Are you taking advantage of user-generated content (UGC)? If not, it’s time to start. Read on to learn more about UGC and how to take advantage of it.
What is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content is any content – text, images, videos, reviews, etc. – created by individuals rather than brands.
If you’ve ever taken a picture of a latte from your favorite coffee shop, uploaded it to social media and tagged the coffee shop, you’ve created UGC.
Consumers are promoting a brand through original content rather than the brand promoting themselves. Taking advantage of the right opportunities lets consumers do most of the work for you – creating conversation, generating product interest, and even revenue.
How does this happen?
Because consumers trust original, user-generated content more than traditional advertising. Put simply, your audience would rather hear from your customers than you.
After all, 37% of consumers trust social networks for their pre-purchase research making user-generated content invaluable at winning over prospects.
People Trust People, Not Brands
This isn’t to say your audience won’t eventually trust you. The difference is that with brands, trust is earned. With people, trust is pretty automatic.
Check out these stats:
- Around 80% of people say user-generated content has an impact on their purchasing decisions.
- 84% of consumers say they trust peer recommendations over all other sources of advertising.
- UGC ranks higher than other forms of marketing content like promotional emails.
- 64% of Gen Z and 60% of Millennials stated they didn’t buy from an e-commerce store because the site didn’t feature customer reviews, testimonials, or images.
There are plenty more stats that could be listed, but you get the point. People trust people.
So, what are the types of user-generated content you should be taking advantage of?
1. Photos and Videos
Visual content tends to pack a bigger punch than written content because it shows potential customers what they can expect without physically inspecting it themselves.
If you’re already collecting customer testimonials, you’re halfway there! No matter the product or service you’re selling, testimonials from actual customers can go a long way in reaching potential buyers and boosting sales.
How do you get testimonials if you aren’t already?
- Reach out to past customers who are happy with your brand. Ask for a short paragraph on how your product or service has helped them.
- Send customer feedback forms after every purchase.
- Check out the comment sections on social platforms. Take screenshots of comments favoring or complimenting your business and ask permission to share them.
Encouraging reviews is a great way to take advantage of UGC. Reviews are similar to testimonials but are shared on directories like Trip Advisor or Facebook business pages.
89% of customers read reviews before making a purchase. With that said, utilizing reviews is a great way to increase trust, authenticity, and sales.
Motivate Your Audience
Since UGC comes from your customers, you need to find ways to motivate and incentivize them in order to collect the content you need. You can do this in several ways, including:
- Add a share or tweet button on your after checkout page.
- Encourage customers to take a screenshot and share it to their social media and tag you.
- Share a call to action, brand hashtags, and social media handles.
- Reach out to customers a few days after purchase asking them to write a review.
- Send out feedback forms.
- Incentivize customers with a prize.
Once you have user-generated content to work with, share it in places where people are more likely to interact with your brand.
- Social media posts
- On your website
- At your physical location
- On product packaging
Start encouraging and taking advantage of user-generated content, and remember, always ask permission and credit the original creator. As always, if you have any questions or aren’t sure how to approach UGC, don’t hesitate to reach out. That’s what we’re here for!