“Content is king” – in the age of e-commerce, remote work, and social media, the statement couldn’t ring truer. Creating and sharing high-quality content is one of the best ways for businesses to build an online presence, strengthen their brand’s story and become an authority on their chosen area of focus. However, not all content is good content, which is why businesses need to be especially careful when sharing user-generated content.
Many businesses have taken to promoting user-generated content as an effective way to mingle with the customers who use their goods and services. While there are many benefits to this approach, it’s crucial for businesses to set content guidelines for user-generated content. Here, five members of Business Journals Leadership Trust discuss the best ways for businesses to approach setting such guidelines.
1. Implement gamification.
In addition to creating content guidelines, a good way to get users to put more thoughtfulness into their content is to incentivize them in some way. Implementing gamification allows customers to make content sharing way more rewarding and entertaining. Hosting online contests is powerful because most people love to compete. Businesses can offer discounts and products for the best brand advocates. – Indya Wright, Artiste House
2. Provide guidelines and samples.
Provide guidelines and samples to your customers. You can really have a lot of control over this via a brand ambassador or brand loyalty program where you can set the rules, monitor the UGC and reward accordingly. This is a time-consuming cycle but worth it in the end. – Christopher Tompkins, The Go! Agency
3. Set an approval process.
Businesses can set brand and content guidelines for those creating user-generated content. Set up an approval process with a quality check to ensure consistency in content before posting it online. – Jessica Hawthorne-Castro, Hawthorne Advertising
4. Create a feedback loop.
Brands serious about user-generated content should create standard guidelines, a rigorous review process and most importantly, a feedback loop to inform and guide UGC efforts. While external guidelines can be helpful, internal guidelines maximize quality. Providing regular feedback to those interested in creating content for your brand increases quality and quantity. – Kent Lewis, Anvil Media, Inc.
5. Leverage unique hashtags.
User-generated content authentically showcases your product or service in action, allowing prospective customers to better see themselves in your brand story. Whether you’re a new restaurant, an IT services company or a nonprofit looking for donors, create a unique hashtag campaign that encourages community and removes as many barriers as possible for your raving fans to participate. – Melea McRae, Crux KC