In the form of reviews, videos, photos, and blog posts, consumers are posting their opinions on products and services that influence buyers’ purchases. In fact, 84% of Millennials, a huge consumer segment, responded that user-generated content has at least some influence on what they buy (Bazaar Voice). For brands, this means having to intensify their content marketing strategy, especially by focusing on user-generated content for their brand website. It’s a great way to form relationships with customers, build trust and engage your target audience. Below are some tips on how to do just that!
Form Relationships with Consumers
Let your consumers be brand advocates and allow them to tell their stories with your product or service. This way, they can be a part of your story and express what the brand means to them. Empower consumers with the ease of comment functions, forums and a rating system. Remember to moderate these areas of discussion as these are great ways to gain insight into what people are saying about your brand. It’s also handy for offering customer service in case issues arise. A quick and timely reply can prevent attacks on the brand from spreading. Incorporating user-generated content will show customers that you recognize and care about their experiences with your brand.
Although social media networks have earned great popularity from businesses as a place to interact with consumers, a study from Incyte Group shows that brand websites are still the primary destination consumers go to when researching for products and services or seeking for information. This is a great opportunity for brands to have user-generated content on their website that can build and enhance consumer trust. User-generated content is powerful because it’s the consumers who are communicating to prospective customers, as they are unbiased and truthful in their response. A vast majority of Millennials will not complete purchases without user-generated content (BazzarVoice), so it’s crucial for brands to have content created by consumers, people who prospective users can relate to. Don’t be afraid to ask your brand advocates to participate in company testimonials, case studies and customer reviews. Shine the spotlight on your happiest customers!
Engaging Social Connections
While you’re building relationships with your consumers, you will inevitably create a community, and an even bigger one when you’re socially connected with them. Get fans and followers involved in online discussions whether it’s on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, etc. A report from eMarketer says that 42% of Millennial internet users prefer to post comments on social networking sites about a product, brand or service compared to just 17% of Baby Boomers. Millennials (25%) also prefer to share positive information on third-party sites such as CNET and Consumer Reports than Baby Boomers (21%). Find social posts about your brand across all networks and leave a comment to let your consumers know that you are out there and engaging actively with customers.
Examples of Brands
Brands can incorporate user-generated content by providing customer reviews, testimonials, social media content and blogs. Blogs, especially, are an excellent form as the content is descriptive with engaging photos. Here are some examples of brands that use Atomic Reach to create user-generated content!
SavvyMom is an online resource centre for Canadian savvy moms. By sharing content from various different mom bloggers across the nation, they are able to create more diverse content for their readers. In addition, they can build a community where mom bloggers can share stories, advices, photos and tips!
Off the Grid TO
Grid TO, a weekly city magazine and website for Toronto, features user-generated content on their site. The user-generated content on Grid TO has different sections: food and drinks, body, and fashion. This ensures that Grid TO always has fresh and engaging content from local bloggers.