The way brands advertise, communicate and interact with customers has changed and evolved dramatically over the past few decades. Just think back to the 50s or 60s when brands communicated almost exclusively through ads on TVs and classic products had strong brand ambassadors – just think of the iconic photos of Marilyn Monroe holding a Chanel No. 5 bottle.
With digital, a lot of how brands communicated themselves moved online into banner ads, retargeting campaigns and everyone possible form of sponsored digital media. But the most dramatic change in branding happened when social media started to take off.
Social media meant that brands were no longer the seamless faces, ads and banners of the products and services that we knew and loved, instead they became conversation and interaction orientated. With the rise of social media, the user really began to take over in all aspects of advertising. And at a certain point, the user-generated content became even more important than what brands had to say about themselves.
Generation Y is one in which people are always looking to the wisdom of the crowd. When it comes to products and services, people are inundated with endless options and the consequence of this is that they have become increasingly skeptical. Hearing a brand tell you it is great via ads (whether online or offline) just isn’t really convincing anymore. But other users opinions are.
The brands that communicate themselves well today are those that really understand the potential of their customers. User-generated content is truly the heart and soul of any modern brand. So how do you get users to communicate and interact with each other in ways that show how truly great your brand is? Well, reviews are one way. Research shows that 86-90% of customers will make their choice on a product or service based on online reviews.
Comments and conversations are also crucial because they keep users and customers coming back. However good a story or photo generated by a brand is, it is ultimately static. What is really interesting is the way that brand-generated content can spark lively user debates, conversations and interactions.
And then there is a question of medium. The problem with the online world is that so much of it is limited to text. Text is fundamentally ambiguous and loses all the “personal touch” of face-to-face communications. And even if you pair your text with great photos, a critical element of communication is still lacking. And while virtual reality looks promising, we all know it will be a while before we can use it to communicate properly.
So what’s the solution? Voice is one of the best channels to generate user content today. With it, users can hear each other and interact almost as they would face-to-face. Voice brings back all the nuances of tone and with high levels of voice authentication software; it is also a great way to weed out annoying bots and spammers. To make your brand really stand out in a world full of great brands and skeptical users, voice can give you competitive edge.
Heyoya is a unique comment and reviews platform that brings voice to e-publishers and e-stores, improving sales and user engagement by allowing readers to express themselves beyond the medium of text. Heyoya is a game changer for websites and is proven to increase brand affinity and the quality of user-generated content.
For more information about Heyoya, or to start using Heyoya for free today, click here.