The battle for consumer attention is on, and the playing field is changing.
Traditional marketing methods just don’t cut the mustard with an ultra-connected mobile generation: a recent study by Crowdtap revealed that millennials choose to trust recommendations from fellow shoppers, over slick sales spiel and celebrity endorsements.
User Generated Content (UGC), or anything created by people that aren’t paid to make it, includes social updates, videos, photos, reviews, blogs – and it’s getting easier for people to join the conversation.
The digital word of mouth
A third of 18-24 olds thought that social media would influence their vote in the last general election; not because of political parties getting social-media-savvy, but because young people are more likely to be influenced by what their peers are talking about.
But even the opinions of strangers hold more sway than a company’s high-budget advertising campaign. 88% of online shoppers trust the reviews they read online as much a recommendation from a friend – it’s no surprise that sites like Airbnb have exploded in popularity in recent years.
The world is more connected than ever: three billion people use the internet, and 2.1 billion of them have a social media account of some kind, with more options and apps than ever before.
Snapchat videos get 10 billion views each day, with 100 million active users each month. Pinterest has seen incredible growth of 97% over the past year. YouTube continues to grow with over a billion users – a third of the internet - now watching and creating videos. On mobile alone, YouTube reaches more millennials than any cable network in the United States.
Get out of the driving seat
However much they sink into advertising, businesses can’t hope to compete with the word of mouth of a generation that loves to share. But they can provide a platform to get the conversation started, and to help that voice get louder.
Customers have always had opinions on brands they use, products they buy, restaurants they eat in and practically everything else in between. Ninety-two per cent of online shoppers are reported to read online reviews, and businesses are realising how beneficial a robust reviews strategy can be.
Instead of recommending products to your consumers, let your happy customers do it for you. 75% of consumers expect to be able to leave their feedback on products and services – ask for it, and they’ll give it.
Bring reviews to life
Connecting reviews to UGC can be as simple as providing space for customers to talk about and share their experiences. But where reviews really shine, is when you provide a platform to unleash creativity with photo and video.
That’s not just good for consumers – the benefits of rich media can have a massive impact on your business too.
Photos and videos get shared over 10,000 times more than text alone. Video UGC accounts for almost a third of all media consumption. It’s watched ten times more than content created by brands – customers can sell your product better than you can!
- User Generated Content is more trusted, more influential and more attractive to consumers than professional content
- Use UGC in your content marketing efforts
- Reviews are a powerful persuader, and most shoppers read them, leave them and base decisions around them
- Provide a platform for customers to leave their reviews by creating UGC, and enjoy the benefits of both.
By James Perrin, head of content and social media at Feefo
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