As a consumer-focused brand, your customers are your best advocates. Whether you sell t-shirts, beds, or even camping gear, the experience you produce can turn a customer into an extension of your marketing team. How so? User-generated content or UGC. Thanks mostly to the rise and adoption of social media, it is now the norm to show off your latest fashion finds, gadgets, and the like, and most people are doing this on Instagram or Facebook, both either public settings or to their trusted circles.
According to a 2015 Nielsen Global Trust in Advertising Report, the most credible form of advertising comes straight from the people we know and trust. The report goes on to show that 83 percent of online respondents in 60 countries said that they trust the recommendations of friends and family. As a brand, tapping into that level of trust and evangelism is priceless. However, this has also led to the rise in influencers and micro-influencers, which has begun diminishing this credibility as well, but that’s a discussion for another day.
In our recent webinar co-hosted with Pixlee, a platform to help online retailers incorporate UGC on their sites to increase click-through and inspire more sales, we dug into the importance UGC plays in the customer journey and how it can be optimized to increase conversions.
The Three Types of User-Generated Content
There are three primary types of UGC that typically used by ecommerce marketing teams:
Customer feedback is more open-ended than the other two types in that it can be any type of feedback. This can come in the form of Q&As or FAQs, or any direct feedback direct to your team. In some cases, there are platforms that allow customers to both ask questions and answer them, giving additional credibility to the responses as they are consumers of the product in question.
Ratings and Reviews
Ratings and reviews are relatively straightforward. Depending on the system in place, such as Yotpo, they allow customers to generate direct feedback on a product–one of the strongest types of user-generated content. As the Nielsen study shows, peer reviews go a long way, and sites that feature other customer reviews become more credible. Some systems also allow for filters to be put in place, ensuring only verified buyers can review, whereas other platforms are more open-ended.
If you’re selling products to consumers, and even in some cases for B2B, images can be just as powerful as a rating or review. When it comes to fashion, your customers’ real-life photos provide personal details about fit, which can positively affect another person’s purchase. By allowing user-generated images, you add an additional level of trust and transparency to your brand. Beyond fashion, there’s an excitement to receiving a new product in the mail, and customers love either unboxing them or showing them off.
If you’re interested in learning how you can optimize your customer experience with these types of user-generated content, watch the full on-demand webinar.