Customers choose online shopping for no waiting in queues, and easier product comparison. But why do still many consumers go to stores before (or instead of) buying online?
One of the reasons is the lack of reliable information — the inability to touch and view the product from all sides creates uncertainty in decision making.
And this is where user-generated content can be your savior. Consumer-generated content can help you:
- spread a word about your brand and products,
- convert more users into customers,
- and the sweetest part — give you all this at reduced costs for user acquisition.
What is user generated content?
User-generated content or UGC is unique, related to a particular brand content created by customers and shared on their social media or other channels. 60% of shoppers believe user-generated content is the most authentic marketing content. And they trust other people's opinions much more than branded content. UGC comes from real people, and this makes it the most authentic.
The number of UGC formats is only limited by technological resources and consumer preferences. UGC can come as images, YouTube/ TikTok videos, Instagram stories, posts, overviews, reviews, testimonials, case studies, podcasts, and others.
13 user generated content examples
We have compiled a list of UGC formats to help you navigate through and pick the ones that could work for you.
1. Instagram post
49 million people spend about 29 min a day on Instagram. What if, at that very time, they come across a post about a product they've been dreaming about for a long time? This post will most likely be the starting point for these users to come to your site. Even if only 1% of the users considered purchasing your product — that's 490.000 of prospects. And what if you made a comment under such a post? The reach will naturally increase.
2. Instagram stories
Photos and videos users share to their story disappear from feed, their profile and direct after 24 hours. (Unless they add it as a highlight.) And that’s okay, taking into account the statistics we gave you above. That could be enough time to make a huge noise around your brand.
3. Instagram review in comments
“Social listening” tools can help you track your mentions, and timely reply to customers' reviews or react to their posts on Instagram and other social media. This will help you show once again that you are interested in providing quality service to your customers and that your care for them does not end at the time of purchase. Your brand reputation is an indisputable asset.
These 3 forms of user-generated content can be applied to any social media your customers prefer — Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and others.
4. YouTube video reviews
Back in 2018 Google’s YouTube already was one of the most popular channels people used for reviewing products.
Top 3 reaons people watch a video after a search:
- see a product before they buy it or see how others have used it;
- learn more about a product they have in mind;
- see credible, authentic reviews.
Spoiler: nothing has changed since then, except that people are looking for more and more video content in this format. E.i., let's take this Apple watch review, the consumer shares his personal experience, tells your prospects about the goals he achieved using the product, and reveals the features he found useless.
Yes, this video does not praise the product, and the quality of the video is amateurish — still, your prospect is more likely to decide to buy after watching it rather than a super professional video review on your channel. And the product disadvantages may be insignificant to them, while an honest review will only confirm their guess that the product is worthwhile.
5. YouTube “product comparison” videos
These videos are especially popular among those who’re going to purchase mobiles, laptops, gadgets, smart TV's, or any other hi-tech product. Users need advice, and not everyone trusts store consultants, fearing that they will try to sell them something for more than they have planned. While reading the endless product comparisons is time-consuming and boring, videos come as a nice alternative.
6. YouTube “How-to’s” videos
Often, after examining the product page, the prospect has no questions about the characteristics of the product. But there are questions about how to use this product, what to use it with, and whether the prospect needs it. Video how-to’s from real consumers can help the user with their choice.
7. TikTok “unboxing” videos
Users spend about 24 hours a month watching content on TikTok, which is two hours more than on YouTube. The videos are shorter than on YouTube, but can reveal an important part of the service, e.i. product packing and delivery.
8. Reviews on Google Map
Usually users search for local offline stores on the Google map. But if you have drop-off points, this can be a great place to look through reviews on your service. The review summary can be the final factor in choosing your store.
9. Reviews on Google My Business
When googling for products online, users can come across your profile on Google My Business together with all or no reviews on it. The more positive user-generated reviews there will be, the easier it will be for a user unfamiliar with your brand to make a choice in favor of your business.
10. Reviews on product pages
Products with 1-10 reviews have 52% higher conversions than those without reviews. Every business has the "silent advocates" who will leave reviews if you ask them for that. When to ask and how to ask? Answers to these questions along with ready-to-use templates are waiting for you in our guide.
11. User-generated content used for case studies
If your product is more complex than "pizza," you might consider creating case studies with your customers to help prospects gain more insight into your product or service.
12. Podcasts with customers
This format is not the most popular among UGC, as it requires much more time from the client and the company to prepare and implement. But if you walked your way through it — all you have to do is ask the client to participate in your future podcast.
User-generated content, such as testimonials, can be placed on the homepage of your site and draw the attention of new users to the merits of your business as a whole.