What is User Generated Content and Why do You Need It
Most people think of user generated content (UGC), they think of social media posts. (#ShareaCoke, anyone?).
Customer-created images of clothing, jewelry, food, or a recent hotel stay are extremely common and great for brands. However, UGC is actually any type of content related to your brand that comes from a consumer, customer or fan.
It can be anything from a tweet to an Instagram post, video, testimonial, or online review.
Unless you’ve been off the grid for the last decade or so, you’ve probably noticed that UGC is everywhere.
But what if we told you that 90% of consumers claim that online reviews can influence their buying decisions? This simple fact is the reason why business owners both love and hate Yelp (and why many people turn to Yelp to choose a restaurant without ever hitting the company’s actual website).
More than just a marketing buzzword, the trend of consumers aiding in brand promotion keeps going strong, and can have real effects on your site’s SEO, click through rates, and actual sales. How, you ask?
Impact of User Generated Content when seen across consumer touch points
According to MOZ’s Local Search Ranking Factors Survey, online reviews may make up 10% of how Google and other search engines rank search results.
- When customers see user-generated content during the customer journey, the on-page stickiness increases.
- Shoppers convert up to 9.6% more when they interact with user-generated content while shopping
- 92% of consumers trust recommendations from others, even people they don’t know, over branded content.
- 70% say that online reviews are their second-most-trusted source, behind friends and family. (SocialTimes).
Increase Shopper Confidence and Boost Authenticity with UGC
The first rule of UGC is – you can never have enough! Product reviews, Instagram photos, and product use videos offer an unfiltered look into a brand that creates authenticity. Buyers love authenticity.
According to Cohn and Wolfe, 63% of consumers said that a company’s authenticity would sway them over a competitor.
Millennials spend around 1/3 of their media time (5 hours/day) engaged with UGC (Ipsos MediaCT). Therefore, it’s no surprise that they find this media to be about 35% more memorable, and 50% more trusted than other media.
Product or service reviews and testimonials help to answer pre-sales questions and increase shopper confidence. Chances are, your customers will answer the questions other potential buyers have – does the eyeliner smudge? How good is the hotel breakfast buffet? Is the pool really that big?
So how can you collect and share UGC?
- Have a cool idea. Check out GoPro’s YouTube page or REI’s super successful #optoutside campaigns for inspiration.
- Have a system in place for organizing it. This could be as simple as a branded hashtag or a more dedicated space, like a page on your website. For many industries, it may make sense to incorporate reviews on your site’s conversion pages.
- The second rule of UGC? Attribution is key! By collecting UGC via an app or integrated widget, you can be confident that what you collect will not cause legal issues if used on official advertising campaigns.
- Share on appropriate platforms. Share video reviews you’ve collected on Facebook, Twitter, and YouTube. Your website’s conversion pages work well for testimonials or product reviews.
- Analyze & measure your content to see which types of UGC perform best, and where.
- Learn from negative UGC, but showcase the positive. The right insight and engagement may even turn your critics into advocates. (Stay tuned for more on the importance of negative reviews).
As you can see, user generated content is a huge part of your overall online reputation marketing strategy, and it is already out there en masse. One need only turn to the growing number of perspectives on review sites like Yelp or Trip Advisor to realize that UGC is here to stay.
Tellofy provides a complete platform for omnichannel review acquisition, multimode options, customized surveys, review marketing tools along with customer insights & analytics. Start a Free trial with Tellofy today to start on your UGC journey.
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