Unfortunately, marketing clutter has changed the way people trust a brand. The average consumer is exposed to hundreds, even thousands of ads every day, making them desensitised to marketing messages. This has made it more difficult for businesses to break through the noise.
You can talk about how awesome product or service is, but at the end of the day, people will trust each other more than anything else. They have made it clear that they want raw, honest opinion by seeking out online reviews and personal recommendations from fellow customers before they make a buying decision.
This fact alone proves that no other form of brand content can outperform user-generated content. It connects with your audience on a deeper level as there are no advertising gimmicks, only real stories to tell. This makes your brand more human. When you leverage the voice of your customers, you can build a community of loyal brand advocates.
Read on to learn how it can help you achieve quality content marketing.
A closer look at user-generated content
User-generated content is any content that is voluntarily published by consumers of a brand. This can be anything from photos to videos, reviews to blog posts, tweets to snaps, and anything in between.
It is a scalable and cost-effective way to showcase your brand because it provides genuine information about your products and services from your satisfied customers. Not only it adds to your brand credibility, but it also saves resources on marketing. Here’s how it can benefit your business:
Social proof is a powerful ingredient in marketing. It’s a psychological phenomenon where people observe those around them to determine what is right and wrong in a given situation. User-generated content is tied to social proof because it shares the experience of your customers with your business. People will always perceive their feedback as more trustworthy than your content when making a choice. When you use it to best advantage, you can build their confidence in your brand.
User-generated content is here to stay. It’s something your prospects will find through search and social to learn more about our brand and how it stands with your customers. This entices them to convert and even come back for more.
It also eases the burden on your end. Every individual provides detailed insights from a unique perspective, which inspires ideas to bolster your marketing efforts. Additionally, it saves you valuable time.
Better SEO impact
User-generated content can contribute to your SEO because it serves search engines with fresh and relevant information about your business. It also generates links and increases your rankings for long-tail keywords.
To ensure you have quality user-generated content, however, it’s essential to perform SEO content analysis every now and then. Spammy and redundant content can send negative signals to Google and may even harm your authority.
Ways to make user-generated content work for your business
User-generated content doesn’t mean you leave the hard work to your customers. It’s a two-way street – you work together and form meaningful relationships. When they feel like they belong to your brand’s community, they’re always glad to spread the word and come back. Here’s how you can get started:
Testimonials are one of the easiest and most powerful ways to get social proof. They can be straightforward text quotes, or you can go all out with storytelling videos. Make sure your testimonials tackles a specific issue that you know your audience is experiencing. They should describe your product or service and should seem trustworthy. You can cover the “before, during, and after” story of your clients to show how your solutions have successfully fixed their problems, or include some specifics like “ we saw a 156% improvement”.
Social media contests and giveaways
Many businesses hold contests on social media, which not only encourages user-generated content but also deepens customer relationships. It reveals your brand’s authenticity, which helps you earn the loyalty of your audience.
Most contests only require users to use your hashtags and tag a photo or friend, but you can also challenge them by posting creative shots. This is an excellent means to put your customers under the spotlight.
Surveys are a great way to gain insight into customer needs, and they provide unique, proprietary data. They can be something casual like Facebook or Twitter polls, or comprehensive like product development surveys. You can then use the data you’ve consolidated to maximise the value of your marketing collateral, which can be an infographic, a whitepaper, an in-depth blog post, or even SlideShare presentations.
Expert Q and A
While interviews with industry experts are not always easy, they pay off in the end. This is because apart from generating unique content for your business, you’ll also tap on their followers, thus expanding your network.
Interviews can be in the form of blogs, podcasts, or video Q&As. For every question you ask, they’ll provide unique, meaningful advice, which gives immense value to your audience.
There are other ways to create user-generated content, such as Youtube tutorials, brand takeovers on social media, and even culture marketing. Depending on your objectives, some strategies may offer better results than others. Nevertheless, you will see the difference when you start leveraging this approach for your digital marketing efforts.
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