New Service Helps Clients Integrate UGC into Advertising

The developer of social media applications has unveiled a new service designed to help marketers integrate user comments and reviews into display ads and other marketing campaign, as well as onto portals and comparison-shopping engines.

BazaarVoice’s service automates the process of taking user comments and reviews from the product page of a client’s Web site — what people have to say about a book on, for instance — and embedding it in a display ad or on a comparison-shopping engine. This will allow marketers to get value from their site’s user-generated content (UGC) without having to physically scroll through their review pages and integrate the contents into marketing efforts.

“Our customers have had a vision for long time that this data is useful in a lot of different ways,” said Brant Barton, BazaarVoice’s co-founder and VP, business development. That information shouldn’t, he said, “just be sitting on their product page.”

A handful of ad agency partners have been working with the service, called Radius, during the rollout period, including digital shop Resource Interactive. John Kadlic, executive director of business development with the Columbus, OH-based agency, said his shop used Radius to push product reviews and ratings out to consumers as they shop and into dynamic display ads.

“It can really pull some of the great assets they have [on their review pages] and put them in the right environs, be they mobile or display ads,” he said.

Of course, when dealing with UGC, there’s always an element of unpredictability such as negative comments. So marketers could naturally be timid about the idea of automating the process of pushing consumer reviews into their advertising or onto portals. But Kadlic said the service filters out inappropriate content, and that honest critiques mixed in with honest reviews provides a more authentic experience.

BazaarVoice is offering the service at no charge to its existing clients. The company’s offerings include “Ratings & Reviews,” which brings customer reviews to a product page, and “Ask & Answer,” that allows customers to ask questions and get answers from other customers or from the company.

“When our partners make the commitment to innovate with us, we have every incentive to help them by providing best practices and resources to deploy, test, and optimize our integrated solutions,” Barton said. “By helping to enable our partners, we are delivering massive value to our clients by opening up new opportunities to…leverage their social commerce investment.”

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