Consumers are becoming more and more resistant to persuasion used in television, radio and even internet commercials. This is confirmed by the research of Attention Marketing Research, which shows that Poles, when making purchasing decisions, most often seek the opinion of their families (54%) and friends (49%), look at online forums (37%), read the information on the websites of online stores (25%) and read the opinions of other users under the product (23%). Such data indicates that the process of generating conversions supports micro influence and content created by them, i.e. user generated content. Check how you as an entrepreneur can use UGC in your company’s development strategy.
What exactly is user generated content?
User generated content (UGC) is content created by users related to a given brand or website. Such creativity used on the website or on profiles in social media (of course with the consent of the authors) brings many benefits, because:
- It improves the credibility of the brand,
- Encourages hesitating customers to make a transaction,
- Increases the involvement of the community that has formed around the brand,
- Shows clients that they are important and perceived by the company,
It affects the increase of brand recognition, for example in social media.
By far the most common form of user generated content appearing on websites (especially in online stores and information portals) are the opinions and comments of users. Films and video reviews, photos, memes, social media posts are also popular.
The essence of UGC is not so much the form of content and its quality (photos sent), as the very authenticity of the published content. Many users instantly recognize the so-called Whisper marketing or sponsored articles, so all attempts to simulate user generated content can only harm the company’s reputation in the search engine.
4 ways to encourage users to create content about the company
Customers like to know that they are important to the brand whose products they buy or which services they use. If you would like users to share their experiences, opinions or thoughts with you, just ask them. Effective methods for increasing the involvement of Internet users and influencing the creation of user generated content include:
Create an engaging event
Users willingly take part in competitions played in the form of fun to show off their skills, abilities or abilities. Organizing an attractive event promoted by hashtags in social media is a good way to get UGC. This method was used by Pepsi in its campaign, creating the event Taste challenge.
The campaign resulted in the publication of photos on Instagram and Facebook with a hashtag #tastechallenge. Thanks to attractive photos sent by users, Pepsi completely increased visibility on social networks for free, building the image of a brand that ensures delivery to customers with a drink that is familiar to all generations.
The easiest way to get free content created by users is to organize a competition. Most often, these types of campaigns consist in sending a photo with the appropriate hashtag in social media, writing a comment on the website, issuing a product rating. In return for your effort, the customer receives small prizes – products of a given brand.
Content sent by users (those awarded and the most interesting ones) should be included on a dedicated sub page on the site or, for example, in a gallery created on a fan page. In this way, you can boast about the activity of clients and the creativity they have prepared. In addition, contests requiring the placement of hashtags increase the reach of the brand, and this in itself is a marketing value.
User generated content also includes opinions issued to products by users. Recommendations on the website are important, they lead potential customers to make a decision, making sure that they buy an interesting assortment in a good online store. Reviews can be obtained by:
Directing a direct request to the client for issuing opinions,
Facilitation of issuing recommendations on the website,
Proposing a discount for another order,
Introduction of a loyalty system involving the issuing of opinions,
Adding a blank to order with a request for a recommendation.
Encouraging users to leave a comment on the website may call a wolf from the forest – we count on the negative assessments. For each opinion should be addressed substantively, apologize for the inconvenience, offer compensation. The honest statements of customers allow you to develop and improve the level of services provided, so you should not underestimate them.
Offer freebies for content
On blogs you can often find pop-ups encouraging you to subscribe to the newsletter, in exchange for which the user will receive an interesting guide, e-book, a selected list of tools, etc. Nothing prevents you from testing such a way to acquire content from users. If you run, for example, an online drugstore, suggest to the client a face skincare guide that he will receive after the review of the purchased product.
Establish cooperation with an influencer or opinion leader
Sometimes, in order to collect authentic content, we need a credible client who will unmaintained and gently promote our brand. Influencers have more and more punching power and effectively engage online communities, so it is worth to cooperate with them, and UGC will be created in a natural way.
* Additionally: Collect opinions appearing on various industry portals and websites
Certainly opinions about your company appear in various places on the Internet Internet forums, Google Maps, industry portals. You can collect content written by users on external websites and collect them on your website, in the Recommendations tab. It is a good way to acquire user generated content created within external websites.
User generated content a SEO
The content created by the users is of great value and can be used to expand the website. When posting the creativity of clients on the website, you need to remember about several important aspects affecting SEO:
- Content uniqueness – when you copy the opinions of customers from other websites (from the Google Maps business card, industry portals), you create, unfortunately, copies of the content on your website. Recommendations are best placed on graphics or in the form of a screen,
- UGC indexing – if you encourage users to issue ratings and product recommendations on your website, implement a commenting system that allows you to index the published content,
- Optimizing graphics and video – take care of your site’s performance. The photos sent by customers always convert, set the appropriate alt attribute, and add videos on your YouTube channel, so that large files do not burden the website,
Implementation of micro data for review (stars) – product reviews look attractive in the search engine, if next to the result appear yellow stars informing about the average rating. For this purpose, it is worth implementing structural data to highlight user generated content.
Also remember to add information about the author of the content when you post it on your website.
User-generated content is worth its weight in gold
Take care of your users and reward them for the content they created. Appreciating loyal customers, you strengthen their commitment and attachment to your brand or online store. Authentic reviews, emotions-inducing images and video clips will attract more internauts ready to convert.
Picture Credit: geralt