At 2015’s Social Media World Forum, the audience in one panel was asked how many people in the room were using CGC (Consumer Generated Content). Only about 40% acknowledged the use of CGC. Surprisingly, the remaining 60% were either contemplating it or were simply being left behind.

The majority of these business owners are missing out on some great opportunities because, as Bazaarvoice points out, they don’t recognize that “CGC is now essential to survive in today’s dynamic shopping environment.” 

Today’s consumer is more empowered than ever. Whether they’re researching ratings and reviews, seeking out the opinions of social media influencers, or gathering recommendations from friends and family, consumers have access to tons of content at all stages of the buyer journey.

“The best brands and retailers are embracing consumer-generated content (CGC) to generate meaningful conversations around their products to give shoppers the information they need to choose them.” 

Source: Bazaarvoice

3 Reasons Why You Should Take Advantage of CGC Today:

1. Consumer Behavior Has Changed: According to Bazaarvoice, the popularity and growth of social, digital and mobile have transformed the way we consume, create, and share content, as well as how we make purchasing decisions.

Going forward from here, brands with their eye on the future will focus on building communities with whom to co-create various types of content and innovate with to drive brand loyalty and increase conversions that will lead to sales.

“The importance of using CGC shouldn’t be underestimated – both in building a community of loyal brand advocates and actively engaging with consumers”.

Source: Bazaarvoice

2. CGC Builds Consumer Trust: As Bazaarvoice points out, consumer-generated content is very effective at building trust with millennials, baby boomers, and Generation Z, as well as reaching them via different social media platforms both online and offline.

“There is an interesting balance between how CGC influences the different generations X, Y and Z. Teenagers and young adults believe in the power of their peers, whilst those in the highest income bracket interpret reviews as repeat business and votes of confidence. Millennials are re-defining the customer experience and will soon be a brand’s most powerful customer force to be reckoned with.”

Source: Bazaarvoice

CGC is becoming a major factor in the decision-making process for millennials. This demographic expect brands to listen to them and those that do are able to build closer relationships with members of a group that is fast becoming a powerful force in redefining the customer experience.

3. Consumer Engagement and Co-creation Increase Content Volume: “Shoppers rely on CGC,” says Bazaarvoice. “Brands and retailers that put comprehensive CGC strategies at the core of their marketing efforts thrive.”

But you don’t have to create all the content yourself. When you engage with your customers, it helps increase content volume. And the best part is, it’s content that can lead to higher conversion rates.

By contributing to reviews, asking questions, responding to social media campaigns, completing surveys, and posting imagery on Instagram and/or Facebook, consumers are essentially creating content for you while simultaneously helping you sell your products or services.

Conclusion

According to Bazaarvoice, the impact of CGC shows no signs of slowing down. Brands that thoroughly embrace CGC will enjoy the rewards that come from engaging, co-creating and innovating with members of their consumer communities.

As studies from Bazaarvoice indicate, the best shopping experiences are “frictionless, informative, and instill confidence to buy by connecting consumers with one another.”

When your brand learns to provide this experience, shoppers will buy more often…with larger basket sizes!

About Author

Sherene Funk

Sherene Funk is the author of the contemporary romance Autumn in Your Arms and a voracious reader who owns more books than she can ever read in this lifetime (but that doesn't stop her from collecting more). A graduate of Brigham Young University, she has published several humorous non-fiction articles and worked in advertising for many years before moving to her current position as a writer on modern retailing at Rain Retail Software. She researches non-stop to see what successful retailers do and loves to share what she learns with other small business owners through informative articles that address their unique needs.


Also published on Medium.

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