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  • Writer's picturedavepeyton

Don't ignore user-generated content

When most digital marketers refer to content marketing, they're usually talking about content created by you: in your blog, in videos you've made, or in podcasts you recorded. In fact I've already talked about the importance of creating content to advance your marketing strategy. It's absolutely something you need to do, and you need to make it available to your audience on a regular basis.

However, there's another form of content that can work wonders for your site: and for your traffic. As the title suggests, I'm referring to user-generated content. After all, your site can become much more engaging if people other than yourself contribute! To understand this type of content, we need to break it down into two categories: on your website and somewhere else.

Perhaps one of the largest sources of onsite content are discussion forums that you moderate. Some of these forums are so active that their ad revenue has made them into entire self-contained businesses; is one of the busiest examples. For small businesses, it can also be a good idea to set up a support forum, especially if your products include software or various gadgets. A side benefit of these support forums is that it lets you show how helpful and customer-oriented you are.

Several other ways of generating onsite content exist, too. If your business sells apparel or any other kind of accessories, you can ask your buyers to send in photos of themselves wearing your products. You can even make a contest out of it.

But not all user-generated content has to be on your website. When it isn't, the odds are very good that it will be on social media instead. It's worth looking on all the major sites for mentions of your business, especially for reviews. Attractive photos of your products or your businesses can be worth their "weight" in gold, if the owner is willing to let you tag them on Facebook or Instagram.

Wherever it is, remember that user-generated content represents an opportunity to engage more with your potential buyers (or even fans), so that you can build a community of loyal customers.

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