As marketers, we can spend all day writing about our fantastic products and services; how it works, what the benefits are and answering FAQs. But customers are increasingly savvy – they understand that any company can create great marketing copy, and where can they find content that they can really trust; customer generated content, of course.
“More than eight-in-10 global respondents (83%) say they completely or somewhat trust the recommendations of friends and family. But trust isn’t confined only to those in our inner circle. In fact, two-thirds (66%) say they trust consumer opinions posted online—the third-most-trusted format.” – Nielsen
Word-of-mouth marketing should be at the forefront your online strategy. Embrace user-generated content with effective strategies including testimonials, case studies, social media feeds, enabling comments and social sharing.
A classic; written testimonials. There are plenty of tools available to help you collect and manage reviews. Choose from third-party suppliers or review plugins to generate review ratings, testimonial sliders, rating badges and more.
- Ask your customer directly, share with them how delighted you’d be to receive their feedback.
- Make it simple, provide customers with a direct link and ensure the process is as straight-forward as possible; the less a customer has to do, the better.
- If you have physical premises, setup in-shop tablets to collect reviews then and there, ideal for service providers.
Create ‘case studies’ by working with your customers to share how your business helped them. This is the perfect opportunity to showcase your work and how your products or services have impacted the lives of your customers.
- Consider the title of this section, ‘case studies’ isn’t necessarily the most enticing tile. Consider ‘recent projects’, ‘customer stories’ and ‘clients we’ve helped’.
- Introduce your ‘case study’ with a testimonial from your customer, whether it’s captured on video or written in a quote, this creates an engaging introduction for your potential customers.
- Briefly outline the challenge or problem, relating the story to other users.
- Provide a summary of results, driven by facts, statistic, graphs or photographs. Use colourful, custom images. A picture is worth a thousand words; even stats can have visual appeal.
You’ve probably spent months, even years building great social profiles by engaging with customers daily. Don’t miss the chance to showcase this social proof on your site using social feeds. You may even increase your social follower count at the same time – it’s a win-win.
- Add social feeds to your site, pulling through social engagement. All those likes and comments you’ve received demonstrate just how popular your brand is.
- Start a #hashtag campaign on Instagram and add the feed into your website. Push bright and vibrant user-generated content to your website.
Written a great blog post recently? Allow your customers to express thanks and contribute thoughts by enabling comments.
- Enable comments in WordPress discussion setting.
- Allow for nested comments, letting customers interact with each other and allowing you to reply directly.
- Communicate with customers, keep an eye out for any questions they have or show your gratitude for their engagement by replying.
Whether it’s a product, service or post give your user the option to share the page on social media or email it to a friend. Pages with high levels of social sharing help to capture users’ interest by portraying positive engagement for other users.
- Add social sharing buttons to your posts and products.
- Demonstrate social proof by choosing social sharing buttons that display the number of shares received.
It’s all about the conversion
Combine user-generated content with clear and bold requests to users. Improve your conversion rate by capturing users who have engaged with your content.
- Add calls-to-action to your case studies
- Tell users to share your page.
- Take the next step after checking out a ‘Recent Project’
Keep track of your feeds, ensuring content displayed on your website hits the mark, but don’t be afraid of a challenging review or comment. Embrace the opportunity to show customers that you care by replying and resolving.
Enjoyed this topic? Leave a comment below and let us know your thoughts about customer-supplied content.