The number of different areas, techniques, processes and strategies that now fall under the marketing umbrella have increased so rapidly that this particular umbrella could probably shelter an entire country and still keep everyone dry. Keeping on top of all of these trends can be quite frankly exhausting and very time consuming. It’s fine if you have a well established in-house team with the know-how and the dedicated time to commit to keeping on top of the ever changing trends, but what if you don’t?
Many small businesses already have too many balls to juggle without trying to create constantly entertaining content on top of their endless to-do list. But what if you let your customers do the marketing for you? They can’t do it all but once you’ve put in the ground work and established yourself as a credible business with a product or service that works, your customers will generate content for you. 93% of consumers believe user-generated content is very helpful when making a purchasing decision. More specifically, groups like millennials trust UGC 50% more than content generated by brands themselves.
User Generated Content or UGC is content created by an individual not the brand and can take many forms such as video, images and review. It is the ideal way to show your brand’s authenticity and reliability and help to build trust with potential customers. As the content is created by an individual person and not by the brand, it is more appealing to customers. Even better UGC helps increase leads, website traffic and everyone’s favourite- revenue!
93% of consumers believe user-generated content is very helpful when making a purchasing decision.
The main benefits of UGC are:
Connected to social proof, UGC builds trust in your brand. Unlike employees in a business, customers don’t have financial incentives for raising brand awareness so their content is considered more trustworthy. A survey by Stackla revealed that out of 2,000 shoppers, 80% said UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions.
User generated content highlights the authenticity of your brand. This helps to boost brand reputation, increase awareness and has an impact on social media reach, website traffic, sales and leads.
The more customers share fresh, relevant content, the greater an impact it will have on your SEO. Search engines like Google optimise websites based on attributes such as backlinks and keywords. The majority of customer reviews on websites and social media pages will revolve around products and they may also contain keywords and phrases which are to those very same products, therefore influencing the brands’ SEO rankings. Google reviews and UGC on social media can also help drive increased traffic to your website.
Content generated by your customers is the ideal opportunity to see what works and what needs to be tweaked within your product or service offering. Look at the content your audience is sharing. Engage with reviews and determine what they love but also what they are complaining about and if there are any patterns to these complaints. Take note of these and make improvements where necessary. Also pay attention to the type of posts being shared and whether these align with how you want your brand to be perceived?
Acquiring a new customer is at least 5 times more expensive than retaining an existing customer. Therefore brand loyalty is key! When customers start sharing UGC they feel a part of the brand community and are already showing their loyalty by advocating for your brand.
Return on Investment (ROI)
What it all comes down to- increased sales. UGC can be organic or paid (through influencer marketing) and helps increase ROI as these individuals are sharing content with all of their followers. Research found an 8.5% increase in conversion among visitors who are served up some form of UGC on product pages. This figure increased to 100.6% among visitors who interacted with the UGC in some manner.
Research found an 8.5% increase in conversion among visitors who are served up some form of UGC on product pages
The Way to Do It
So many brands are taking advantage of using UGC. Check out some we love.
GoPro allows their product to do the talking and the content captured by customers does an incredible job of creating brand awareness. Their Instagram grid is dedicated to celebrating the outdoors and is mainly filled with content they repurpose -images and videos from their customers showcasing the variety of ways their cameras can be used.
The holiday rental company took UGC to a whole new level post pandemic by asking a number of people to book an Airbnb with their friends & families and submit the photos to Airbnb. Their aim was to create a sense of nostalgia, encouraging users to think back on their own memories and trips. Their Forever Young video had over 7.5 million views due to its simplicity and authenticity at a time when people were craving travel and adventure during the pandemic.
Irish owned, The smooth company has recently released a hair taming wand which has more than likely appeared on your Instagram or TikTok feed through their own marketing or user generated content. The Smooth Company’s Instagram feed is a mix of customer reviews and reels showing how effective the product is and it’s suitability for many different hair types.
Another aspect of their ‘challenger’ approach to marketing, Pepsi MAX’s creative social media campaign asked their customers to share pictures and videos telling why they prefer Pepsi Max to other soft drinks on the market. Customers were tasked with sharing their creative pictures on Instagram and other social channels and Pepsi even went a step further by creating a mini-website, specifically designed to publish user generated content.
Dove’s mission to promote body positivity is one you have to admire. Their #nodigitaldistortion campaign combats the pressures that social media puts on its users, especially the younger generations. Dove asks its community to have “The Selfie Talk”with the young people in their lives using the “Confidence Kit” it provides as a communication resource. The company used a combination of paid and organic content, pairing with influencers like Lizzo and Shonda Rhimes to talk about their idea of a healthy and asking their social community to share their own thoughts about the user of filters or photo editing. Their reverse selfie initiative had a powerful impact globally and generated a powerful conversation and lots of user generated content.
With over 50,000 reviews to speak for the quality of their products and a variety of comparison videos across YouTube, Ridge has UGC sorted. As the wallets come with a substantially larger price tag than other similar products, authentic reviews by YouTubers such as Jimmy Tries World allow customers to hear from others about the benefits of forking out for a Ridge wallet in comparison to another cheaper alternative. How other users interact with this content also provides customers with a variety of opinions before making a purchase, giving the brand a level of authenticity.
More and more brands are encouraging customers to share their thoughts about products or services. Not every review will be positive but these insights can also provide a variety of benefits and insights. As social media platforms continue to grow rapidly, your customers will continue to voice their opinions, whether through a Google review or a TikTok so you might as well use it to your advantage.
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