This episode features a conversation with Boris Zlatkin, the founder of trusta.app. We discuss how to win in a world of disingenuous user-generated content.
On the Show Today You’ll Learn:
- What is the best way to create user-generated content?
- What can you do to motivate people to create customer-generated content (Video Testimonials) for you?
- How much user-generated content do you need?
- When using Shopify, how does the implementation wor
- And more
Links & Resources
Shopify App Store: https://apps.shopify.com/trusta?
About Our Podcast Guests: Boris Zlatkin
Boris has 10 years of experience in marketing and performance marketing. He was head of marketing for a gift card marketplace ($50M yearly revenue) in 2016-2017, founded and exited a customized jewelry brand, was head of digital at spot.io and VP of marketing at moodifypet.co.uk, a $1M arr subscription business.
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Claus Lauter: Hello, and welcome to another episode of the eCommerce Coffee Break Podcast, user generated content UGCs. You hear this all over the place and it's important for every Shopify merchant. what actually is that and how can you generate that? A lot of Shopify merchants. Struggle to user generated content for their stores, for their business, even though knowing that it's important to increase conversion rates to get people to buy from you.
So we wanna learn a little bit more about this, the best way on how to create user generated content on the show. With me today, I have Boris Zlatkin. Boris is the founder of trust.app. He has 10 years of experience in marketing. Performance marketing is his main background. He was the head of marketing for a gift card marketplace.
Founded and exited a custom jewelry brand, was the head of digital spot.io and VP of Marketing at COO K. So he has a vast background when it comes to digital marketing and eCommerce, and we want to learn a little bit more about user generated content from him. Hi Boris. How are you?
Boris Zlatkin: I'm doing great. Thank you. Close.
Claus Lauter: Boris, give me a bit of a background. What actually is user generated content?
Boris Zlatkin: Today when you search for user generated content, basically it's everything that has been generated by the customer. I prefer the word customer than user, but that's a technical term. So that's what we use, , today. I think most of the marketers, when they search for you gc, they're basically looking for videos when you have customers to share their experience with the product or with the brand.
usually it's in boxing videos, but also written reviews , and videos. [00:02:00] They're also type of user content. I think where marketers search for user generated content, they're searching for ways to stand out. They're searching for content , to convey some more trust and to boost conversion rates.
And they're trying everything they do to get more, and I think the two most important. parts of UGC is the reviews, so actual like reviews from the customers. It's very important because you can learn from the general experience and you can learn a lot on the way of how customers talk about your product.
The second part, It's videos, so you either get videos by yourself or you usually hire an actor or an influencer, which you send a product and they get a product, maybe they get a little payment and then they send you a you gc. That's basically the EGC world right now.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Obviously as a merchant you want to have original content, and as you said, there's different ways to create this content either, , through reviews, testimonials from customers who have bought from you. Obviously, I think that's , the golden nugget to get there. Or you pay , a influencer or someone, you generate your own [00:03:00] content to a certain.
When it comes to customers, you need to motivate them. Everyone is busy, they have busy lives. , now asking someone to take a minute or five minutes out of their day to create a video testimonial is not the easiest way to do so. How do you motivate people to create this customer generated content for you?
Boris Zlatkin: It's a very good question. I wanna go back a little bit and I wanna speak a little bit the alternatives that you have. So most of the companies that I talk to, there are a couple ways to generate really good ugc. So one ways is you go to content creator networks. I'm not gonna name them, but, we all know them.
And then for a hundred dollars, you can get 10 to 20 UGCs. Like full control of the quantity. You can also dictate the script. The cons is that it's pretty pricey. It takes some time to ship the product and it's not really authentic thing. The other way, which is very good in my opinion, and get spread results, is to work with independent influencers and creators, and then you have to find really nice creators and influencers that really connect to your brand.
You ship the product. Again, it's very difficult to script the [00:04:00] UGC and it's semi authentic. Some of them are good, some of them are not. So that's the pro thing. The con is basically that it's pretty expensive. You want to go and you wanna work with a good creator. You can easily pay 200 grand dollars and sometimes more.
And also you need to secure the license to use the ugc. It's also very important, , part of. the con of this process is that It's very manual. You have to send and usually people, they manage it with Google Sheets or with Excel file, and you have to send the payments.
and then the third way is to generate UGC by the customers of your own shop, which is basically what I was doing. So I was trying all the other ways in the companies that I was been in the past five years. , and the best way that I was able to do it is to do it from my own customers. It was a very manual process.
So basically we used to build the landing page, which was extending the value proposition. Please send us the video and you will get, , let's say 50, $60 for your next purchase. , then they will send us the videos. It was pretty manual, but it worked pretty well. Because when you pay 50, [00:05:00] $60 as a store credit, it doesn't really cost you 50, $60.
I can maybe say 50%, maybe less, maybe more. So it's a lot more cost effective, and that's basically what I got. Really amazing results. You get tens of videos usually for a good store, if you have a thousand orders, I would say you would get 10 to 15 videos from your own customers. You don't need to wait for the shipping.
Because they already have the product, they already use the product and they generally love the product. the biggest advantage here is the authenticity , and that authenticity, I cannot emphasize enough. That's the biggest thing that you can use. So the videos are not studio quality, but it basically wins the way that real customers talk about your brand some cases is much better than any copywriter could.
I can stay from a personal experience. The amount of copy nuggets that I got from it, it was incredible, which later you can leverage in all communications. So one important thing of it is basically you have to motivate the customers so we're doing it with the store credit. It also drives a second purchase, so [00:06:00] basically it's almost free if you pay $50 for store credit and the customer comes back and buys, , something worth a hundred dollars.
It's basically free for you if you take off the shipping cost and everything. because if you pay them with store credit, that also takes care, the part of the licensing. So it means that you have the license to use the videos the way that you see fit, So it can leverage the videos both in your top of the final campaigns, but it works amazingly well for the remarketing campaigns.
You can also cut them and leverage them in your product images, which is very important. , so you get attending and stunning UGCs. So that was a process that I was doing manual. So creating a lending page, sending an email, paying the customers, and that's basically what led me to start the company trust, which does it all for you.
you do it super quick. It's a two minute onboarding. You just decide how much do you want to pay, when do you want to send the request, after the purchase, and you are done. And you get authentic videos. And then when you approve them, the app just sends, store credit coupon to the customer.
And [00:07:00] that's basically it. The license is included. So licensing is very important cuz it's a lot of marketers, they use videos and then the customers, they're not happy about it. For example, customer comes back and they leave the review. Then they generate an ad from that review. And it's not necessarily that the customer, just because it left the review, it didn't necessarily want it to be featured in a Facebook ad.
You know what I mean? So that happens a lot. So it's very important to communicate in a very clear way that you are going to use what you're going to get in social media and in , product pages and also on your website. that's why it's also important to pay them something with store credit. They feel appreciated and they understand the.
Claus Lauter: Okay. I think you did a very good job in explaining the different steps in the process on really how it works to get from A to Z to. It , your user content and also make sure from a legalist perspective, and I think that's what you said, it's a lot of people just missing out of that is like if you get content that does not necessarily mean, cause the copyright always is with the greater.
So you need to have a legal background or something that's, , you are allowed to [00:08:00] put it out. I think it's a important. Part of this whole thing. one thing I wanna ask you, this user generated content, you said you can use it for different, , ways of marketing on the product detail page, on Facebook ads, and so on so forth.
How much on user generated content do you actually need? Is this an ongoing process or do you just build up a certain volume and then you can take it from there in your business?
Boris Zlatkin: So I believe that you need to refresh creatives. , it depends how much volume are you doing, how much you're spending on, ads, whether it's TikTok or Facebook or also Google. But people like to see fresh things. So I think if you restore it doing a hundred to a hundred K a month and little bit more than that, then you need at least five to 10.
Creatives a month because for a marketing, to mention someone that didn't buy and sees every week when they're in marketing, someone else just enjoying the product, which is very similar to them. I think that the other part, which is very important is basically that our job as marketers is to create feedback loop.
So have the basic layers of feedback loops, which is Google Analytics data, the conversion rate, the website behavior, which you can measure maybe with heat maps and with ho, but [00:09:00] you're missing the last part and the last. Is basically the reviews of the customers. So you have the written reviews, which is great, but it's very different the way that people, write something and when they actually speak to the camera.
So when you speak to the camera, way that they communicate it allows you to understand a lot about your product, things that you did not think of before. I see it not only as a way to generate, , videos for ads, it's a feedback loop that is very important that will help to improve your copy in your product pages and also in your store.
with that feedback loop, it'll be very easy to improve conversion rates and to understand, what really works for your customers because it takes. Like it takes some time when you launch a brand and even if you have an existing brand, really difficult to really understand the customers and why they're buying the products.
for example, when I was a founder at the customer's jewelry company, it took us a really long time to understand what's the reason and what's the motivation behind mothers buying necklaces With their kids' names that are engraved on the necklaces. And we try different approaches basically.
And finally when we got it, that talks about like the deep [00:10:00] connection between the mother and also their children. She wants to feel and she wants to see herself as someone who loves her children, something that has to do with confidence. , so it took a while to reach that conclusion.
that's why getting customers to speak to you about their experience is not only a way to get video ads, is a genuine feedback loop that will definitely improve your performance if you utilize it properly in your copy and your emails and all the communications that you.
Claus Lauter: Okay, now was. Obviously you optimize the whole process. What kind of, instruction or, , blank sheet do you give to someone that you are asking for a video review? So basically the format, how long should it be? Do you give them examples or just , give them basically a free write and they can do whatever they want.
Boris Zlatkin: so that's the other side of the coin. When you are trying to get your customer speak to the camera, you can't really script it. And if you try to script it. then it'll suck. , and the last thing that you want , is now taking videos. So we have a very simple template that we provide, which basically.
Says, keep the video up to 30 seconds and talk about your general experience. We [00:11:00] also allowed for the merchants to edit the template that we have. So basically if it's a specific product that you lose in, if it's a tennis rack, which is one of our customers. So you ask to do it in a tennis court, So you can edit it, but we provide a very basic, Which gives them pretty much free hand to do whatever they want. , so from one side you get very surprising videos, but from the other hand you get really, really good videos because you don't really imagine. What you will get. A lot of the merchants, they also want to put examples, we see better conversion rates, for merchants that basically use a very basic template with four to five instructions.
just how to keep the camera. Whether do you want to see the face or you want to see the product. It's a cosmetics product, then of course you want to see the face of the customer. If that's a toy, then you want to see the key plane with the But other than that, I strongly encourage to, give at least $50 , store credit.
That's the first thing, and second thing to be pretty free with the template and the instructions.
Claus Lauter: Okay. No, that's a very great tip there. Now, just that app obviously comes as a Shopify app. [00:12:00] How does the implementation work? , what kind of homework does a immersion do before they implement, and how long is Or the learning curve to get started.
Boris Zlatkin: So basically it's a one click installation and we have an onboarding, you start by choosing the amount of store credit that you want to pay. You upload your logo to customize the landing page a little bit. , you are allowed to edit the template of the instructions. And then you choose when you want to send the request.
So it's an onboard, which takes less than two minutes, and that's assuming that you're probably multitest and doing some other things And that's it. There is also an option which we provide. So we can use the landing page without the request email, so you can send it by yourself, it's easier to control the volume, especially if you want to control the volume, just set the request email.
If your shipping is five days, then I recommend to do it at least five days afterwards. So 10 days. So customer has had some time to play with the product to experience the product, but not too long, so don't wait too long. So after you do the onboarding, which takes two minutes. You're basically done, you're start getting the [00:13:00] videos and then you have to approve them.
Of course. , it's very rare, but in , some cases you get videos that you don't wanna see. , so of course there is an approval process. , so once you click and approve, that's it. Then the app sets , the credit card to the customer and you can use the videos. And then the videos yours with legal license of.
Claus Lauter: Okay. Tell me a little bit about the, , pricing structure of trust.app.
Boris Zlatkin: It's based on the monthly amount of the UGCs and the request amount. We have a 30 day trial, if you start now, you will get, , some UGCs, which will be stunning and you will not pay dime after 30 days. The business plan is $49, which is up to 10 UGCs.
2000 requests, which is what I feel that the average store that does at least a hundred, 200 K a month, that's what they need. I don't think that they need more because getting 2030 UGC is very difficult. Cause you also sometimes you want to add them and cut them. , so five to 10, that would be great.
If you want up to 50 UGCs, then it goes to $99 a but there's a 30 day trial so you can start for free and get UGCs immediately, , without paying anything.[00:14:00]
Claus Lauter: Okay. That sounds like a great offer, but respect. Can people find out more about, or where can they find.
Boris Zlatkin: They can go to trust.app. , we also have a guide there. We have a video and we also talk about the egcs and the importance, and I think. That our main job as marketers today is to find a way to stand out. And a lot of the marketers that I speak to, they talk about the competition and how to stand out from the competition.
And I believe that it's very ironically. But if the way to stand out from the competition is basically to focus less on your competition, is focused more on your customers, if there is a hidden cost. Of using fake egcs, which no one talks about, you have very negative, , feedback from your customers and you don't see it.
So you see that the video doesn't convert, so you deterrent customers from buying from your brand because they understand that you buy fake egcs. And how many times did we open TikTok last month? And we see somebody who has no connection with the product says, oh my God, you have to have this and you don't believe it.
There is a very negative cost, so if you want to stand out from your competition focus less on [00:15:00] your competition and focus more on your customers via data, via analytics, with reviews and with video testimonials,
Claus Lauter: Very wise works there. The customer should be always the center of your focus. A hundred percent agree with that one. Boris, thanks so much for your time. I will put the links in the show notes, then you just one click away. And I would highly recommend, , for our listeners to give it a try and to see how easy it can be to create user generate content.
Thanks so much for your time and talk
Boris Zlatkin: Sounds good. Thank you. Plus, thank you very much.
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