User-generated content has unrealized brand building potential

Bazaarvoice commissioned Forrester Consulting to understand how marketing decision-makers are leveraging user-generated content (UGC) like Q&A, rich media, photos and videos, and ratings and reviews to increase brand resonance.

Download this international study to learn the strategies, successes and hurdles for generating, capturing and measuring UGC as part of your brand building efforts. Learn more including:

  • How UGC has become a critical tool in the new product launch toolbox
  • How you can harness UGC's storytelling power to help build brand trust
  • Why it's so important to institute a UGC measurement program that goes beyond counting 'likes'

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Consumers decide where, when, and how to engage with brands

Today's perpetually connected consumers have taken control of the marketers' message. They widely share their experiences - good, bad, and in-between - on the products they use and the brands they love. These communications are highly influential because they are more trusted than typical brand messaging.

To fulfill user-generated content's brand building potential, marketing leaders must solicit authentic, value-added content from their customers and measure results to build maturity.

In May 2014, Bazaarvoice commissioned Forrester Consulting to understand how top European and North American brand marketers are leveraging user-generated content like Q&A, rich media, photos and videos, and ratings and reviews to increase brand resonance. You can find some of the highlights from the report below.

Key recommendations to elevate the brand building potential of UGC

There is no magic bullet for effective UGC measurement, but there are tools and techniques that can start to provide a more disciplined and measured approach to UGC that will you help you elevate it to a more mature brand building discipline.

  • Employ tools and platforms that curate and verifyScaling and measuring UGC requires effective content management tools that can enable your team to curate, verify and publish relevant user content.

  • Collect data to build internal benchmarks for good, better, and best UGCCapture as much data as you can to look for patterns on how UGC affects your business.

  • Integrate UGC into your brand measurement trackerTalk to your consumer insights partners to determine how UGC can be built into ongoing brand measurement studies. Identify which touchpoints have the biggest impact on driving brand referral.

  • Incorporate UGC into other marketing communicationsHarness the power of peer-to-peer endorsements by sharing them widely. Incorporate stellar ratings into point-of-sales materials and online ads.

  • Turn UGC into insights and actionUGC offers a wealth of insights into what customers respond to. Insights, when turned into action, can be used to fuel innovation, improvements, and strong messaging.

To learn more about user-generated content can help your business refine messaging, identify trends, and drive brand referral and preference click below to download the study.

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Figure 1

Consumers rely on ratings and reviews when making purchase decisions.

Consumers have embraced ratings and reviews as a key factor in their decision-making process.

In fact, 71% of US consumers say that customer ratings and reviews are important, and 76% are more likely to purchase a product if they see a lot of positive reviews.

Ratings and reviews are recognized as a critical influence on consumers' purchase decisions, to the point where if you do not have them, your product will seem suspicious.

“Ratings and reviews are of ongoing importance — whether based on photo or text — because people are looking. But the more ratings you have, the higher the rank and the SEO works better.” – Sr. Director of Online Marketing, Consumer electronics company

User-Generated Content’s Impact On Brand Building – a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Bazaarvoice

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The first step to leveraging UGC is getting UGC.

Don't sit back and wait for customers to share videos or send endorsements: actively go out and seek it.

Go beyond ratings & reviews - The rapid adoption of image-based photo-sharing sites combined with photo and video technology advances have elevated UGC to a premium medium

Give customers a reason to engage - Outside of a purchase review, brand fans need to be prompted to share their brand experiences. One soft drinks company encourages brand lovers to share their one-of-a-kind experiences to help build its 'one-of-a-kind-brand', growing their fan base and increasing engagement by 40%.

“The first thing people look now is for that peer-style influence, and UGC provides that for them.” – Brand manager, automotive company

User-Generated Content’s Impact On Brand Building – a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Bazaarvoice

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UGC is more than a purchase driver. It has the potential to build a brand.

UGC must be elevated from an e-commerce tool to a brand building tool.

Leverage different forms of user-generated content throughout the customer life-cycle to drive not just purchase, but also discovery and engagement.

“…what others say about you is more important than what brands say themselves. Whether through social media, through reviews, or a video, if it's independent, it's credible and it drives purchase intent.” – Marketing manager, CPG company

User-Generated Content’s Impact On Brand Building – a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Bazaarvoice

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Consumers trust consumer-written online reviews more than brand communications.

Consumer-written online reviews are one of the most trusted forms of marketing communications.

48% of US online consumers and 40% of European online consumers trust this form of communication, compared with 14% and 9% respectively, who trust ads on websites.

“People are much more likely to be influenced by people who they know and trust who haven't been incentivized by a large corporation. Good UGC is more important than even paid advertising.” – Associate brand manager, CPG company

User-Generated Content’s Impact On Brand Building – a commissioned study conducted by Forrester Consulting on behalf of Bazaarvoice

More user-generated content resources

User generated content's impact on brand building

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