There have never been so many different channels and platforms with which marketers can connect with their customers. As such, there is a constant need for original, engaging content, with video currently the most in-demand.

User-generated content (UGC) can often be a deep well of inspiration and compared to designing your own creative in-house, it can be very cost-effective, so it’s no surprise the interest that marketers have in it. Another important point to consider is that, however that UGC is employed, people tend to trust it more than a brand’s own content, if they feel it’s authentic.

At Plotto, we have an enduring fascination with how video can help source and display UGC, and we’ve put together a list of what we consider the most essential uses right now:

Customer Reviews

Authentic customer reviews are usually more trusted than a manufacturer’s own descriptions, and they can result in a significant uplift in conversions when placed alongside a product. Reviews can also help with Search Engine Optimisation, and the great thing about them is that even a few bad reviews don’t necessarily hurt. If a brand is content to leave some poor reviews alongside its good ones, then it indicates honesty and a willingness to own an issue and deal with it.

Testimonials

The difference between testimonials and reviews is that the brand will choose which testimonials to display on its website, so in most cases, they will be universally positive. Still, some customers place value on them, and testimonial video can be even more effective. Creating video testimonials let people showcase their own experiences with a product or service succinctly, and also shows other potential customers that this is indeed a real person giving their opinion.

Customer Feedback

When you buy a product in a shop, if necessary you can give feedback immediately - perhaps you find the labelling confusing, or the staff inattentive - you can let the manager know face-to-face. Customer feedback helps companies know when there’s a problem, or when something is working well, so they can continuously improve. While e-commerce can elongate the process of giving and receiving customer feedback, integrating video to allow for visual contact online can boost customer satisfaction, increase the chances of useful feedback being left, and add depth to that feedback also. Plotto’s analytic software allows for video feedback to be rapidly and automatically transcribed and placed into context. It can draw out keywords that may be of particular interest such as those related to shop location or selling period, or themes such as price or sizing, and drill down into data, for instance by easily establishing what male customers aged 20-30 think about a particular product.

Customer complaints

Inadequate processes to deal with customer problems can lead to brand dissatisfaction. This can be amplified if the customer has to speak to a faceless person or, worse, leave a message. The ability to complain on video instantly, and to then receive a response in the same format, later on, can be a good way to defuse tension, as some customers feel less angry when they are dealing with a real person.

User Guides

Many people now rely on videos to talk them through how to operate a product step-by-step. Alternatives, such as written guides, or instructions given over the phone, can be complicated and unclear. Watching someone run through it on video, which you can rewind as often as necessary, is the next best thing to having the right there next to you.

Competitions

Competitions are often a reliable way to generate buzz around a brand online, and they can be greatly enhanced by video. You tend to see people putting a lot more effort in, with the result that they become more engaged. Lending itself especially to entertainment competitions such as karaoke contests or short films, video is visual, it inspires creativity. It can drive traffic to a brand’s website or social media platforms and best of all, with the proliferation of smartphones, it’s incredibly easy for participants to create and upload footage.

Community boards

Many large brands find that creating a community board is a fantastic way to engage with their audiences, build brand loyalty and gather valuable customer feedback - look at the busy Lego Ideas forum for one example. Some boards, such as those focused on online gaming, allow for videos to be uploaded as well as comments, which helps make the community feel more inclusive and vibrant.

Brands know Plotto as a valuable online survey tool, but it can also be brought to bear for many of the useful purposes discussed above, such as testimonial video software. If you want to learn more about how Plotto can be used to enhance your own marketing efforts, get in touch with our team today.

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