Recently Google shared that 70% of brand content is created by consumers. And that’s a good thing if you have loyal customers, because Google tells us that 90% of consumers trust recommendations from people they know. So maybe it’s time to show the people who trust your company just how much you trust them. Put some of the marketing responsibilities in their hands. That may seem like you’re giving up control, but through the use of User Generated Content (UGC), you can involve your customers to have them help do some marketing work for you. Here are some ways that you can use UGC to boost your credibility and business.
Get Their Feedback
One of the easiest ways to use UGC is to simply ask customers how you’re doing. You can set up a place for feedback on your website or you can even ask customers to fill out a short response card in person. Either way, you’re gathering UGC that will help you better understand what they want. Surveys are another great way to check up on your customers. Make sure to specifically target what you’re trying to find out before you send out the survey. By asking concise and direct questions, you’re sure to get helpful answers. Then, you can use the information you gather to show prospects what other customers thought of your company.
Be the Buzz
In order to market yourself using UGC, you need your customers to talk about your company. Social media is a great way to utilize this aspect of UGC. If you’re not already using social media, maybe it’s time to add it to your marketing plan. Social media puts you where your customers are playing. Once you have your social media in place, pose questions where your followers can reply. Make sure the questions spark discussion for the best responses. On certain sites, followers will be able to tag you in a post where all of their friends will see that your customers are talking about your company. Another great way to get them talking is to post articles in a blog that you can share on your website and in social media. Leave a section for comments so customers can react to your posts.
Monitor the Conversation
Once you provide opportunities for UGC, you need to remain involved in the conversation. If you’re asking questions, conducting surveys or allowing for comments on your blog posts, you need to monitor and reply back to your customers. If you’re not involved in the conversation, they will stop leaving comments because they feel that it is not worth their time.
And don’t forget, even if you’re not actively involved in a UGC plan for your business, customers are still talking about you online. An easy way to check out what’s being said is to set up Google Alerts. With this service, you’ll receive an email when the keywords you’ve selected, such as your name our your company’s name, are mentioned on the web.