8 Benefits of User-Generated Content for Ecommerce Marketing
The world is moving online, and so are businesses.
In fact, in 2019, 1.9 billion global citizens are predicted to shop online. Moreover, that’s 25% of the world right there.
E-commerce is clearly the place to be.
However, why is user-generated content such a big deal? It’s not like they know everything.
You can ask around about products in your neighbourhood, from people you know. You will get a much better direction. Everyone thinks that way. Right?
Unfortunately, the answer is ‘No’.
As much as 64% of customers look around online for reviews from strangers before they go ahead and buy something online.
Also, many of them stall buying until they hit on some comments online.
Online reviews from strangers are becoming more and more trustworthy to eCommerce customers all over the globe.
These online reviews, or user-generated content as we call it, are generating far more traction than the parent’s companies have been able to do so far about their own products.
So what are the benefits of user-generated content for marketing your eCommerce site? Here are some quick tips!
1. Proof of Quality
Any idea what that line is for?
It’s a pretty large queue, and everyone is trying to get the chance to buy the latest iPhone.
Now, what makes Apple be able to become such a crowd-puller?
It’s the creation of value. It’s the promise of the brand, that delivers the exact product it pledges, time after time.
Over time, it has been able to leverage the trust people have for the name Apple and build on it.
Similarly, positive online user-generated content is proof that you care for your customers.
You want nothing but the best for them. You always deliver what you promise. You offer value, and your customers are satisfied.
User-generated content is a fast and cost-effective way to showcase to the world that you stand for integrity and probity. So what better way to do that than with pictorial proof of happy customers?
This is an excellent example of a delighted customer of Adobe, who uploaded a drawing using the specific features of Adobe, lionising the company.
2. Real Conversion to Sales
If I tell you that X makes great T-shirts, you are likely to take no notice of it.
You may not listen even if five people tell you that. But, what if you were looking at 200 people, all gushing at the quality of T-shirts from X?
You might have a change of heart. And you have a T-shirt sold by X, at no extra marketing cost.
That’s what great user-generated content does – it drives up the sales.
In apparel, sales have been seen to increase by around 7% upon exposure to user-generated content. It is about 9.20 % in the case of food and tobacco.
When people see for themselves how a product has impacted the life of someone else, they begin to find ways the product can help them.
They look for ways in which the product can add value to their life.
You may end up buying something you do not need at all, directly because it looked appealing on an Instagram personality.
User-generated content consciously and subconsciously alters buying patterns and can increase eCommerce conversions & sales.
3. Improves your SEO
Want to buy something online? What’s your first step? Google.
And not only yours, but it’s also the first step in the case of 3.5 billion online searches every single day.
35% of product searches now start on Google.
And the good news? Google favours user-generated content.
This means the more customers reviews you get, the SEO of your website gets more and more optimised.
By adding user-generated content, you add unique and singular content to your platform.
This helps search engines segregate thousands of different platforms like yours, and zero in on you.
This gives you a better shot at making sales and earning revenue.
4. Helps You Enhance Customer Experience
Consider this. You have been watching the same old dreary advertisement about a contact lens that’s supposedly very easy on the eye.
You never looked too much into it. One beautiful day, you open your Instagram, and you see a video of a friend using the lens in a swimming pool, and reviewing the product with exuberance.
Suddenly, the lens looks awe-inspiring, photogenic and full of value.
You can’t seem to think of anything else. This is because you have been exposed to a different view.
You are now watching someone experience the lens in real life and validate all its claims, as opposed to watching it on TV (which can get quite dull).
In short, you are already experiencing the product, and get convinced that it’s as good as they say it is.
User-generated content adds a dash of authenticity and reverberates with the customer.
5. Adds The Human Touch
Searching hundreds of websites for your product? Can’t seem to find any? Is it feeling tiresome? Feeling that your problem is yours alone? Is it looking like one-way traffic?
Trust user-generated content to make you feel better.
There are thousands of websites out there on the internet, selling the same things. And the difference is turning out to be user-generated content.
“People trust other people, not brands”.
This is the brand mantra of Canon Australia who has exploited the UGC space to their advantage, exceptionally well.
Instead of scrolling through websites that only tell you their version of the product, people now prefer a conversation. People want to relate. They want to see if their problems are shared by anyone else.
What they crave, essentially, is the human touch to an otherwise lifeless website. And user-generated content provides precisely that.
Internet buyers want honest, no-holds-barred reviews.
They are valuing perspectives of their fellow customers, who may be going through something similar to them.
These UGC reviews help prospective buyers understand the product inside and out, and they get to know what to expect.
6. Facilitates Smart Decisions
User-generated content (UGC) is a treasure trove for any business. It is akin to a goldmine of information.
Carefully tracking UGC over some time gives you deep insight into the mind of the customers who are using your product in the real world.
It provides you with the opportunity to get exponentially better by simply leveraging big data analytics and taking smarter decisions.
You can use this information to correctly arrive at the segment that is your most important target group.
Segmentation can be done based on demographics, geographic locations, behaviour and psychology of the targets.
By correctly identifying the segment you are most likely to influence, you can concentrate your sales and marketing efforts on that segment, and target it concertedly, rather than deplete your resources targeting a less amenable segment.
This can save your business a lot of time, money and effort. It helps you draw actionable insights.
Here is an example of how to use Google analytics:
You can track the number of new visitors, old visitors, frequency of visits and detect timings with a maximum spike in activity.
Taking smart decisions makes your marketing endeavours better equipped to succeed.
7. Build Your Content Library
However large a business you may be, it’s not always easy to have content ready to share with the world.
A business may not always find it simple to build content to be shared. And this is where user-generated content can make a huge difference.
It ensures that you never lack high-quality, relevant and real-world content to share with the world, so that your marketing campaigns are safe, and you never take a hit.
This has been nicely leveraged by Whole Foods, who have started a #WholeFoodsHaul campaign on twitter.
Here’s an example:
It essentially encourages their customers to share pictures of their shopping carts filled with their purchase for the day.
It ensures customer engagement while also obtaining a rich collection of photos.
It helps businesses build up an extensive content library so that they never run out of content for conversation.
8. Inspire Loyalty
It’s very safe to assume that the users who visit and post on your website or social media pages the most often are some of your most loyal customers.
So how do you leverage that? By inspiration.
By building brand loyalty, that increases the Customer Lifetime Value (CLV). Which can happen only if you ensure a long-term, successful relationship, resulting in multiple sales.
One of the easiest ways to do that is by ensuring that you take care of, and give due preference to your valued customers, who ultimately drive your business.
If you can use the UGC to your advantage, you could end up making a life-long partnership with loyalists, as well as get more and more long-term customers over some time.
By sharing user-generated content from your customers online, you are not only promoting your product but also advertising how much you appreciate your association with your customers.
It displays just how much your customers mean to you.
It sends out a message that they are part of a valued customer base, which in turn can inspire and augment continued brand loyalty.
It sends out a message that the customer experience matters for your business. This enhances your brand image and makes customers identify with you more, thereby supplementing your marketing efforts.
So, how does user-generated content help?
Companies all around the world are turning to user-generated content for eCommerce marketing.
GoPro has revolutionised the use of UGC with many campaigns, like “GoProing”, which has now become a noun.
It is used as #GoProing on Twitter. More than 6000 GoPro videos are uploaded on YouTube every day, each gathering thousands of likes.
Virgin Holidays managed to increase online bookings by a staggering 260%, and it’s all down to UGC content.
User-generated content can open Pandora’s Box of benefits for you if you can manage it the right way.
All it needs is honest effort and perseverance, and the sky’s the limit for you.
Author Bio: Ashley Rosa is a freelance writer and blogger. As writing is her passion that why she loves to write articles related to the latest trends in technology and sometimes on health-tech as well. She is crazy about chocolates. You can find her on twitter: @ashrosa2.