User-generated content or UGC has become a crucial aspect of content marketing strategy.
In its most basic form, UGC means the content that’s created by a user for a brand. It can be anything from reviews, comments, social media posts, and images.
So what are the benefits of user generated content and why your business need it? Check out some of the reasons why businesses should encourage user generated content.
Turn your customers into storytellers
User-generated content is extremely powerful because the audience can relate to it on a peer-to-peer level.
Even the influencers who publish “sponsored” content have the trust of their followers who accept this type of content as more authentic.
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In a recent study, TINT polled marketing professionals for their 2018 User-Generated Content Marketing Report and found that UGC has the power to “humanize marketing.” In fact, 73% agree that it makes the content more authentic.
Consumers trust other consumers more than brands
As a customer buying online, I’m sure your experience some level of anxiety. When you’re making purchases online you constantly wondering and questioning yourself. Will those shoes fit perfectly? Will the dress complement the wearer’s body form?
Online shopping anxiety is one of the main reasons shoppers abandon their carts and never complete their checkout process. In fact, it’s a huge problem in the world of online shopping.
To tackle this, brands use user-generated content such as user reviews to influence consumers and convince them to buy. When someone goes to purchase something on Amazon, but unsure if they’re ready, the first thing they do is check the reviews. If they like the reviews and see others rave about the quality and how it changed their lives for the better, they’re much more likely to buy it.
Since most brands don’t create this content, the reviews written by regular people come off as more genuine and more trustworthy.
Build brand authenticity
How do you create a digital marketing strategy that works? One of the ways brands can be truly authentic is by making customers part of their marketing. By giving them the power to share and spread the message, they build the army of loyal fans who will help build the buzz and get the word out. Often the success of the marketing campaign is directly impacted by the buzz and content people are willing to share to show their loyalty to a brand.
Improve your conversions
You can spend a lot of time (and money) building your site from the ground, but if you don’t have high conversion rates, your efforts will go to waste.
The good news is, you can convert more users by encouraging them to create content or exposing them to content created by their peers.
In fact, there’s a 25% increase in the overall conversion rates when user-generated pictures are included instead of product shots that are professionally taken. By encouraging users to publish reviews, post photos and share their experiences, companies increase their conversion rates using social proof as a way of marketing and building trust.
Utilizing UGC is a smart way for brands to build customer relationship, which is the key to building loyalty.
Instead of ignoring your customers, encourage two-way communication. Ask them to share pictures of your product. Let them share how they enjoy a particular service you offer or how your brand changed their lives. They can do this on their blogs or their favorite social media network. This organic marketing is a great way to significantly boost user engagement and influence the purchasing decisions of consumers.
Boost your brand credibility
Creating a positive user-generated content improves the credibility of your brand. Each positive experience you create with the user, encourages them to opt-in and buy the products and consume the services you offer, not once or twice, but many times over.
Nothing builds trust more than social proof. That is why it’s important to include testimonials, reviews, and case studies with real people discussing how you your brand helped them improve they lives.
UGS generates more sales
The reality is that we all influenced by the digital world. Internet and social media are major forces behind many decisions we make, including what we buy. In a survey, more than half of millennials who have made reservations on a restaurant or booked travel plans checked out reviews on social media sites before they made the decision.
Today people who had a positive travel or dining experience, are more likely to share and write about than ever before. The constant influx of content can trigger FOMO (fear of missing out) which can significantly influence other people’s’ purchasing decisions. This is especially true with sites such as Instagram, where many users go to find out where to go before booking their next vacation.
Reduce advertising budget
Sometimes, it’s better (and cost-efficient!) to create UGC than to come up with regular content which can get expensive to produce. With user-generating content, your customers are doing content creating, marketing and advertising for you, all without you spending much money. Unlike other types of content, like video, podcasts or long-form content, user-generated content doesn’t require any investment. You can encourage your users to create content using giveaways or loyalty discounts, but other than that, most of the content produced free by regular users who don’t expect to get paid directly.
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Over to You
So there you have it. Those are some of the important benefits of user-generated content. User-generated content can improve your marketing ROI and boost your e-commerce conversion rates, making it one of the most effective tools to grow your business and your marketing