January 19, 2016
Are you making use of the content your users generate? If you're not, it's time to start. User-generated content is the key to keeping your brand relevant in the eyes of users old and new.
Think about it: in the age of Web 2.0, we have more access than ever to the opinions and behaviors of our userbase. If you're a business owner, you'll be no stranger to user reviews and commentary on social media. Dealing with negative feedback can be taxing, but ultimately it's a very good thing! Users are telling you what they like, what they don't like, and what else they would like to see from your business.
Cassandra Jowett of Influitive says, “The best way to create engaging content is to get your customers involved in the content creation process.” She's right. What better way to cater content exactly to your users' wants and needs than to ask them yourselves?
You can do this a couple of different ways. One way is to launch a campaign that asks users to submit their own content. Starbucks did this with their 2014 White Cup Contest, wherein customers were asked to design their own Starbucks cup design and submit it to the contest through social media using the hashtag #WhiteCupContest.
Another way is to incorporate social media posts into your site's content. You could include user reviews on a testimonials page. You could also create a microsite dedicated to your user content. Sites that incorporate user experiences are invaluable because they show users engaging with your products or services in their everyday life, making your brand more personable and applicable.
Include calls to action in your content and through prompts on your site. It's also important that you maintain a presence on social media–and by that I don't mean simply scheduling posts. Respond to users and show them that there's actually people behind your messages.
User generated content is candid, honest and evergreen.
This infographic breaks down what user generated content is and how you can use it to ensure that your brand stays relevant over time.
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