Friday, February 23rd, 2018 | 5 min read
There’s no shortage of writing about the power of user-generated content (UGC). According to Nielsen, 84% of consumers trust recommendations from friends and family over any other type of advertising. And 74% of consumers rely on social networks to guide purchase decisions, as marketing agency ODM Group found.
Brands know this, and they also know a variety of ways to create and promote UGC – whether through contests, hashtag campaigns, or influencer partnerships.
Still, there’s one UGC strategy that needs to be discussed: Hosting UGC on your website.
That’s right. UGC doesn’t just have to live on social channels. Even if you already curate and share it via own accounts, you can expand the reach and value of that content by placing it directly on your site.
Here are three reasons why this is a crucial strategy.
If customers are considering a product, they’re going to seek out other people’s experiences. According to Pew Research Center, half of adults routinely check online reviews before buying new items. That means they’ll have to leave your site, open up a Google Search tab, check Twitter, scroll through Facebook, and find relevant tags on Instagram. This is all precious time that they could spend on your site, learning about your products.
Do the work for your customers ahead of time by placing UGC on your website. This way they can see branded product information, first-hand user experiences, and their checkout cart in the same place. And there’s no time for them to leave and get distracted by other platforms – or competitors.
Just look at Calvin Klein. The brand features UGC on its homepage for its #MYCALVINS campaign. Customers are invited to join the Calvin Klein family and upload their own photos of what family looks like to them. Select uploads are showcased on the site:
If you click on each photo, you’ll see whose account it came from and links to the products featured in the image:
Pick and choose which UGC to place on your site. For instance, you can create one section for each product, demographic, use case, and campaign. This gives you more control over the UGC you share with your customers. And it helps you personalize the research process for them. According to Aberdeen Group, 75% of customers prefer it when brands customize their shopping experiences.
MUJI Pens, for instance, catered to artists by hosting a UGC art contest. People were invited to create something with MUJI Pens, post it to social media, and apply to be featured on the site. Participants’ artwork was then voted on by the community and the brand’s development team. You could even sort through submissions by categories like nature, pattern, doodle, and surrealism.
With curated content hubs, you can give customers exactly what they’re looking for on their path to purchase.
With your UGC and online store on the same site, you can clearly see which content drives conversions. For instance, maybe hundreds of customers are jumping from one UGC page right to the shopping cart. That means that content is probably working. As a result, you shouldn’t just feature more of that kind of content on your site. You should also learn from that UGC and fold it into your own strategy.
Say users are posting travel content with your products on Instagram, and they’re getting a lot of engagement. But most of your Instagram content is local or home-based. Using your UGC data, you can try switching up your strategy according to people’s preferences.
There’s one major flaw in this strategy: It’s incredibly time-consuming to hand-pick UGC across social channels and keep it fresh in real time.
That’s where the new Sprinklr Gallery tool comes in.
Sprinklr Gallery allows brands to curate and embed social content directly onto any website or mobile app. You can use social listening tools to source relevant content right from your social platforms. And you can even make your posts shoppable with product tags right from your catalogue.
The point is that your customers will be looking at other people’s content about your brand. You just have to lead the conversation – and not just on your social channels. By planting UGC on your website, you can create seamless, content-fueled experiences that yield invaluable opportunities for sales and conversions.
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