Not long ago, consumers discovered products and brands in traditional ways. They read newspapers or magazines. They watched TV commercials. They listened to radio ads. The most clever and captivating ads captured the most attention and ultimately, generated the most sales.
Whether they liked it or not, consumers’ awareness of products was largely driven by top-down advertising. Sure, a recommendation from a friend or family member carried a lot of weight, but there was no way to get recommendations at scale.
Today, it’s a very different story.
Digital technology has completely changed how we discover products, engage with brands and share our experiences with others. Social media transformed the way people share word-of-mouth recommendations, connecting shoppers to off-the-cuff opinions, compelling visual content and real-life experiences from peers and influencers they follow and admire. Sure, TV, radio and print ads are still part of the mix but they hardly carry the same weight as they did in years passed. This statistic speaks volumes: 92% of consumers trust peer recommendations over branded advertising.
With the advent of social media and digital technology, brands have a powerful new tool at their disposal that brings word-of-mouth to the masses: User-generated content (UGC).
As many marketers know, UGC is content created and published by contributors, influencers or fans. UGC can come in many forms like testimonials, blogs, tweets, videos or images. Their purpose? For customers to share their thoughts, feelings and experiences with other people — whether that be personal friends and family members, or the entire social media universe.
What makes UGC so powerful? It’s real and authentic. Untainted by brand marketing and PR jargon, UGC allows your fans and followers to understand the thoughts, opinions and experiences of people just like them. When they see the people they follow and admire spotlighting specific products, services and experiences, consumers are more likely to trust them. Consider these stats:
- 90% of U.S. consumers say UGC is the most influential part of their purchase decisions.
- 97% of shoppers under 30 say UGC influences their purchase decisions.
- 86% of millennials say that UGC is a good indicator of the quality of a brand.
Thanks to social media, you now have the power to use UGC to your advantage — at scale. Thousands of customers are eagerly sharing images…many of them including products and brands like yours! You not only can re-share these images across social networks, but across digital touchpoints, creating powerful sources of inspiration and product validation for your customers.
The UGC revolution is here, and the benefits are yours for the taking. Not sure where to start? Download our comprehensive guide 35 Ways to Turn User Generated Content Into Real Revenue. In this guide you’ll learn how to:
- Build a UGC plan
- Inspire fans and followers to share UGC on social
- Launch successful influencer marketing campaigns
- Make UGC shoppable
- Measure the success of your UGC campaigns
Curalate helps more than 850 of the world’s leading brands sell online more effectively by creating compelling commerce experiences that adapt to how consumers discover products. On average, our clients achieve: 79% increases in time-on-site, 16% jumps in average order value and 31% increases in conversion rate.
What can Curalate do for your business? Contact us to find out.