If you produce content for business purposes, without a doubt you want people to pick up on it. You want more than that, actually. You want people to engage with it. You want people to take it and share it. You want people to talk about it. People notoriously listen to referrals from friends and family. If you can get just one person to share and talk about your content, you are increasing the awareness of your business. It means more people are hearing about you. More people will remember your business name, and when it comes time to them needing you, they will remember you!
When you want people to share your content, you need to understand what motivates them to share that content in the first place.
Is it relatable and relevant? Are you actually creating content that your audience will find useful and relatable to their own situations?
For example, you could be the business owner of an independent hardware store, and you might be creating some content on ‘safety first’. In order to make this relatable and relevant, you could develop a series of images which depict un-safe practices many people could be doing on their at-home D.I.Y. projects.
To encourage safety first, you can encourage your audience to share the content you have created, therefore sharing your message. Of course, from a business point of view, it’d also be a great opportunity to include the safety equipment products your hardware store sells. Make it relatable and relevant, and your audience will share it.
Are you creating content that people can react to? If you can elicit a response from your audience, they are more likely to share it with their friends. Of course, you want people to react positively, so your content must cater to this. Ipsos reports that, “Global citizens who indicate they have shared some type of content online on social media sites in the past month seek primarily ‘to share interesting things’ (61%), ‘to share important things’ (43%) and ‘to share funny things’ (43%)”.
Does your content answer a question? Find out what questions your target audience want answered. You could even ask them to send in their questions, and the chosen question will be used in your next content piece. The best way to find out what questions your target audience want answered is to interact with them. Social media is the best platform to do this online. You can also utilise this if you ever conduct polls or surveys.
Is it topical? You can jump on the bandwagon here, especially if it is for a good cause. Remember the ALS Ice Bucket Challenge? Celebrities, media, businesses, and individuals from around the world participated and according to the ABC, a staggering $95 million was raised in the US alone, and $700,000 in Australia.
With all of this, you can also encourage your audience to create user-generated content! Yep, this is that jackpot I was talking about. Online competitions, usually through social media, are a fantastic way to do this.
For example, and going back to the business owner of an independent hardware store scenario, you could ask people to nominate others, or themselves, as to what they would do with a D.I.Y. project if they were to be the winners of a $500 gift card at your store. All they have to do is post a photograph, or a video, of their D.I.Y. project and explain why they think they should win! Before you know it, you’ll have dozens upon dozens of entries, all containing user-generated content which you can use to promote your business and the products you sell.
A great real-life example of user-generated content at its finest was the ‘Best Job in the World’ campaign by Tourism Queensland back in 2009. There were 34,000 user-submitted videos and applications for the job in total, and from over 200 countries. The entire campaign promoted Queensland as a holiday destination, was user-generated and encouraged engagement.
So when you consider launching your own user-generated content initiative, there are some common traits you should follow:
- Promote your campaign through your website. Remember, your website is your online version of a physical store.
- Promote your campaign through your social media profiles
- Give users a reason to participate, so in others words, offer an incentive or a prize
- Actively encourage the people who participate throughout the campaign. It will help them to feel positive about taking the time out to get involved
- Ensure you include a disclaimer that once users have submitted their user-generated content that you can re-purpose it for your business marketing, and that you follow any state regulations in regards to prizes and giveaways
There you have it. What you will find as you start to see the results from the advice above, creating content becomes a bit of an addiction! Your mind will start racing with more and more creative ways to show your content marketing and how to connect with your audience, and you’ll see your skill in the art of creating content become more astute and wiser.
Just never forget to listen to what is going on around you. What concerns or desires do your customers have? What new innovations or technologies are coming out in your industry? As long as you listen, you can centre your content marketing on what is currently happening, making your business not just relevant, but authentic. So the next time you embark on creating a new piece of content, remember the above and you’ll see your audience connected and captivated by your content marketing prowess. If you’re keen to learn even more, then register for our Content Marketing Optimise Webinar! It starts at 10:30 am AEST on Wednesday 22nd July. We hope you can join us!