A lot of site owners struggle to write content, but know they need to do it. A lot of the time this can result in ‘waffle content’. Words on the page, but not a lot of substance or value. There is an alternative form of content that is easier to gather, and much more powerful and trusted by consumers.
User generated content includes reviews, ratings, testimonials, photos and even hashtag feeds from social channels. Consumers trust this form of content more than a site owner’s advertising as it is seen as more authentic and credible. Studies have shown that 70 percent of users purchasing online look at reviews prior to making a purchasing decision. Consumers need social proof that they are making the right decision.
Even more interesting was that the younger the consumer the more likely they were to rely on reviews to make their decision.
Instagram drives brand engagement
A fantastic social idea is to display Instagram hashtag feeds on product pages that allow customers to show photos of themselves using the product. Consumers get to boast about their purchase and for being shown on the website, but the site owner is the true beneficiary of this tactic. Not only is their product being spread on Instagram (the highest converting social media channel for e-commerce stores), but their product pages are being given a trustworthyness booster shot.
But this is not some new marketing phenomenon. If you are walking down the street looking for a restaurant to eat at and see two side by side. One is fairly busy with diners, the other completely empty. Without even looking at the menu or prices, your mind has already decided that the busy restaurant is the superior one. It is for this reason a savvy restaurant owner will position it’s first diners for the night in a visible area towards the front. The same should apply to your website.
But what if I don’t sell online?
All site owners can benefit from client testimonials. A testimonial is an opportunity to convey how professional or efficient your business is, but also what results consumers gained from the use of your product or service.
In a Nielson global study it was found that 92% of people trusted a recommendation from a peer or colleague, but a staggering 70% of people trusted recommendations from people they didn’t even know! Conversely only 33% of people trusted mobile or banner ads.
The old advertising method of shouting your message loud and repeatedly is long gone. It’s clear to see the power of social proof, and why you should make adding user generated content to your website a priority. You will increase your credibility, and your customers will do the selling for you.