Do you hear that sound? It’s your users talking to you. Are you listening to them?
It’s easier than ever for businesses to know what their users think about them. A quick perusal of your business’s social media pages will yield many appraisals, criticisms, opinions and comments. An average business will read these comments and take them into consideration when developing their content marketing strategy. Smart businesses incorporate these comments into their content marketing strategy via user generated content.
User generated content positions your product or service in the day to day lives of your users. What’s more, it doesn’t carry the same strong implication of brand bias as other marketing content because it’s candid and authentic. Research has shown that millennials trust user generated content 50% more than other forms of content.
There are a couple of different key ways that you can incorporate user-generated content into your marketing strategy. One way it to include CTAs on your site and in your content that promotes readers to contribute their own stories. This means more than simply tacking a “Leave your thoughts in the comments below!” at the end of a blog post, which doesn’t often yield much, if any response. Rather, you could offer users opportunities to submit their own content to your site and social media pages. Take, for example, Starbucks’ White Cup Contest launched in April 2014. The contest encouraged customers to doodle on their white Starbucks cups and submit them via social media using the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. Starbucks received almost 4000 entries in just three weeks.
Another very simple way to incorporate user-generated content is to include social media posts about your business on your testimonials page, or by creating a microsite dedicated to user-generated content. Take, for example, IBM’s “CMO and CIO Leadership Exchange” microsite which aggregates content from Twitter, blogs, and YouTube using the hashtags #CMO and #CIO.
A very basic thing you can do is maintain a social media presence by interacting with users and participating in conversations, rather than simply auto-scheduling posts. Funnel your social media mentions into one place for evaluation.
User generated content is not only effective for providing businesses with direct insight into their user audience, but also by encouraging users to return to check if their content has been posted, and to see what other users have contributed. This creates a community that connects your users not only through your product or service, but through shared positive feelings mediated through your brand.
This infographic breaks down some basic ways to incorporate user generated content into your content marketing strategy.
Digital & Social Articles on Business 2 Community