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Use User-Generated Content to Boost Sales

Use User-Generated Content to Boost Sales

User-generated content (UGC) is any content that is created by a brand’s fans and broader audience. This might take the form of images and videos shared on social channels, testimonials, reviews, tweets, and blog posts, and can be used by a company as promotion to increase sales. For instance, in place of a company-produced video developed by professionals, user-generated content would be a simple video uploaded from a customer’s smart phone that highlights their experience with a product. 

Users can generate content on social media in the form of: 

  • Images 
  • Videos   
  • Testimonials 
  • Reviews  
  • Tweets 
  • Blog posts 

It is always good to hear that customers are satisfied with your products. However, the benefit of UGC lies in the fact that it lets potential customers hear how previous buyers are pleased with your products. This content magnifies the positive things that customers say about you to build brand awareness, much more cost-effective than promoting yourself. 

User-generated content enables a customer to become a representative for your brand. This kind of content adds variety to a company’s marketing approach and enhances authenticity between the brand and shoppers. 

How UGC Fits the Inbound Shopping Cycle 

User-generated content is the most effective marketing strategy. When customers are in the process of buying, they: 

  • Discover 
  • Search 
  • Purchase 
  • Use 
  • Ask 

The above situations show UGC in action. User-generated content is frequently seen in social media as social proof of how excited or satisfied the consumer is. 

For example, a person who is in the searching stage looks for reviews of the product. A present customer, on the other hand, engages in product forums for issue resolution or general post-sale inquiries. 

Considering how often customers create and access UGC, factoring it into your sales strategy is essential.  

Create Brand Awareness Using UGC 

Potential buyers discover a product during inbound marketing’s awareness stage, when they have a problem that needs solving and locate your blog post through search engine results or see a social network advertisement. 

As you can see, these channels primarily feed on user-generated content. Everyone reaches out to Google when they require help with something, making the search engine the primary battleground for brands. The higher your product’s SERP rank, the more clicks it gets.  

Marketers often try long-form content that is optimized for long-tail key phrases to get higher ranks. What they tend to overlook is the secret to ranking higher—excellent UGC. 

Statistics show that about one-fourth of search results for the world’s top 20 brands are links to user-generated content. Not only is the association between UGC and SEO strong, but so is the relationship between top search engine results and brand awareness. 

Ranking close to SEO, another powerful driver for brand awareness is social media channels. In most cases, social content is contributed by a brand’s community, rather than the brand itself. Try to create social signals with user-generated content on social networks.  

Along with SEO and social media, reviews also power a large portion of the discovery phase. 

Use positive reviews on your products as leveraged user-generated content for your brand publicity. You can add reviews to your site but putting them on third-party sites, like Amazon, could be more helpful because users tend to recognize them as more dependable. 

Leverage User-Generated Content for Customer Engagement 

Once marketers get the attention of a potential customer, their next step is to engage them. To do so, they develop content that resonates with them. Involving the potential customer in developing content helps to gather unique data and engages the audience. 

Reports driven by UGC are also more likely to go viral, greatly raising your brand awareness. These posts get shared and re-shared, introducing your brand to people who didn’t know it existed. 

Your best means for developing such resources are surveys, because that is how you can collect the data that you need.   

Some tools for leveraging user-generated content are: 

  • Google Forms – Ranked as the number one surveying tool 
  • Typeform – This has a great free plan that lets you create unlimited surveys and monitor unlimited responses. Typeform is an excellent option to consider if you are ready to do the analysis yourself.  
  • SurveyMonkey – This is another helpful survey tool that you can use to create and send surveys to existing customers. SurveyMonkey’s free plan lets you create a poll with up to ten questions and view up to 100 responses. 
Harnessing Community Content 

The final stage of the inbound marketing cycle is to make the customer happy. At this point, marketers ensure that their customers start using their product as smoothly and quickly as possible. 

Marketers create a specific type of user-generated content for this stage, including support tickets, forum postings, post-sales questions and bug reports.

This kind of UGC helps marketers create support content, like FAQs and knowledge-base articles. Apart from passive content, they also hold sessions in which users actively take part in a social network environment. 

Forums are also a good resource to get support and organic traffic. They rank well, as users can ask their exact question in them. Another advantage is that active forums buzz with fresh content, which brings searches to your site. 

Prospective customers also hang out on forums, so you can use them to answer pre-sales questions with user-generated content. For instance, if a potential customer wants to know if an app you sell integrates with a calendar, your forum thread about the same issue can be the first result to appear for the query. 

Harness UGC Throughout the Buyer’s Journey 

User-generated content is the most effective marketing strategy to build interaction with your present and prospective customers and diversify your company’s content. It takes the focus off your company and highlights current customers and employees who have direct experience with the brand. 

It’s essential to look at customer retention as another stage in the buyer’s journey, as it does not end when the customer checks out.  Incorporating UGC into your retention tools, such as coupons and up-selling, makes it easier to connect with hard-earned customers and to bring them back to shop on your site. 

UGC helps to: 

  • improve sales  
  • strengthen customer trust  
  • establish brand/customer relationships  
  • build social followers  
  • extend social reach  
  • promote authenticity/credibility  
  • create SEO value 

You can get more from shoppers by leveraging UGC after they make a purchase. Using the right user-generated content tools improves customer engagement, boosts sales among your current community of customers, and increases customer acquisitions.  

Practice connecting with your customers in a meaningful way by sharing your customer’s and employee’s content and raising trust with those on the fence. It’s essential to map out how your business engages with clients across several channels.  

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