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User-Generated Video

Why User-Generated Video Content is Your Best Marketing Tool for 2017 

For years, we’ve been told that content marketing is an essential part of online branding. Creating quality content and taking steps to make it as visible as possible can heighten your brand’s trust among customers and boost your search engine rankings. Now, user-generated video content has become even more important than brand-generated content. In fact, user-generated content stands to become the single most powerful marketing tool for brands in 2017. Read on for the three core reasons.

1Customers trust user-generated content

With content marketing, trust has always been a big part of the equation. Creating unique, informative, and well-written content was a way to show customers that your business knew its stuff. Trust is the driving factor behind user-generated content for a different reason. If content marketing works because it builds trust in your brand, user-generated content works because modern customers are inherently inclined to distrust brands like yours.

Before you start cycling back through your most recent consumer interactions trying to figure out why your customers might not trust you, know that this distrust isn’t directly your fault. Due to several factors, the average modern customer enters all brand interactions with caution. For one thing, they’ve dealt with online tracking and targeted marketing—tactics that strike most people as invasions of privacy that need to be avoided. For another thing, so many transactions take place online that it’s difficult to create the face-to-face human trust factor that brands naturally used to maintain with their customers.

Whatever the reasons for this consumer distrust, the fact is that your prospective buyers are going to take everything you say with a grain of salt. That includes social media posts, blogs, articles, email newsletters, and even product descriptions. It’s not that customers assume that the information you provide them directly is false. However, they are going to want to do their own research before purchasing your products, through sources they trust more than your brand’s mouthpiece.

User-generated video content is extremely helpful here. Customers don’t feel inclined to trust brands, but they do feel inclined to trust other customers, whether family members or online reviewers. As such, by implementing user-generated content on your website—like text reviews and video review media—you make it possible for customers to get “second opinions” on your products without leaving your platform. This content keeps customers on your site and increases the likelihood of them purchasing your products and trusting your brand.

2. Promoting user-generated content promotes brand ambassadors

When you enable user-generated content on your website, you give your customers a voice with which to talk about your products and your brand. When you give your customers that voice, you show them that they are valuable and tie them more strongly to your brand. Whether you are responding to each video review on your website with a simple “thank you” message or featuring top video reviews on your homepage or social media accounts, or both, user-generated content strategies make it easy to reward customers for standing up and becoming influencers.

User Generated Video Content

Your consumers see it as a reward to be recognized online by their favorite celebrities and brands. They will talk about those celebrities and brands more with the sole goal of being acknowledged, mentioned, or retweeted. If you start sharing user-generated content prominently, you will promote the kind of brand advocacy that amps up ROI. There is no better way to get customers talking about your brand online, both on your website and on social media.

3. User-generated content makes your customers feel valued

The Business 2 Community blog recently said that “influencers are the new celebrity spokesperson.” While celebrity spokespeople still drive user interest for larger brands, small- and mid-sized e-commerce companies experience similar benefits by getting lots of influencers to spread the word about their brand. Turning your customers into your own “celebrity spokespeople” will positively impact their overall brand loyalty.

Think about it this way: back in your school days, when you were recognized for accomplishing something impressive in one of your classes or subjects, what kind of response did that inspire in you? In most cases, positive recognition and reinforcement encourage kids to work harder in those classes to keep achieving impressive results. It also makes them enjoy those classes more because they feel like they are being rewarded for their input and effort.

A very similar psychology is at work with brand advocates. By giving customers a voice to use to share their opinions via user-generated content and then recognizing those opinions (on your website or social media), you give them the positive reinforcement they need to keep advocating for your brand. Your customers will feel honored and rewarded by the recognition and will continue stumping for your brand with the goal of seeing similar results, without compensation. Best of all, they will feel more attached and loyal to your brand.

Sources: http://www.business2community.com/marketing/3-key-reasons-user-generated-content-works-influencer-marketing-01504110#xfWxy3Lmbgky5Dtl.97

Customer Video Review

How Video Reviews Create Trust with Shoppers

Did you know that an online customer is more likely to trust a product review from another customer than she is to trust a brand’s written product description? If both of those elements appear on every one of your online product pages, the review is more likely to inspire a sale than the branded content.

Need proof? Have a look at this Nielsen report from 2012. The survey, which gathered responses from 28,000 different people around the world, found that 70% of respondents trusted online reviews. Only 58% said that they trusted messages on brand websites and only half trusted email marketing efforts. Trust statistics were even worse for other forms of brand-to-customer communication like search engine ads, banner ads, and social media ads.

Nielsen Study

Building Your Trust Back Up Again

The message that Nielsen’s statistics sends is that customers just don’t trust brands anymore. Whether because of the prevalence of fraud on the internet or the fact that many brands have abused the power of targeted advertising, most companies are facing an uphill battle when it comes to winning over customers.

The good news is that there is a way for your brand to build that trust back up again. The key lies in embracing the thing that customers actually do trust: reviews.

Some companies have already realized this fact but have taken the wrong message from it. The result is the trend of brands “buying” positive reviews for their business on sites like Yelp, e-commerce marketplaces like Amazon.com, and even on their own product pages. Customers are smart enough to spot fake reviews. Getting caught in the act of buying fake reviews will do more damage to your brand’s trust levels than a few positive reviews (real or fake) will be able to rectify.

amazon review

So how can you take advantage of customer reviews without paying for them? The answer is just to let them happen. Don’t try to control the narrative; don’t weed out all the negative reviews and only post the positive ones; and don’t censor. Just implement the option for customer reviews on your brand’s e-commerce product pages and see for yourself how the maneuver benefits your trust levels.

The Power of Customer Reviews

Why are customer reviews so powerful? And how can the trust that customers have for reviews be translated into trust for your brand?

The power of customer reviews comes from the fact that customers aren’t sure what they can trust from brands. Your business may well have a commitment to transparency and disclosure. However, many customers still think that any communication they receive from a brand—be it a TV commercial or a piece of web copy—needs to be taken with a grain of salt. After all, brands are going to portray their own products and services positively because they have a vested interest in the success of those products and services.

Reviews are a refuge for these customers because they provide an unbiased third party opinion. Shoppers are willing to take the word of another customer—even a stranger—because they feel like that person is speaking from a position of impartiality. The reviewer doesn’t have a vested interested in the success of a brand’s product or service and therefore seems more likely to speak candidly.

By including video reviews on your own product pages, you will harness this trust in multiple ways. First, customers won’t have to go elsewhere to read impartial views on your product. They keep shoppers on your product pages, improving dwell rates and increasing the chances of a sale.

Second, customers will feel like they have more opportunity to make their voices heard. Barring customers from reviewing products on your e-commerce site feels like a way of silencing them. Giving your shoppers a platform through which to speak—and responding to their reviews—increases brand loyalty and trust.

Third, allowing any customer to say whatever he or she wants about a product creates an opportunity for both positive and negative reviews. You might be worried if and when negative reviews come in, but you shouldn’t be. Studies have shown that customers actually trust positive reviews more when they are featured side-by-side with negative reviews, simply because they feel more genuine. You can also respond to negative reviews and find ways to address the grievances of your dissatisfied customers. Not only does this system give you a way to turn a negative customer experience into a positive one, but it also lets other customers see that you are making an effort to fix a negative experience. Both factors improve customer trust.

Enable Video Reviews on Your E-Commerce Site Today

Text-based reviews are powerful and will bring you all of the benefits mentioned above, but video review media takes these benefits to a whole new level. Video reviews add more personality into the mix and forge emotional connections between the reviewer and your shoppers. They take all of the trust benefits of text reviews and amplify them.

Sources: https://www.yola.com/blog/5-ways-to-build-customer-trust-with-reviews/

http://www.nielsen.com/us/en/insights/news/2012/consumer-trust-in-online-social-and-mobile-advertising-grows.html

http://marketingland.com/survey-customers-more-frustrated-by-how-long-it-takes-to-resolve-a-customer-service-issue-than-the-resolution-38756

Product Review Videos

Help Your Customers Virtually “See, Touch, and Feel” Your Products

In many ways, shopping online is the optimal way to shop. It’s easy, convenient, fast, and accessible. Shopping at a brick and mortar store takes real commitment: customers have to set aside time to drive to the store, walk around shopping, try out or try on products, and wait in line at the checkout counter. E-commerce stores let shoppers find what they need without the drive, without the walk around the store, and without the line. They take what could easily be a one- or two-hour shopping trip and condense it into five minutes.

Online Shopping Experience

If there’s one drawback to e-commerce shopping, it’s that customers can’t see, touch, and feel the products. For instance, when it comes to clothing or shoes bought online, customers can’t try on items to check for fit and comfort. E-commerce sites usually have high-resolution images that display their products from a variety of different angles. However, simply seeing the product in a still-frame image is not the equivalent of holding it in your hands and trying out its features for yourself.

These factors illustrate why some customers continue to prefer shopping at physical stores despite the ease and convenience that shopping online provides. Some e-commerce companies try to rectify this shortcoming by making the product return process as simple as possible so customers can send back products that don’t match their expectations. But that’s not the only way to disrupt these reservations.

Put the “See, Touch, Feel” Element Back into the Shopping Experience

Some e-commerce brands are experimenting with letting customers “try on” or “test out” their products. Warby Parker, a designer glasses brand, sends each new customer five frames for a home try-on. This model allows customers to try out the company’s products before making a purchase. In short, it adds seeing, touching, and feeling back into the purchasing process to put their minds at ease.

Warby Parker

It may be effective, but it’s a model that wouldn’t be sustainable for many businesses. Warby Parker pays for the shipping on the try-on pairs of glasses and provides prepaid shipping for customers to send them back after a five-day trial period. When customers choose a specific set of frames, they purchase them online and get a new pair shipped to them: they don’t just keep the ones they liked as part of the original try-on package.

An Alternative Option

Most e-commerce companies don’t have the funds to handle free shipping for a product try-on or test-out service. Companies like Warby Parker could feasibly start charging for this service, but extra expense mitigates the convenience of shopping online in the first place. It’s doubtful that customers would want to cover those extra shipping costs.

There are alternative ways to achieve a similar effect—not necessarily by actually giving your customers a chance to touch and feel your products, but by generating a similar level of engagement to make them feel completely comfortable.

Most customers have recognized that shopping online is the future of retail. As a result, they’ve come up with new ways to determine whether or not they want to buy products. Instead of going to the store and trying out potential purchases, customers read reviews from other shoppers. They engage with the opinions of other people who have bought a certain product before them, hoping that the review they read will answer key questions about the quality, functionality, fit, and usability of the product. Reviews may not recreate the “see, touch, feel” experience of brick and mortar shopping, but they provide the next best thing: they let customers see, touch, and feel products vicariously through people who have already bought those products.

Text Reviews

Video reviews take the experience to another level. Instead of reading about people who have had the opportunity to use a product, customers can watch that person describe the product in real time. The video format gives reviewers a chance to add product demonstrations into their review. It enables them to pick up a product and show it to their viewers and reveal the product’s features or flaws.

Product Reviews help engage customers longer driving e-commerce

Like text reviews, video reviews can’t actually give customers the ability to reach through their computer screen and touch or feel a product. However, by letting customers see a product in action—and see another person touch and feel that product—video reviews tell shoppers almost as much about a product as a true tactile or kinesthetic experience would. The seeing part of the “see, touch, feel” experience becomes more important here because customers get to see the product in action. They are seeing another person do all of the things they would do if they had the opportunity to try out a product in person.

Best of all, video reviews don’t come with the unsustainable price tag attached to your brand that something like a free try-on program would. Once you’ve implemented the video review system on your e-commerce site, all of the content is going to come from customers. All you have to do is promote it.

Product Reviews help engage customers longer driving e-commerce

7 Key Reasons User Generated Video Will Become Key in E-commerce (with stats to prove it)

The world of e-commerce is an ever evolving beast.  With the rise of mobile and tablet, we’re always on the go and connected, and whilst this is a great thing for e-commerce, it also brings with it a few new, previously unseen dilemmas.  We’re less patient than ever, and want content that we can trust, that keeps us entertained, and that we can consume within seconds.  The following 7 points are all reasons why user generated video content is the next big thing for e-commerce.

Reason One – Search Engine Ranking

Search engines rank user experience above all else when ranking pages.  If people lose interest, not only do retailers run the risk of losing the sale, they also drop down the search rankings.  Improve the time spent on the page, reduce the bounce rates, and user experience is improved.  Hey Presto, you’re climbing the rankings!

Product Review

Reason Two – Organic Search > Paid Search

Organic Search results are far more effective than paid content.  Over 30% of consumers click on the first link of a search, with slots 2-4 making up the vast majority of the rest.

Organic SEO

Reason Three – The Modern Consumer

We’re a society with little patience.  No longer do we have time to sit and read about a product, we would far rather watch something instead.  Can you afford to lose a quarter of your potential customers?

1 in 4 consumers actually lose interest in a company if it doesn’t have video (Animoto Millennial Study 2015).  57% of consumers are more confident in a purchase when they watch a product review, and less likely to return items (Google 2015). 

Reason Four – Authenticity

However, the video must be authentic.  If it is too promotional, or produced by the Brand or Retailer, it is seen as being biased, and therefore people are less likely to make the purchase.

85% of millennials find video product demos helpful, however, 2 in 3 lose interest in a video if it’s too promotional (Animoto Millennial Study 2015). 

Reason Five – Consumer Trust

People are very skeptical of sales people.  Who would you trust? The commissioned Sales executive, or real life customers, with experience using the product?  It works the same online as it does in the real world.  Without a sales person, your product pages must do the talking.

Shoppers Trust Shoppers

Customer reviews are significantly more trusted (nearly 12 times more) than descriptions that come from manufacturers (eMarketer, February 2010).

Reason Six – Fraud in The System

Fraudulent text reviews are becoming a big issue for online retailers.  Traditionally e-commerce sites have had to rely on text based reviews.  In the internets heyday, trust was implied, however companies are now writing their own reviews, or paying others for favorable reviews, even when the reviewer has no experience with the product.  User Generated Video Reviews avoid these issues by showing the consumer with the product.  It’s much harder to fake an opinion when you are there holding the product that you own!

1,114 Text-reviewers sued by Amazon for being fraudulent – ABC News

Can YOU trust a review if you don’t know that the person writing it has even used the product?

Reason Seven – It Works!

In a recent Case Study with Newton Running, by placing the Criteek widget on their product pages, they saw an average 72% increase in Dwell Time, and average 8% decrease in Bounce Rates, and crucially, an average 68% increase in Page Views over using text reviews alone.

Newton Running Case Study

Key Takeaways

  • Constantly refreshed, streamed video content keeps your pages up to date, with new content
  • This content improves SEO due to an improved user experience, helping your site climb Search Engine rankings
  • Therefore, not only will you gain traffic, but you’ll keep them there, AND, build trust with your audience
  • Trust leads to more sales and more repeat customers
  • This has a knock-on effect in that you’ll see a lower volume of returns due to users getting a live look at the product, from real people (Bonus Stat – 22% of all online returns are made because the buyer felt that their product didn’t look or fit like they expected)

At Criteek, we specialize in video review media for e-commerce businesses. With video marketing becoming increasingly vital, video reviews are the key to improving your dwell rates, boosting sales, and bringing in more revenue.