Only about 25% of millennials and baby boomers trust content from brands. That’s 1 out of every 4 customers! The battle for customers has moved from getting the message out to creating a message that customers will trust. Enter user-generated content, also known as consumer-generated content.
This type of content can be produced through contests, product reviews, videos or blogs. All that matters is that it’s created by an individual about a brand. Here are three ways consumer-generated content helps businesses succeed.
User-generated content can increase conversions on your website.
People are more willing to put their money behind another customer’s words than a company’s words. In fact, 47% of millennials and 36% of boomers trust content that comes from another consumer. Incorporating consumer-generated content into your website, therefore, is a must to optimize its performance.
Frankly, the effect reviews have on website conversions is astonishing. A study by Bazaarvoice, a product review-management platform, noted an 89% lift in conversion if customers interacted with reviews versus customers who did not interact with reviews. Wisely positioning reviews and snippets from clients on the product and service pages of your website puts your company in the best possible place to gain the trust of customers and move them into the purchasing stage of the funnel.
UGC can grow engagement and trust on social media.
A recent trends report showed that user-generated content generates 6.9x more engagement than brand-generated content on social media. Increases in engagement pay off big on social media because the algorithms of each platform favor comments, likes, etc. The more engagement a post generates, the greater its reach will be—thus leading to even more engagement and reach.
Additionally, 76% of people say content posted by other customers is more honest than brand content. This means using customer quotes, photos and videos rather than brand-generated content will create trust in prospective customers. After all, they’re not hearing how great your brand is from you. They’re hearing it word-of-mouth from a real customer.
User-generated content provides quotes and imagery for marketing purposes.
UGC can pack a lot of power when used in marketing, wherever you use it. For smaller brands, it could be as simple as resharing images or posts on social media that feature your product or services. For larger brands, it could include adding pullout quotes to digital ads; sharing full reviews and any provided imagery on social media with a link to the website; or repurposing customer imagery for print advertisements.
Before doing so, though, make sure you have permission to use consumer-generated content for your digital marketing and ad campaigns. If content is generated via a contest, include an item in the terms and conditions detailing how any UGC can be utilized. Even if you’re simply resharing a photo on Instagram, check with the customer before reposting it on your social media platform. Sharing customer feedback without permission could violate trust and incite anger.
Today word-of-mouth no longer refers to a recommendation from friends or family. It has expanded to include consumer-generated content, allowing business to capitalize on word-of-mouth recommendations in a way previously impossible. How could you begin incorporating UGC into your marketing strategy? Contact us here to find out how to get started.