How Your B2B Marketing Team Can Leverage User-Generated Content
In our last blog post, we discussed the important role that social proof can play in a purchasing decision. In particular, explaining the significance of content such as testimonials and case studies. Despite the effective, persuasive nature of content pieces such as these, user generated content lags behind internally produced content within B2B marketing. In fact, as this MarketingProfs article notes, only 30% of B2B marketers encourage user-generated content. Not only is user-generated content (UGC) useful for fostering sales conversion, it has great SEO benefits as well. “Google favors UGC over marketing copy in search engine results pages and in Google properties.”
UGC does not have to be limited to the conventional “Testimonials” and “Case Studies” tabs on your company’s webpage, however. Let’s take a look at a few creative ways B2B marketers can leverage UGC, especially through social media.
Video Testimonials: Rather than asking one of your best customers for a simple, paragraph-long written testimonial, why not ask them to record a video singing your business’ praises? If they are as happy with your products or services as you believe, you’re bound to find at least a few individuals who would be willing to participate. Find a client who is comfortable in front of the camera, as well as an engaging speaker. If your business has its own YouTube channel, these sorts of posts can help to flesh out your content library and are easily sharable and memorable.
Blogger Outreach: Research influential bloggers within your industry and see how they could help your business. Do they have a niche focus that aligns with what you offer? Do you feel that your company’s message would resonate with their audience, and does it seem there are potential customers there? Is the tone of the blog consistent with content you would want your brand to be associated with? If it seems like a good fit, try to establish a conversational relationship with the blogger. Don’t make the mistake of have a tone that makes them feel like they are being sold something, as this can easily backfire and result in negative publicity. If they do end up blogging about your business, repurpose (with permission) their quotes on your own social media channels, as well as other relevant blogs. Not only should both you and the blogger receive more traffic and positive social proof, but also it can motivate other bloggers to organically write about your company.
Ask Your Followers to Share: Your social media communication should be a two-way flow between you and your customers. Use these platforms to generate energy around your offering and foster future engagement. Reach out for photos of clients using your software in creative ways on Pinterest or Instagram. Visual content is more likely to be shared and can take less individual investment from your audience. On Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn, look for questions related to your offerings that will resonate to a wider audience. Repurpose Q&A content on your other profiles to increase visibility of not only your online presence, but to establish your credibility as a helpful expert within your field.
The key thing to remember with UGC is that it still requires your company to motivate the audience. While organic UGC is ideal, establishing a base for conversations and sharing is usually necessary to get the ball rolling on self-motivated content. Don’t be afraid to think outside the box when repurposing reviews, case studies, client questions, or whatever other UGC comes your way.