When we talk about content marketing, we throw around phrases like “trust,” “act like a person,” and “create something your users want to read.” The idea is that marketing needs to be useful and trustworthy so that users will not ignore it. However, as a brand, especially if you are a large brand, it is important to understand that as trustworthy as you may be, your fans will never trust you as much as their own peers. In a recent study by Crowdtap of Millennials, it was found that the younger generation trusts user-generated content 50% more than professionally produced content.
How can you as a brand tap into the power of the trust your fans have in each other?
Rewarding user-generated content.
Many brands have tapped into the power of user-generated content by creating contests encouraging users to make commercials, new products (like Lays’ “Do Us a Flavor” Campaign), and other types of content.
Brand advocacy is an extremely powerful way to get your message out via a channel that your followers trust. Identify users with a great deal of social influence, ideally someone who may already be a fan of your brand and get them to talk about your products. Send free products for review, or invite influencers to your office to learn more about your brand and your products. Make sure you do brand advocacy right.
Get comfortable with all kinds of feedback. Including negative feedback.
You cannot be afraid of user reviews and discussion of your product. If you eliminate review and discussion sections from your web site, delete negative comments on your social channels, and generally try to stifle discussion, you will alienate your fans and encourage them to take their discussions to channels you do not control. Give your fans forums to discuss your products. If their feedback is negative, acknowledge it and treat it as an opportunity. The most fervent advocates for anything are converts.
You should not be disheartened by the idea that fans trust other fans more than brands. If you take the appropriate steps, utilizing fan-generated content is a golden opportunity for brands.