No matter the kind of website you run, a portion of your users will certainly be creative and artistic people who spend their free time making different types of content. So why shouldn’t you take advantage of that? Combining such user-generated content with the work done by Movers Development will certainly give excellent results. Most businesses that adopt this strategy agree that the benefits of user-generated content far outweigh the drawbacks. Even if that does not turn out to be true in your case, you’ll definitely want to give UGC a try once you know all the ways in which it can benefit you.
What is user-generated content?
As you may have been able to deduce from the name, user-generated content or UGC for short is any content on your website or business profile that was created by your users. This could be a blog post or an infographic, an image or a video, even a live transmission on social media. Sometimes, this type of content is only used for moving company marketing (the most obvious example being the reviews), while in other cases, the entire website is dedicated entirely to users’ own creations (think about YouTube and its millions of videos). UGC is, therefore, a very broad and diverse category.
The biggest benefits of user-generated content
Content marketing is extremely popular today, especially for small businesses with limited resources and reach. So, it’s probably safe to assume that you already have a content marketing team. Why should you add UGC to their work? The answer is that UGC has something to offer that regular marketing can’t.
Made by users and for users
All the content you make, everything you do on your website, and arguably your entire business is about giving your users what they want. And nobody knows better what users want than the users themselves. So when you let your users create content, they’ll make what they want to see. This will attract and convert other users like them. Normally, you’d need to do extensive market research to discover what exactly your users are looking for. But other users will know that instinctively – all they need to do is think about the kind of content they enjoy consuming.
Personal, authentic, and trustworthy
No matter how honest and transparent you are, your users are always aware that you’re representing a business and trying to sell them something. This can cause them to question the information you provide, even when that information is correct. That’s one of the reasons why users typically turn to reviews – reviews are seen as honest and unbiased because they come from other users who have no motive to lie. The same is true of any content users generate. People are simply less likely to trust a moving estimate app than a blog post about the cost of moving written by someone in a similar situation to them.
Reduces content needs and expenses
Quality content is not easy to generate consistently and on a large scale. Consequently, you need to hire a good team of content creators if you want to focus on content marketing. But good content writers come with a price. And the larger your website grows, the more content you’ll need. So the costs will only grow with you. UGC can provide some much-needed relief. Users who generate content are not paid employees; even if you reward them with something (like a discount or a gift bag), they’ll be a much lesser expense than hiring a content writer full time. And yet, they will create content you can publish simply because they enjoy doing so. You’ll have all the content you need and no bill to foot at the end of the day.
Increases engagement and drives conversions
It’s not enough to just collect top moving leads – you need to follow up on them, nurture them, and eventually convert them. One good way to do this is to keep them engaged. When people feel like they have a bond with a business, they tend to stay loyal. By encouraging them to create content for you, you’re bringing them into the fold in a way. They get to participate in your marketing, see their own work on your website, and feel like they’re a part of your brand. This constant engagement is one of the biggest benefits of user-generated content; it helps you keep people invested without much effort on your part. And as an additional bonus, the content your users create will attract and convert more users.
Improves SEO scores
When Google is determining the ranking of websites for a specific search, it uses complex algorithms that combine many metrics to determine not just the relevance of a page but also user satisfaction. Among the metrics that Google looks at are things like the percentage of users browsing multiple pages and the amount of time users spend on the website on average.
Users who generate content for you will increase both of these. They will furthermore use different keywords in their reviews and posts. Many of them will be completely organic, possibly even things you haven’t thought of before. Finally, you can implement rich snippets that will show your users’ reviews on Google results pages. This will further boost your ranking as Google gives precedence to websites with rich snippets.
The disadvantages of user-generated content
UGC doesn’t come without downsides. If you opt for this strategy, you’ll inevitably have to deal with:
- unreliable and often unknown sources – your users will typically have a pseudonym to write under
- low-quality content – your users are not professional content writers; they’ll make many mistakes
- constant close supervision and moderation – you’ll need to check the content before you post it
- potential legal problems – your terms and conditions need to be iron-clad if you plan on using somebody else’s creations
How to get quality user-generated content for your website
In the vast majority of cases, the benefits of user-generated content far outweigh the downsides. If you agree, you’ll need to start encouraging your users to create for you. The easiest content to get are reviews; often, just asking for them will inspire people to write them. Responding to them or rewarding the users who write them will also go a long way.
For other types of content, try reaching out to people on social media and asking them to share their photos or videos. You can also invite contributions on your website or hold some kind of a competition where users submit their content. To make the entire process easier on both you and them, make sure you give clear instructions on the type of content you want and how to make it more suitable for your website.