What is user-generated content?
In simple terms, user-generated content is any content created by users of products, services, brands, business or individuals; from streaming media to social media posts and customer generated reviews.
Buyer reviews, testimonials and public forums can offer insight into how reputable and popular a businesses product or concept is and can help businesses fine-tune their future goals and marketing plans. User-generated content can provide an authentic level of trust among peers. When they see comments from other peers, they feel a unique sense of confidence and interest.
With user-generated content, there is an interest drawn by users and their fellow peers that may offer a company leverage when they are working to stand out from thousands of other websites that may have a similar product or concept. Through the use of social proof, user-generated content and reviews can help a business learn more about their customer base, define their objectives or shape a product. Through social media, product reviews, customer feedback, and interactive websites, there is a visual interaction taking place.
Find out how user-generated content can help your business:
1. Improve online presence
User-generated content is derived from blog comments, product reviews, streaming content, and social media. More often then not, user-generated content is created out of pure fascination for a brand or for the quality of a product. A good example would be a boutique clothing company that inspires the active lifestyle through their branding. That branding resonates with customers who live the active lifestyle, and suddenly consumers gravitate towards the brand; they wear the clothing and find they are products they enjoy and as a result, they have commented on the item, providing positive feedback. More often then not, users are unprovoked and inspired to tell the world about a product they own or utilize.
2. Boost traffic, conversions and sales
Maximizing user-generated content is critical. It drives traffic to your website or online store, ultimately driving up sales. User-driven content is so important when building a customer base and can rapidly place your product or service offering in the spotlight. Many of us are visually driven and by seeing photos of content in real time alongside user feedback, consumers get a real-world idea of how a product will truly work for them. They can see the product fitting into their lifestyle based on popularity among peers. In the other hand, a company may put out a product they believe will be popular but when there is a lack of user feedback, that is surely a sign the product or concept the business is trying to implement may need adjustments.
3. Increase trust
Admittedly, the best tool to use for generated content is user reviews. According to content marketing institute, “61% of customers read online reviews before making a purchase decision” and many of these customer reviews offer consumers the chance to see how a product applies to real life and if it lives up to the marketed hype. Thousands of websites and thousands of companies are constantly competing for the attention of new consumers are consumers who may have an allegiance to any other brand. By curating a collection of content that speaks for your brand, consumers feel a sense of trust when purchasing a product. Today’s generation of shoppers are visually driven and rely heavily on those around them for an opinion. With this change in shopping habits, companies need to rely less on their own marketing department and more on the opinion of the masses.
The most important way to leverage customer reviews is by simply asking. By prompting consumers and offering ways to listen to their feedback, a natural interest among people is piqued. Peer-generated reviews are also highly useful for keeping a company accountable. User reviews force a business to keep their product working at top-notch or living up to its full potential. The most significant part of the use of generated reviews is leveraging their feedback to make the product better or improve what already works. In turn, these efforts can create a unique and consistent experience for end users, ultimately snowballing in an increase in financial growth and attention.
4. Increase engagement
Be active and consistently involved with your marketing and social media efforts. Make it a challenge to expand your customer base and make it fun; Give users a reason to want to wear your clothing or use your product. Throw out a competition on a social media platform rewarding those who use your product in the most creative way or who wears it the best. By gaining attention through the attention of your users you indirectly attract more users to your product which becomes a domino effect of improved sales, traffic, and popularity. Maximizing the opinion of others can make or break your product or brand, all of these factors guarantee a unique spin away from the hundreds of competitors around you.
Take your product offline and online through marketing initiatives and campaigns geared towards consumers and your brand. Utilize every aspect of your social media channels by posting content relevant to your business and leverage the social opinion of buyers. Many individuals are proud of the products they own or wear and want to show them off. When one person displays their affection for a product, naturally, others will follow suit. With the evolution of technology, using unique social media marketing methods to leverage user-generated content has become a concept companies rely on to gain trust, building a consumer base that will ultimately help a company grow financially.