While some people may think that user-generated content (UGC) can be the fast track to reaping the benefits of inbound marketing. It’s just simply not as straightforward as you might imagine.
The main attraction to user-generated content is that your audience creates it. And typically takes the form of pictures of your product, videos, reviews, users blogging about you and comments.
But can you really rely on your audience to deliver content that embodies the values of your brand? Not always!
Don’t get me wrong. It is possible. But you’ll need to have a solid plan in place to get it to work for you. And it is by no means something fast and easy to accomplish. Nevertheless, here are just a few pitfalls to expect from relying on UGC too much.
1. Lack of control
There is just no way you can control what others are going to post and create. From the trolls leaving behind inflammatory comments, to SEO heavy spam content – there’s no telling what you’re going to get.
Of course you can set out a policy and guidelines of what’s acceptable. And also spam prevention plugins. But that’s no guarantee that you’ll receive content that you really want.
2. No one responds
Typically caused by a lack of planning – nobody seems to be showing up for the party. Your blog is starved of comments. Your forum looks like a desert. And nobody seems to be jumping on the bandwagon to write about you.
This is where your online marketing plays a massive role in attracting users to your site and submitting their own content. Planning it out and doing some user research beforehand will most likely help you avoid this scenario.
3. Nobody is delivering the quality you expected
So you might be getting content from your audience. But it just doesn’t stack up to the quality you want and expected. Going back to the first reason, it’s something that is out of your control.
4. Moderation and editorial oversight needed
Depending on the amount of incoming content you have. You might find yourself spending more time moderating and editing everything that you’ll soon realize it would have been better to just do it yourself.
Despite the downfalls listed above. User-generated content shouldn’t be dismissed entirely. Just that it’s not a good idea to base your whole content strategy on what your audience creates. If you’re just getting started, it’s certainly not a fast track to inbound marketing.
However it is a great way to engage your audience.
The main driver behind quality user-generated content is the community you’ve nurtured. Getting your most committed users to submit content first is a good start, as it sets an example for others to follow. Plus you can usually rely on them to contribute something great.
For more tips on user engagement, check out Five Easy Steps To Engaging Your Community Like A Pro
Photo by Incase. via Flickr