User Generated Content (UGC) is any form of content relating to a brand that is created and posted by customers online, such as images, videos and even reviews. UGC has a massive effect on how your brand and products are perceived with 79% of people saying UGC guides their purchasing decisions, and consumers find that it’s nearly 10 times more effective than influencer content.(1)
It’s invaluable for brands to follow the fundamentals to include a more unique and trustworthy experience that helps drive sales, scale the brand, and even reduce asset production costs. Word-of-mouth is often one of the most influential factors for decision making and UGC is an extension of this peer-to-peer conversation. To ensure brand pages are effectively incorporating UGC fundamentals, there are five main criteria to consider –
1. Optimise Pages for Search with Reviews
Leveraging UGC to optimise your search ranking is a crucial step in making your pages more discoverable.
Product page SEO enables the discovery of brand.com and moves the consumer down the funnel. Product detail page (PDPs) sit mid-funnel and are where brands influence potential customers; driving traffic to PDPs organically without having to navigate through unnecessary pages is always an advantage. Incorporating simple UGC initiatives such as reviews to PDPs is an easy but effective way to show the alliance between SEO and UGC and boost performance as 90% of buyers read online reviews to decide on a product’s purchase.
2. Drive Page Traffic with Competitions
UGC can be used to attract additional traffic to site, social media pages and more. Competitions are a tactic that encourage user contributions with the possibility of their content being featured and the possibility of rewards. Users are more engaged with the brand during competition period, often revisiting site pages to review other submissions – overall increasing frequency to site and dwell time.
3. Live Chats & Online Engagement
Acknowledging consumer comments online is vital for both the individual and for other social users who see the interaction between brand and consumer. Validating consumer feedback through personal engagement creates stronger relationships and deepens brand loyalty. Salesforce stated 80% of customers say the experiences provided by a company are as important to them as its products and services.(2) These interactions – when consumers leave satisfied – build brand loyalty and eventually, conversion.
4. Turn Visitors into Customers
Leveraging UGC throughout the consumer journey generates authentic content and can encourage visitors to buy. When used effectively, Bazaar states that UGC can increase conversion by 10% when included in an online purchase path.(3) Context is key and purpose of the UGC content generated needs to be relevant, inspiring, and useful for consumers when researching. Will the content be used as design inspiration for a space, will it showcase product features & benefits, or will the UGC content be used simply to ensure pages stay fresh. No matter the reason, content created by ‘creators’ needs to ultimately benefit the brand and the end user, or new consumer.
5. Turn customers into Brand Advocates
UGC is all about boosting website traffic, trust, and engagement with the brand. But the true sign of loyalty is when customers return to buy on a regular basis. Enriching the digital experience and creating compelling reasons to buy is the best way to earn that loyalty.
Consumers are already talking about your brand daily from sharing selfies and posting product reviews, all of which can influence potential buyers. To effectively use UGC, brands must identify where the content lives on site and when it appears amid the sales funnel to both inspire and influence new buyers.
“GLOBAL TRUST IN ADVERTISING AND BRAND MESSAGES”: Nielsen.com: https://www.nielsen.com/ us/en/insights/report/2012/global-trust-in-advertisingand-brand-messages-2/