With so many ways to promote your business, it’s easy to forget one of the easiest yet impactful ways to reach new business: through your current customers. People trust reviews that come from real customers rather than the business itself. Knowing that the experiences of your customers influence other people’s decisions, it makes sense to include your customers in your marketing strategies. One way customers can contribute is through user-generated content.
What is User-Generated Content?
User-generated content is content that is created by the people who use your products. The content can range from an in-depth article to a review of your business to a simple Facebook post. Feedback of this sort generally takes place on social media, though it can happen on your website too. The key is to encourage customers to share their opinions and make it easy for them to do so.
How Does User-Generated Content Help with SEO?
Another way that user-generated content can benefit your online business is by helping with SEO. People are naturally interested in what others have to say, so you will gain traffic just by having content that is genuine and written by current customers. User-generated content also does well on social media, another plus for SEO. Because there’s a difference between sales-focused pages and user-generated content, Google’s Hummingbird algorithm can distinguish between the two.
Benefits of User-Generated Content
You should never be afraid to ask customers to share their experiences about your product or service. This shows that you care about their opinion and want other consumers to have unbiased, truthful information. Below are key benefits of how user-generated content can help your online business grow.
- Get Social Proof. People look for direction from others, even online. When they see that others are enjoying the product and have solved the same problem, they are more likely to gravitate towards it.
- Build Trust. Customers don’t have much to gain by sharing their opinions about a product or service, so people in the research phase tend to trust this feedback. Even with great sales content, consumers still feel that this content is biased.
- Develop Connections. Ideally, you want your most loyal customers to contribute because they are most familiar with your product. By asking them to provide their feedback, you strengthen your relationship with them.
Protecting Your Reputation
Sooner or later, you’ll probably get a negative review. It’s never fun to get one of these, but look at it as an opportunity to show customers how you handle problems. Use your great customer service skills to resolve the issue, and if the person isn’t responsive, consider moving the conversation to a private message.
To ensure that negative reviews aren’t ruining your reputation, be proactive about managing your online reputation, particularly on third party sites. Do a quick search using your business’ name to get a better idea of what others are saying about your brand. Also manage your social media channels daily so that you don’t miss any of the comments.
Running an online business offers many benefits, but it does limit your face-to-face interactions. To help bridge this gap, user-generated content gives consumers the opportunity to see and hear how others are enjoying your product. Give customers the chance to share their experiences – in fact – request more of it! Better yet, you don’t have to pay anything extra for this type of content, and it can boost your SEO efforts and increase branding.