What's the biggest factor in whether or not shoppers actually make a purchase from your e-commerce business? According to a recent study of more than 1,000 online shoppers, it's UGC, or user-generated content.
User-generated content is any content created and/or shared by users — that is, other consumers — as opposed to content created by your business (like ads and press releases). UGC can include social media posts, photos, videos, testimonials or online reviews.
UGC is typically generated on social media platforms, online communities, forums, or through interactive features on websites. It adds authenticity, social proof, and engagement to digital marketing efforts, as it is created by real users and often reflects their experiences and opinions. Businesses often leverage UGC to enhance their brand presence, foster user engagement, and build trust among their target audience.
UGC is especially influential with women and people under age 30. Almost one-fourth of female shoppers in the survey say UGC is a bigger influence on their purchases than anything else. A whopping 97 percent of those aged 18 to 29 say UGC has an "extreme" influence on what they buy.
If customers say nice things about your business on social media, via email or even over the phone, ask if you can turn their words into testimonials on your website. Include their name and/or social media handle, and even a photo if they're willing to share one.
When customers receive their purchase, send a triggered email a few days after delivery asking them to review the product and your business. Be sure to link to online reviews on your website or, for product reviews, post them directly on your website. (Worried about a negative online review slipping by you? ReputationAlert can help by keeping tabs on what's being said about you across the Internet and sending you daily updates.)
Of course, where UGC really shines is on social media. Solicit user-generated content by asking your social media followers to share photos or videos, answer surveys or enter contests. For example, create a hashtag around a popular product your e-commerce site sells, an upcoming holiday or an annual sale you hold, and ask customers to post on Facebook about it using the hashtag. Visuals get more attention, so anything that encourages posting photos or videos will help boost exposure for your brand.
Maximizing user-generated content is an easy way to get more attention for your e-commerce business online—and more dollars in your business bank account.
UGC provides an authentic and genuine perspective of your product or service. It comes directly from real customers, building trust and credibility among potential buyers. Seeing positive experiences and recommendations from fellow users fosters confidence in your brand and can influence purchasing decisions.
UGC encourages active participation from your audience, leading to increased engagement. When users contribute content related to your brand, they become brand advocates and are more likely to share it with their own networks. This extends your reach, as UGC has the potential to reach a wider audience beyond your immediate followers.
Leveraging UGC reduces the need for creating all marketing content from scratch. By showcasing user-generated photos, videos, testimonials, and reviews, you can supplement your marketing efforts without significant investment. This approach allows you to tap into a wide range of creative and diverse content that resonates with your target audience.
UGC fosters a sense of community around your brand. By actively engaging with your audience, encouraging them to contribute content and share their experiences, you create a platform for users to connect with each other. This builds a loyal customer base, enhances brand loyalty, and establishes an ongoing relationship with your customers.
Overall, integrating UGC into your marketing strategy provides numerous benefits, including authenticity, increased engagement, cost-effective content creation, and community building. These advantages can significantly impact brand perception, customer trust, and overall marketing effectiveness.