Five Ways in Which User Generated Content Can Drive Online Sales

3 Minutes
Mark Gregory

Word of mouth recommendations are the strongest way in which to build interest and trust in a product – more than eighty percent of people see recommendation from family and friends as the most trustworthy source of information before buying anything.

Reviews are also an essential tool for ecommerce and online marketing strategies. As of data collected in 2013 approximately 68% of all online consumers read reviews online before committing to making a purchase so in 2015 you can expect this to be even greater.

A survey of internet users in the US from EXPO revealed that consumers trust reviews from other consumers significantly more than they trust manufacturer descriptions – as much as twelve times more. Reevoo stats show that products with fifty or more reviews available see conversion rates increase by an average of 4.6%. These figures show that reviews from users are proven sales drivers and can be one of the most valuable marketing tools available. The facts are that customers trust other customers more than they trust manufacturers and retailers, meaning that user-generated content can be a powerful tool.

In the current digital marketing landscape there are a variety of ways in which sites can create user generated content, with reviews being only the tip of the iceberg. Here we explore five ways in which you can utilise user-generated content to increase consumer trust and drive sales.

1. Social Media Sharing

The new generation of online consumer loves nothing more than to share thoughts, images and opinions with the world through social media. Create a campaign offering prizes for the best selfie wearing, using or interacting with your particular product or brand to encourage people to share what you want to be shared. Many internet users will already be posting these pictures or videos, so it makes sense to leverage that content and ensure it can be placed where it is most effective.

2. Images and Videos

Just as with social media, images carry power. Certain companies are beginning to leverage the fact that people like to share within their very own websites, encouraging customers who purchase a product to upload videos or pictures of themselves wearing or using the product and asking for permission to link these to the product on the buying pages of the website.

3. Competitions

A campaign asking your customers to design a new product, create a new flavour or come up with a new advertisement for your products, with the winner seeing their idea brought to life, lets each customer feel important and valued and gives them the opportunity to get creative.

4. Get Interactive

Create ways in which consumers can use interactive tools to come up with collages of images of your products and post these to their favourite social media network with links back to your site.

5. Reviews

As shown above, reviews are one of the strongest drivers of sales for online purchases. Ensure your website has the facility for customers to post reviews and where possible solicit reviews post-purchase via email. There are many third party independent review services, such as TrustPilot, Feefo and Reevoo – find the best one for your business and start capturing those all important customer opinions.

User-generated content and reviews do not only have the power to increase sales. They also help with your SEO strategy, creating a wealth of fresh and original content that can be linked back to your website.

With more than half of all online shoppers seeking out reviews before purchase you can also help boost your rankings by displaying these, meaning that when shoppers search for ‘product name + review’ your site will feature more prominently.

Most of today’s internet shoppers already do a great job at providing free advertising for the products they love. Through leveraging this existing content and encouraging the creation of even more, you can help boost your sales figures and your SERPs ranking in one affordable and easy move.