Do you want a vote of confidence for your practice? Then, user-generated content is yours for the taking. Build trust for your brand. When your customers are taking photos, writing reviews, on social media without any prompting, it shows their approval. Similarly, when they refer their family and friends to your practice, that is a vote of confidence. Social media has become a significant source for business owners to interact with their target audience conveniently.
In this digital age, you only need to go online, and you’ll be heard. With the internet, you can have your voice heard. Users like to express themselves. Hence, when they spend their money on a product or service, they share their opinions on it. And what better platform to do so than on social media? Users pay more attention to the experiences shared by the rest of their community.
TurnTo Networks Study shows that user-generated Content tops marketing tactics by influencing 90% of customers’ purchasing decisions. Additional key findings from the study include the following:
- Nearly a quarter of female shoppers (24 per cent) consider UGC to be the most influential marketing tool.
- Customers under 30 report a large influence of UGC in purchasing decisions versus older respondents. Of those aged 18-29, 97 per cent report UGC has an extreme influence.
- 63 per cent of shoppers believe UGC creates a more authentic shopping experience.
- 73 per cent say UGC increases their purchasing confidence.
- 61 per cent report UGC encourages them to engage with brands.
So, What is User-generated-content?
User-generated content (UGC) today is often referred to as digital word-of-mouth. UGC is any content related to your brand, created by a consumer or anyone who isn’t an official representative of your practice. UGC content could be in the form of images, reviews, videos, text, or podcast made available online (social media).
“User-generated content is one of the most powerful tools in today’s marketing arsenal. It’s proof that you have dedicated fans, products worth talking about, and a social network that will appreciate great content.” –Hootsuite
A typical example of a platform that flourishes on user-generated content is YouTube. Users upload over 300 hours of video to YouTube every single minute. You’re probably wondering how can user-generated content specifically benefit your brand? Right here:
1. User-generated content puts your customers front and centre
One of the best benefits of user-generated content is kind of a win-win for both you and your fans. When you use the content they produce in your marketing:
- You’re letting their voices tell your story for you
- Your marketing messages come from individuals instead of not brands
- You’re not marketing to your audience any more, you’re marketing with them.
- You get to spotlight the people who have helped shape your brand! Read more.
2. Brand Loyalty
When consumers put out content of your brand, it is simply to express their opinion. You don’t put them up to it. As a result, they are not biased, they hit the nail on the head. Hence, 70% of consumers are more ready to believe user-generated content than branded content. Generally, UGC streams from the users’ experience. So, potential customers find it easy to place their trust in the brand. Brand loyalty no doubt results in multiple sales.
However, you have to foster long term relationships. Consumers who create user-generated content are possibly among your biggest fans. They have either make a purchase more than once or a one-time major purchase.
3. Improved Reach and Engagement
Effective UGC reaches a wider audience than you would reach. When users share their views on social media, their circle of friends are likely to click on it and share as well. And this drives engagement because it has more social media reach. “More social media reach and engagement results in more brand awareness, eventually leading to more sales.” Not convinced? See data below:
- 46% of consumers trust online reviews from other paying customers.
- 82% of customers stated they believed that user-generated content played a significant role in their decision-making process.
- Brands saw a 25% increase in conversions when using user-generated images instead of professional ones.
- Using UGC in online ads can generate up to four times higher clickthrough rate and up to a 50% drop in cost-per-click.
4. Improve Your SEO
Yes, UGC can improve your SEO. How’s that? You may ask. According to brid.tv, there are several ways user-generated advertising can help your website rank higher on Google.
- It can increase your site’s dwell time.
- User-generated reviews can be rich with keywords related to your brand.
- By showcasing your customer review scores in your website’s rich snippets, you can help your website rank higher on SERPs. Also, increase your clickthrough rates.
Since user-generated content is more appealing to the general audience, they will spend more time on your site.
Dwell time measures the length of time visitors spend on your site. Of course, Google takes this into account when measuring website experience. Also, when visitors spend much time on your site, they’re likely to return. User-generated content (reviews, images, comments) allow the audience to express their thoughts. Thus, increasing website dwell time. When it comes to user-generated reviews, many of those will directly help your SEO ranking as the detailed ones will contain plenty of keywords.
5. Unique content for your brand
Creating unique and fresh content for your social media can be challenging. However, UGC campaigns can help with that and more. Creating content is time, and time is money. Therefore, when you outsource your content to users, you save both (time & money.
Knowing what your audience think about your product or service is vital for your business. You can implement changes that suites them, thereby improving sales. How you interact with UGC can serve as a motivation to potential customers. Because when a user puts content out, others would express their thought as well. Maybe suggestions about your product or services, or even expressing dissatisfaction. Yes! Dissatisfaction, not all comments are going to be positive. But how would you know if no one speaks out? Or how will you soothe them and give them reasons to return?
A feedback process, therefore, allows you to win over both potential and existing customers.
To sum it up, user-generated content is definitely worth your while. I mean, numbers don’t lie. UGC does not only save you time and money but increases your credibility as well. Content created by consumers provides a level of authenticity that doesn’t exist with branded content.