Your customers write better content than you.
You can hire the greatest content creators and copywriters in the world, but if you’re not speaking the language of your customer, you’re not going to sell.
And if there’s anyone suited to speak the language of your target audience, well, it’s your target audience.
Your customers are your best writers and they are constantly creating content — for free! — you just need to know where to look and how to use it.
Here’s how to build customer copy into your content creation process to drive more conversions.
Collect Customer Content – and lots of it
First, you’re going to need to collect user-generated content (UGC) from your customers. The good news is, you probably have tons of it already, you just have to know where to look.
There are a few ways you can start collecting content from your customers:
Ask for reviews
This is the easiest way to get your customers to write content, and it’s also nearest and dearest to my heart.
It can be as simple as emailing your customers to ask for feedback or, at scale, partnering with a software that can do this for you intelligently.
I recommend Yotpo.com.
Full disclosure, I’m the founder and do serious CEO things there.
Data shows that 90% of customers are going read reviews before buying, and that conversion rate goes up the more people view your reviews.
According to Moz, online reviews impact 67.7% of consumers purchasing decisions.
But it’s not enough to just get a couple and let them collect dust on your product pages.
You need to use the content from these reviews on and off site to improve your conversion rates (CVR).
And if you’re really smart, you’ll check out your competitor’s reviews too to see what valuable information and language you can steal from them.
Use this article on “4 Underutilized Keyword Research Tools to Create Content that Drives Targeted Traffic” to help you with some review-mining. This spreadsheet for keyword phrases (featured in the article) can double-up as a place to house common words and phrases you come across that your customers use.
Mine customer emails, support tickets and conversations
Your customers are already feeding you valuable copy, you just might not know it.
Any time you are interacting with customers, they’re giving you language cues and clues that you need to be using.
Let’s take support tickets for an example.
Say you’re getting tons of support tickets asking if a product you’re selling is machine-washable — this should be a red flag to you as one of your customer’s top concerns.
Make sure you’re paying attention and leveraging this information to write better content — whether it’s in a blog post, email or in your product marketing.
Use content CTAs on social
If you’re looking to get more content from customers, stay away from posts like “Thumbs up if you love coffee!”
Use calls-to-action by asking your fans more open-ended questions that will increase their chances of engagement, offering up the valuable language or insights you can take back to the content creation drawing board.
More like, “What is it you love about coffee?”
People love to talk on social, and you’ll get tons of content to use later.
Start Leveraging Customers for Content Creation
Now that you took the time to collect a variety of custom content from a variety of sources, you have to know how to use it to see a direct impact on your bottom line.
Here are 4 ideas of where to use customer content in order to boost conversions.
1. Match product descriptions and landing pages with customer language
How can you ensure that your description and landing page copy is effective?
Make sure you’re talking how your customers talk.
Groove, simple help desk software, doubled conversions on a landing page simply by changing the content to reflect what they were hearing from customers and prospects.
You might be shooting yourself in the foot if you’re advertising yourself as a great budget option, but your customers are more concerned with quality than price tags.
You need to match your brand’s value proposition with the words your customers are using and want to hear.
2. Feature customers front and center in your content marketing
Make customer content an integral part of your content creation process by using their writing in your blog, social accounts, email newsletters or more.
It’s engaging, interactive, and ties them to your brand.
You can ask your customers to write for your blog, like Free People does or to enter a contest where users can come up with great content like the New Yorker does for their cartoons.
When it comes to content marketing, your customers can also create content for you in the form of guest blog posts – like I’m doing right now, for Outbrain.
You can make it really easy for customers to contribute to your blog: Shopify, for example, uses a simple Typeform to get customers to submit to their blog.
These get published in the form of awesome customer success stories.
3. Share customer reviews on social media
Social is notoriously hard to sell on.
People are on Facebook or Twitter or Pinterest to socialize with friends, to get updates on what’s new, what’s trending, and to join the larger social conversations happening online.
They’re generally not there to shop or buy.
The biggest challenge that businesses face on social is how to get their message across on these platforms without seeming forced or salesly.
Sharing reviews on social media is a great way to do this and has amazing results.
Check out the example below from Pura Vida Bracelets, a socially-conscious accessories company.
Traffic that comes from reviews shared on Facebook have a 40% higher conversion rate than regular traffic from Facebook.
On Twitter, traffic from reviews has an 8.4x higher conversion rate and, on LinkedIn, it’s 5.3x higher.
4. Use customer content in advertisements
Facebook advertisements that use user-generated content have a 300% higher CTR rate than other ads.
This is because to sell on social media, you need to show social proof.
Ads that feature reviews look like a recommendation from a friend, not a brand, so they drive more clicks, increasing your chance of conversions.
Also, these advertisements read more naturally because they are not using your language, they’re using your customer’s’ language — making them much more relatable and less salesy.
Facebook now allows you to add a call-to-action when creating an ad, which you can use to even further leverage posting your online reviews.
Simply select “Shop Now” to drive those of interest right to purchase.
Customer copy can be one of your most powerful weapons.
Not only does it allow you to build relationships with your target audience, but it also creates the transparency and trust needed for them to make decisions with your brand.
Don’t just let all of the data you’ve collected go unused, as it is the invaluable element that will set your content creation efforts apart from the competition.
Have any questions about how to get the most from this strategy? Leave your questions in the comments below, and I’ll be sure to get back to you.