When you have a Questions and Answers platform on your site, it’s worthless unless you actually get people to, well, answer the questions. Over 50% of millennials utilize user generated content (UGC) to inform their purchase decisions about major electronics, cars, major appliances, and more. Furthermore, UGC like Questions and Answers or Ratings and Reviews is a huge factor in SEO: 25% of search results for the world’s 20 biggest brands are links to UGC. So, in short, you need to capitalize on this kind of content.
While some questions should be directed towards product experts, many product questions require the subjective experience of a customer. When that’s the case, there are many ways to incentivize customers to respond. Our recommendations are as follows…
Loyalty Points: It’s a common practice to reward loyalty points to members who answer questions, and for good reason. Integrating your loyalty program with UGC creates a holistic customer experience that naturally drives customers to engage more with your brand and to consequently purchase again. On the other side of the coin, you can also use loyalty points to encourage customers to ask questions when you’re launching the platform. For this purpose, points are more helpful than discounts because they loop buyers into your brand’s ecosystem.
Discounts: If you don’t have a loyalty program, you can still give discounts to customers who answer questions. We recommend that you do the discounts as a dollar amount off instead of a percentage. That way if you allow multiple discounts, the customers cannot stack their percentages. It makes sense to only give discounts to those who answer a certain number of questions, unless you plan to give a very small discount.
Contests: A concept that’s simpler than giving discounts to every customer who answers a question is to enter each answerer in a contest for a larger prize. In the example below, the company limits the final drawing to the 10 people with the most correct answers. This is a very useful way to ensure quality content and a fair contest.
Early Access and Free Shipping: A less traditional incentive would be to offer perks like early access to sales or to new products, free shipping, and so on to customers who answer questions. Early access can be an especially helpful incentive because there is no monetary loss.
After offering these incentives, you should have no problem sourcing answers for your Questions and Answers platform! Keep an eye out for more UGC best practices from us, including tips on soliciting answers.