User-generated content (UGC) is content created by users and enabled by brands like product reviews, stories, photos, videos, and more.
Advocate-generated content (AGC) is an especially valuable type of UGC because it's positive content created by your enthusiastic customers like five-star reviews and glowing testimonials.
UGC is Highly-Trusted. Brand Content? Not so Much
Consumers and business buyers trust UGC far more than brand-created and brand-sponsored content:
- 92% of consumers worldwide say they trust user opinions/Word of Mouth more than advertising (source: Nielsen)
- UGC is 50% more trusted by consumers than traditional media (source: Ipsos Millenial Social Influence Study)
- 70% of consumers trust reviews written by users above reviews by experts (source: Forrester)
Here are the three major benefits to brands of UGC:
1. UGC helps you sell more products
UGC provides the critical "social proof" that your products and services are as good as you say they are. As a result, prospects are much more likely to buy when UGC is featured on your website, landing pages, ads, and elsewhere.
- UGC on your website has an average 18% sales uplift. That breaks down as follows: 11% sales conversion uplift; 5% return visitor uplift; and 2% average order uplift (source: Econsultancy.)
- UGC in your ads make your ads 4X more effective. When UGC is included in ads, online stores get 4X higher click-through rates, 50% lower cost of conversion, and 50% drop in cost-per click (source: Shopify)
- 93% of consumers say UGC is helpful when making purchase decisions (source: OfferPop)
- 84% of millennials and 70% of Baby Boomers said UGC on a brand's website influences their purchase decisions (source: BazaarVoice)
2. UGC boosts organic search & TRAFFIC
Search engines give UGC priority over brand-created content when determining search results.
A fresh and steady stream of UGC is the key to keeping your ranking in good shape and boosts organic traffic to your site.
- Organic traffic grew by 48% in only three months for brands that added UGC to their websites (source: Yotpo)
- Product pages with embedded reviews were crawled as much as 200% more frequently, with as much as 250% broader keyword reach, and as much as 200% more organic traffic (source: SearchEngineLand)
- The addition of the star ratings (rich snippets) drove mean a 10-20% increase in click-through rates from search engine results (source: eConsultancy)
Search engines value content that's frequently updated so make sure to get a steady stream of fresh UGC like ratings and reviews on your site.
3. UGC helps CUTS YOUR MARKETING COSTS
Many companies pay agencies and other firms lots of money to produce content. Like thousands of dollars for a single video, infographic, or white paper.
UGC, on the other hand, is relatively cheap. In fact, in many cases you don't need to pay customers to create content like reviews, stories, videos, photos, and more. You just need to make it easy for them.
Why keep forking over big dollars to agencies to produce content for you, when your customers will create content for a lot less money?
Other Powerful Benefits of UGC
UGC also helps you learn about what your customers like or don't like about your products or services; get valuable ideas; identify important trends; identify your Advocates; increase engagement; and more.
3 Keys to Success
Here are the three keys to getting these powerful UGC benefits:
- You must put the UGC on your website, on your landing pages, emails, and ads. When it comes to the benefits of UGC, use it or lose it!
- You must make sure that the UGC has all the proper tags so that it can be found by Google and other search engines.
- You need to make it easy for Advocates to share and/or publish the content they create on shopping sites, review sites, and their social networks.
If you don't do these three things, you're missing a valuable opportunity.