5 strong cases for UGC
Brands are no longer dictating the communication agenda, now consumers hold the power. Here are five good reasons why you should leverage user-generated content if you want to boost sales (who doesn’t?) and increase customer engagement plus brand loyalty.
1. Drives sales / impact purchase decision
Displaying UGC like reviews in your online store helps increase conversions – because consumers trust the opinions and experiences of people like themselves. This goes for offline shopping too - 82% of shoppers consult their phones about a purchase they’re about to make [in-store]( http://www.bazaarvoice.com/research-and-insight/white-papers/robo-economy.html), so make sure there are credible reviews for them to find when researching your product. A way to overcome barriers to purchase for new customers could be a Q&A with your community, where consumers can ask and answer questions like “How was the fit?” or “Does it look like in the picture?”. Don’t have a community? Start here.
2. Saves you cost
Advertisements with UGC content get 4x higher click-through rates. Plus, user-generated content is 35% more memorable than other media (Ipsos Millenial Social Influence Study, 2014), meaning you don’t need to advertise as much for people to remember you. Using your UGC across several channels can make a little content go a long way for marketing.
3. Builds trust & Adds credibility
UGC is 50% more trusted [than other media] (Ipsos Millenial Social Influence Study, 2014), so adding it to your marketing campaigns will make them more credible. Consumers don’t want to hear about the product functionalities only from the brand who they know are trying to convince them of the benefits, they want to hear from existing customers (‘real’ people like them) who have first-hand experience with the product.
4. Drives engagement & customer happiness
Seeing their images and reviews showcased by their favourite brand will make customers feel special and valued. Brands who demonstrate that they care about what their consumers think, and understand that people appreciate and trust the opinion of others, will see the start of a positive loop where UGC drives customer engagement which in turn drives more UGC!
5. Customer insights
Seeing how your product is portrayed and described by you customers can give you a better understanding of how people perceive and use your product. Plus it can inspire new customers to different uses and applications. And don’t be scared of the negative reviews – they might give you priceless insight into how to improve your product. Maybe you’ll get ideas for new features, and what flavour/colour/extension/update to launch next!
Plus: Proven success from other brands
Bathroom specialist Hansgrohe struggled with low consumer awareness. By engaging directly with consumers and encouraging them to share photos and reviews of their showerheads, Hansgrohe increased its social share of voice tenfold. With real life content incorporated into their branded content they also stood out in the competition.
Starbucks – White Cup Contest
In 2014, Starbucks invited people to draw on plain white Starbucks cups and submit photos of their creation under the Twitter hashtag [#WhiteCupContest]( https://news.starbucks.com/news/starbucks-announces-the-winner-of-its-white-cup-contest). During three weeks the brand received entries from nearly 4,000 consumers and the campaign generated an enormous amount of social media buzz.
In 2003 Innocent started a collaboration with their consumers to knit little hats for the brand’s smoothie bottles and pledged to donate 25p to charity Age UK for each bottle sold. The campaign, ‘The Big Knit’, has now been running for 13 years and Innocent’s fans have knitted over five million hats, raising over 1.7 million pounds!