Creating unique content on a regular basis has become a huge part of digital marketing campaigns and, at times, it can be a struggle to come up with fresh ideas. Rather than slogging through the process you can get inspiration, and often complete work, through your site’s users. While giving them free reign to create your content can be dangerous, you can take the best of their comments, tweets and e-mails to create or inspire content that encourages interaction.
Read what your followers are saying
Social Media 101 tells us that it’s important to hold an open dialogue with readers and followers but all too often sites leave their comments unattended and their questions unanswered. Often there will be useful indicators in here: leads for blog posts or screenshots of replies that combine to make an interesting article. The added bonus to this is that people who have been featured in these types of posts are extremely likely to share it with their networks.
Another way to find out what people are thinking is to hold a survey and post the results, and any interesting correlations you’ve found. This is a great way to use your users’ thoughts for content and use the results to tweak your site and make your offerings better — updates that you can later reveal along with corresponding comments from the survey participants.
Hold a contest
Everyone loves a prize and in exchange for something shiny, exotic or useful you can often get rewarded by hundreds or thousands of entries.
Both the prize and the content you ask for can have a huge impact on your participation numbers: a newly released phone or an all-inclusive holiday will always be popular but a tablet that’s been available for years or a free eBook you’ve knocked up on your lunch break will see low contestant numbers.
Likewise, what you want people to do will have a huge impact on entries. While asking people to simply to share a Facebook post may seem like an easy thing to do, it’s often seen as a lazy call for interaction and an annoying thing to push on their friends. Alternatively, asking on Twitter for people to post videos on YouTube not only doubles social media interaction, it also encourages people to promote their work because they’ve gone to the effort to create something worthwhile.
Connect with influencers
No matter what industry you’re in it’s easy to find important people on Twitter, YouTube or personal blogs in your field. Working with these people can have a huge benefit for your readers — who will they get work from a fresh perspective — but fans of the blogger may also follow him or her to your pages, increasing your readership, follower numbers and, potentially, customers.
Whether you approach local, national or international contributors is dependent on your strategy and industry but be aware that because you’re approaching people with a large following and a strong reputation it’s unlikely they’ll work for you in exchange for ‘exposure’ or ‘experience’ but instead they’ll want, and deserve, proper compensation.
No matter where you look online you’ll be able to find people who are having problems, who need help or who are qualified to boost your site. Once you’ve found them you’ll be able to improve your offerings while also increasing your social media reach.