October 26, 2015

9 Types of Customer Generated Content


Do you want more customers like the ones you already have? You can use experiences with your current customers to develop content that will attract more of the same.

Customer-generated content is akin to 'social proof' - it elevates your reputation. By 'content' I mean all the 'stuff' on your website, social media accounts, blog, newsletter, brochures and so on. How do you get your customers to do this work for you?

  1. Success stories: Interview a client and write a blog post about it. Or ask them to write it themselves. Or do it live via Blab or Periscope and save the recording to post online. Prepare a few questions in advance so the advantages of using your product or service will be highlighted.
  2. Lessons learned and improvement opportunities: Write about a customer service experience and what you learned from it. This doesn't have to be negative.
  3. Case studies and examples: This works great if you do project-type work or customization. As above, make sure to include the benefits of your product or service.
  4. Collaborations: Work with a client to create a resource that would be useful to both of your target markets. This might be a free download or even a video.
  5. Testimonials: This needs to be a key piece of your content strategy. Start a process to regularly solicit testimonials from your customers. Grab onto unsolicited testimonials, such as tweets about your service. Put the testimonials on your website - and everywhere else. Consider using a testimonial to preface your success story or case study. (Video testimonials are gold!)
  6. Photo and video galleries: This might be to show off examples of work or products - also great for photos of your happy customers. Consider Facebook albums and other apps that are easily integrated, such as Flickr. You could also build a gallery of your customers' photos, perhaps using your product. Ask for permission first, though.
  7. Guest posts: Aside from success stories, you might also consider gathering guest posts from your customers if their target market overlaps with yours. This gives them exposure to your fans and subscribers - always a plus.
  8. Surveys and feedback: If you regularly gather feedback from your customers, use the results to support your case studies. Or extrapolate the results and share your conclusions.
  9. Customer Spotlight: There are a variety of ways to promote your customers, most notably by social media. Consider doing something more comprehensive like using an aggregator, such as Storify.

Many of these suggestions give you an opportunity to bring emotions into your content, and that helps you appeal to people similar to your current customers. Review your content strategy with a view to adding more of these types of content.

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