A buzz phrase you may be used to hearing in digital marketing is User-Generated Content, or UGC. What is UGC, exactly? It is content created by users/customers that works to promote your bikes, ATVs, and other units – photos, videos, reviews, social media posts, and more.
Why is UGC such a hot concept? It comes down to credibility. Customers know that your dealership’s marketing team has your best interest in mind. For that reason, the content coming from you simply doesn’t provide the same influence as the type of content your customers offer at free will. It may even come off as too “sales-y” or self-serving. It doesn’t necessarily benefit your users/customers to promote your dealership, so naturally it’s a great compliment when they go out of their way to do so. It signifies to other potential customers that they can trust you and the value of your products. On top of that, UGC allows for a two-way conversation – an interaction between you and your customer audience.
One of the most common ways we see UGC for our dealerships is through customer photos. Customers are often so excited about their new bike, they want to show it off to friends and family share it on social media. This is a great opportunity for you – be sure to promote your accounts on social media so that those customers can “tag” your dealership. Monitor posts like these so you can share them on your own pages as well. We call people who choose to do this on their own brand advocates, and they are very valuable customers to have in your corner.
UGC-based marketing campaigns give customers the opportunity to submit content that validates your brand. There are several ways you can encourage UGC – you’ll find that customers are often happy to share their thoughts on a new purchase or about their buying experience, but they may need to be prompted first. For example, ask a happy customer who bought a newly released product to film a quick video demonstrating how to use it, and share that video on Facebook.
The more customers who submit reviews and testimonials, or share images and videos of their bikes, the more likely that others will be encouraged to do so. Consumers have a lot of influence on each other, and what they share about you can have a big impact on the popularity of your business.
According to data from Ogilvy/Google/TNS, 74% of consumers identify word-of-mouth as a key influence in their purchasing decisions. Bright Local found that 88% of people trust online reviews written by other consumers as much as they trust recommendations from personal contacts. “Reviews” can come in different forms – for instance, a video from a happy customer showing off their new purchase speaks volumes over a written review to most people.
This strategy of collecting UGC to support the promotional content you create for your own business has an added benefit – it helps you understand your audience better. No one knows your customers better than themselves, so listen to what they have to say, and implement their feedback for even better results in sales.
UGC campaigns are easier to pull off than you may think – you’d be surprised at the number of your customers who would be willing to help if asked. Engaging with your online community can really encourage participation in UGC. This type of content is a powerful way to drive engagement for your dealership online and help boost sales by having a real impact on the authenticity and trustworthiness of your business. Let your happy customers be your best marketers, and see how successful you can be!
Lauren McLean is the public relations manager at Dealer Spike, a leading web services provider for powersports dealerships. The award-winning digital advertising company is focused on helping dealers increase sales through powerful, distinctive website design and a full suite of online marketing tools to drive results. Dealer Spike’s expertise comes from real-world dealership experience and a team of professionals who also ride. When you work with Dealer Spike, you’re working with digital marketing experts who have a passion for your industry.