Branding

User-Generated Content: 4 Ways to Boost Traffic and Sales with UGC

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If you’ve ever made a purchase online, you understand the impact a number of excellent customer reviews can have on your decision to buy something. Whether you saw the reviews on an external website, a social media platform, or in the item description itself, seeing dozens of 5-star reviews has likely convinced you to make a purchase in the past. Why? User-generated content more accurately appeals to your target audience – because the content is coming from your target audience.

 

You may have a general idea of what your audience would like to see, but realistically there is only so much convincing you can do. In-depth descriptions of products may make them sound appealing, but they may not cover answers to important questions you hadn’t thought about prior to making the description. Encourage user-generated content, and use it in a number of ways to better promote and sell your product.

 

There are three key ways UGC can be used to convert page visitors into buyers:

 

  • Post user-generated reviews on each product’s page.
  • Use a Community Q&A feature to encourage engagement between past and current customers.
  • Include images of the product taken by customers in the Product Reviews portion of each page.

 

Posting reviews of products on their page is an excellent way to convince anxious buyers to go through with their purchase. Many would-be customers do not finish the check-out process because they are nervous about making a poor investment, however customer reviews are a tried and true method of reducing cart abandonment. In addition, a Community Q&A feature allows new and current customers to ask questions about the product, and past customers can give them a personal answer, which can ease any concerns the buyer may have. Finally, including user-generated images is one of the best ways to convert visitors into buyers, as they have the chance to see what the product will look like upon arrival.

 

User-generated content can also be used with social media to increase engagement on outside platforms. Market your brand by:

 

  • Creating an Instagram campaign to encourage customers to share their reviews.
  • Asking customers to share their reviews on their social media profiles.
  • Share UGC on your own social media pages.

 

By sharing user-generated content about your product, you can begin reaching a much larger audience. When more individuals in the demographic of your target audience see customer reviews (particularly those of their friends and family), they will be more likely to visit your product’s page and make a purchase.

 

In addition to sharing reviews on social media, user-generated content should also be included when running a paid marketing campaign on any social network. Users of social media do so to see the opinions and thoughts of their friends and family, and it’s important to recognize that many users will skip over an ad quickly if they feel it has no relevance to them. Circumvent this by including customer reviews in your ads, as it gives them a much more personal, social feel, which encourages higher click-through rates and more page visitors.

 

Finally, user-generated content can be one of the most effective ways to improve your results in search engines. Why? When customers are leaving feedback and reviews on your website and product pages, it gives search engines a consistent supply of fresh content that relates directly to your page. The more user-generated content you feature on your website or store page, the most easily new customers will be able to find you when they search for relevant terms.

 

This original post appeared on the Shopify blog.

About the author

Steve Hutt

Steve has entrepreneurship in his DNA. In the early days of online commerce, he achieved Power Seller status at eBay, which then propelled him to become a founding partner of VisionPros.com, a contact lens, and eyewear retailer. After a successful exit from his startup, he embarked on his next journey into agency work in e-commerce and digital strategy.

Currently, Steve is part of the Merchant Success Team at Shopify Plus, where he is a Strategic Advisor helping brands continue to grow and scale with the Shopify Commerce Platform.

To maintain a competitive edge and life of learning mantra, Steve also hosts and produces a top-rated weekly podcast show, eCommerce Fastlane, where he interviews Shopify partners and subject matter experts who share the latest marketing strategy, tactics, platforms, and must-have apps, to help Shopify brands build and scale lifetime customer loyalty.