Consumer-generated content (CGC) is key in helping brands to drive business value, increase revenue and convert customers, according to a new study by US analytics enterprise Bazaarvoice. The report found that CGC, such as images, chat comments and videos, is becoming increasingly relevant for marketers.
Both brands and retailers are now benefiting from a focus on creating bespoke content for their target audiences, with conversion, average order values and revenue per visitor increasing significantly when customers interact with CGC before they purchase a product.
The report noted: “CGC can be everything from a critical rating to a comprehensive review, a picture, a video or a brief comment; it can be a rich, experiential story, or an uncontrollable emotional outburst. Far more often than not, the time and effort to create and share this content is driven by the will of people to help, inform, protect, entertain or inspire confidence in other consumers.”
Bazaarvoice said that for each dollar of online revenue generated across its network, an additional $6.50 (£4.46) is influenced by content generated by customers. This means that an individual who interacts with CGC will, on average, spend almost twice as much compared to a person who doesn’t interact with curated content. This trend is set to continue, as 51% of brands said that they were planning to use more CGC during the customer journey.
The report also found that more visually engaging content is increasing, with Bazaarvoice’s own Curations tool processing almost five times as many photos and videos in 2015 compared to 2014. “Now more than ever, visual content is an integral aspect of the CGC mix, bringing a more emotional, ‘right-brain’ experience to complement ratings and reviews and influence shoppers,” Bazaarvoice said.
CGC is particularly useful for marketers, as it enables them to improve their campaigns, messaging, targeting and positioning. Revenue increased by 75 per cent on brand sites when CGC was seen by consumers prior to purchasing. The average order value and conversion rate also increased by eight per cent and 78 per cent respectively. The report concluded that brands should offer users ways to be more expressive rather than providing simple review boxes and ratings.