What is User-generated content, and how does it help in retaining customers?

Ankit Minocha
August 7, 2023

User-Generated Content (UGC) plays a considerable role in retaining customers. Not only does it help in increasing brand loyalty, but customers spend more time on your platform. A study from TurnTo Networks shows that UGC influences the shopping decisions of almost 90% of the shoppers. Moreover, if used correctly, this content can affect your key performance indicators and get you more sales.

Estee Lauder in paid partnership with an influencer

Who can advertise your products better than your customers? If you’re a business owner, you must be familiar with the concept of using customer testimonials for boosting sales. User-generated content is just a step further in that context. This is a way by which you can get your users to do the advertising for your products and help you sell them. It can act as a vital element in user engagement, brand loyalty, and awareness. 

Although user-generated content can have positive and negative effects, it still acts as a magnet for new and existing users. The main reason why this content works so well is that people don’t trust sellers; they trust fellow buyers. This is why the term “User-Generated Content Marketing” was introduced in the first place. 

What is User-generated content, and how does it help in retaining customers?

Here are some points to help you understand how UGC can help in retaining customers.

1. UGC acts as social proof

The main reason why customers are afraid of purchasing online is the risk of fraud. This is the age of digitalization; every store online claims to be the best. However, unlike an offline store, there’s no way to tell who can be trusted. So people rely on each other as fellow customers. 

Each time a person tries to buy something online, he finds it best to look at what other people are saying about the products. A study from Stackla shows that customers are six times more likely to buy a product if the product page includes social proof. Let’s be honest; as marketers, customers don’t usually believe us no matter how clean we claim to be. They will always believe a customer testimonial over the detailed list of benefits given on the website. Why? Because, unlike store owners, customers will always say what they truly feel about the product. It’s only fair because their money’s at stake. 

User-generated content helps customers know what the product will look like in real life and different environments. Compared to a picture from a well-lit, professional photoshoot, an image in live usage will always provide the user a more practical shopping experience. Customers love to do their research before buying, so you need social proof to survive as a business.

When users post pictures of your brand’s products on social media profiles or your website, that acts as solid social proof of your service. You can use this content on your website or repost it on your social media accounts. This way, you will encourage those customers to continue providing their feedback, creating content around your brand, and collecting social proof.

2. It improves the online shopping experience

Add UGC to your website to gain customer's trust. The more a customer trusts your brand, the easier it is to shop from your store. Therefore, they wouldn’t have to go through the hassle of shuffling through the internet looking for genuine reviews if they can find it right there on your website. 

UGC helps brands to reduce the gap between a user scrolling through their products to checking out. 79% of the users admit that their purchasing decisions are affected by UGC. The smoother and faster the shopping experience, the more likely the customer will stick around!

3. UGC makes the users feel heard

Imagine you did someone a favor, and they didn’t even take out the time to thank you. Wouldn’t you feel bad? The same goes for your users. When they buy something, it’s always good to thank them and ask them if they are satisfied with their purchase. Ask for their feedback and reward them if they take a step further and send pictures or create content around your products.

People love to be appreciated. One way to thank your customers is by featuring their content on your website. This way, they will feel that they are important to you and their opinion matters. When other people visit your website, they will see how much you value our customers and would eventually want to stick around and try more of your products. 

Lush cosmetics displays UGC in its Instagram page as stories

4. It can be used to answer FAQs and in Case studies

FAQs are the general questions that pop up in every user’s head related to your brand. It’s always good to have these listed out on a separate page on your website, along with the answers. What’s better? Use the user-generated content to answer some of these questions if possible. It educates the visitors about your brand and acts as proof that the answer is honest.

Similarly, you can create case studies around user-generated content. For example, list out how you fulfilled the users' necessities or how they made the best use out of your products. Case studies can usually provide detailed answers to what you can offer and how it can be beneficial for a user. With case studies around UGC, it becomes easier to convince the customers, and it also encourages the existing customers to create more content.

5. User-Generated content increases your conversion rates

When users find a reliable proof of service, they don’t hesitate to buy. With a good amount of UGC, you are already a step ahead of your competition. Use this on your website, and social media platforms, and your conversion rates are guaranteed to go up.

6. Helps in developing good relations with the customer

Collecting reviews and asking them to create content via rewards and games helps you stay in constant touch with them. A customer wants that he’s heard when it’s necessary. By responding to the reviews or content created by them, you engage with them constantly. This gives you abundant chances to improve your services based on what customers are saying. In return, you develop good relations with your customers that eventually help in customer retention. 

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