User-generated content (UGC) is not new, but many BtoB publishers see few contributions by readers to comments and other interactive areas. If that's the case, how much attention should you be giving it? First, let’s talk about what it is, in the context of your business:
User-generated content is generally anything on the Internet that readers are involved in making. Typically, this content is based on interaction around an article, blog post or product. No one is paid to create UGC, but plenty of businesses use it to build brand awareness and loyalty, enhance lead generation data and increase sales. Along with social sharing, UGC has becomes a key driver for customer acquisition and retention. But it’s not limited to that. Numerous businesses also use it for customer service, hiring and recruiting.
Generally speaking, it’s another great way to help individualize your visitors' experience.
UGC can take the form of:
Who Uses UGC?
UGC is most prevalent on BtoC business sites, but done right, BtoB sites can use it to boost site traffic and content marketing. In fact, more than 30% (and climbing) of BtoB marketers worldwide feature user-generated content prominently and benefit from it.
And, when you look at recent statistics regarding how consumers use UGC, it’s sort of no-brainer to give it some attention. Just look at data on millennials: they trust UGC 50% more than other media, when it comes to making purchases. In this case, we’re talking about reviews and comments.
How Should BtoB Publishers Use UGC?
The simple way to start is by doing a little social listening. You can really see how people are interacting around your brand by tracking their social activity in relation to your site. Organic reviews are a great tool for this as well. But if you really want to boost engagement on UGC, you need to make it targeted and follow a few simple rules.
You need not look far to find ideas for building UGC around your brand. There are numerous sites that specialize in it. Check them out and think about how you can adapt that type of content to your industry and your community of readers. You need only look as far as the social “usuals”:
And one other:
Need a kick start? Write your own review on a product you recently purchased—after reading 5 about the same product.