Everything from a comment on a blog to a video uploaded to YouTube by some random person can be considered to be User Generated Content.
It has its unique attraction that can develop a huge following.
User Generated Content didn’t start with the internet. Call in radio shows began in the early 1900’s, newspaper columns like “Ask Ann Landers”, game shows started in the 1930’s, TV talk show’s that included audience participation, and into rag tag tabloid talk TV paving the way for reality shows.
So many rich and famous people were made by creatively using the public response and funnelling it into “User Generated Content”
WordPress User Generated Content Today
Come the internet age the news television networks were quick to jump on the readily available news clips using peoples personal cameras. Inviting people to send in their own personal recordings of neighbourhood events even before YouTube was invented.
Now that we do have YouTube – it has taken us places we often don’t even WANT to go – but we just can’t help ourselves and spend countless hours wasted watching funny cats and gawd-awful pimple poppers (ack!)
You can harness this user generated content for your own marketing and content needs. Done well, you can even profit.
Using the commenting ability on your WordPress site is one way of doing it.
Regardless of the niche you are in, people love to tell you what they think. Use this. Make sure you engage with your visitor when they leave a comment.
How to Profit using User Generated Content
One reason why affiliate marketing is really a viable business is because advertisers know the value of a positive review.
Setting up a review site, saying something positive about a product from an honest user perspective will sway the buyers decision much more than that of just a serious of advertisements.
Throwing in a run of comments from your users about that product has an even GREATER impact on the potential buyer.
Hangouts and Webinars
Nothing like having a promo for your product and having happy users hanging out chatting it up with their experiences.
Also having an open Q&A will show your “listeners” how much you really do know about the topic of interest. Add to that the comments people make as they are making the purchase of your product and you could churn up a buying frenzy.
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This and other social media conversational platforms are HUGE contributes to your bottom line when used well.
Facebook has made it so you can engage the average person and bring them into your market and sell them your stuff.
Not only can people just join up with your groups, you can actively advertise in a way that blends in with the conversations they are already having.
Products, promotions, and personal conversations all take place in the SAME place and become heavily influenced with “social proof”. Advertising in this media will capture and show what their friends think. Clearly displayed at the top of a paid feed advertisement is the name of who of your friends “Like” this, or which friend “shared” it. This social proof encourages others to do the same.
People comment on these feeds and they go viral, and with viral marketing there is money to be made.
People can comment, reTweet, mark as favourite.
Using Twitter to promote and engage your audience and using their content to continue the exposure.
Done right you can build a large Twitter following and drive more traffic to your site.
Content Sharing Sites
This can include anything that allows the user to share your stuff. Everything from Pinterest to Flickr to YouTube.
Do something worth sharing and watch as your content is used to generate their user content.
They will post to their own social sites or in their own blogs.
People love to be discovered and have great things to say.
If you have a blog and want to have others write your content for you, its as simple as putting a link in your sidebar that says “write for us” and take them to a contact page.
You can pay for the content too but for most niche’s you won’t have to. Usually just trade for a link or recognition.
This is a big one.
Wiki’s are written by users. The most well known is Wikipedia but you can start your own.
Tailor it to your niche or point of interest and invite people to participate.
Wiki’s are great used as support forums too. By users offering trade secrets and tidbits. Wiki’s get listed in the search engines too and active communities get listed high.
Major active places.
When set up right you can profit off a forum, get others to keep the peace, and amass a huge following from the user generated content.
You can make money from forums by advertising your products, having people pay to join and/or advertise and through strategic building your marketing list.
User Generated Content Innovation
Get creative using all the tools available. Invite people to participate and encourage them as they go.
Have contests – anything from “best customer video” to “Top Commentator” prizes. Involve even more people by having the votes come from the “audience”.
Engage your users and followers, make it fun, and they will do a lot of the heavy lifting for you.
I love and miss Carol Burnett – it’s spectacular how this example of user generated content posted to YouTube highlights how she was a master of utilizing her own user generated content!