User generated content is written by your users. They are your customers, existing and potential, who are online and can write about their tastes and preferences, opinions and suggestions. Before we discuss how to generate user generated content, let us first look at why it is so important in the context of content marketing. User generated content is essential because most online users prefer to read such content and take decisions. They know all about content farming and how brands always write positively about themselves. They want an authentic opinion about products and services and that is why they turn to user generated content.
Now, how can you generate user generated content for your content marketing department? The most basic trick is to provoke their senses. You can do so by engaging them in discussions and debates on social media networks. Users who write such content are usually capable of writing in a presentable way but you need to edit things a little here and there. On the whole, the essence of what the user is trying to say must be retained during the editing process. Do not make it too smooth a work of editing as that might look doctored.
Another way to generate user generated content is to comment back on their responses to your blog or article. Blogs have a field to make comments. You can take the discussion on the blog further by adding your two cents in answer to the user’s comment. That will make the user feel important because you are valuing his words and ideas. They generally write back in such situations. You can extract the part that you think might be useful for your content marketing team. Always inform the user about your decision to blow up their content in your content marketing plan.
User generated content can be picked up from social media networks. Encourage users of Facebook or Twitter to talk about your products and services on your page. If you find something worth promoting or highlighting, do so. User generated content can sometimes be disjointed or fragmentary. It is an editorial decision to chisel it into structured writing or leave it raw. No matter what you decide, make sure that you are exploiting user generated content in your content marketing’s bag of tricks.