Consumer-generated content is exactly what it sounds like – content that is created about a brand or product by consumers that have experience with that product or company.
This content typically comes in the form of star-ratings, text reviews, or video testimonials. It’s not a form of marketing or advertising that is created by the company, so why should it be so important to every business owner?
Consumers trust the opinions and experiences of their peers more than they trust the often biased advertising displayed by companies. In fact, 88% of consumers trust reviews of a company or product as much as they trust personal recommendations from friends and family, and 85% of consumers find reviews more influential than ads.
Reviews that are incentivized are skewed in a positive way, making consumers wary and untrusting of reviews that are given by incentivized consumers. However, a big player in e-commerce, Amazon, took a hard stance against incentivized reviews last year to make reviews on their site more credible and to protect their brand image.
Because each consumer’s experience with a product or company may be unique, the content is more engaging to potential customers, and a lot more of their in-depth questions are answered. Your product page couldn’t possibly answer all of the weird questions your customers have, but other customers that have used the product may share an experience that brings peace-of-mind to others.
Google requires at least 150 reviews with comments in a rolling 12-month period to display reviews next to ads. This keeps reviews up-to-date with changes in the product or company, providing consumers with accurate reviews.
All review sites display the date when a review was created. More people will trust reviews left within the last 6 months than reviews that are a couple of years old.
Check out the infographic below for more user-generated content stats