User generated content is a new buzz phrase that’s been getting a lot of attention recently. Your website can grow (if not explode) in popularity if you have great user generated content, without the creators having to put much work into content creation.
- So, what exactly is “User Generated Content”?
- How does it work?
- How do you encourage user generated content?
Let’s take a look.
What Is User Generated Content?
User generated content is any content that’s generated by the user base and not by content creators of the company.
A couple well known high profile examples include Wikipedia and YouTube. The staff at Wikipedia and YouTube don’t spend all their time creating entries or videos. Instead, their job is to make it easy for other people to create content. And lots of other people do create content, and Wikipedia and YouTube benefit from it.
Less popular or small profile examples include forums and blog comments. Again, these aren’t created by the site owners, but can still draw a lot of search engine traffic.
So how does you encourage people to create more content?
Give Them Room to Express Something They Want to Express
Creating desire isn’t the easiest thing to do and trying to get someone to want something they don’t already naturally want is not easy.
On the other hand, giving someone an avenue to talk about things they already want to talk about can be a great shortcut to amassing a ton of user generated content.
YouTube exemplifies this principle. YouTube didn’t create the desire for people to share videos; they just made that desire possible through the internet.
What do your users already want to talk about that they’re not able to talk about yet?
Make Them Feel Like They’re Part of Something
A sense of community and purpose can go a long way towards inspiring content generation.
Social media sites such as Facebook, for example, often thrive when there’s a sense of people coming together to share their love for an idea or concept, a business, a product, or a service.
People are more inspired to post their feedback about the company, as well as be the first to know when the company offers special discounts, events, and other exciting news.
On the other hand, social media profiles that have some level of negativity and/or lack of community tend to die down over time.
Make It Fun
Don’t make it feel like work to generate content. Make it fun.
For example, you can run several different types of contests online and award your audience prizes in the form of a free product or service.
This is powerful for keeping your online audience engaged and sticking around to see what you will do next. Not only that, but their posts will contribute to your company’s content marketing initiatives.
If you’re not employing user generated content as part of your web strategy, you could be missing out because it could send a lot of traffic to your business with barely any additional cost.
6 Ways to Apply This Information Now
- Come up with a list of your target audience interest
- Launch a contest or two requesting content submissions
- Review all the submission and acknowledge all the folks that made submissions
- Submit submission to your target audience via social media platforms and ask them to vote for their favorite
- Visit our Facebook page and ask us a question
- Share this article on LinkedIn (or Your Favorite Social Media Site). Sharing quality content increases your visibility and credibility with your existing contacts, creating conversations and potentially new business.
- Leave a comment below. Let’s start a conversation about how you plan to use “User Generated Content”.
Do you want help launching a User Generated Content campaign?
Not ready for a call, no worries, drop us a line at Contact@MusselwhiteMarketing.com today.
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