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User-Generated Content: The Low-Hanging Marketing Fruit That Builds Trust

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User-Generated Content: The Low-Hanging Marketing Fruit That Builds Trust

User-generated content is kind of a golden goose.

It has lots of benefits for your ecommerce business, not the least of which is building trust with your audience. 

Consumers want to support a brand that feels authentic. Nail that and you’ll increase sales and start hitting your revenue goals.

There’s a lot of information here, so get comfy and dive in.

User-Generated Content Basics

As you’ve probably guessed, user-generated content (UGC) is content that is created by your buyers.

It can be in the form of video, photo, text, or anything else – but it has to be made by real people and not a product of your brand.

Maybe you follow a celebrity or other influencer on Instagram and they share fan art. That’s UGC.

Perhaps you’ve seen a video of a product “unboxing.” That’s also user-generated content.

Another great example is your college alma mater sharing pics on Facebook of alumni who come to visit campus or who are doing great things.

There are many, many different ways to use user-generated content (that we’ll take a closer look at below), but for your ecommerce business, the holy grail is a satisfied customer sharing how much they love/enjoy/can’t-get-enough-of/can’t-live-without the product.

So, why do YOU need to make UGC a part of your marketing strategy?

First and foremost, it’s the best way to build trust between you and your audience. Your level of authenticity skyrockets as your prospective customers see “real” people using and enjoying your product.

Still not quite on board? Consider these statistics from Tint By Filestack’s 2021 State of UGC Report: 

  • 93% of marketers agree that consumers trust content created by customers more than content created by brands.
  • 75% of marketers know that user-generated content makes a brand more authentic. 
  • 66% of consumers place a high value on a brand’s transparency. (Source: Accenture)

But that’s not all. Social media posts that showcase user-generated content get 50% more engagement. And when UGC is a part of your email campaigns? You’re looking at a 78% average click-through rate boost.

Yeah, it’s important.  

Next up, let’s talk types of UGC.

Categories Of User-Generated Content

Everybody has opinions about brands and there are a variety of ways they can share what they like and don’t like about a product, tips on how to use it, or any other helpful need-to-knows.

Let’s look at five types of UGC.

1. Product Ratings/Reviews

People believe other people when it comes to making a purchase. When they see you’re trusted by real consumers, they’re more likely to give you their trust, as well.

User-generated content, Welcome to my circle of trust, Flight Media

Most shoppers (89%) trust the opinions of reviewers when they’re thinking of making a purchase.

These reviews and/or ratings may be left directly on your website or through a third-party retailer, such as Amazon or Google, for example.

2. Blogging

If your product really has an impact, it may be the subject of a blogger who is excited to share how much they like it with their audience.

3. Social Media Sharing

Your happy customers may share their new favorite product with their Facebook friends, Instagram followers, or whatever social media app they’re into. 

4. Videos

It’s definitely to your benefit that most consumers have a smartphone with a decent enough camera to film anything they want. They may take an unboxing video or demonstrate how they’re using your product.

This type of user-generated content is valuable to you because you can use it in your paid ads, and/or share it on your own social media accounts.

5. Real-Time “Stories”

Live streams are raw and appear as they’re being filmed and don’t receive any editing or polish.

These are popular on Facebook, Instagram, and Snapchat.

How User-Generated Content Maximizes Sales

Here’s how user-generated content helps you increase revenue for your ecommerce business.

It Brings In More Potential Buyers

You already heard the statistic that 89% of shoppers take reviews and ratings into account before they decide to buy.

Double down on those awesome reviews your customers are posting to generate buzz and pull in more eyes on your products.

And more visibility equals more sales.

Lends Social Proof

When potential customers see your product being used by a real person – in video or photo form – it validates the product in their minds.

Plus, seeing it in use may give them ideas for how to use your product in their own lives that they hadn’t thought of before.

Strategically placing user-generated content on your product pages can help someone who is on the fence decide to pull the trigger and make the purchase.

Builds Community

One of the coolest ways we’ve seen this in action is with the brand Izzy & Liv

They ask their customers to tag them on IG and here’s a small sample of what they’ve shared:

But the best part is the way their community has grown to a point where their loyal “Brown Sugar Babes” recognize each other in airports, plan meet-ups, and form actual connections.

Izzy & Liv is a great example of how valuable user-generated content can be. People like to feel like they’re “in,” so if buying means they get to be a part of this cool community, they’ll do it. 

It’s Cost-Effective

It may be “basic” but it’s an important perk of UGC.

It’s an economical way to capitalize on the content that your satisfied customers post on their own channels or that they share with you.

Used alongside your paid campaigns, you’re getting the most bang for your buck.

Counters Negative Reviews

Bad reviews happen to good brands.

But user-generated content can be helpful because it gives you a chance to let your audience see you engaging with the individuals who leave negative reviews.

It shows that you care about what your customers have to say and you’re committed to doing what you can to rectify a situation.

Again, it’s all about trust. Show that you have integrity and people will be more willing to give you their business.

Final Thoughts

User-generated content is a surefire way to expand your brand’s reach, increase your revenue, and grow a loyal following of dedicated customers.

Follow these strategies to engage with your audience and show them just how awesome it is to be a part of your community.

Not sure how to fit UGC into your ecommerce marketing plan?

We can help!

TO Lead Magnet

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