7 Effective Types of User-Generated Content to Boost Your Brand Trust

If you want users to trust and buy your product or service, one of the best-proven ways is through user-generated content (UGC). So how many types of UGC are there?

Today, customers have more choices than ever when it comes to products and services. In this competitive environment, brand trust becomes a competitive advantage that every business needs to gather resources to build up. In a survey by Brand Keys, if customer trust increases by only 7%, the lifetime profit for each customer will go up by 85%. It is a striking number that proves businesses should focus on building credibility with their customers.

There are ways businesses can use to build brand trust:

  • Brand advertising
  • Provide useful information
  • Organize online events
  • Encourage user-generated content
  • Express brand’s views with social issues
  • and the list goes on …

Obviously, businesses invest a lot in brand advertising to build trust. This is quick, available and multi-channel. But is it effective when customers are overwhelmed by too many ads?

Another food for thought, in a post on the top social proof apps, HappyPoints points out that:

  • 70% of Americans say they look at product reviews before making a purchase.
  • 63% of consumers are likely to purchase from a site if it has product ratings and reviews.

So what you should do, advertising or user-generated content? Maybe both. In another perspective, UGC is the future of advertising. The research also shows that 90% of users think that the content created by users is more influential than brand advertising. Therefore, if your business does not include UGC in marketing strategy, you might want to rethink about it.

So what types of UGC can you leverage to build brand trust, this article will be the answer you are looking for.

7 Effective Types of UGC:

1. Reviews

Reviews not only influence purchasing decisions but also enhance the business’s reputation. Today, customers rarely buy without looking for information about the brand in advance. Businesses should create every opportunity for customers to leave comments whenever possible. 

Not only on your brand social networks!

Your customers should also write reviews on review sites, even on the market places! Reviews are the opportunity for businesses to build relationships with customers, eventually leading to enhanced trust and increased sales efficiency.  

Positive reviews will certainly make a good impression on customers. What about the bad comments? Even these negative responses can be used to challenge the transparency and smart problem handling of your business. 

Reviews can be the best way to show that your company cares about buyers’ opinions, and it shows your confidence in bringing values to customers. Sephora allows users to post their true experience whether good or bad about the products. That way, bad comments can help customers make the right purchase decisions.

Good and bad comments are both helpful

2. Image. Image. Image

Users are uploading hundreds of millions of photos every day to their social media. Why not encourage them to post photos of your brand? The benefits of brand recognition are too obvious to ignore. And it is easy to do:

  • Start with a familiar audience
  • Give them some benefits/incentive/discount
  • Feature user photos for your product
  • Ask them directly
  • Use hashtag

If your products make users look better, don’t hesitate to ask your customers to share. Just by asking users to share their pictures in the Burberry trench coats, this brand’s sales have increased 50% over the previous year.

An image speaks thousands of words, pictures are taken by users as evidence for your product. The more evidence you have, the more trusted your brand will be. Easy pieces!

3. Video reviews

Now we not only need videos for things like product manuals, product feature description… People crave for something in-motion, in-action, because it’s real, and it is video. Users can capture almost everything about a product and post online. Video content looks more practical, vivid and trusted, but it seems a bit difficult to make. Not really. 

Today most users own a smartphone with a camera good enough to shoot quality videos. Filming a video and uploading it online only takes a few minutes. Live Stream is not a bad idea, it’s becoming one of the most popular trends in marketing. According to the Sprout Social 2019 Index, an average of 58% of users shared video content monthly, and the number continues to grow in the future. This number gives you a great WHY to take the steps to direct your marketing campaign to videos generated by users.

Number of users posting online video content by age groups

Video content has been proven to be effective in lead generation channels. Optinmonster research shows a 54% increase in brand identity. Salesmen have 66% more qualified leads and 93% of them succeeding in landing new customers.

4. Contests

Competition is basically human nature. Where there are competitions, there are prizes. Likewise, rewards are another human nature. Without a doubt,  hosting contests is the most engaging tool to attract customers. Inviting users to participate in a competition is a brilliant way to engage your fans., That way, you create a playground for users, and they will create a community for your brand. The bigger the community is, the more trust your brand will have. The inspiration for contests can come from anywhere, remember to keep it simple. The simplest is the most relatable and spread like a fire in the user community. Let’s see how easy it is for Starbuck, their contest is all about taking photos with a red cup.

5. Campaign hashtags

It would be a huge mistake not to mention the hashtags campaign. In the above example of Starbuck, you also saw the hashtag #redcupcontest already. Hashtags are a common language for users to interact with the brand. With just a few characters, you can make such a revolution. 

If you want to encourage customers to support your productABC, you might probably want to consider using #supportABC, #wechooseABC. #ABConemoretime #ABCforever, #ABCforeverandone, etc. And who knows #inABCwetrust might be the biggest campaign in your brand’s history?

One of the most successful hashtag campaigns is Coca-Cola’s #shareacoke. Coca-Cola consumption rate among adults increased by 7%, user traffic on Facebook increased by 870% and the number of Coca-Cola fans on social networks increased by 39%.

6. Influencer

If celebrities, experts, KOLs, or influencers in general, share your brand content, it will increase brand credibility and trust. Influencers are the driving force behind the new trends, they have wide exposure to the audience and have great persuasion when it comes to purchasing decisions of users.

According to research from Alexa, more than 85% of buyers know about new products through influencers and 40% made a purchase right after watching celebrities use the product. A fitting ambassador will greatly resonate with your brand trust, as in the case of Yves Saint Laurent, the brand has received a lot of compliments from Instagram users when they featured Keanu Reeves in the Fall-Winter Fashion Collection 2019.

7. Wishlist

Offering a wishlist is effective. It’s initiated and actively promoted by Amazon.

Amazon gathers their customers’ wishlists then creates a master list called “Amazon most wished for”. That way, people can see what other users of Amazon want.

Brands can take advantage of wishlist by helping customers gain more insight of what others are interested in, and they will trust you more.

This kind of list also gives you lots of customer insights: their needs, potential sales of certain products, purchasing habits and many more.

Let’s sum up

We’ve walked through different types of user-generated content that help you build brand trust. The effect gets even better if you combine some of them altogether. There’s no limit to what you can do, but keep in mind the basic principle: respect users’ opinions. Create every opportunity to interact, engage with users. Now, it’s your turn to let us know what type of these content are you leveraging to create better brand trust?

Author bio:

Hannah started as a copywriter, but it turns out her true passion is e-commerce marketing. She is naturally inquisitive about human behavior and its interaction with the digital world. Now, she’s part of the HappyPoints team with a goal to help Shopify merchants boost their business. Her team helps merchants launch their e-commerce websites and optimize their sales conversions with fully managed Shopify store setup and theme customizations.