A brand owner with high hopes for success? Good! Because you are here to see it, feel it and create a digital history where user-generated content is morphing from cute tag-alongs of the e-commerce industry into crucial parts of any and every e-commerce success. How so? The beginning of the 21st century has set a basis for completely different marketing patterns; namely, the world’s become customer-centric and that’s all every marketer needs to know.
What Does a Customer-centric Approach Mean Exactly?
Essentially, a customer-centric approach means having your customers be central figures and the primary voice of your brand. Other than listening to your customers’ needs, suggestions, expectations and problems in relation to your brand, and then make sure you turn those suggestions into your brand reality. That’s when UGC comes into action.
UGC is the perfect connection between the passionate advocates of your brand and all those hesitant users who aren’t yet sure whether you are their cup of tea. UGC survives by selling online, by being immediate, real, raw and easy for “real people” to connect with. Thanks to modern-day marketing tools like Instagram posts and stories, tweets, YouTube materials, and every other form of shareable content, it’s getting easier to reach the audience and boost brand loyalty. However, this strategy works exclusively when every piece of content is genuine. Are you up for it?
How is UGC Boosting E-commerce?
UGC is currently the most convincing means to build a brand. Nevertheless, this too can go south very fast if not used strategically.
The times we live in are fragile and sensitive, and any kind of content that’s not handled with care can easily be misunderstood, and ultimately hurt your entire brand’s image. Necessarily, shoppers are now looking for evidence that what you are selling looks and feels as incredible as presented online. Despite this risk, investing in UGC is the best way to make e-commerce flourish.
Here are a few ways UGC is restructuring the e-commerce sector:
A Relatable Customer Experience
Say bye-bye! to stock photos and welcome true-to-life visual content! Shoppers (and all 63% of them) believe UGC creates a more authentic shopping experience. In today’s world, buyers want to really be included in creating the product that’s been made for them and sold to them... because - who better than them to say what they want?
By demonstrating UGC-like product content used by your real customers through your web stories or any other way, you are creating an authentic experience that allows the users to build an emotional connection to your product and visualize it as their everyday go-to.
Building Social Proof
Based on the latest audience testing, it appears that no less than 70% of consumers prefer authentic fellow consumers reviews over professionally written marketing content. UGC does exactly that for your product, making customers believe your brand is something good they would want to be a part of - either as users or real brand ambassadors. Equally, UGC videos and photos are focused on the consumer, and that’s all you need to centre on.
Also, make sure you offer the customers a super easy access to your product. You can do that by relying on a storified microstore.
What’s a Storified Microstore?
A storified microstore is a (web) story format that specifically addresses the integration with the e-commerce platform, allowing the product to be purchased through story.
So, for a customer to make use of a storified microstore, they would only need to get to your brand’s story - whether it be through an ad, a link in google search, email, etc. - and then let the story take them to and through the product while offering similar products along the way and ultimately giving them the option to purchase. If you want to know more about this type of service, check out storifyme for more information.
The idea behind UGC is simple: give users genuine content they can relate to, and give it through customer testimonials and basic reviews. Such display of content will help first-time, impulsive users to find their way around your product, too. Pretty great, isn’t it?
Marketing that Sticks
With its growing popularity, UGC became the most sought-after marketing approach and a proven tool for converting users into customers much easier and quicker. UGC is known to outperform regular, overused marketing content and celebrity endorsements, paid photoshoots, and all other forms of marketing.
In the 21st century, where people trust people’s endorsements more than they trust celebrity endorsements, it should be every brand’s goal to be accurate, honest and real about what they are selling. Lately, YouTube influencers have gained quite a reputation for telling it like it is, as their product reviews are predominantly honest and realistic which, in turn, may inspire users to buy what you are selling.
With its fresh and real approach, UGC initiates WOM (word of mouth marketing) about your brand and, in doing so, makes your brand associated with authenticity and honesty which is everything a modern-day consumer is going for. Don’t just sell a product - create an impact! Plus, conversion rates increase when aspiring customers get to pump up their online shopping experience with actual UGC interactions – so, it’s a win-win situation all over!
Get Your Stuff Online
Unlike a decade or so ago when our primary sources of all marketing material came mostly through TV commercials, printed materials, radio shows and similar, these days social media makes for the primary source of users’ purchasing decisions. In fact, recent polls suggest over 74% of consumers use social media for getting information about anything and everything, rather than any other means. Are we surprised? Not really.
Selling online is all about visually displaying what you are offering then backing it up with real-life user-experience. If real people support your product/service, and are passionate users of what you are offering, nothing can get you out of the game.
Social Media: Encourage Engagement
Nothing improves brand growth like experience-sharing coming from your customers. To get your brand out there, inspire your customers to make some noise about your brand. Using their personal social profiles for communicating their experience with your brand can make all the difference!
A simple re-share of their experience on your main page will do the trick. Also, make sure you encourage them to share the negatives, too. If you are being real, then be real, right?
Accepting negative feedback is part of your brand’s growth and improvement; further, the more honest you are, the more customers realize you are not there to fake anything but grow together and learn from your mistakes.
All That UGC
User-generated content is all that rave when it comes to e-commerce. Other than making your product or service “more human”, UGC is very cost-effective, too! Instead of investing bags of money on marketing that may not even work, invest a good heart and an open ear into your customers’ needs and wishes, sit back and look at it all happen.