Have you ever been scrolling through your social feed and seen an image that inspired you to book a vacation or go to a particular restaurant or buy a certain piece of clothing? You're not alone.
On average, 60 percent of consumers say content from a friend or family member influences their purchasing decisions. And it’s not hard to see why.
User-generated content (UGC) – the millions of posts, tweets, images, videos, etc. that people create freely on social networks everyday – is now the most authentic, trusted and influential content that people crave and brands can’t manufacture.
Here’s how leading brands around the world are tapping into the power of UGC to boost engagement, build customer trust and increase sales.
Fashion shoe brand, Wanted Shoes, was aiming to give website visitors a unique way to browse their shoe catalogue, while providing the social validation shoppers crave at the point of purchase.
Knowing that shoppers want to see products in real-life scenarios, Wanted Shoes created a searchable, filterable and interactive visual catalogue on their site completely powered by UGC to give customers a new, organic way of finding products they like.
Using Stackla’s UGC platform, they were able to not only aggregate and display authentic social content in their online catalogue, but also make that customer-created content actionable – linking interested shoppers from a photo of a girl wearing stylish boots, directly to the purchase page for those same boots.
“With a bounce rate of just 5 percent, [the interactive catalogue] is the most engaging page on the website. Ninety-five percent of users click through to specific product pages. We have no doubt that the social catalogue certainly does assist in the overall path to purchase,” says Jennifer Christodoulou, Marketing Manager at Wanted Shoes.
By featuring shoppable UGC across their website, Wanted Shoes was able to improve their eCommerce conversions by 30 percent.
Although Amazfit is the number one wearables device company in the world, they aren’t as well known in the U.S. market as other big name competitors – like Apple and Fitbit.
To build trust and grow awareness for their line of smartwatches and fitness trackers, Amazfit’s Head of Marketing and Sales, Frederik Hermann, knew they needed to focus their marketing around customer content. “You want to turn your customers into fans because they’re your most valuable asset. They are the ones that can create word-of-mouth and provide third-party validation for others.”
Taking a strategic approach to UGC, Amazfit launched a community page on their site to act as a hub for customer content, while encouraging others to share their stories by dynamically displaying this authentic content on their homepage, product pages, blog and in email newsletters.
“It’s more relatable if people can see someone else who is in a similar situation – trying to live a healthier life or get fit – and be inspired by that,” said Frederik. “It’s this social proof that really convinces people to trust our brand even if they haven’t heard of us before.”
For Amazfit, trust was the gateway to success. Since they started integrating UGC across their customer touchpoints, Amazfit has doubled their pageviews, improved email click-through rates by 8 percent and increased sales by 29 percent.
Last year, Virgin Holidays, UK’s favorite worldwide holiday company, wanted to rebrand themselves around real customer experiences. “We really wanted to take it away from the celebrity ether and root it in real people doing authentic things on holiday,” said Claire Cronin, Virgin Holidays’ VP of Customer and Marketing.
Their #SeizeTheHoliday campaign served as a brand refresh, showcasing real traveler content from Virgin Holiday destinations around the world. Using Stackla, they were able to aggregate social content with the hashtag #SeizeTheHoliday, seamlessly request the rights to that customer content and easily display the best images and videos on their site as well as in digital-out-of-home (DOOH) billboards throughout the UK.
Virgin Holidays even produced a live TV ad featuring real travelers on trips across the globe, winning them Marketing Week’s Campaign of the Year award.
At the end of the day, Virgin Holidays’ UGC-powered campaign resulted in 16.9 million impressions on social media, over 800 web searches per minute and a 260 percent increase in online bookings.
Claire said, “Using social for sales has proven to be incredibly effective and definitely something we’ll continue doing in the future.”
To learn more about how your brand can harness the power of user-generated content, visit Episerver UGC, powered by Stackla.
Head of Content Marketing, Stackla