The term User Generated Content is used for any content created by users of a particular platform or system and available to all the users in the system. In case of e-commerce, UGC is used for content generated by consumers and available to the public at large.

Today, e-commerce stores around the globe use various types of UGC to increase conversion and improve brand awareness. Some of the most popular forms of UGC are:

  1. Testimonials
  2. Reviews
  3. Rating
  4. Question & Answer
  5. Pictures
  6. Videos

While these are the conventional UGCs widely used and accepted in the world of e-commerce, out-of-the-box content such as selfie contest on social media, socially shareable product quiz, etc., can also generate a huge amount of content and help improve brand awareness.

1. Decide on the type of UGC your business needs

UGC comes in many forms. Depending on the nature of your business, you may implement more than one form. However, ensuring that you are using a form that your users are comfortable with is crucial for success here. The online shopping search engine extensively uses and leverage UGC in form of product reviews and brand voting. The Priceza platform features 43,135 reviews in the Mobile Phone category alone, for instance.

However, reviews and rating are not the only things you have to stick to. Letting users post questions and answers can be a great way to engage consumers while reducing the burden of your support department. You can follow the example of Amazon, where consumers can ask questions and offer answers from and to other consumers. Involving social media through contents and quizzes are other ways of leveraging UGC to improve brand awareness.

Understanding your product offering and your target audience is the key here. If you generally sell makeup products through your online store, then starting a social media selfie contest (sporting a particular color of lipstick may be) can be a great idea to increase brand awareness. Here, offering a valued incentive such as a gift hamper to the winner or a discount coupon to the participants can go a long way in creating tons of UGC online. However, this strategy will a complete failure if you are selling an electrical gadget such as a water cooler. In this case, encouraging customers to write reviews and rate the product on various aspects can be the best way to implement UGC.

Also read: User generated content is king, and product reviews can bring your e-commerce business to the next level

2. Be sure to monitor and respond

Communication is a two-way process. So, while your consumers may be willing to write a review for a product they just bought, they’ll soon lose interest if you don’t bother to respond. This is even more crucial for negative reviews.

Positive reviews are definitely great for converting more, but negative reviews are your opportunities to better your product and services. On one hand, negative reviews give you a clear picture of the shortcomings of your product. On the other hand, by responding to negative reviews promptly and properly, you can showcase your reliability and professionalism.

3. Don’t get scared to experiment

When it comes to UGC, experimentation can help you find the right mix. Combine more than one type of UGC and see how your audience is reacting to them.

Innovation and experimentation are the two crucial things when you are aiming at leveraging user-generated content. Offering interesting incentives for social shares can further help you generate massive brand awareness with minimal investment.

User-Generated Content is great for saving cost, improving SEO and generating trust. However, many business owners get worried about the notion of negative reviews and comments. Here, one must understand that one or two minor negative reviews do not do much harm, as long as most other reviews of positive. Moreover, they give you the opportunity to address grievances and foster long-term consumer relation.

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