Searchspring: Leveraging Personalization to Boost Conversions...
By Brennan Heyde
Try this goldmine for generating ecommerce traffic by drawing more traffic to your site.
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Drawing robust traffic sources to an ecommerce site is a year-round task—doing it on a sustainable budget is an artform. As customer acquisition costs rise on many marketing platforms, sellers can benefit from one of the most cost-effective ways to attract ecommerce traffic and generate more business: inviting your current audience to lead the way. User-generated content (UGC) is very economical, very effective tool for generating traffic, which has the side effect of creating more engaged and loyal customers. In this blog, we’ll look at the various types of UGC and how to use them.
User-generated content is a powerful secret weapon for building brand credibility and organic reach. Your customers and fans are the perfect spokespeople for your brand and products. By encouraging users to create and share content around your offerings, you enhance the authenticity of your message. Not only is this an affordable solution for creating brand content, it is also a tool for helping customers feel more connected to your business and more likely to keep participating (and buying) long-term.
User-Generated Content (UGC) is a broad term that encompasses various types of content created by users, customers, or fans. Here are the main types of UGC which brands can leverage for more ecommerce traffic:
1. Product Reviews and Ratings:
The most common type of user content. Users sharing their experiences and opinions about products—whether on the brand website, or on an external review site—can significantly influence potential buyers.
Satisfied customers sharing detailed experiences and recommending the product/service. These can come in the form of simple quotes, longer format case studies, videos, or other interviews.
3. User-Submitted Photos and Videos:
Visual content showcasing products in real-life situations. Product imagery created by your customers with a simple phone pic will automatically feel more authentic and trustworthy than professionally produced marketing images.
4. Social Media Posts and Mentions:
Users mentioning or tagging the brand in their posts can be re-shared by the brand for additional reach.
5. User-Created Hashtags:
Unique hashtags created by users around a brand or product, helping to consolidate content around the subject and make searches more effective.
6. Community Forums and Q&A:
Platforms where users can ask questions, share experiences, and offer advice about products. It’s very valuable for new customers to see brands engaging directly with users on forums, as it gives a feel for the quality of customer service, and the expertise of the business.
7. Blog Posts and Articles:
In-depth content written by users about their experiences, reviews, or tutorials related to the product. Guest posts can bring a diversity of viewpoints which add to the sophistication and appeal of a blog.
8. Customer Feedback and Suggestions:
Insights and recommendations from users on how to improve products or services. These might be posted publicly, or gleaned from conversations from reps and later quoted on the website.
9. Contest Entries:
Content submitted by users for participating in contests, which might include creative photos, videos, or write-ups. These contests are generally engineered specifically to generate more user generated content and can be great drivers of ecommerce traffic.
10. Live Streams:
Users joining your business’ live streams or webinars, engaging in conversations, asking good questions, and possibly even creating content during the session. This live content can be captured, reposted, or quoted in subsequent marketing materials.
11. Influencer Collaborations:
Content created by influencers in collaboration with the brand.
12. Podcast appearances, mentions, and reviews:
Users discussing or reviewing products in podcasts—whether the podcast is hosted by your brand or not—which can be shared or highlighted later by the brand.
Leveraging all of these diverse types of user-generated content can significantly enhance a brand’s online presence, authenticity, and community engagement, ultimately driving more ecommerce traffic and conversions.
Fostering a culture where your customers are inspired to share their experiences and content builds a rich feeling of authenticity around your brand. User content acts as powerful social proof, validating your products in the eyes of potential customers. This validation often translates into increased trust and higher conversion rates.
How do you acquire more content? Ask for it. Invitations to share reviews, images, testimonials, and other content should be clearly visible throughout your ecommerce site. Create branded hashtags and encourage customers to share their experiences using them. Finally, run sales, contests, and other promotions which require some form of user content for entry. Showcase the best contributions from all of these sources on your homepage, in marketing materials, on product pages, and on social media channels to fuel further participation.
User-generated content stands out as an authentic and affordable way to grow an audience and build ecommerce traffic. By cultivating a “UGC-friendly” environment and leveraging the content created, you can increase site visitors, enhance credibility, and build a community around your brand—all without a major ad budget.
Katy Ellquist, Miva’s Digital Marketing Strategist, is an accomplished writer, marketer, and social media analyst who has created sophisticated content campaigns for a broad range of professional clients. She brings to Miva a complex understanding of ecommerce trends and techniques, building upon extensive digital agency experience and a prior role as direct liaison to Miva’s top accounts. Katy is a regular contributor to the Miva blog, covering essential ecommerce topics like design & development strategy, site optimization, and omnichannel selling, with the goal of increasing the actionable knowledgebase of the entire Miva community.
Tom is a Content Marketing Specialist at Miva.