5 Ways User-Generated Content Is an eCommerce Goldmine
As a business owner, you will often find yourself talking about how good your product/service is, why it is valuable and how generally impressive your brand is. That’s great, you have to believe in and be passionate about your idea to sell it, so we understand. However, the truth is that you can’t turn off your bias about your brand. This is why your target audience needs to hear external opinions about your product/service in case they don’t want to take your word as the truth. This brings us to the topic we are discussing today; user-generated content (UGC).
User-Generated Content Explained
Before a potential buyer decides to buy your product or service, one of the first things they do is find out what other customers who have bought your product/service, or interacted with your brand think. What was the experience like for them? These are concerns the potential buyer has that you may never be able to provide answers for because you are the brand owner and they know that you will be biased.
As a result, you need to gather real input from your user base, real people who have interacted with your brand to share their personal experience of what it’s like to use your product/service. This type of user input about a particular brand is referred to as user-generated content.
How Can You Gather UGC?
You can organize hashtag contests on your social media pages to get user opinions about a particular product, feature, project, or brand generally. Another method is to send emails asking them to make a selfie video to share their experience or tell any relatable interesting story that aligns with your brand.
Here are five key reasons why you should include user-generated content in your next marketing campaign.
Data Shows That UGC Influences Buying Decisions
About 80% of shoppers claim that UGC influences their purchase decisions. Usually, before a buyer makes a purchase, they want to know whether the brand can be trusted. So, they do a little research about the brand and even if the brand seems trustworthy and reliable, UGC will convince them better. And that’s because UGC is the opinion of other buyers just like them.
75% of marketers also agree that UGC makes the brand feel more authentic to the target audience and this helps to build trust. Why is it important for a brand to make potential customers feel they can be trusted? The simple answer is that 70% of shoppers appreciate it when a brand provides some level of transparency.
Influencers Come In Different Sizes
We are quite sure you’ve heard about influencer marketing and the role influencers play. UGC is similar when it comes to influencing the target audience about a product or brand but they’re not the same. One of the reasons is that your UGC will come more from people with less than 100k followers; they’re called micro-influencers.
Did you know that micro-influencers have an almost 700% engagement rate? This means that this type of user can generate more audience influence. So, if they tell a captivating story about your brand or product, they can definitely influence others positively. All you have to do is curate the stories together for your social media, website, and paid ad campaigns. Keep in mind that anyone can share a beautiful story about your brand, whether they’re actual customers or your employees.
UGC Helps Potential Buyers Decide Faster
Typically, when you add new items to your product listing on your eCommerce store, you have to do a bunch of things including explaining the features, benefits, and quality of each product. You want potential buyers to know enough about each product so that they will have the necessary details to make their purchase decision. However, it is likely that you will not capture the type of information potential buyers want. Data shows that 45% of online adult shoppers look for features that are usually not obvious in the product description or product images.
With UGC, you will get the user’s perspective of the product by having actual buyers explain how the products work. This will also help you build trust. As a result, potential buyers will spend less time trying to figure out how your products or brand work and whether to buy the product or not. This will invariably make purchase decisions much faster. Since you will often share UGC on your social media platforms, buyers will tend to buy immediately after coming across one of your UGC posts; and buy directly from your social media pages.
Social Commerce Is Becoming More Popular
Social commerce is a new way of doing eCommerce, it has been growing for a few years. Social commerce sales are expected to reach about $84 billion by 2024, and we can expect the industry to keep growing. So, how does this matter to UGC? As you know, UGC works more effectively on social media and it’s completely free to post UGC on your brand’s social media pages. Therefore, when you post your UGC on your social media feed, you’re enabling your platform for social commerce and putting your brand out there to be seen by social commerce shoppers.
Instagram is a good example of how you can tap into the new social commerce terrain (if you’re not doing so already). More than 80% of Instagram users research products and services on the platform before making their purchase decision. You should start posting your UGC on your social media feeds along with CTAs and direct links to buy some of your products; particularly the product in the UGC.
UGC Shows Just How Loyal Your Customers Are
When your customers take their time to share their positive experience about your brand or product, it shows that their loyalty and commitment to your brand. Secondly, it suggests that you’re doing something right to get them to want to make a UGC post. Requesting for UGC from customers also suggests that you are willing to hear what your customers have to say, and that can motivate them to open up and share their experiences.
Additionally, having a habit of using and sharing UGC will show your target audience that you’re committed to hearing what your customer base thinks of your brand and products. Therefore, you don’t have to use only positive feedback. You can also use negative UGC if you know how to capitalize on it to attend to the concerns the UGC addresses, especially if you have already fixed or improved the issue.
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