Marketing 9 min read

How to Grow your Business with User-generated Content

Convincing people to check out your website is tough. More than that, convincing a visitor to buy your product is one of the hardest things to accomplish for a growing internet business. Here are 5 ways to use user-generated content to do both.

Constantin Stanciu |

Constantin Stanciu |

Including user-generated content in your posts is the most effective way to boost your product’s visibility and popularity.

Convincing people to check out your website is tough. More than that, convincing a visitor to buy your product is one of the hardest things to accomplish for a growing internet business.

There are a few ways to counter this. Arguably, the best way is by getting consumers to share their positive experiences with your business. Sometimes this just means solid product or service reviews. Taking this a step further, user-generated content helps boost people’s interest in your website.

User-generated content allows your customers a chance to express their creativity. Oftentimes, the work they do is a direct reflection of how your product or service effects the people that use it.

In other words, UGC is a deft tactic in making your users feel more engaged. Even better, what they create informs you how your business is perceived by multiple perspectives.

About 86% of brands take advantage of user-generated content (UGC) to achieve a better online presence and to grab the attention and interest of their target audience.

A study by Yotpo has found that user-generated content is one of the most compelling ways to increase a brand’s organic traffic, conversion, retention rate, and sales.

On average, when a site has a large number of good reviews left by other consumers, customers tend to spend around 10% more. This positive reflection encourages people to try your products, goods, and services.

On the other hand, many companies manipulate the results of user feedback. Chances are when you find a site or product with 100% positive reviews, they’re not fully genuine. Businesses can pay for positive reviews or simply hide the negative ones.

On the other hand, 72% of customers trust a website when it also contains negative reviews. This gives a more transparent and honest image of your company, especially if you reply to these negative reviews in an open manner.

In this article, we will go through five of the most important techniques to increase your sales, traffic, and visibility with user-generated content.

How to Grow your Business with User Generated Content:

1. Optimize Ads With Customer Reviews

five star customer reviews
Black Salmon

Customer reviews are the most popular type of user-generated content. Before a person buys a product online, it’s common for them to read customer reviews first before deciding. Hearing from actual people on the quality of a product is the most effective way to really find out how good it is.

Even from my own experience, I can name twenty or thirty times when my decision to buy or ignore a product was almost entirely influenced by a customer’s review.

Customer generated content and feedback significantly influences online shopping and purchase decisions. In fact, Moz studies have found that online reviews affect 67.7% of people’s buying tendencies.

Take, for example, when you buy a phone or a camera online. If you’re not an expert,  you’ll read or watch reviews first. In this modern sphere of independent reviews and comparisons, it’s become almost unavoidable to look around online before making a decision on any product.

If a customer can go straight to your site to find honest and direct customer reviews, it can increase their trust in your products. This translates into a long-term improvement of your brand’s reputation overall.

If your business has been operating long enough, you may already have a lot of customer reviews. If you do, enhance your product ads by adding in these reviews and ratings directly.

For each of your products, you can add star ratings and/or comment-based reviews for your customers to leave feedback. This condenses the buyer’s review into a much smaller medium which is far more effective than longer, more time-consuming forms of review.

2. Success Stories and Social Media

social media generated content
Lenka Horavova

Social media is the primary method for absorbing information these days. It’s also how we communicate with friends and family, buy goods and services, and find out which bits of news are most visible in our social spheres.

For a lot of businesses, it can be the best way to promote to a wide audience.

Yet, social media is not limited in small or large scope. It helps connect businesses with target audiences that they would otherwise miss. This is typically due to issues such as geographical proximity or wrestling with a niche market.

According to a study conducted by Sprout Social, a total of 75.3% of respondents claimed to have purchased an item through a social media page.

#SproutSocial found that almost 80% of people have bought products through social media.Click To Tweet

Effectively utilize your social media by posting user-generated content and reviews on your pages. By validating customer opinions, you can create a much more engaging experience for users.

Just sharing a customer review, especially an overly positive one, can convince people to buy your product. Not only that, but this review can also send a message of appreciation to the customer whose content you just shared.

This type of self-promotion and celebration of happy customers encourages repeat business and helps increase customer loyalty. In such a positive atmosphere, users will have a hard time not checking out all of the products you have to offer.

The honesty and celebration that you provide to customers on social media presents an image of positivity and openness which is vital for any social media page. Also, it doesn’t hurt that this positive atmosphere coincides with the turn-toward-positive, meaningful engagement that Facebook and other brands are making.

3. Utilize Pinterest

Generated Content on Pinterest
Ink Drop

According to Shopify, Pinterest is the second largest source of social media traffic online. In general, around 93% of Pinterest users check the platform for future purchases and to learn about new up and coming brands and products.

Pinterest is currently one of the best sources of traffic for your website and most online businesses receive the majority of their customers and publicity from this one platform.

In a single day, around 2 million people pin products on Pinterest. That number is around twenty times higher than the daily number of the Mall of America shoppers. To add to this statistic, mobile orders placed on Pinterest have increased by 140% in two years.

Pinterest is the most important online platform specifically for businesses at the moment. It’s important to use it to its full potential to maximize your exposure to your potential audience.

To maximize this potential, make your Pinterest board open and accessible with lots of pictures and videos of different products. Also, include posts of you and your team going about your daily business.

On average, effectively using Pinterest can give your business up to 50% more customers. These sorts of increases are almost impossible to gain through more traditional means.

Often, this boost in sales happens after just a few weeks of consistent posting and effective use of the Pinterest page. Never underestimate the power of a good photo and a catchy slogan.

4. Use Marketing Emails

Among the many strategies of generating traffic for your page, email marketing is particularly effective.

In the U.S. alone, 80% of small and medium retailers stated that emails are one of the best channels used today to obtain and retain customers.

Although they are one of the most effective advertising methods at the moment, it’s important to mix things up a little. Don’t use the same advertising methods and slogans over and over again. Make sure that your pictures and text are as engaging and entertaining as possible.

Another way to enhance your emails is to add user-generated content to it. This not only improves the quantity and quality of the email but also creates a sense of community and familiarity with your customers.

Email newsletters are also the perfect platform to place product promotions and reviews to better promote your product. You can also insert customer-submitted photos where they wear or use your products.

This strategy puts your current customers in the spotlight and makes them feel appreciated. Also, it helps gain the trust of potential customers which can result in even more purchases.

5. Feature Photos of Your Customers

The first four things we’ve talked about are focused on generating new traffic and customers. This last technique is focused on keeping your existing customers happy and loyal to your brand.

These days, many people are quick to judge a site or product. Often, people decide whether to stay or bounce from a site within just a few seconds.

Creating a well designed and welcoming landing page is one of the most important things you can do to encourage people to remain on your site.

To create an attractive website, include customer photos relevant to your products. This is one of the easiest ways to show potential buyers that your service is reliable and efficient.

All in all, these five strategies help you to optimize your user-generated content to its full potential. Placing reviews and customer photos on your site and advertisements is one of the easiest ways to improve your product’s visibility. Utilizing and consistently posting on Pinterest is also vitally important as is maintaining a well designed and regular email newsletter.

Remember, your customers are people, not robots. When utilizing all of these approaches, ask yourself what you’d like to see in other companies’ advertisements and what makes them so effective. Never forget the personal aspect of advertising and the powerful effect it can have

Effectively implementing these five techniques is guaranteed to increase your sales and traffic. It can also help in finding out aspects of your products and company which you did not know yourself. Often, it’s from the negative reviews that we gain the most information on our products and businesses. Without these, it would be far harder to grow and improve.

Your company is built on the relationship you have with your customers. These five techniques are the easiest way to improve this relationship while building ties with other customers.

What other user-generated content techniques do you use to increase your site’s sales and traffic?

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