By Toby Britton, co-founder of Miappi
Brands have only just begun to scratch the surface of social media and unlocking its full power. Channels such as Instagram, Twitter and Facebook are no longer just for promotion, they can also be a great way to connect with your customers and build relationships that are vital to a businesses success.
When presented with a good consumer experience, customers are 3.5x more likely to make additional purchases than if they have a poor experience, so, for those companies who are serious about growing their market share it is worth investing in user experience to build customer relationships.
So, what is user generated content?
User-Generated Content, or UGC for short, is content created by the public about your brand which is commonly shared on e-commerce sites and social media. UGC content usually consists of reviews and product demonstrations, as well as more imaginative applications. Traditionally written, UGC is becoming increasingly visual, taking the form of photo and video content in line with the rise of social media platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok.
Let’s look at some of the ways you can utilise your consumer experience and build those all-important customer relationships through User Generated Content.
A good consumer relationship is a highly personalised one. Everyone likes to be made to feel special and no one likes to waste time sifting through content that is not relevant to them.
48% of consumers surveyed said that they have left a website after receiving a poorly curated experience. 91% from the same survey said they would be more likely to shop with brands who recognize and provide relevant offers and recommendations and 83% said they were willing to share their data to make this work. Personalisation matters, so much so that customers are often willing to give you their data in order to facilitate a better experience.
There is also evidence of tangible results from brands that adopt a personalisation strategy, 93% of those who have, experienced YOY revenue increases.
So how can you put this into practice? Typically brands leverage personalisation platforms such as Nosto. Such platforms enable the automatic collection of simple anonymous data points like how often a person visits your website and what they do on your website. The platform then uses such information to serve dynamic content including personalised product recommendations based on what the user has or has not interacted with.
Yes, your brand may have a purpose, but is it being put into practice, and are you able to demonstrate that its chiming with your customers? If you’re not sure of the answer, then one tired and true way of evidencing your brands purpose is to look at what people are saying about your brand. This doesn’t include what paid ‘influencers’ are saying about your brand, but rather, what unpaid customers are saying on social media and review sites. It is this user-generated content (UGC) that provides a true barometer of the success, or otherwise, of a brand’s efforts to establish its purpose as part of the global conversation. The UGC that is produced is also the perfect medium to inspire others and build relationships with new customers.
Social proof is the idea that we tend to trust other people more than we trust companies.
Social proof in terms of UGC consists of written reviews and visual reviews through well-known companies such as TrustPilot who encourage customers to give a star rating of the product or service they have bought. Visual reviews are also relevant here and can exist as positive posts on Instagram, showing happy customers posing with their purchase. Or they could be in-depth review or “unboxing” videos that show the products valuable qualities. This type of content is also known as consumer-generated content and it is gold dust for creating successful customer relationships. Why? Because it is the digital version of ‘word-of-mouth’ marketing – this is content that passively markets your product/service for you, without you having to pay anybody.
How does this impact the customer experience? It turns out that seeking reviews is a regular part of the consideration process for consumers. In fact, 64% of consumers actively seek out reviews before handing over their money according to Social Media Week. So, the implications are that, if you make the review finding easier and more readily available, you have the ability speed up the process and give the consumers the confidence they need to buy your product.
Value their opinion
This may seem like stating the obvious, but if you want your customers to remain loyal and create those long-term relationships, then you need them to see that you value their opinion. One way to do this is by asking your customers for ideas on what to do next. This not only gives inspiration to your team, but also gives you an insight as to what your customers want from your company. What’s more, when you make your followers’ ideas a reality, they’ll feel more invested in them, because they played a part.
If you are a business looking to build customer relationships this year and really ramp up your revenue, putting your consumer experience under the microscope is a must to building successful customer relationships. Not only could you be missing out on those harder to convince window shoppers, but there’s also potentially useful data you could be losing out on.
The good news is all of the above is achievable, because of the emergence of cutting-edge marketing platforms. These tools are also easy to implement, and the majority of providers can provide additional managed services or strategic support if you need it. Sign-up for platform demo’s, take a look through relevant case studies and begin your search for a platform partner for onsite personalisation, social proof and conversation marketing.