User Generated Content. Customer Content. Earned Content. Whatever you want to call it, you might’ve heard about this winning strategy for your eCommerce and the benefits of User Generated Content. Maybe you understand the basic definition – it is right there in the title – content generated by users.
But what can User Generated Content really do for your brand?
In this post, we’d like to share all of the benefits of User Generated Content and how to leverage them to their full capacity in your eCommerce strategy.
The Benefits of User Generated Content: #1 Building trust with customers
So what makes UGC so great?
Since this content has been ‘crowdsourced’ from everyday folk, it has a notably raw and authentic feel. Plus, a model in a studio isn’t using the product. They’re real people, in the world, taking nice pictures with your products. Why wouldn’t you want to use them?
Brands that run User Generated Content campaigns are seen as authentic, meaning that customers trust them more. In fact, studies show that a majority of consumers trust customer content 50% more than other media.
And if 70% of customers check product reviews before purchase, UGC will help you reinforce the reliability and performance of your products.
While three-quarters of shoppers are influenced by social content, every brand out there is vying to be an influencer. So building trust with your target audience should be high on every brand’s list.
Shoppers have too many options to waste time on a brand that they don’t believe will deliver a consistent product. Make sure your customers know that when they buy something from you, they’re guaranteed a product that everyone trusts and loves.
People are already talking about you on social media. They’re already comparing products and listening to peer recommendations of what to buy. So why not harness all of this social proof, and use it to impress your shoppers?
#2 Increasing your conversion rates with UGC
What’s even more exciting and one of the true benefits of User Generated Content is the fact that this kind of authentic customer communication can actually help to increase eCommerce revenue. As Europe’s leading visual commerce, we see this happen everyday with our customers across industries.
Starting with fashion and apparel brands, jeans brand Salsa Jeans increased their conversion rates by 17.27% with UGC even during the height of the COVID-19 pandemic. By implementing UGC galleries within their online shopping journey, the brand brought in more online revenue by providing shoppers with real examples of how people style their products.
It’s the same for other industries, for example furniture brands! By connecting consumer generated content to products within their catalogue, furniture brand VOX saw an 18.76% increase in conversion rates thanks to UGC.
From footwear to cosmetics to consumer goods and more, online brands are benefitting from the conversion power of UGC. So, no matter your industry, the benefits of User Generated Content are clear. Implement it into your eCommerce store and see the increase sales! If you’re not sure how to create a winning User Generated Content strategy, let us help you!
#3 Curating content vs creating content
Let’s not kid ourselves: sometimes we don’t have the time, energy or resources to come up with killer content day-in and day-out. (Especially if you’re a small team, and the same person who manages your social media channels also doubles up as a photographer, marketer, and blog article writer!)
However, when your content person plays the role of ‘curator’ versus ‘creator’, their job become much easier.
If you’re able to encourage and curate customer content on a regular basis, you instantly lift the burden of constant content creation. Each time a follower tags you and leaves positive feedback or asks a question, this is an opportunity to use customer content to your advantage.
For the content creators behind your brand, the benefits of encouraging and curating customer content are three-fold:
- You don’t have to constantly self-promote or fill your feed with fluff
- You’re not forced into guessing whether or not your content is relevant to your followers: after all, they’re the ones creating it
- Boosting your followers via customer content can happen in an instant: all it takes is a quick caption and a click – rather than hiring models, shooting, and editing
If nothing else, incorporating customer content into your feed is a fantastic supplement to your existing social strategy. Since User Generated posts are truly organic, they’re a welcome break from pieces that you’d normally create and boost yourself.
And not only that, but users are already creating this content. 80 million photos are uploaded daily to Instagram. And don’t forget the 30 billion pieces of content published to Facebook monthly. It’s already being generated, just learn how to curate it.
#4 High-performing customer engagement
We’ve already talked about how UGC can help increase revenue – but we can’t forget about engagement! While we should always have our eyes on conversions, it’s also important to track how much consumers want to participate in the fandom of your brand. And with UGC, that can increase a lot.
For example, consumer goods brand, Newskill Gaming, saw that 4.10% of visitors interact with the UGC galleries and carousels that they have implemented in their website.
UGC can be so much more than just a nice asset to have you in site. It can also truly help customers understand how your products work in real-life situations and help people make decisions when they can’t hold the product in their hand.
This is also a contributing factor to the last of our benefits of User Generated Content…
#5 The Power of Visual Reviews: One of the true benefits of User Generated Content
So what is the reason why UGC can help increase conversions and engagement? Because a UGC integration in your website transforms into powerful visual reviews that give your customers tangible testimonials that they can see with their own eyes.
One of the main benefits of User Generated Content is that it speaks for itself. Written reviews can be a helpful thing to include in your site, but visual reviews further propel the conversation towards converting.
This is because we are already living in a visual world, where endlessly scrolling through Instagram is natural. Play to this trend by giving the people what they want! Beautiful galleries of customer content that express how great your products are from the perspective of your customers.
Now that you’ve heard all of the benefits of User Generated Content, we want to play devil’s advocate. Let’s talk about the disadvantages of this strategy.
The Disadvantages of UGC
Of course, there are disadvantages to every strategy. We want to prepare you for every part of the User Generated Content marketing process, so let’s talk about the disadvantages of using your customers to help grow your brand awareness and make more sales.
Getting customers to post content you want to use
One disadvantage of User Generated Content marketing is the time it takes to grow your audience. As a UGC platform, we often hear from customers that getting eCommerce customers to post about the brand on social media platforms is a challenge. But receiving content that actually matches your brand image is harder.
We get that. We know it takes a lot of effort to get users excited enough about a brand to talk about it on social channels. That’s why we create our own useful content specifically surrounding this problem to make sure that eCommerce brands are getting the kind the UGC that they want to see. Then, we help them use it in the best way possible.
If you’re having trouble growing content, check out this webinar on how brands can create more content without producing it in-house.
Managing and curating content
Other than getting customers to post for your brand, another disadvantage of customer content is the work of collecting, managing, curating and displaying this content in a way that matches your brand’s look and feel. It can be an overwhelming process, especially once your target audience is sharing like crazy on social networks. That’s why moderating your content is so important, something we’ll talk about in just a second.
But this is exactly what User Generated Content platforms are for! With a UGC platform, you can collect and approve the content that best fits your brand’s image instantly. Once it’s been managed and curated, you publish it directly into a gallery or carousel on your website. Plus, tailor design them to fit your brand’s look and feel.
Why Content Moderation Is Important
It’s exciting to see users posting for your brand on their social channels. But it can get overwhelming when your hashtag is full of content for you to choose from. Especially when there’s some content that you don’t plan on using in your marketing efforts.
One of the most important steps of any User Generated Content marketing strategy is content moderation. It helps you keep your brand’s look and feel in tact while you use your target audience to generate brand awareness for you.
The best way to ensure that you’re only collecting content that you want to use is with tools like Blacklisting and Whitelisting. These are 2 Photoslurp tools that allow your brand to block spam content, while giving a green light to content that you know you’ll be interested in seeing.
From there, managing your content is easy, as you just need to approve the images and videos that you’d like to appear on your eCommerce. And maybe even connect them with a product to make your customer content shoppable.
As you can see, there’s a lot of different ways that you can remedy any of the disadvantages of this strategy. And we’re here to help with that! You can also learn more specifically how Photoslurp collects your User Generated Content and how you can manage that content with Photolsurp here.
I think we can all agree that the benefits of User Generated Content speak for themselves. So don’t wait to start leveraging this strategy in your online store!