We already know that, in the world of marketing, user-generated content (UGC) performs well. According to Nielson’s 2019 Trust in Advertising study, peer recommendations and consumer opinions online are two of the most trusted marketing channels, with nine out of 10 respondents indicating they “completely” or “somewhat” trust these recommendations.
However, a critical piece of the UGC puzzle is often overlooked – the opportunity for significant value exchange between consumers and brands. A customer leaving a positive comment or submitting a great photo of them using your product has the potential to boost sales in a major way. Engaged, satisfied customers can also quickly become prolific brand advocates. Simply put: that customer is providing immense value to your brand. But how can you put the mechanisms in place to ensure you’re both recognizing this value AND recognizing the customers who provide this value?We call this Community-Generated Content: the concept of creating a flywheel that grows your community of content creators with tactics that enable you to extract value from your community and also deliver value to the consumer from this exchange as well.
When thinking about Community-generated content strategies, it’s helpful to consider the first-time customer and how you might bring them into the fold. Acquisition tactics that rely on a community feel can establish your brand as consumer-focused; as a brand that places importance on the voice of its customer. As a consumer, you’re much more likely to advocate for a brand if you know your voice will be heard. To that end, we’ve identified some key tips to getting the most out of your community-driven content strategy.
Establish A Mechanism To Keep Consumers Engaged With Your Brand, Like Community Q&A
Consumers are easily frustrated when they can’t find helpful and trustworthy answers to their product questions. In fact, nearly 70% of shoppers have left a product detail page because it didn’t provide enough information. Encourage your existing customers to write reviews about their product experiences and contribute to your community Q&A. Eventually, this community-generated content will become a living knowledge base that potential customers can tap into for additional product information from a source they trust. On the consumer side, having the opportunity to weigh in with product information via an active outreach is yet another way to show how much you value them as members of your community.
Feature Customer Generated Content Prominently And Ensure That It’s Useful
Let your customers see how other shoppers use and enjoy your products. This real-life context has a powerful influence that produced product images can’t recreate. Think about ways to uncover and display the content provided by your community effectively. For example, if you’re an apparel brand, including a “Fit Teaser” alongside photos and captions of how it was worn both informs the consumer purchase, but also sends the message that any feedback the consumer might provide is regarded.
Source: Forever 21[/caption]
Reward Your Brand Advocates
You can cultivate your community by incentivizing customer-generated content. Think about what you can offer customers in exchange for an honest review, answering community Q&A questions, or posting about your brand on social media. Discounts on orders, free shipping, and free samples are all great options for this. You can also create free methods of incentivization such as featuring a customer’s photo and comment on your website or social media. Customers love to be recognized by the brands they support! While this type of community-generated content is marketing gold, managing it can quickly become overwhelming. Rather than managing such complex campaigns in-house, brands often look to CGC management services such as TurnTo. TurnTo’s innovative solutions provide a cost-effective way to provide your customers with written reviews, robust visual content, and community-sourced answers to their questions. Schedule a free TurnTo demo today to see our customer-generated content solutions in action!