Look at these guys, they are happily surfing the net looking for the next clothes they want to buy, the next plane ticket, or the latest gadget for their home.
They are searching the internet and they find thousands of results, they all look the same to them so what exactly are they searching for? What is the factor that will make them choose one store over the other?
What can we, store owners, do in order to attract them so they buy from us and not from our competitors?
That is the eternal question business managers ask themselves every day. Times are changing and customers tend to spend more and more time online.
The internet is full of content, full of stories, full of humanity, and THIS is exactly what your customers are searching for. They want to see the human factor behind your business.
What can we do to show the human side of our business?
Let the “humans” relate with and within our store.
And how do we do that? Through user-generated content.
Have you heard of user-generated content? Do you know what is it?
Let’s find out through an example.
I’m sure most of you remember user-generated campaigns that had an impact on you without even noticing they were so!
My last year’s favourite was the campaign Doritos did.
By requesting a 30-second ad to their film-maker users, they got over 4.900 videos from over 39 countries. The campaign was watched over 7 million views and the winner video, Middle seat, more than 1.8 million reproductions proving the power and virality of user-generated content campaigns.
Here we go with the ad!
But you don’t have to go this far in order to gather user-generated content. The name says it all.
User-generated content is any content your users create for you.
Yes, it is that easy; challenge your customers to do this work for you.
Ask them for online reviews for instance, let them have conversations about your brand in your website, challenge them with a picture or video competition featuring the items they purchased and then share it in the social media networks!
All this is user-generated content!
Which are the benefits of it? There are many and for both your customers and you. At the end of the day, we can consider it like a conversation where you can both participate and get information .
Today I will speak about 2 uses of user-generated content practices and tools that we can use in our online businesses to implement them: online reviews and P2P conversations
Let’s go back to those clients who were searching for products in the internet. One of these guys, his name is George and he wants to buy a camera and he is between Nikon and Canon.
He is super lost.
What do you think he is going to look for? Right!
Opinions in forums where users talk about the cameras, questions and answers’ boards where you can ask about your doubts and some peers give you an answer.
Having a tool that enables your clients to have conversations or getting answers to their doubts through the community of your online store will raise not only your customers’ engagement but also your sales!
You will also find out about their opinion of the Brand and you can ask questions to find out their opinion on the shopping experience, you can start competitions, etc
Back to George. Now he’s made up his mind. He wants Nikon but he is between Nikon D40 and D50. What will he check next?
It is easy, reviews of both products as he wants to compare and ensure the quality of them before he makes up his mind.
That will give him the final assurance before finalizing the purchase.
Reviews about products and reviews about you, the store, are key to customers.
It gives them assurance of taking the right decision and trusting you as other shoppers did.
They want to compare different comments of different buyers, read about their points of view and about your strengths and your weaknesses.
Customers don’t trust push advertisement. They don’t want you to tell them what to believe.
By allowing your customers to express their opinion by rating your products you are gaining a marketing strategy that reflects authenticity and transparency, which will ultimately lead into more engagement, conversions and sales.
Your clients want to be informed so they take the right decision and by doing this they become more satisfied with their purchases and will also share their experiences with other peers.
How do online reviews contribute to your website?
Well, Google praises user-generated content with higher SEO ranking, which will automatically mean more traffic for your online business.
Not only will you benefit from SEO also you will expand your network of clients. Happy customers tell 4 to 6 people they know about their experiences when buying online.
Your customers’ trust will also be affected positively; by encouraging them to write a review your are showing that you care about what they think and are enabling them to talk about their experience with your business and share it with the World. Also, providing the right information in the right place is key to drive customers and visitors to make informed decisions before they buy. Once customers find your products, the reviews reassure them on their decision and they will be confident when purchasing it.
Finally and very importantly, online reviews convert into sales! You can see in the following graph how the more reviews you have the more products are bought. According to Reevoo, reviews produce an average of 18% uplift in sales although it can even reach up to 50%.
Providing your e-commerce with a social community by introducing user-generated content, it will have a differentiating factor that will make it stand out from its competition.
This post is also available in: Spanish