User generated content marketing is the riskiest of all marketing strategies because of the obvious potential for negative comments. But if done right, it will pay off more than any other type of content marketing.
1. Give your customers a voice.
It’s naturally tempting to try to maintain absolute control over every piece of content that mentions your brand, but consumers know the difference between SEO article spam and meaningful content. Increasingly, consumers are more interested in seeing what other consumers have to say. Consumers no longer want to be told what to think — they want to be part of the conversation.
“Marketers need to go beyond simply talking about how awesome they are. It’s far more powerful when other people that aren’t on your payroll are saying it,” says Jeev Trika, CEO of CrowdReviews.com. “User generated content, two-way discussion with consumers and organic user reviews from real people form the foundation of today’s meaningful content strategy.”
2. Use right-brained, creative tactics that go beyond the numbers.
There are two great fallacies that lead to tepid results in content marketing. The first is that content marketing is a purely numbers-driven strategy. The second fallacy is that you need to push content in one direction only from marketer to consumer in order to maintain control.
Reliance on mechanical SEO tactics like article spinning and astroturfing may at least temporarily lead to an increase in search-engine placement. But even if SERPs increase, the poor-quality content and transparent fakery responsible for them will harm your brand, and they likely will not result in any significant increase in actual revenue.
Even a good strategy that delivers useful content often goes in just one direction. The next shift in content marketing is bi-directional, user generated content.
3. Find the emotional connection.
“Customers are far more likely to have a meaningful connection to your brand when they have an interactive platform available,” Trika says.
That organic conversation is what Scott Magids, CEO of Motista, says is the basis of creating an emotional connection with consumers. “The emotional connection is an evolved approach to customer strategy,” Magids says. “It’s the path to maximize the value of customer relationships that lead to organic growth.”