Blog post -
Leveraging user generated content to build authenticity
Content makes a difference
We all know that content makes a difference. On websites, in blog posts, in advertising. We want to create content that inspires, that educates and that converts.
Quality content requires an investment. You need time to plan, schedule and publish it. You need to hire a writer. Someone to photograph the products. An agency to design ads.
But there is a type of content out there that many are taking for granted. Content that is essentially free to use and that doesn’t require copywriters, professional photography nor agencies. Most importantly, it is proven to inspire, educate and convert.
Effective use of this content produces fantastic, tangible results:
- Premium outerwear brand Stutterheim has seen an 18% increase in conversion rate in e-commerce sales.
- Clothing brand Hunkemöller has seen an 11% increase in average order value.
- Danish interior design brand Lampemesteren saw customers spending an additional 44% more time on site.
What is the recipe for success?
Let’s start with a little exercise: Take a look at the two pictures below. Ask yourself, what do they tell you? What is the story here? And most importantly, which one is the most engaging?
The first thing to note here is that both of these images are showing the same product, just in very different ways. Image A is an example of user generated content (UGC), content that has been created by end-users and that can be collected by brands to effectively use in their marketing. Image B is a standard white background product photo.
If you answered B to the last question, then sorry you failed the test! Whilst image B is useful because it displays the product in full, it’s clearly not as engaging as image A.
Image A shows the product being enjoyed by the end-user (the pet). It lets you visualize exactly how it will be used. It also gives you a good idea of size, relative to the cat. Simply put, image A gives you a lot more information and the cat’s large soulful eyes draw you in.
Knowing this, pet retailer Pets Place has enriched their website with UGC, to tell their customer why they need to buy this cat tower in the first place – Your pet, your precious furbaby, will love it. If you don’t believe us, take a look at satisfied customer: the.three.muscatteers on Instagram.
User generated content builds brand authenticity
One of the main reasons that the use of UGC has grown in popularity is that it’s one of the most effective ways to give brands a strong sense of authenticity and trustworthiness.
If you think about it, what would you trust more: a stock photo or a recommendation from a consumer in a similar position as yourself?
Ultimately, when a brand uses content created by its own users, it inspires and drives both existing and new customers to make purchases.
Long term, by highlighting your customers and engaging with them, you are building trust and being seen as more authentic.
This blog post is based on the Flowbox presentation held at the Smartly.io Sofa Summit, 27th January 2021.
Click to view the full presentation and learn how Swedish fashion company Kids Brand Store A/B tested their user generated content and saw incredible results.
Cecilia Rehn, Content Manager