User generated content: How and Why

As we’ve spoken about before, people trust other people more than they trust companies. That’s what makes referral marketing and reviews so important to your business. Potential customers want to see what other impartial parties have said about your product, rather than what you say about yourself. In fact, 92% of consumers trust recommendations from others – even people they don’t know – over branded content.

This makes things a little difficult in the world of marketing. How do we control what people are saying about us?

Unfortunately, studies have shown that people are more likely to bother to write a review if they have had a bad experience than they are if they had a great one. As reported, ‘95% of respondents who have had a bad experience said they told someone about it, compared to 87% who shared a good experience.’

There are ways to get people talking about your business in a good light, though. The first of which you’re no doubt already doing: offering great experiences to your ecommerce customers.

The second strategy is a little more nuanced: encourage and promote ‘User Generated Content’.

Let’s take a look.

User Generated Content

‘User Generated Content’ is a term used to define any content that your customers create in relation to your brand. Whether that be a photo of them using your product, a review on your Google Business account, a hashtag on their Twitter or Instagram, or a video review of your latest offering – if it’s been created by an unpaid contributor, you can consider it ‘user generated’.

Of course, this might sound like a dream come true. How on earth could your store convince customers to start advertising for you? Well, you’d be surprised.

Not everyone is going to go out of their way to support your business. But if you have a great product, brand and customer support team, you can be sure you’ve probably got a solid fanbase out there that you can tap into.

Encouraging your fans to create

There’s been a few wildly innovative methods that brands have used over the years. Coca Cola, for instance, famously released their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, and printed thousands of names in their memorable Spencerian script on the sides of cans and bottles. This, of course, encouraged millions of people around the world to seek out a coke with their own name on it, or buy one for a friend. And, of course, share their experiences with their friends across social media.

Another great example – Domino’s Pizza Legends. Users can head to the website, invent their own pizza, give it a name, share their creation on social media, and allow others’ to order it.

Of course, most ecommerce brands don’t quite have the funds to build a custom pizza-building-web-application, let alone an international manufacturing and distribution operation for custom packaging. However, there are plenty of effective strategies that won’t break the bank.   

Getting reviews

There are many great ways to encourage recent customers to review your product. The best way, in our opinion, is to set up a post-purchase automation that invites the subscriber to rate their experience.

Incredibly, a full 70% of customers will leave a review when asked. And if you’re shipping out a great product, you can be sure the vast majority of them will have nothing but positive light to shine on you.

Social posting

We have also had a great amount of success encouraging fans to share their new purchases across social accounts with a branded hashtag. Fashion and beauty companies find social and influencer marketing especially powerful.

A simple ‘thank you’ email can be sent out after a customer has purchased, that will encourage them to share their new style with the world with a #companyname post on Instagram. Many buyers will love being a part of the online community, and gladly oblige.

Competitions and Incentives

Setting up a competition that requires a piece of original branded content to enter, or offering a reward, is another great way to ensure your User Generated Content strategy is performing. However, this is not always necessary. You’ll find that most fans are happy and willing to support your brand, simply because they want their voice to be heard.

However, we have in the past run campaigns for clients that asked for Instagram shots of them wearing their new clothing, with the hashtag of the company. In return, they offered to feature our favourite photos on the official company account. The results were fantastic.

If you’re looking for a way to leverage user generated content in your business, get in touch! We’d love to see how we can help.

Hi, I’m Jackson; Andzen's Digital Content Producer. I write copy for our client businesses - whether it be email campaigns, blog posts, social media posts or something new. It's my job to write stuff that converts, boosts engagement and pushes brands to new heights. In my spare time, I enjoy piano, reading books, and writing short stories.

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