They say "word of mouth" is the best possible way to promote your business or brand at a relatively affordable price.
Well, that's mostly true but there's another side to it, which is how do you get people to talk about your brand?
As the marketing landscape is changing day by day, many new techniques that help marketers to achieve their goal are getting a push, similarly, user-generated content is also one of those methods.
It's amazing to see that nowadays more direct-to-consumer brands are taking full advantage of user-generated content.
Brands are aware of the fact that the majority of customers who shop online are millennials or generation Z.
That is why they are putting extra emphasis on user-generated content as it helps the brand to connect better with them.
User-generated content is by far the most effective advancement in the marketing world.
It cut down the efforts required to promote your brand and to reach your potential customers by half and moderating the UGC is also extremely convenient.
The good news is that it's now possible to do so, all thanks to user-generated content that has reshaped every marketer's perspective of doing marketing.
So if you also want to know the secrets of user-generated content and how it can help your brand to grow we are going to unfold the layers ofuser-generated content and understand it in-depth.
User Generated Content as the name suggests covers customer reviews, comments, replies, word of mouth, blog/articles created by the users, etc.
Any content that a user voluntarily creates for the product or service of a brand that they have used is called user-generated content.
It is also called earned media in marketing terms that refer to the content of any form created by a user as it is created by the customers.
Marketers are loving this strategy as it not only helps to build a promising brand but it even helps to reduce the gap between customers and brands.
All thanks to social media, saturation in conventional marketing, rise in influencer marketing, etc that gained UGC so much popularity
Now user-generated content can be seen in almost every brand's marketing strategy.
Let's see it in this way as a user, it is your instinct to trust something.
This idea of trusting something that you see people around you using or talking about is called social proof.
For that same reason, UGC has emerged as even more trustworthy compared to traditional brand-led marketing campaigns.
With UGC a brand can better analyze and understand their customers, which allows the brand to also filter out and find their desired target audience.
UGC can help increase customer retention rate and engagement on your website or any other social media platform.
It also provides users the opportunity to express their views and has their voice heard loud and clear
The best thing about user-generated content is that it is exclusive to one particular brand and cannot be copied by any means.
User-generated content also allows users to engage with similar-minded people hence creating a unified and strong brand community.
Democratization of e-commerce and marketing technologies like Shopify and social media has led to an explosion of new Direct to consumer e-commerce brands, to differentiate UGC is not optional but table stakes.
Marketing departments have been rendered more like enablers rather than working from some ivory towers giving out tops down brand messages to their blind set of followers. Marketing departments have been disrupted by the powerful forces of decentralization and that locus of power has shifted towards the consumers - who bring their own opinions, perceptions, values, and networks to the table. New-age modern brands are leveraging this force of decentralization to their benefit.
If you see two products A and product B ..product A has 40 + reviews and product B has 0 reviews. Which one are you likely to buy? Now Amazon gives brands the review options out of the box as part of their platform but d2c brands need to acquire this capability.
There was a report by Nielsen about factors that influence buying decisions of millennial shoppers and one of the interesting statistics was that about 70% of users trust online reviews. So if you think about it ..it fills in a massive trust deficit.
(4 Ways User-Generated Content Helps E-Commerce Businesses Increase Sales
How Can User-Generated Content Benefit Your eCommerce Business?)
In marketing for any new method to become popular among marketers, it must come with some solid benefits that can bring significant impact on the marketing strategy.
Here we'll take a look at what significant benefits user-generated content brings to the table.
To simply put a brand's online presence and search engine visibility can be increased with the help of user-generated content.
Here's how it works when used effectively: UGC allows search engines to easily find your brand with new & relevant content.
It also helps to automatically improve your site's basic SEO attributes performance such as keywords, backlinks, internal links, etc.
Additionally, UGC may also boost your site's ranking for long-tail keywords.
Several brands have reportedly seen a 29% increase in conversion rate when they use more UGC on their website.
It is so because almost 70% of customers do check UGC and reviews out of which approx 41% of them check anywhere from 4 to 5 customers reviews to better understand the product.
Customers easily trust brands that are transparent about their customers expressing thoughts for their products.
That makes complete sense for any brand to incorporate ample amounts of comments/reviews and other types of UGC on their site.
The majority of people unconsciously follow the masses, something we humans have mastered over time.
Social proof does the same; it acts as an external validation to new customers that may have questions about the brand.
Customers reviewing photos, likes, shares,
Instagram stories or influencers you follow all play an important role when it comes to hooking the users.
It's because it enables new customers to witness the product being used by other customers.
Using UGC in ad campaigns can result in an almost four times higher click-through rate and a whopping 50% decrease in cost per click.
Another big benefit of UGC is that it is also an amazing tool with the help of which brands can create a strong and highly engaged community.
Now to say about the brand community it's a way through which a brand can reward their customers for expressing their views on its products.
Don't you feel special when a brand reposts your post on their official page, does it not make you feel important, it comes down to the brand proving to their customers that they care about them and respect them?
Having customer feedback and reviews about the product allows you to learn and understand how you can improve your product.
A chance to understand customer’s pinpoint will help you improve your product, make new advancements, and eventually come up with a better product.
They say "a great brand is the one that listens to its customers and makes improvements based on their feedback".
UGC seems to fit perfectly this thought.
If you're want to take advantage of UGC, you'll need to create an effective strategy that must cover the following aspects.
Start by filtering out the best performing UGC format for your brand, not all brands can experience the same results using one type of UGC.
You need to analyze and identify which type of UGC, be it photos, reviews, comments, etc will work best based on your brand and its ideal customers.
For example, if you sell t-shirts then customers' photos showing the quality of the fabric, stitching, etc is the best type of UGC to use.
To your help, there are UGC applications that ease the process of accumulating UGC from reviews to photos.
These applications are easy to use that let customers submit their feedback on the product via mail, SMS, or any other medium.
You can simply integrate these applications into your online store and it'll directly collect all the content from the customers and will display it on the site as you want.
Contlo is one great Shopify UGC application that helps you collect star ratings, reviews, user photos, and videos about your products from your customers and display them over the Shopify store.
Contlo is built by a team that has worked at Amazon & some of the other top eCommerce brands.
It's a one-stop solution for all your UGC requirements such as reviews, videos, photos, etc, and other user-generated content to help increase conversion rate, organic traffic, and buyer engagement of your brand.
Mentioned above are a few of the cool features that Contlo offers to Shopify store owners.
Still thinking about it, why don't you give it a try by yourself and watch your UGC game boom.
Did you know that just rewarding your customers for creating content can boost your brand’s trust and conversion rate?
Initially, you can even incentives customers in the form of coupons, giveaways, and reposting user content to encourage customers to buy from you.
This also helps to spread a buzz around the brand which may lead to more traffic and attention on your brand.
User-generated content has proven to be an effective marketing tool for any brand's growth.
Not only is it cost-effective it requires minimal effort and can still deliver the expected results.
In a nutshell, user-generated content is all about letting your customers describe and express their experience with your brand.
It comes down to one thing and that is "a successful brand is the one that can successfully get people to talk about it."
Now that you have all the necessary information about user-generated content it's time for you to get them started with user-generated content for your brand store.
The future of marketing will be driven by channelizing the voice of customers into the brand narrative and UGC, influencers, and brands - all have a role to play in that.
BMW, Starbucks, Adobe, Calvin Klein, Madewell, etc are just a few examples that show the true power of having an effective UGC strategy.