Firstly, you might be asking “what is user generated content?”
It’s fairly straight forward, but to give you a definition, its simply content, that you have published on your website or blog, that wasn’t initiated by the website publisher. – Simples!
Well the definition is easy enough, but in reality how do you get other interested parties to put content on your website, that sounds like hard work…. well it does take some effort, sure, but the rewards really will be worth it.
The easiest user generated content that you can get on your site are reviews, we all know that 3rd party endorsement of your product or service is worth so much more to your prospects than you telling them how great you are, but online this social endorsement is so much more important – why?
- it does carry weight to people that don’t know you (even if they’ve been referred)
- it carry’s a lot of weight with the search engines, social factors now play a big part in online presence.
There was an interesting survey carried out about trust in advertising (please take a look at the full article here), – an excerpt which is stated below
“The explosion of social networks and consumer-generated media over the last few years continues to have a significant impact on advertising as consumers’ reliance on word-of-mouth in the decision-making process – either from people they know or online consumers they don’t – has increased significantly.”
The results of which do not make unsurprising reading:
So what can you do to start getting some great online reviews….here are some ideas
- Make it easy for people to leave reviews on your website, give them a star system and easy ways for them to provide feedback to you on how you can improve your services.
- Have other areas online where people can interact with you, review sites, Google + pages, all of these provide other easy functionality to gather reviews
- Open your blog up for other authors to provide content
- Open your blog up to receive comments – engage with anyone that does take the time to write something
- Get your own social network going on your website, using forum technology these days its not too difficult