Brands Using User Generated Content To Build Trust: We’re on the cusp of a monumental change in the trajectory of consumer buying behavior, with the ways in which people interact with brands, and each other, shifting significantly from what they were just a few short weeks ago.
These few stats alone point to the scale of change brands are now faced with:
- eCommerce orders are up 108%
- Daily usage of Facebook is up 27%, YouTube is up 15% and TikTok is up 15%
- 42% of consumers believe the way they shop will fundamentally change
With the world effectively in lockdown, people are now living online, and the vast majority of shopping and entertainment activity has shifted completely to digital channels.
The closure of all non-essential stores has caused a surge in online shopping, accelerating the already growing consumer shift towards eCommerce, while IRL social activity has moved to social media platforms more than ever before.
Trends that have been slowly progressing over the past few years are now suddenly upon us all at once, and it’s very likely that there’ll be no going back. Post-pandemic life will not look like it did pre-COVID-19.
As such, in order for brands to succeed in this post-COVID-19 world, they need to rethink the way they do things.
With change comes challenges, but rapid shifts in market dynamics can also present enormous opportunities for growth. It’s time to throw out the old playbooks and take this opportunity to write new ones, with approaches that are increasingly centered around real, human stories.
Necessity Drives Innovation, and Innovation is Necessary
Faced with suddenly shrinking promotion budgets, and fearful consumers who are actively reducing their spending, marketers are now being forced to quickly shift priorities and reevaluate how they can best reach and connect with today’s consumers.
And given the subsequent shift to online connection, boosting online engagement, and conversion, is now essential to business success.
Fresh, compelling visuals have long been a critical element of any winning digital marketing strategy, yet with reduced budgets, and lessened capacity to even produce visuals due to the lockdowns, marketers are in a tight spot.
Fortunately, the solution might be in the message so many have been sharing – we’re all in this together.
Today, we are all content creators. People are creating and sharing photos and videos across social platforms in record numbers, and it’s these unvarnished and personal brand experiences – commonly referred to as user-generated content (UGC) – that potential customers crave and trust.
At every point in the post-pandemic buyer’s journey, authentic user-generated content can be a sustainable, cost-effective and influential source of content that brands will need to help build trust, grow sales and deepen their long-term relationships with customers.
During times of uncertainty, consumers turn to the people, organizations, and indeed the brands that they trust most.
Post-COVID-19, brands will need to work harder to recapture and strengthen consumer trust, in order to build long-term customer value and loyalty, and the number one way to generate trust with consumers is through shared, authentic experiences. Or, in simple terms, by showing them other happy customers.
According to Nielsen Research, 92% of consumers trust earned media, like UGC, more than any other form of content.