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Content is King, as Long as It’s Good Content

Content is king. If you’re sick and tired of hearing that adage over and over again, then you’re not the only one. Despite our being nauseous of the phrase, it’s true nonetheless. Content is imperative to the success of any digital newspaper, blog, social media account and even digital marketer. Without content your publications or ad schemes would be fruitless and dull.

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In the marketing world, content is the most important aspect, which is why industry leaders have tried to perfect their content marketing strategies. Content marketing has become the buzzword of the ad world for quite a while now. It’s actually espoused that content marketing is the only form of marketing left. With ad-blocking software, boring display banner ads and viewers skipping the introductory YouTube video ad by clicking the “skip ad,” the idea may be right.

For brands that embrace content, they quickly understand just how beneficial it is to the success of the overall business model. This is why most studies note that brands and digital marketers are increasing their content budgets. It’s a worthwhile investment that pays dividends down the line.

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Many small businesses and websites think that you just have to have a website with contact information, a list of services and an “About Us” page, and you’re all set. This is false. The best kind of website is one that takes it a step further by publishing in-depth articles, white papers, blog posts, webinars, videos and any type of content that educates, informs and engages the user.

Some of the greatest advantages of content consist of the following:

  • It improves your search engine optimization (SEO) campaigns.
  • Content encourages readers to engage with the brand.
  • Articles, blog posts, videos, and webinars add value to products and services.
  • Traffic sees a substantial increase with fresh, high-quality content.
  • Most importantly, it generates new leads and sales.

A HiveFire B2B Marketing Trends Survey Report discovered that the last point is the primary goal for B2B firms. Seventy-eight percent of respondents said their main marketing goal for the year is to boost sales and leads. This is followed by enhancing brand awareness; maintaining thought leadership, raise Internet traffic and improve rankings in the search results pages.

Today, social media marketing is the cream of the crop. Social media marketing is crucial to the success of digital marketing campaigns. Of course, a social media marketing initiative is nothing without content; on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and elsewhere, you have to employ content methods. Remember, people do not share advertisements, people block promotions, people do not follow advertising channels and people perceive brands with content as thought leaders.

Sonja Jefferson of Marketing Donut opines that the ideas behind content consist of:

  • A change in the buyer’s behaviors in the Internet world.
  • Valuable content establishes an opportunity.
  • Content enables a different approach to client communication.
  • Producing content is not easy, but it is essential.

In the end, this is why content is king.

A Powerful Digital Tool: User-Generated Content

Companies may spend thousands of dollars and many hours on content materials. But do you know what is the most valuable form of content, and that is inexpensive to boot? User-generated content (UGC). That’s right, content that is created by the consumer is very, very valuable today.

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The strategy of taking advantage of user-generated content is meant to save you money on your marketing budget, improve your return on investments (ROI), increase loyalty, boost engagement and, this is the kicker, utilize the power of free marketing – UGC is a form of brand advocating.

UGC can come in all sorts of forms, such as customer testimonials, user reviews, photo-sharing testimonials, positive feedback on social media and so on. Digital marketers are still coming to grips with just how lucrative and powerful UGC is to any type of marketing campaign.

Here are some examples of how brands utilized UGC at full capacity:

  • Burberry (2009): The British company launched the Art of the Trench website, a web portal where users could upload, share and comment on photos of customers wearing Burberry products. This led to a 50 percent surge in sales.
  • Target (2010): The retailer announced that it would donate $500 million to education and double the amount with a college acceptance letter competition. Customers were requested to submit videos of themselves opening up college letters, which were then used a national television campaign to show how philanthropic Target it.
  • WWE (2011/2012): World Wrestling Entertainment (WWE) loves social media. The wrestling empire started to embrace social media in 2011 and 2012. As part of its social media campaign, WWE invested in a video-sharing website called Tout, where users can upload videos known as a “tout.” WWE encouraged its viewers to upload a tout, which would then be broadcast on its flagship program Monday Night Raw.
  • Coca-Cola (2011): You may have noticed people’s names on Coca-Cola bottles now. The beverage titan then asked customers to share a photo of their personalized Coke products. This led to a two percent jump in sales.
  • Heineken (2012): In order to reinvent its 150-year-old beer, Heineken asked its customers to share videos, images and ideas to help change the experience through the “Reinvent the Draught Beer Experience.” It led to an immense interest in the brand as hundreds of ideas were submitted.

Indeed, these types of UGC go beyond the standard tweet or online review. But they’re effective in achieving what they were initially meant to do: create a buzz, reinvent the brand and drive sales.

Your business or website’s interest in UGC is likely piqued. You’re probably wondering just how you can use UGC to the best to your advantage. How can you repurpose your UGC? Let’s take a look at some of the ways:

Going Social With Your UGC

If you’re going all out with UGC, then social media is the likely place to start. Transferring your user-generated content into social media is probably the most effective way because it establishes social proofing. Right away, you build trust, a strong reputation, and awareness as consumers are telling the world how much they love your product or service, and others will soon follow.

There are many things you can do when to integrate your social media with your UGC. You can do anything from sharing images of your customers using your product, retweeting positive comments made about your brand by clients or asking customers for ideas on Facebook.

Any professional marketer will tell you that you should already have your UGC plastered across social media. However, you should also establish collections of your UGC for an array of products, sales or themes that can then be used for specials, promotions, holidays and seasons.

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Fueling Your Advertising With UGC

Customer photos, fan videos, client tweets and anything else made by your audience can fuel your next advertising campaign. This can make it unique and not make it appear that your ad campaign was done in a studio. It adds spirit, spices it up and freshens your image a little bit.

At the same time, brands can immediately see a massive ROI on these UGC-fueled ads. The data suggest that Facebook ads with UGC showcase better results than typical ads. Some of the results include a 300 percent increase in click-through rates (CTRs), 50 percent decrease in cost per acquisition (CPA) and a 50% reduction in cost per click (CPC). These are good numbers.

Why are UGC ads so effective? Well, there are a few reasons: the Internet public is wary of brand-sponsored ads, they dislike stoic, and generic online ads and they get influenced by an average person as opposed to someone like Tiger Woods or LeBron James. Oh, and don’t forget about ad-blocking software.

Simply put: UGC ads help your brand blend in as opposed to interrupting online conversations (see: John Oliver talk about this on his hit HBO show “Last Week Tonight.”)

Make UGC a Part of Your Overall Marketing

UGC shouldn’t be a one-and-done thing. It should be included in much of your marketing materials, like newsletters and blog posts. UGC not only provides you with free marketing content, but it also engages customers who may want their own 15 minutes of online fame. Moreover, when real people are featured in your marketing campaigns they’re more likely to share it, and thus, a larger number of people will see your brand and become interested.

We all want to be seen by strangers, so you just have to tap into that inner desire we have.

A UGC Competition or Giveaway

Need help obtaining UGC? It’s simple: ask your dedicated customers and massive fanbase to submit competition that’s part of a giveaway content or a competition. Whether it’s encouraging people on Twitter to tweet photos of your product to win a shopping spree or asking YouTubers to record themselves using a product to get featured in a newsletter, competition-based UGC enhances the exposure to your brand. And it’s cheap. Just be sure to outline the contest rules.

Crowdsourcing Ideas for Next Campaign

Coming up with a witty slogan or creating an original campaign image can be difficult, and even expensive. The solution to this is to crowdsource ideas for your next marketing campaign. You can test some of your ideas in Twitter chats, LinkedIn conversations, Facebook posts and any other type of online forum where you can spark discussion, debate the merits of the advertising and find out if there is any level of interest in that sort of content marketing campaign.

Final Thoughts

Content is king, and user-generated content complements any of your marketing endeavors. Making your customers the star of an ad campaign can be accomplished through the power of UGC. All you have to do is understand how to harness this great marketing power. Once you do, you’ll see unprecedented amounts of success in all areas: brand awareness, reputation, and sales.

You have to remember, however, that all of your good content must be produced that is relevant to your clients and written in the same kind of jargon. Otherwise, the content will just be lost in translation.

Comments (36)

  • Hello Erik,

    Great article indeed. Thank you so much for the contribution. I am happy that you did.

    Content is indeed the big king of the online industry. A great content can brand you well, and make your site rank very well on search engines as well.

    In the early days when I started blogging, I was like just filling the blogs with content without thinking about the length and adding necessary pointers. But, gradually I learnt that just sharing 100 words content is not enough even if it is informative a bit, it should be well crafted and formatted with good examples and compared with different scenarios because just giving info is not enough but proper elaboration is also required.

    Apart from readers, Google also needs good descriptive content to rank your site on its top pages. Thus, it is important to write good content.

    Thank you. Hope you are enjoying the week.

    Reply
    • Hi Atish,
      thank you so much for giving me the chance again to contribute at your site.

      Content is the big player in the internet game.
      Finding your audience, understanding what they need, solving problems and writing in-depth pages with added value are important steps to reach online success.

      Then, of course, it’s a matter of marketing too.
      If you are writing the best content on the internet, but noone is reading it, then it makes no sense.
      Easier said, then done, right?

      That’s the challenge of reaching success online.

      Thanks again for the kind feedback, Atish.
      I hope TTW readers are going to enjoy this post.
      Erik recently posted…AboutMy Profile

      Reply
  • Hey Erik,

    UGC is a great idea!

    Yes, I get tired of reading blogs about why content is king, but when it comes down to it, it’s one of the best, if not the best, ways to get yourself out there.

    And UGC to the mix does compliment content marketing all together.

    It brings brand awareness, social proof, and authority. When you have these 3 together you can do much wonder with your marketing and business.

    For me, when I go to a youtube video for example, I’ll start watching the video, then my eyes wonder down where the comments are. Some of them are interesting, while others are just entertaining, but it does keeps me on the page. I find people I can relate to and more open to their recommendations.

    When your videos to see how much “clout” you have, then they tend to be more trusting in you.

    Thanks for sharing Erik! I hope you’re having a great week!
    Sherman Smith recently posted…Importance Of Branding Yourself Online When You’re Broke With Little TimeMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hello Sherman!

      Indeed, the testimonials of your readers/customers give value and trust to your content.
      Word of mouth is the best promotional channel.

      Good point on the YouTube videos.

      Thanks for sharing your views, Sherman.
      Have a great day!
      Erik recently posted…ResourcesMy Profile

      Reply
  • Hi Erik and Atish,

    Thanks for an interesting post.

    I haven’t been using user generated content, but I can see the advantages from your article. I’m going to have a serious think about how I could utilise the concept.

    Joy – Blogging After Dark

    Reply
  • Thank you for sharing this article.

    Content is king, I have also developed the content for your website with the main purpose for the user. Also my 2nd purpose is aimed at Google. It will be played to decide if your site has been up to the top or not. 🙂

    This is my opinion. 1 week to wish you happy!

    Reply
  • Hi Erik,

    Good to see you at Atish’s place!

    Yes, Quality Contents are Kings!

    It can create the desired results.

    UGC can create even more results,
    since it will be always a user experienced one
    and people will give value to it..
    Thanks for sharing such a lot of information
    about Content creation etc.

    Though the subject is generation old,
    the value you put it in this post is tremendous.!!
    Thanks Erik!

    And ha Thanks Atish for bringing Erik to your readers!

    Have a wonderful time ahead to both of you.

    Keep sharing

    Good day

    ~ Phil
    Philip Verghese Ariel recently posted…Amazing Bloggers Who Feature Me In Their PostsMy Profile

    Reply
    • Hi Phil,
      thanks for the nice feedback.

      I always appreciate your support.

      I’m glad you liked the content and confirmed my points.

      You may have a great day!
      Erik recently posted…AboutMy Profile

      Reply
  • Hi Erik,

    Excellent Content. You’ve come up with some very valid points which generally needed for a good content. While crafting the whole content with UGC, you’ve pointed out free marketing opportunity which generally bloggers or marketer doesn’t take into consideration.

    Content is more about value, which keeps audience to coming back to your site. But, most of the bloggers or writer focused more on quantity than on quality, which diminishes the credibility of a blog.

    Thanks for sharing!
    Anurag
    Anurag Mishra recently posted…SEO Powersuite Review 2016: Ultimate SEO Tools ReviewMy Profile

    Reply
  • Hi Erik,

    Great to see you here! UGC is still king and we must write to help others. We can write a blog post and it needs to connect to social media where it is shared. It is part of the whole when it comes to marketing.

    When having UGC on a consistent basis, especially shared by others on social media, it builds the Know, Like, and Trust value. This is a precious commodity when it comes time to market. People buy people, so we need to be on point all the time.

    Wonderful article and thank you,

    -Donna
    Donna Merrill recently posted…7 Ways You Can Market OnlineMy Profile

    Reply
  • Interesting.. 🙂 We, Infinix,the SEO Company in Chennai use Copyscape tool to check the Content.

    Reply
  • Nice post.. but i have some question

    Reply
  • Hello Atish, Nice seeing Eric here today,

    Oh yeh we all know that Content is king and of course we hear about this evey where and yes do get sick and tired of hearing that adage over and over again!!

    But I like the twist Eric out into this post! He talks about the importance of mixing it up as well as getting others involved using Social Media.

    As Donna states above this builds that know, like, and trust factor, therefore helping to make that decision to buy from you..

    Great share
    Thanks
    Chery :))

    Reply
  • Hello Erik Emanuelli,

    A great content is the main need of the online marketing industry. This can help your site ranked
    among the top ranked sites by the search engines as well as can get you large market to explore.

    UGC is of great worth. The advantages of bringing in the UGC can be seen clearly.
    As apart from just giving in the information,one also needs to elaborate things properly, so that
    people could drive out the information from your post.

    This will help in building better relationship with your visitors and could brand you well.

    Thank you for this post to share among us.
    Shantanu sinha
    Shantanu Sinha recently posted…Myself Shantanu Sinha, and here’s 20 Things you don’t know about meMy Profile

    Reply
  • Great content is what make a difference from a blog to another or a website to another. Matt Cutts has insisted on the importance the quality of the content. If we are able to produce great content we may get engagement and even build natural links which means ranking higher which lead to more cibling traffic.
    I think that internet is heading to a content competition based on how you propose your content to your readers.

    Reply
  • Much thanks to you for sharing this article.

    Quality written substance makes all the difference, I have likewise added to the substance for your site with the primary reason for the client. Likewise my second object is gone for Google. It will be played to choose if your site has been up to the top or not. 🙂

    This is my conclusion. 1 week to wish you glad!

    Reply
  • Yes content is king but user is queen always, and both been play a whiter role in ranking factor.
    Alice Wright recently posted…MYOB Hosting Solutions by SageNextMy Profile

    Reply
  • yes as u said content plays an important role in the search engine optimization. first, we should focus on our content. thanks for the post,

    Reply
  • High quality content is the key to your marketing success. With a well-crafted content, you are able to reach out to your target audience.

    Reply
  • Hi, I liked the way you highlighted the importance of content. Very good post….thanks for sharing

    Reply
  • Content is King definitely, but generating quality content every time is also an art and very few get sucess.

    Reply
  • as long as an article from google point of view
    we built a huge traffic, huge views, and more engagements 🙂

    Reply
  • Thanks for the Information Erik. Content plays important rule in business also. Your Article is impressive and very informative. I am now regular visitor of your website and bookmarked it.

    Reply
  • Well Said… Seriously Content is king

    Reply
  • I have always believed that Content is King in Writing. I have been writing and not Connecting , because i have always trusted that my Content will get The ball rolling. Thanks for spending time to clarify. I must confess , i am still having problem forming an email List.
    Abhineeth Nagabhushan recently posted…Best Phone Under 15000 Rs. in India (April 2016)My Profile

    Reply
  • Erik, you have shared such a nice article.

    Here I want to add something that there are lots of good content are not ranking because of they have not created any backlinks. So backlinks and good content both are the important factor to a rank article.
    Williams Richard recently posted…Namecheap Web Hosting ReviewMy Profile

    Reply

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