The modern consumer has come a long way since the days of reading a billboard, believing self-promotional commercials and taking a brand’s word for how awesome they are in a magazine ad. This is a good reflection on society, we’re becoming intelligent!
Consumers are all about researching a brand before making a major purchase and acquiring recommendations via word of mouth from other consumers and bloggers and “tweeters” that they trust. Hence, content recommending your brand by someone other than your brand has become crucial to consumer acquisition and lead generation.
Who is going to make you look better than a happy customer will? Here are 10 ways to increase the amount of customer recommendations that surface on the web about you when a potential client or consumer is researching your brand or the genre your brand falls in to.
1. Guest post swapping. Often times your client’s or consumer’s blogs are relevant to yours in which case you should ask if they want to swap guest posts. This way you can expose each other to new audiences and it’s a win-win. Side note, if there isn’t a contextual relevance, please don’t bother your customers about a guest post swap….
2. Designate a customer review or testimonial spot on your website. This will ensure that when a potential customer is researching you, they have easy access to the words that your consumers are saying about you. Email your consumers asking them for a few sentences review of your product or service. Be transparent and tell them it’s for your site and that their feedback is much appreciated. You’ll be surprised at how many people will be willing to help you out.
3. Encourage your consumers to generate photos and videos of themselves using your product or service. If you share these images on your own channels, this caters to the ego component of social media which will encourage even more consumer generated photos and videos.
4. Turn an influential blogger in to a consumer. Start by finding blogs in your niche and if you’re a GroupHigh user, this shouldn’t take long at all with all the filters available in the search function. Once you have a list of bloggers, contact them to see if you can give them a free trial of your service or send them a product of yours. If they like it, they’ll be sure to mention your brand because you’re only reaching out to bloggers who are an exact contextual match!
5. I consider case studies to be consumer generated content because consumers are the ones providing the information that you write up nicely. So, asking your consumers to participate in a case study is a great way to show potential clients or consumers how happy other consumers are with your product or service.
I created case studies for my company and found that clients were more likely to fill them out with an incentive. I would recommend offering something of value to increase participation such as a gift card because it does take up a bit of their time. If you want an example, here are some case studies I created for my company.
6. In a document, collect all of the positive comments about your brand that you find in the comments section of your posts and in discussion forums. You can quote these in tweets and blog posts. If you link back to the person who made a comment in a discussion, they often share it with their own network.
7. Retweeting positive mentions that consumers make about you on Twitter never hurts anything and it exposes these positive mentions to more people.
8. Incentivize your clients or consumers to write a post about your brand with a contest. Give away something legitimately worthwhile to the consumer who writes the best post or who brings the most traffic to your site. Contrary to popular belief, adults never outgrow prizes!
9. Provide your most influential customer base with exclusive information about your brand. Who doesn’t like to feel like the cool kid on social media who gets to post, tweet, pin, plus, upload or share information that no one else has?
10. Release a free sneak peak of your product to a handful of your happiest consumers. This can be a trial of your software, a feature of your product you’re going to add, a new line of clothing that hasn’t been released, etc. Ask them to review it honestly and send you their feedback. You can then post this feedback on your own site or in a blog post that links back to them. Most likely they will share their opinion with their own audience as well.
Once you’ve acquired all of this consumer generated content, don’t stop there! Make sure you link to it in posts (notice how I did that with my case studies in this post) and share it on your social media channels. In fact, do this instead of ever saying something cool about your brand from your own mouth…
In the comments below please share any additional tips that you have for encouraging consumer content. Who knows, your comments may be in part 2 of this post! Cheers to a good discussion!