We discussed User Generated Content (UGC) – benefits, tactics, examples.
Why would a publisher want to facilitate user generated content? What are the benefits?
The first thing that comes to mind is for longtail search traffic. But there is a deeper and better reason. If you can get people to create content, then you’ve hit a magical engagement mechanism. That’s golden. That means you have people willing to spend time on your site, which is harder than ever these days.
If you can get people to create content, then you’ve hit a magical engagement mechanism.
You run the popular KISSmetrics Blog. What are some strategies you’ve either used or written about to develop UGC?
For a blog, it’s all about providing valuable content. New ideas that people in your niche can use. That will always stir up conversation.
Quora has proven extremely skilled at generating UGC. Why do you think Quora has been so successful?
1. Because of Yahoo Answers. Yahoo Answers doesn’t always deliver the best answers, and sometimes you’re left feeling more uncertain. But Yahoo Answers is a great concept. So Quora just stepped in and made it better.
2. Because of exclusivity. Quora puts up barriers which I think really filters out the “quick commenter”. That’s a great way to make their answers better. Anyone can come by your site real quick and shoot from the hip, leaving a “not-so-well-thought-out” answer in your comments and leave.
Finally, Quora really strives to keep their community professional. “Professional” is key – that’s why we consult attorneys and doctors when we need serious answers – not just our friends.
Are there certain subjects that lend themselves more to UGC than others?
That’s a great question. At first I was going to say yes. But maybe it’s really how it’s executed. I mean, we all know people love talking about their dining experiences (e.g. Yelp) – but at the end of the day, you just need to know how to target your niche audience. Those people will always have something to say.
Dovetailing with above, do you see UCG development working for B to B, B to C, or both?
Yeah of course. People comment on business blogs, marketing blogs, on Linkedin articles as well as consumer platforms like Amazon.
How can publishers use their analytics to build their UGC library?
Great question. Well first, spend time in your analytics. Make it a date. Get a great cup of coffee and sift through your data :). You’ll notice certain topics resonate better with your audience. Double down on those.
Facebook and other social media sites are obviously built on UGC. How can publishers leverage their social presence to encourage contribution?
Ask questions via social media. I always think that’s a great start. You’ll begin to get ideas for ways you get your audience’s interests into some form of useful on-site content. In a way, social media is really a very unobstructed survey tool, where people are more inclined to respond.
Thanks for the interview, Sean.