If you’re like 99% of all local business owners in the world, you see the value of creating content about your business, but you don’t have the time or resources to create a lot of new content. Have you ever thought about user-generated content? User-generated content comes in a lot of different forms. It’s basically any kind of content that your users, customers, or non-customers create for you.
Here are five examples of different types of user-generated content you might be able to use:
There’s no better way to promote your product or service than through a happy customer. This can be as simple as sending a follow-up email or text after a customer makes a purchase. Invite them to share their feedback via reply or ask them to post about their experience on your social pages. With a review management platform like Jump, you can generate reviews from customers you choose and send them a review request via text directly to their phone. We’ve found that for most businesses, text messages work way better than email for requesting reviews. You can use these reviews on your website and in other marketing materials as social proof of how great you are.
Once you have some brand evangelists on your side who start talking about your business on social media, repost their enthusiastic reviews, shoutouts, and content on your social channels. These testimonials are especially effective with millennials, as 50 percent of them trust user-generated content more than traditional media. You can use customer reviews and positive comments to create meme-like images to post on Instagram or Facebook.
Another great way to generate content from your customers is through a contest. Big brands have had success with competitions featuring original content from their customers (e.g. Doritos and their Super Bowl ad contest). This can be a great way to get your customers involved while also providing an incentive for them to participate. You don’t have to offer a $1 million prize to get people to contribute, either. You could invite customers to describe how their life is better because of your product or service. It could be in an essay, video, or some other format. Then choose the one you like best and give them a prize. And you then have all the entries that you can use as content on your website or social. Another way to do it is to have all the entries published online and then give the prize to the entry that gets the most likes, shares, or some other measurable engagement metric.
Allowing guest contributors from other companies to write articles for your blog is a simple way to add content to your site without a lot of personal effort. You’ll want to carefully select the contributors and posts that you accept. You can also request specific topics that you know will be of interest to your audience. Take the time to edit the post if needed, and don’t be afraid to ask the writer to rework the post if needed. Even though it’s a guest post, it’s going on your blog, so it needs to meet your quality standards.
Another great way to get content from your customers is to create a gallery on your site of customers using your product. Or, if you offer a service or software that’s not something tangible, you can ask for photos of what your customers are able to do with the time your product freed up for them. You can get it started by sending someone from your company to take the first few photos. Then set your customers loose and let them get creative to see what they come up with. Post your favorite images to your social accounts. It’s OK to use the same post more than once, in fact, if your post gets a lot of traction, you should post it again at a future date--maybe multiple times. Often the post will pick up more traction the second and third time around.
These are just a few ways you can utilize user generated content for your business. The best idea is probably the one that nobody has done before--the one that’s zipping around inside your head right now.
Stop stressing about content creation and let your customers do it for you!