How to Develop a Killer UGC Strategy for E-Commerce
User-generated content (UGC) is content created by fans who freely contribute it to the brand. The type of content can include anything from pictures and videos to testimonials, blog posts, and everything else. The main purpose of UGC is to use peer-to-peer promotion to increase the visibility of the brand among other users which is by it’s critical to have a UGC strategy for e-commerce.
Because customers come into contact with each other regularly on e-commerce websites looking for advice and suggestions, taking advantage of user-generated content can be a great opportunity. But in order to make it work, you will first need to map out a strategy. And to do that, there are a few steps you need to take into consideration.
Developing a UGC Strategy for E-Commerce
Determine the Type of UGC to Implement
Developing a successful user-generated content strategy means deciding on the type of content you want to create. Although fans determine what content they create, you can highlight what content you believe best fits the brand identity by using the main content form during your own creative efforts. The four main types of UGC your store can leverage are:
- Comments – have the ability to increase engagement and promote the brand at the store, and mostly impact consumers at the very end of the sales funnel.
- Reviews – have a strong psychological effect that has the potential to affect 70% of consumer decisions by increasing trust through the credibility of the brand.
- Photos – have the potential to establish connections between fans and the product or service, and can even serve as a way of promotion on official company channels, like the website or social media.
- Videos – have the potential to increase peer-to-peer engagement which doesn’t necessarily involve the brand directly, but does increase brand awareness and helps shape brand perception.
Build a Relationship Worth UGC
User-generated content relies a lot on the relationship fans have with your brand. You need to align your brand message – core beliefs, goals and the mission statement – with the unique value proposition of your brand. Consumers that share this belief system will want to interact with the brand and establish a relationship.
Conducting paid surveys online or interviewing consumers individually will let you find out what they think of your brand and what they want from it. According to the data from your research, you can shift your efforts towards the most common consumer needs.
After completing all three actions, you will create a solid foundation on which consumers build a relationship with your brand because you:
- aligned the beliefs and values of your brand with theirs;
- listened to what they have to say about improving your brand;
- and implemented certain upgrades to your shop based on their suggestions.
At this point, you can initiate an open conversation with your consumers about them creating content for your brand.
Promote Your UGC Efforts
Once you implement certain upgrades to your online shop, you need to promote those UGC tools and let consumers know they are in place. Initially, market the new options on social media and through your newsletter. Additionally, you can consider implementing pop-ups and other attention-grabbing banners on your website to increase awareness. Keep in mind that GDPR has an impact on marketing.
If you are still not gaining the momentum you desire, create customer incentives to motivate visitors to engage in the new equipment on your website. Include special offers for the second purchase, when a customer reviews their initial one. Additionally, when a client sends a photo with their new order, send them a coupon as a thank you.
Whatever means of promotion you choose, remember to emphasize the benefits of interacting with your brand.
Test and Optimize for Performance
A UGC strategy for e-commerce shouldn’t be regarded as a static component of your marketing efforts. Instead of sticking to one form of the content, create a test hypothesis to help you figure out the success rate of the campaign when it comes to sales and conversion.
Then, conduct the test of each type of user content one at a time, making sure you create two sets of slightly different test variables. Once you determine which test outperforms the other one, you can repeat the test, but this time against another content form.
As you gather test results, evaluate them. You have an overview of the impact different user-generated content has on revenue, so you can implement changes to your store according to that key parameter.
Even a killer UGC strategy for e-commerce requires patience and some work to be successful. By following these steps, however, you can start thinking about how to plan your attack. Once you do attack, you will see the improvements not just to your monthly balance, but the customer experience will likely sore through the roof as well.
This article on developing a UGC strategy for e-commerce was provided by Lauren Wiseman. Lauren is marketing specialist, contributor to bizzmarkblog.com and entrepreneur. She helps clients grow their personal and professional brands in fast-changing and demanding market, strongly believing in a holistic approach to business.