One of the hardest things for any blogger to generate is engagement. One of the best ways to get engagement is though user-generated content.
User-generated content is not usually intended to be used for marketing, but it can be a helpful tool when used strategically. There are dozens of different types of user-generated content. The trick is to match the right ones to the products you are selling and the brand image you wish to convey.
The most obvious content you create can also be contributed to by your users. These include:
- Blog posts
- Social media posts
- Blog comments
- Facebook posts
- Memes – images with clever wording
- Tumblr posts
- Pins on Pinterest
- Articles and posts on LinkedIn
- Google+ posts
- User-generated videos
- Forums posts
- And more
Decide what kind of user-generated content (UGC) is most important to your brand or business. Then start gathering and encouraging involvement.
Keeping Up with Content
Once you’ve started your own business, content marketing will be essential in order to generate traffic, subscribers and sales. But will be impossible to do it all yourself. This being the case, be open to the idea of letting your users help you.
For example, if you have a blog, open it up to moderated comments. Trash the spam and keep anything that will be of use to your target audience. To open comments, allow people to subscribe to your site.
Allow guest bloggers as well. If you see certain people commenting over and over again, invite them to contribute a guest post. Upgrade their permission on your site to contributor or author, or example. Edit as needed. If the post gets good feedback, ensure the guest is rewarded in some way – such as giving them a free product.
Shared Social Media Accounts and Groups
Many social media sites will allow you to add contributors to your pages. They will also usually let you moderate the contributions to make sure nothing too spammy is posted to your page. Facebook is eager for more videos and memes because they are highly shareable content. Pinterest requires high quality images. Customers posting content about your product, and videos of them using it, can offer social proof that your product is worth considering.
Studies have shown that people trust recommendations from their connections on social media much more than they trust anything being issued by businesses, so the more you encourage positive UGC, the better your chances of making sales.
When encouraging UGC, keep things light, positive, interesting, and unique. Hold competitions, give awards for best contributions and so on. Consider assigning topics, such as ones you know will be of interest to your niche. This will help grow your site and traffic.
Integrating your customers and audience into your content marketing efforts can be one of the most effective ways to keep up with content publishing and marketing, and engage with your audience at the same time. You should even get some free word-of-mouth marketing, to extend the reach of your brand even further.
Now that you know how easy it is to get user-generated content, start moderating and organizing it, or get an virtual assistant to help you, and you should soon see your traffic, brand and business begin to grow.