How to Put User-Generated Content to Work for Your Brand

Published on August 5, 2016

Though online commerce and promotion are facts of life at this point, there’s no denying that they can still be a little intimidating, even off-putting. How can you trust that you’re going to get exactly what you’re promised? How can you be sure that this company is the right one for your needs?

One of the ways that we work to prevent or assuage those fears in our potential customers is with content: We create blogs and multimedia to make our users more confident and trusting in us, to answer their most pressing questions about us, to create knowledge and value for them before they even have to spend a dollar.

But there’s one unbelievably valuable source of content that many marketers and brands are missing out on: user-generated content, including reviews, ratings, and testimonials.

User-generated content is a reliable well of content, one that offers unique opportunities to create community, bolster audience trust, and benefit every facet of your digital marketing strategy. Hey, you have a dedicated audience, after all – why not put them to work? Here are three ways to use user-generated content to create value for your brand:

1.) Create A Dialogue With Your Audience on Your Site

Remember what we said about being intimidated to do your shopping in a vacuum?

Including user reviews, recommendations, and FAQs in multiple places along your website’s conversion path – such as your landing page, individual product pages, and even checkout pages – is an effective way to mollify new users’ fears or worries by connecting them to real, satisfied customers.

This creates a palpable sense of community with built-in emotion around your brand, perfect for guiding consumers to committing to you and encouraging them to move through your conversion funnel. And once your new users have an authentically positive experience of their own, it will be easier to reach out and solicit them for fresh reviews – a surefire way to encourage retention and engagement.

2.) Make Your Social Presence More Effective

For many users, the guide to committing to a new brand, product, or service starts entirely through social channels. User-generated content is a great way to pique curiosity, encourage engagement, and get clickthrough!

Encourage satisfied users to rate you on Facebook, Yelp, or Google. This creates “social proof” that will stick in a new user’s mind, creating loyalty and curiosity from the word go.

And if you’re focusing on paid social advertising, put user-generated content to work in your advertisements: One study shows that repurposing authentic customer reviews and images in social ads increases “clickthrough rates on Facebook Ads by 300% and leads to a 50% drop in both cost-per-click and cost-per-acquisition,” according to Hubspot.

3.) Make Your Brand More Visible With SEO and SEM

It’s easy to tag user-generated content to make it search engine-friendly in the form of product listing ads, meta-descriptions, or rich cards or snippets.

Starting to promote user-generated content as early as your users’ “research” phase can pay enormous dividends, helping your digital presence stand out from the pack and encouraging clickthrough.

Looking for the right people to help you turn your user-generated content into fresh customers? Drop Geek a line today! Our team is here to help with every aspect of your digital marketing campaign, including SEO, email marketing, reputation management, and social media.

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