7 Effective Types of User-Generated Content

7 Effective Types of User-Generated Content
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Today, customers have more choices than ever when it comes to products and services. In this competitive environment, brand trust becomes a competitive advantage that every business needs to gather resources to build up. A survey by Brand Keys found out that if customer trust increased by only 7%, the lifetime profit for each customer would go up by 85%. It is a striking number that shows just how much businesses should focus on building credibility with their customers.

And while traditionally businesses would do that through advertisement, it seems that lately, users have been getting more and more exhausted of the sheer amount of ads on their feeds, making them less receptive to the channel as a result.

Instead, as HappyPoints notes, customer's focus has been rather shifting lately towards user-generated content, as:

  • 7 out of 10 Americans report looking up product reviews before making a purchase;
  • and 9 out of 10 believe that content created by users is more influential and credible than brand advertisements.

So as you can see, UGC can be a pretty powerful tool in your marketing campaign. Embracing the trend, incorporating social wall tools in your strategy allows for dynamic user interaction and authenticcontent display. And if at this point you're wondering as to how exactly you can leverage it, then you're at the right place, as in this article we'll be looking at 7 types of user-generated content and how to use them.

1. Reviews

Today, customers rarely buy without looking for information about the brand in advance. So as a business you should make sure to create every opportunity for your customers to leave reviews and comments on your products.

You should also make sure you are displaying some of the best reviews on your own site so that visitors can get a glimpse at what they can expect from your services. Hasner Law does this on their homepage with a sliding element that includes some of their best reviews:

As a result, it will help you build stronger relationships with your customers, growing your brand trust and sales efficiency.

Positive reviews will certainly make a good impression on customers. What about the bad comments? Even these negative responses can be used to challenge the transparency and smart problem handling of your business. 

Reviews can be the best way to show that your company cares about buyers’ opinions, and it shows your confidence in bringing value to customers. Sephora allows users to post their true experience whether good or bad about the products. That way, bad comments can help customers make the right purchase decisions.

Good and bad comments are both helpful

2. Image. Image. Image

Users are uploading hundreds of millions of photos every day to their social media. Why not encourage them to post photos of your brand? The benefits of brand recognition are too obvious to ignore. And it is easy to do:

  • Start with a familiar audience
  • Give them some benefits/incentive/discount
  • Feature user photos for your product
  • Ask them directly
  • Use hashtag

If your products make users look better, don’t hesitate to ask your customers to share. Just by asking users to share their pictures in the Burberry trench coats, this brand’s sales have increased 50% over the previous year.

An image speaks thousands of words, pictures are taken by users as evidence for your product. The more evidence you have, the more trusted your brand will be. Easy pieces!

Further reading: 3 Best Examples of User-Generated Content Campaigns

3. Video reviews

Now we not only need videos for things like product manuals, product feature descriptions... People crave something in-motion, in-action, because it’s real, and it is video. Users can capture almost everything about a product and post it online. Video content looks more practical, vivid, and trusted, but it seems a bit difficult to make. Not really. 

Today most users own a smartphone with a camera good enough to shoot quality videos. Filming a video and uploading it online only takes a few minutes. Live Stream is not a bad idea, it’s becoming one of the most popular trends in marketing. According to the Sprout Social 2019 Index, an average of 58% of users shared video content monthly, and the number continues to grow in the future. This number gives you a great WHY to take the steps to direct your marketing campaign to videos generated by users.

Number of users posting online video content by age groups

Video content has been proven to be effective in lead generation channels. Optinmonster research shows a 54% increase in brand identity. Salesmen have 66% more qualified leads and 93% of them succeeding in landing new customers.

4. Contests

Competition is basically human nature. Where there are competitions, there are prizes. Likewise, rewards are another human nature. Without a doubt,  hosting contests is the most engaging tool to attract customers. Inviting users to participate in a competition is a brilliant way to engage your fans., That way, you create a playground for users, and they will create a community for your brand. The bigger the community is, the more trust your brand will have. The inspiration for contests can come from anywhere, remember to keep it simple. The simplest is the most relatable and spread like a fire in the user community. Let's see how easy it is for Starbucks, their contest is all about taking photos with a red cup.

5. Campaign hashtags

It would be a huge mistake not to mention the hashtags campaign. In the above example of Starbucks, you also saw the hashtag #redcupcontest already. Hashtags are a common language for users to interact with the brand. With just a few characters, you can make such a revolution. 

If you want to encourage customers to support your productABC, you might probably want to consider using #supportABC, #wechooseABC. #ABConemoretime #ABCforever, #ABCforeverandone, etc. And who knows #inABCwetrust might be the biggest campaign in your brand's history?

One of the most successful hashtag campaigns is Coca-Cola's #shareacoke. Coca-Cola consumption rate among adults increased by 7%, user traffic on Facebook increased by 870% and the number of Coca-Cola fans on social networks increased by 39%.

Hashtag campaigns can also be extremely advantageous during events. You can use the content from hashtag campaigns to create an attractive Instagram Wall for events. This wall can comprise engaging content from your participants and can also be a great way to build a community.

6. Influencer

If celebrities, experts, KOLs, or influencers in general, share your brand content, it will increase brand credibility and trust. Influencers are the driving force behind the new trends, they have wide exposure to the audience and have great persuasion when it comes to purchasing decisions of users.

According to research from Alexa, more than 85% of buyers know about new products through influencers and 40% made a purchase right after watching celebrities use the product. A fitting ambassador will greatly resonate with your brand trust, as in the case of Yves Saint Laurent, the brand has received a lot of compliments from Instagram users when they featured Keanu Reeves in the Fall-Winter Fashion Collection 2019.

7. Wishlist

Offering a wishlist is effective. It’s initiated and actively promoted by Amazon.

Amazon gathers its customers’ wishlists then creates a master list called “Amazon most wished for”. That way, people can see what other users of Amazon want.

Brands can take advantage of wishlist by helping customers gain more insight into what others are interested in, and they will trust you more.

This kind of list also gives you lots of customer insights: their needs, potential sales of certain products, purchasing habits, and many more.

Let's sum up

We’ve walked through different types of user-generated content that help you build brand trust. The effect gets even better if you combine some of them altogether. There’s no limit to what you can do, but keep in mind the basic principle: respect users’ opinions. Create every opportunity to interact, engage with users. Now, it’s your turn to let us know what type of these content are you leveraging to create better brand trust?

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