Did you know that Coca Cola spends more on content marketing than on TV advertising?
That’s because Content is King. It always has been and to be perfectly honest, it always will be. The importance of content is absolutely integral to the success of your business online.
That said, lots of people give little credence to content creation. It’s often at the bottom of the pile of priorities; tarred with the “we’ll get to that later” brush.
But this is a worrying attitude. Content can make or break your success online. It’s been shown that content marketing costs 62% less yet generates approximately 3x more leads than other marketing methods. It is perhaps one of the most impactful factors of good organic rankings. But furthermore, it impacts on PPC performance when Google is analysing and ranking landing page experiences, and provides weight and definition for your brand when users arrive on site from a paid social campaign.
We get it; content takes a lot of time and effort. Especially if you want to generate the right type of content – the type that helps to build your brand; grows confidence in you among your customers and prospects; encourages engagement and cements connectivity. This is the type of content which can truly elevate your brand and the type you should be putting a huge amount of focus into generating.
So, let’s talk about how to accomplish a successful content marketing strategy
Let’s start with the basics. On-site copy should be your first step. On site copy is considered by 58% of marketers as the most important digital asset, and so it should. Providing comprehensive, useful information which informs your customers is the best place to start. This includes your homepage, top level category pages, sub level category pages and product descriptions. You can never have too much content (but you can have too little – especially when you consider SEO!) – you just need to be smart about how you display the content.
Next you have blog articles. Frequent publication of useful, engaging blog articles is crucial. Small businesses with active blogs get a whopping 126% more lead growth than those without. Plus, blog articles can gather incremental traffic over time.
But what about beyond that type of content? That’s when the creation has to have some thought put into it.
Well, the solution to amazing content is probably simpler than you might think.
There are two tried, tested and proven ingredients involved in excellent content;
What’s the most authentic and personalised source of content? Stuff that comes from your customers, otherwise known as user generated content!
What is user generated content and what are some examples?
There are many examples of brands which harness the power of user generated content (UGC), and they do it very well indeed. Consider Amazon. One of the biggest online players globally. Almost all of their content is user generated through their comprehensive review system.
Then we have social media powerhouses like LadBible, Love What Matters & The Chive, among many more – they utilise user submissions and share primarily UGC to maintain interest and engagement.
Coca Cola also is a prime example of great UGC with their ‘Share a Coke’ campaign, where bottles featured people’s names. It’s such a simple idea but oh-so effective!
How can I get user generated content?
There are so many ways to drive user generated content; your imagination really is your only limit. But that said, some helpful examples for you to try include:
- Introduce a review aggregator service onto your website, actively encourage reviews – good or bad – and be sure to respond to said reviews, too.
- Do your research and identify what your customers are already saying about you online. Then use these insights to launch a hashtag strategy (and promote this as if it’s your new company tag line!). Then make your customers feel special & celebrate them, by featuring their photos on your brand profiles and even your website (with permission of course!)
- Consider pairing with a relevant, credible influencer to dramatically broaden the reach of your services or products.
- Don’t forget the power of competition and contests! They work and are a fantastic way of obtaining tons of content, depending of course on the format you choose.
- Request written contributions if it suits your brand – no we don’t mean sponsored guest blogs! Think about Search Engine Watch, or Love What Matters – people who have something useful and genuine to say who aren’t looking to get paid or for a link back to their site- people who want a platform.
- For some brands, a forum type service can be a fantastic method of encouraging users to connect and create content through discussion.
These are all fantastic, effective methods of content creation which can be achieved through utilising your very own customers or subscribers! You’ll get a regular stream of unique, personalised content that comes direct from your own brand ambassadors. You can’t get more authentic, and people connect with it because people don’t feel like they are being directly sold to. Instead, they are engaging with people just like them, who share a similar perspective.
The benefit for your business
Compiling a strategy to drive user generated copy and utilise it effectively is going to take investment – both of your time and some funds, there’s no doubt about that. But when 50% of people aged 18-49 obtained information online, and the increase in content digested online is growing by the day, you don’t want to miss out.
Written by Kerri Sallee, Account Manager