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5 Visual Content Best Practices for Brands and Retailers

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How Brands and Retailers Can Leverage User-Submitted Photos and Video to Better Attract and Convert Shoppers

Visual content — such as photos and videos — have become an expected part of the path to purchase. A new PowerReviews study found that 72% of consumers regularly or always seek out visual content prior to purchase. And this number jumps to 81% for consumers age 18-29.

72% of consumers regularly or always seek out visual content prior to purchase. Click To Tweet

Visual content also plays a big role in building trust and influencing customer behavior. 65% of shoppers are more likely to trust products that have user-submitted photos or videos in their reviews. And 72% of shoppers say they’re more likely to buy a product that has reviews that feature photos and videos in addition to written text.

How can brands and retailers better leverage user-submitted visual content to attract and convert more shoppers? Read on for five tips.

1. Request Photos and Videos from Your Shoppers
There’s simply nothing quite like seeing a photo of a product being used in real life, by a real person. So it comes as no surprise that 88% of consumers are specifically looking for visuals — such as photos and videos — submitted by other consumers prior to making a purchase.

If you’re not already, start asking your shoppers to submit photos and videos as part of their reviews. And make it easy for shoppers to upload photos and videos directly from their phones, where much of this content is captured. Deloitte predicts that this year, 2.5 trillion photos will be shared or stored online, and 90% of those photos will be taken on a mobile device.

2. Capture Visual Content Natively
In order to capture a high volume of user-generated photos and videos, it’s important to make the process as easy as possible for your shoppers. Rather than requiring consumers to take the extra step of first uploading content to a third party service such as YouTube or asking your internal teams to curate visual content by combing through millions of photos on social media sites, allow shoppers to natively submit their photos and videos through your website.

3. Prominently Display User-Generated Visual Content
Half of consumers are starting the search for photos or videos of products on a search engine. But ultimately, 40% prefer to see this type of content directly on a brand or retailer website. So make it easy for your shoppers to find what they’re looking for!

[Tweet “40% of consumers prefer to see product photos or videos directly on a brand or retailer website.”]

Prominently feature user-generated visual content on your product pages, rather than hiding it behind tabs or requiring your visitors to click around (or click to another website) to find what they’re looking for. That way, you’ll provide shoppers with all of the information they’re looking for in one place. And by doing so, shoppers will be less likely to leave your site and purchase elsewhere.

4. Keep Your Visual Content Authentic
Consumers value visual content submitted by other consumers because of its authenticity. And while it’s key to maintain that authenticity by not altering photos, it’s also important to keep inappropriate and fraudulent content off your site. Ask your ratings and reviews provider what moderation processes they have in place to ensure no inappropriate or fraudulent content makes its way on your site, which can tarnish the trust you’ve worked hard to build for your brand.

5. Leverage User-Generated Photos in Other Marketing Initiatives
It’s key to prominently feature user-generated images and videos on your product pages. But don’t stop there. Instead, consider ways you can leverage this content on other areas of your website, including your homepage, category pages, and campaign-specific landing pages. In addition, think about ways you can integrate visual content into other print and digital marketing initiatives such as email, social, and display campaigns.

Want to better understand the role visual content plays in the path to purchase? Download our new study.


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Theresa O’Neil

Theresa is the SVP of Marketing for PowerReviews. She is responsible for building and leading the PowerReviews marketing team in the development and execution of programs that increase awareness of the PowerReviews brand and technology, generate leads and support direct and indirect channels to grow revenue and profitability. Theresa brings more than 20 years of… Read more »