Why Your Retail Store Should Share User-Generated Content
If you sell great products, it should be easy to bring customers through the door, right? But, that’s not always the case. It takes a lot of marketing to make customers aware of your brand’s existence and to get them to eventually make a purchase.
Unfortunately, small and medium-sized stores don’t have the same resources and advertising budget that large retailers have, so it’s important to get creative with your marketing efforts.
This is where user-generated content comes in. User-generated content can take many forms. It includes online reviews, video tutorials, or unboxing videos that your customers create. It also includes photos that customers post on social media featuring your business or products.
There’s a few reasons to consider sharing user-generated content in your marketing activities.
It’s less time-consuming
Re-posting your customers’ content is way less time-consuming than brainstorming creative concepts, bringing them to life with a photographer, and coming up with witty captions to share on your social media account.
If you have a small team, you might not even have the time or resources to focus on your brand’s social presence, which is a big mistake for today’s consumers.
It’s less expensive
Remember that photographer we mentioned above? Sharing your customers’ content is definitely less expensive than hiring them and staging a photoshoot. Plus, the content you share is more authentic — we’ll get to that next. If you’re having trouble collecting user-generated content, you might want to consider creating an incentive and branded hashtag. For example, run a contest where customers share photos with your hashtag. Then, you can enter all participants in a draw for a gift card to your store. You’ll get content that you can share in the future, they’ll get gift cards, and your business will be promoted within your customer’s social networks.
Authentic content performs better
Brand authenticity is more important than ever. With so much clutter and choice, people respond better to honest and authentic images and messages. This is particularly important for Millennials and Generation Z.
Sharing user-generated content enhances brand loyalty
How can you build brand loyalty? There are a few ways to build relationships with your customers, but incorporating user-generated content is an easy way to make them feel like they are part of your brand story.
User-generated content boosts online sales
Research has shown that displaying user-generated content on your website and product pages can actually increase your sales and conversions. One company found that featuring Instagram content on their product pages increased checkouts by 24%. Not bad, right?
People trust user-generated content more than other forms of advertising
It’s probably not a surprise to you that people trust online reviews and personal recommendations more than they trust advertising. 85% of customers trust online reviews as much as a recommendation from a friend, and 92% of customers trust user-generated content (videos, blogs, social posts, and reviews) more than they trust traditional advertising.
Check out our post outlining why it’s important to respond to negative business reviews and how a smart payment terminal can help you collect customer feedback.
Understand how customers view your brand
Finally, sharing user-generated content can help you better understand how customers view your brand. It’s much easier to read and track customer comments if you have a branded hashtag that customers use to share their content.
Interested in more ways you can increase sales and grow your retail business? Check out 10 ways your POS can increase your retail sales.