30 bucks a month. So it's super affordable, super easy to use, and it's based on what we call.
Community members. So the more profiles we're detecting for you, the more potentially you're gonna pay. You can set caps and limits, but if you've got a million people tagging you on Instagram, it's gonna be a little bit more expensive than if you're just starting out and are in the 50 to a hundred range, right?
Similar to Clavio, right? The more contacts you have, the more you're gonna pay. , but you really kind of have this value-based pricing that is designed to make sense for small people that are just launching their store just starting. As well as some of the biggest consumer brands, the fastest growing brands that are using Archive Today.
Like, magic Spoon, for example, feast Balls and some other really cool brands like parade and more.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I played around with archive.com, had a look today and I think it's a power tool for every marketer, , to just save a lot of time and get a bit of a control of what's out there. So I really, really like it.
Paul, thanks so much for your time. I will put the links aside in the show notes, then you just one click [00:18:00] away and have a great day.
Paul Benigeri: Awesome. It was so great to chat. Take it easy.
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