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Blog Author: Terri Pattio

What Is “User Generated Content” and How Can It Help Your Business

What Is “User Generated Content” and How Can It Help Your Business

User Generated Content
User generated content is a new buzz phrase that’s been getting a lot of attention recently. Websites can take off in popularity if they have great user generated content, without the creators having to put much work into content creation.

What exactly is user generated content? How does it work? How do you encourage user generated content? Let’s take a look.

==> What Is User Generated Content?

User generated content is any content that’s generated by the user base and not by content creators of the company.

High profile examples include Wikipedia and YouTube. The staff at Wikipedia and YouTube don’t spend all their time creating entries or videos. Instead, their job is to make it easy for other people to create content.

Other people do, and Wikipedia and YouTube benefit from it.

Lower profile examples include forums and blog comments. Again, these aren’t created by the site owner, but can still draw a lot of search engine traffic.

So how does one encourage people to create more content?

==> Give Them Room to Express Something They Want to Express

It’s very hard to create desire. Trying to get someone to want something they don’t already naturally want is very hard.

On the other hand, giving someone an avenue to talk about things they already want to talk about can be a great shortcut to amassing a ton of user generated content.

YouTube exemplifies this principle. YouTube didn’t create the desire for people to share videos, they just made that desire possible through the internet.

What do your users already want to talk about that they’re not able to talk about yet?

==> Make Them Feel Like They’re Part of Something

A sense of community and purpose can go a long way towards inspiring content generation.

A forum, for example, often thrives when there’s a sense of people helping one another out. People are more inspired to post their success stories and help other people out in their hardships.

On the other hand, forums where there’s animosity and lack of community tend to die down over time.

Wikipedia also does this really well. People feel like they’re part of a larger purpose and that their time put into generating content is for a good cause.

==> Make It Fun

Don’t make it feel like work to generate content. Make it fun.

For example, when Gmail wanted to have users create a video for them, they didn’t make it sound like work.

Instead, they made it sound like a contest and made all the descriptions of the video they wanted very bright. They got tons of submissions and had a stellar video to use at the end of the day.

If you’re not employing user generated content as part of your web strategy, you’re missing out. The content generated can bring a lot of traffic to your website with barely any additional cost.

If you enjoyed reading this post I would appreciate your feedback so please share, tweet, google+ and comment.  Thank you

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Comment by Merle Gibbins on October 6, 2014 at 11:43am

Thank you Timothy

Comment by Timothy Eller on October 3, 2014 at 6:59pm

Thanks Merle very informative!

Comment by Merle Gibbins on October 3, 2014 at 3:23pm
Thank you Fouzi and LaVerne
Comment by LaVerne Floyd Mitchell on October 1, 2014 at 1:33pm

All I need is another new Buzz word but its good to know. Things always evolving. Thanks for the article Merle Gibbins

Comment by Merle Gibbins on September 30, 2014 at 12:14pm

Thank you Judy

Comment by Judy Garcia on September 30, 2014 at 11:45am

Very good article Merle. Thank you for sharing.

Comment by Merle Gibbins on September 30, 2014 at 11:05am

Thank you Terri and always things you forget about !!  I know I do and then think oh I must start doing that again !

Comment by Terri Pattio on September 30, 2014 at 9:54am

Merle I enjoyed reading your post and this is a very beneficial strategy that I haven't thought about using. I will definitely be doing it. Shared via Syndication Automation.

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