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How to Build Trust in Your Brand with User-Generated Content

By Doru Mircea on Nov 3, 2021

Most consumers conduct online research about a brand or company before making large purchases. That means shoppers are looking at your brand’s social media and website to determine if you are the right fit for their hard-earned money. That also makes online reputation management vital to the success of your business.

Keep in mind they are not only looking at the content you carefully crafted to encourage them to click on that all-powerful “Add to Cart” button. Consumers are also considering user-generated content such as consumer reviews, unboxing videos and even podcasts that go into painstaking detail about all your product and service information.

Consumers create user-generated content when they share a bit about their both their favorite and hated experiences. These are not affiliates trying to encourage more clicks.

The question then becomes not how to prevent this content from showing up whenever someone searches for your brand but how to leverage it to build trust capital with your customers further. How can you use the content customers create to improve your marketing strategies?

What is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content, or UGC, is a fancy marketing term for the information shared by consumers that have previously purchased your product or service. It can range from a 4-star (or 1-star) review on Amazon to an in-depth dissertation they write for their blog about how your product changed their life. Consumers are more heavily influenced by reviews made by someone like them over any promotional emails or company-sourced content.

In fact

  • 81% of consumers will pay more and wait longer to receive products if user-generated content gives the thumbs up.
  • 73% of shoppers report user-generated content increases their purchasing confidence.
  • 61% say user-generated content influences them to engage with brands.

Think about the last time you were in a new area and suddenly caught the craving for some decent Chinese food. Did you stop into the first restaurant with a neon-lit sign for Peking duck? Or did you check out Yelp to see which restaurant had the best reviews?

The same thing happens when it comes to your business. Consumers actively seek out social proof as a way to validate their buying decisions.

It’s a Matter of Trust

Consumers are not stupid. Modern marketers need to stop trying to fool them with fancy jargon or over-the-top advertisements. The Internet has been around long enough for multiple generations of shoppers to differentiate between company speak and authentic UGC.

Since 90% of consumers read online reviews before visiting a business these days, you have a challenge to overcome in your online reputation management. Your prospects are going to judge your business by the good and bad experiences of your previous customers. Unfortunately, there is no way to know which potential customer will bust out a scathing review of your handmade soaps or your latest app.

This perspective is not meant to deter you from doing business. The world could use more naturally evolving small businesses in the free marketplace. This is to present you with a good opportunity for growing your brand trust and customer relationships.

Leverage, Leverage, Leverage

UGC offers a new avenue for you to market your business at an absolutely perfect price point – zero. Instead of spending all your marketing budget on endless Facebook and other paid advertisements, you could also be leveraging the organic power of your customers.

Start by connecting with your audience online. If you have a social media presence that includes a hashtag or @ address, take the time to scroll through recent posts and share the positive content your customers create.

Maybe a tourist from South Carolina recently visited your apple picking farm in Northern Maine and cannot stop sharing incredible self-made videos of their picture perfect family collecting mouthwatering treats.

Take advantage of this by thanking the user and sharing those videos all over your social media platforms. You may even want to send them a small gift basket to “show appreciation for their recent visit,” which could lead to even more UGC.

Some companies like Apple Computer have used their ability to engage customers and build loyalty into a formidable marketing tool. Strategize how you can do the same for your company.

The Almighty Hashtag

Finding organic UGC isn’t always the easiest thing, but it’s an important part of online reputation management. You can perform a search engine request with your brand name and maybe come across some half-hearted blogs, or you can take advantage of hashtags.

Almost all the popular social media platforms use hashtags as part of their indexing algorithms. For example, you can search for #populardances on TikTok and find the latest trends or go to Twitter and type in #politics for a real journey down the rabbit hole.

Developing a solid hashtag or company notification device enables you to easily track how the public views your brand. Two-thirds of Internet users regularly use social networks where they can easily digest reviews and obtain information about products.

Having someone in your company dedicated to farming through all these brand mentions is a great way to elevate your brand messaging. You can share this UGC to your own accounts, post them on your website or even feature them on your marketing materials.

Manage Your Online Reputation

An excellent place to start crafting your UGC strategy is by managing your reviews and online reputation. Hunting down all the information posted by your customers is a nearly impossible task. That is why it never hurts to hire a company with expertise in data analysis geared explicitly toward your UGC.

Umbrella Local uses the latest technology in their review generation services to empower your business and leverage the trust capital of quality UGC. We can connect with your CRM and automatically request clients to review your company via email and SMS so you can generate more high-ranking reviews.

We use methods to handle negative feedback and provide a team scorecard to monitor and manage your overall performance. All of this elevates your online marketing and enables you to engage with your customers on an intimate level they will appreciate.

If you are interested in using this revolutionary service, reach out to Umbrella Local today for a free consultation. You may be one click away from experiencing a revolution in sales through the power of user-generated content.

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