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.
Book a free website review with me. 30 minutes where we can discuss your site or future site and I will show you all the tricks you need to get it up and running.
Hi, I’m Stefania – Aka the Techy Girl! I’ve been building WordPress websites since they revolutionized how we create beautiful, functional, affordable websites. I started building websites back in the day when we had to hand write the code!!!! WordPress is much easier. Web design started as a hobby of mine and in 2010 I turned it into my passion and full-time business. When I work on a website, it’s because I love working on websites. I teach people how to use their websites and make them beautiful and functional through my courses and online sessions. If you need help or have questions, I would love to chat!
I help people create websites that work for them! I work with entrepreneurs, coaches, and bloggers who are frustrated by technology by teaching the tech and making it easy. I believe creating a website should be easy, affordable and hassle-free. I believe your website should work for you. Every website has a purpose. I want to help you find and develop that purpose. Your website should be beautiful. It should be a reflection of your most beautiful self. Learn more about me here