Do you know what your hands down, number one most powerful marketing tool is? Take a guess. Is it your engaging social media posts, your impressive graphics or your consistently effective email marketing campaigns? The answer is none of above.
While all of these are extremely important to have in your marketing arsenal, your most important tool has little to do with you at all. No matter how incredible your marketing department is, it’s not as good at selling as the amateurs outside the business are: your customers.
The images generated by your customers are your secret weapon. When your customers come across customer-generated content during their web journey, the average order value increases by 10 percent, according to BI Intelligence. Brands see a 78-percent lift in conversion rates when customers interact with user-generated content, and a 75-percent increase in revenue per visitor.
This is because consumers have learned not to trust the perfect, fake images brands use in their marketing initiatives. Instead, they increasingly trust reviews and images uploaded by their peers. According to a recent study, 54 percent of consumers abandon online purchases because of unhelpful images about the product. This is why many brands’ product description pages are starting to use images generated from their customers. For example, consumers want to see how the watch they are shopping for looks on real people, not floating on a white background. It tells people that a) others are buying this product, b) people are happy with their purchase, and c) the product is real and looks the way it’s advertised in the photos!
One example of a company that uses user-generated content is Chubbies, an e-commerce store on Shopify. Chubbies emphasizes in this recent case study that their marketing focuses on building trust. They say, “Rather than pictures of the founders in skimpy shorts or professional models with rock star-like features, Chubbies wants real men to show off their retro shorts known for their forgiving elastic waist bands.” Chubbies’ Facebook page, with its impressive 1.47 million likes, consists of mostly customer-generated content.
When brands use customer-generated photos of their products or results of their services instead of professional product description images, they can expect about a 25-percent increase in conversions. That’s a huge increase to not be taking advantage of!
At the end of the day, your customers are your best sales reps because people trust their peers more than they trust a brand. It may be time to introduce your website along with your social media platforms to customer visual marketing!
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