Today’s discerning shoppers have come to depend on the likes of reviews, user ratings and Q&As to make the right purchasing decisions, and if they don’t find the content they’re seeking, they won’t hesitate to look to other brands instead.
User-generated content, or UGC, instils trust and studies show that user-generated photos and reviews can increase conversions for your business. If you’re unsure how to get started in using user-generated content, here are a few tips to increase conversion rates and build trust with your customers, from engaging social content to improving the user experience of your product pages.
Where Can You Source UGC?
Also known as social proof, UGC is a productive content creation strategy that can result in 29% higher web conversions and twice the content engagement. User-generated content can be sourced from various areas of your business, starting with your customers. From unboxing videos on TikTok to positive comments on Instagram, your customers should always be your first port of call for content about your brand. In particular, brand loyalists who are passionate about your brand are worth segmenting out from your general audience as they’re your most dedicated customers.
Employee-generated content is also incredibly valuable to your brand. This can involve behind-the-scenes content such as photos of staff packing up orders or interviews with employees about what they love about working for the business. Such user-generated content establishes brand identity and shows authenticity and transparency. Sponsored content from UGC creators are also an opportunity for businesses, though this is content that emulates UGC but isn’t as authentic as it’s been designed to position your brand or product in a certain light.
Maximise the Visibility of your Reviews
Purchasing a new product or trying a new service is risky for customers. Even if they have access to all the details, investing their hard-earned money into something new can be a tough hurdle to overcome. Having reviews from other customers to back up whether a product or service is worth the money makes it much easier for someone to part with their money and gives them confidence that they might need to convert.
When a shopper interacts with reviews on a product or service page, they’re much more likely to take the leap and try it for themselves, so it’s an effective way to increase conversions. Make sure that reviews are displayed prominently on the page and consider incentivising reviews from repeat customers to build trust, rapport and repeat business from them.
Leverage Google Rich Snippets
Rich Snippets are a fantastic way to make your site stand out in the search results, because compared to normal snippets, Google Rich Snippets present the user with the key information they need straight away so they know more simply at a glance, such as price, review summaries and availability.
Shoppers tend to click through on rich snippet results more than regular snippets, in part because they stand out so much more clearly, which grows your site traffic and ultimately can help encourage more conversions. Best practices for rich snippets include making sure you’re including detailed descriptions, displaying star ratings and enriching your snippets with multimedia content such as videos.
Include Star Filters
It can be helpful to display a breakdown of how many reviews have been supplied for each star rating for a product, so shoppers can click through to see only 5-star ratings, for example, or to see why someone has given a lower review. While customers often only filter to see the lowest star rating, there’s still a high conversion rate for those who do so, meaning that businesses that offer this functionality can still see great results.
Negative reviews are just as important for a customer as positive reviews, as it helps them to make informed decisions and to understand what the worst case scenario would be for them if they buy (which may be something subjective and not relevant to the shopper anyway). It also shows transparency as a business, which alleviates any concerns or suspicions a shopper might have.
Share Authentic Videos
Studies show that user-created video content receives up to 10 times more views than video created by the brand, and 52% of customers state they have more confidence in a product if they’ve watched a user-generated video. While professional videos crafted by your brand are valuable, they don’t deliver the same results as those created by your own customers.
Videos deliver an unbiased review which is precisely what users want. User videos are organic, unfiltered and authentic, and they’ll talk about the features that customers look for when shopping. It’s the best form of marketing for a business and it’s completely free, so brands should be encouraging customers to share their experiences.
Introduce Branded Hashtags
Social media is one of the best-known sources of UGC and brands looking to capitalise on the content created should be using branded hashtags to gather reviews and brand-related content together. There are numerous touchpoints the user hits throughout their buying journey where you can encourage your customers to take a picture or a video and share their purchases, from product pages and packaging to post-purchase emails.
Encouraging them to use a branded hashtag at each of these touchpoints will collate your UGC into one place, so that other interested customers can find honest reviews and feedback when they’re scoping out your business. It’s an instant brand community that gathers like-minded people and turns your customers into brand advocates.
Gathering reviews or sharing pictures your business has been tagged in on social media offers so many benefits for your brand, from building trust and confidence in your customers to garnering a stronger reputation for your business. There are millions of online stores today and the number continues to grow, so brands need to find ways to differentiate themselves from the competition. User-generated content is an effective way to show customers why they should choose you over a competitor, and has the potential to significantly improve conversion rates.