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.


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, 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.


Millennials are engaging with brands more than ever.

How Millennials Engage with Brands

When it comes to marketing to millennials, there is good news and bad news for brands. The good news is that millennials forge stronger and closer relationships with brands than any generation that came before them. Social media has closed the gap between brands and customers, and millennials dominate social media. Millennials interact with their favorite brands regularly online and build loyalty toward those brands in the process.

The Social Media Factor

The bad news is that millennials know that they have lots of buying power at their fingertips. The double-edged sword of social media and the internet is that, while your brand is using it to forge strong, personal relationships with customers, other brands are doing the same thing. Add the power of and the ever-present nature of Google and millennials have the ability to find, discover, interact with, and purchase from any brand on the planet within a matter of minutes. As such, brands that offend or disappoint millennial audiences run the risk of losing those customers just as quickly as they gained them.

Total Retail Global Report Chart

Millennials understand that, through social media, they have the power to help or hurt a brand. Strong relationships with your customers on social media can lead to shares, retweets, and other instances of brand advocacy. Not every customer has thousands of followers, but each one has the power to bring friends and family to your brand. Put all of your followers together and the potential value of this reach is massive.

How Video Content Can Help

Staying positive on social media and connecting with your customers on a daily basis can go a long way toward helping you win over and keep your millennial audience. Social media is the crux of how many younger people interact not just with brands, but also with celebrities, politicians, publications, and each other. As such, learning to harness social media is a vital part of operating a successful and popular brand in the 2010s.

Social media is not the be-all-and-end-all of how millennials interact with brands. Particularly if you are an e-commerce brand selling products online, video is an essential channel for reaching millennial audiences.

Criteek recently compiled a list of statistics and survey findings about millennials in our website’s marketing intelligence section. The findings, most of which came from the 2015 Animoto Millennial Survey, showed that younger audiences are particularly drawn to video as a medium. 76% of millennial respondents said they follow brands on YouTube; 80% said they look at video content when considering purchases; and 85% said they find video product demos helpful. One in four millennials said that they lose interests in brands that don’t have video content.

Millenial Statistics On Video Engagement

Clearly, video is essential for younger customers. Indeed, if your company doesn’t have video content, you are very likely leaving money on the table from prospective millennial buyers. The challenge is to harness video content in your marketing strategy in such a way that it pairs easily with social media, helps customers arrive at purchasing decisions, and stays relatively cost-effective.

Video Reviews: The Key to Reaching Millennial Customers

By giving your customers the freedom to record and post video reviews of your products, you can take advantage of most of the key statistics revealed by the Animoto Millennial Survey. For instance, if 80% of millennials look at video content when considering purchases, you can encourage those purposes by providing relevant video content on the product pages themselves.

Many video reviewers will show off the product they are talking about in the video. With text-based customer reviews, everything has to be communicated via words and descriptions, which are very hard to visualize. In video reviews, customers can demonstrate what they are talking about while they are talking about it. As a result, shoppers have a chance to see features of your product in action—and start learning how to use your product—before they even click “Add to Cart.”

Professional video content is expensive to produce. Particularly if you have a lot of products, creating promo videos or demo videos for every single product will lead to a substantial bill. Letting your customers prepare video content gives you a chance to have video commercials and demonstrations for your products without having to pay to produce the videos. Customer videos may not be professional in quality but they frequently answer major customer questions.

The other benefit of having video reviews on your site is how shareable they are. The Animoto Millennial Survey noted that roughly half of all consumers have shared video content posted by their favorite brands on their own profiles. Video reviews are especially social media-friendly because you can tag the customers who created the videos. Customers (particularly millennials) will feel honored to have their video reviews shared by your brand—a feeling that will bring them even closer to your brand. Other customers will share your posts and start creating video reviews with the hopes of being featured on your social media feed. In the long run, you engage your customers more effectively and widen your reach.