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How to Drive Conversions by Displaying User Generated Content

Larry VanDenHandel on September 13, 2019

Visual marketing isn’t a trend anymore. It’s an effective internet marketing e-commerce businesses should adapt.

Testimonials and written reviews alone can go a long way. Sales pages are packed with words meant to persuade prospective buyers.

But like everything else, internet marketing is changing. Words alone aren’t as effective as they used to be — not without visuals backing them up.

That’s why in this article, we will show you why visual marketing is important for your business. We’ll also highlight a few tips on how you can use visuals to further drive your conversions and revenue figures.

Why should you bother with visuals?

Using visual content in your ecommerce business has lots of advantages. In fact, if you look them up online, you would probably get a whole list of reasons why visuals are important for businesses.

Let’s summarize them into 2 reasons:

1. Visuals are easier and quicker to understand.

Do you remember the old adage, “a picture is worth a thousand words”?

A single picture has the capability to convey meaning or essence more effectively than words describing it. And not to mention, understanding information using visuals is quicker than reading.

To demonstrate, let’s see how one of our clients, Nomatic, shows one of their products:

nomatic travel bag product

Showing how Nomatic 40L Travel Bag looks like using pictures and videos is more effective compared to merely describing it.

Prospective customers not only see how the item looks like. But with photos and videos, they are able to imagine how it feels to use the product.

According to MIT, people can identify images in just 13 milliseconds. On the other hand, it takes more or less 60 seconds to read 200-250 words.

Here’s another fun fact: visual information sticks 6x times more than information received through hearing or reading.

By using visual information, customers are able to remember your brand and get attached to it.

In short, you should use visuals because they are more effective, quicker, and more memorable than words alone.

2. Visuals bring more engagement and attention.

In the sphere of ecommerce, engagement and attention are priceless. That’s why business owners and managers spend fortunes in marketing and advertising.

It’s no wonder why a report from Social Media Examiner revealed that 80% of marketers use visuals in their social media marketing. That’s why you’ve been seeing a lot of social media posts from companies with images and videos in your news feed.

If you haven’t noticed yet, images and videos elicit emotions faster than words. Using the right image or video in your marketing efforts could influence how a viewer takes actions like visiting your website or purchasing.

articles with relevant images get 94% views than those without
Source: O2 Media Group

Speaking of social media, products with visuals are more likely to be shared on social media platforms. To be specific, BuzzSumo revealed adding images to Facebook posts could multiply engagement by up to 2-3 times while Twitter posts with an image are shared 78% more.

With more engagement comes more subscribers and followers. These are leads, and with a little push, you’ll be able to convert a number of them into sales.

How does visual content mix with reviews?

Hands down, online customer reviews are important, especially for local businesses. They aren’t just social proof, they increase customer trust.

A 2017 research by Podium showed that 93% of consumers say online reviews have an effect on their purchasing decisions. From that figure alone, you would have a good idea about the value of positive reviews and the cost of negative ones.

93% of consumers say online reviews have an impact on their purchase decision
Source: Podium

Here’s the problem:

A lot of companies that provide customer reviews services and apps talk only about the importance of reviews. But they fail to mention the impact of visual content, like photos and videos. These can help drive the conversion and revenue figures further.

That’s why businesses need to pay attention to visual marketing.

Like what we established earlier, putting up visuals about the product (and not just a stock image) lets customers imagine themselves using the product. With images and videos, they are able to envision how it feels to own that product.

An even better scenario is when your customer submits photos & videos. Photos and videos are major marketing assets. Aside from the images and videos you have taken, user generated visual content makes your products seem more personal and realistic.

Something like this:

photogallery customer photos

How to use visuals in your business

As promised, here we will provide tips on how to use visuals to further increase the conversion and revenue figures of your business.

1. Take great product photos

The first step into using visuals the right away is, of course, to take excellent visuals. No amount of editing would be able to beautify poorly-shot pictures of your products.

Some of the best practices for taking great product photos for e-commerce include:

  • Considering the right equipment
  • Preparing the product(s)
  • Use the best lighting positions
  • Taking shots from different angles
  • Applying post-production retouch

See how Nomatic applies these practices:

nomadic product shots

Humans are visual creatures who often judge something out of the visuals. Your prospective customers will judge your product’s value and worth based on what they see.

2. Encourage customers to add photos and videos in the reviews

Perhaps one of the most underrated, underutilized features of most review management software is the capability of customers to submit photos and videos in the reviews.

With a little encouragement, customers, especially when satisfied, will not hesitate to add visuals to their reviews.

submitted customer photos from trust image

Don’t hesitate to ask your customers to include visuals on their reviews. In addition to your product images, prospective customers will see that consistency of the product based on the visuals your buying customers uploaded.

3. Don’t forget about social media

The impact of your visuals — photos and videos — will compound on social media platforms. Posts with images get far more engagement on social media than posts without images.

Here are a few ways you can integrate social media in your marketing efforts:

  • Add social media buttons to your visuals
  • Share all your images and videos on all your social media channels
  • Develop a cross-posting or cross-promotion plan on social media
  • GIve shout-outs to customers who make excellent reviews. Publish those with images, and tag the customer if possible to give photo credit.

You never know, someone may comment and leave another positive review on one of your social media posts that features a review.

social media post by nomadic

If Nomatic hadn’t posted that, they wouldn’t have gotten such a positive review which was visible to prospective customers on social media.

4. Optimize your visuals for SEO

Lastly, seal your efforts in using visuals in your business by optimizing them for SEO.

Why? The answer is simple: visual search is getting more important especially with Google’s vision for the future of search. Utilizing your images for SEO could bring you more traffic, which could turn into leads, and then into sales.

Some of the best practices in utilizing visuals for SEO include:

  • Choosing the right file name and format
  • Reducing image size
  • Captions and ‘alt’ (alternative) text

Here’s a great illustration of image SEO by Seobility:

elements of image seo
Source: Seobility

Traffic will get you more leads. It makes sense to optimize your images for SEO especially with Google getting better at image recognition every day.

Wrapping things up...

Visual marketing is an excellent internet marketing tool you should utilize. Written reviews by your customers will go a long way. But the impact of user-generated visuals will multiply the impact of those reviews.

Again, humans are visual creatures. It’s our nature to believe what we see more than what we hear. Visual marketing is a great force that will surely drive your conversions and revenue figures further.

Larry VanDenHandel
Larry VanDenHandel

Larry is the co-founder & CTO of TrustSpot.

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