If you’ve been creating your own content for any amount of time, you may be ready for a user-generated content strategy. Instagram is a great catalyst for E-commerce as well as customer reviews…
How To Use User-Generated Content And User-Created Content To Benefit Your E-Commerce Business
Despite existing in widespread usage for only the last few decades, the internet ushered in many conveniences we now take for granted, like shopping for example. We can now find any product we desire and get its:
- List price
- Product information
- Customer reviews
While consumers pay attention to each of those factors, customer reviews tend to carry the most weight. And, it makes sense.
Customer reviews are just one example of the many ways user-generated content (UGC) or user-created content (UCC) can benefit an online business.
Listed below are four reasons user-generated content is a must for e-commerce.
Far and away the most significant reason to utilize user-generated content is the social proof it provides. If you’re unfamiliar, social proof is a psychological social behavior in which people copy the actions of those around them.
Robert Cialdini coined the term in his 1984 book “Influence.” He posited social proof is prominent in ambiguous social situations where people are unable to determine the appropriate mode of behavior. When people are unfamiliar with something, they assume those around them possess more knowledge.
Thirty-five years later, Cialdini couldn’t have nailed the state of the internet better. User reviews and consensus always create a stronger pull than the most polished marketing copy or whitepaper ever could.
Makes Brands More Relatable
Regardless of the industry in which an online business operates, relatability to customers, its humanness, determines how far it will go. How else can a company expect to turn new customers into lifetime brand advocates?
The need to be relatable is why it’s so crucial to align a customer-centric message across channels. When a business starts posting user-generated content, it’s perpetuating this cycle automatically.
Getting people to share their success stories involving your brand to social media will ring one thousand times louder than the same use case communicated in an advertisement or advertorial blog article. Posting customer testimonials with pictures is a clever way to be relatable. Potential customers want to read about existing customers’ experiences — and see them.
Brings Extra Traffic
An overlooked but inevitable benefit of posting user-generated content across your online business properties is referral traffic from a user’s network.
Say you sell furniture online, and you feature an in-depth blog article from a customer that redesigned their entire home. The post is a mixture of high-quality before and after images, as well as the homeowner’s account of the process, trial and errors experienced, and so on.
Whether the homeowner has their own blog they are cross-posting the piece to or writing a unique story for your blog, the article will be shared widely within their network. If they have a decent social following, all the better.
Doesn’t Drain Bandwidth
Content marketing continues to be one of the best long-term marketing strategies. When brands regularly publish engaging, high-quality, customer-centric content, positive results ensue:
- Brand awareness spreads
- User engagement rises
- Customer rapport builds
- Conversions increase
Most companies never reach this transformative stage of content marketing ROI because they either fail to put together or stick to a content strategy. And understandably so; it takes time to create content that delivers results.
Aside from its compelling and relatable angles, user-generated content is a boon to online brands because it’s fresh content with minimal work required. No piece of content you create or message you convey can compare to the ROI of letting genuine fans do the work on your behalf.
From product ratings and customer testimonials to curated Instagram posts, customer how-to videos, and soft-feature blog articles, your audience is craving for more user-created content.
UGC/UCC Tip: Find a way to include user-created content on your E-commerce pages. Many good website plugins are available, or embed your Facebook or Instagram feeds so they are easily seen.