Although it is not always relevant for small businesses, there is something to be said for user-generated marketing and its long term value in any business marketing mix. User-generated content is a term used to describe videos, pictures, blogs, discussions, posts, audio files, or any other forms of media that was created by the consumer towards a company.
This year will be big for user-generated marketing in the large companies, but small businesses should still pay attention and even incorporate some strategies into their daily social marketing tool box.
Companies with large marketing budgets have already started to saturate the user-generate content platform, as Jayson DeMers describes how Disney did it with the mobile app Vine, in his Huffington Post blog http://www.huffingtonpost.com/jayson-demers/how-user-generated-content_b_4533000.html?utm_hp_ref=small-business&ir=Small+Business, but how can businesses with smaller marketing budgets capitalize on the strategy as well?
The first step in enabling user-generated marketing in any business is determining the specific users. One technique that DeMers references in his blog posting is about “targeted social media marketing.” This is something any business can accomplish with little budget needed. Instead of trying to occupy space on all social media available, focus on the social media that fits the product’s demographic. If the product or service you are selling is catering to a mature adult audience of 45-60 years of age, Facebook may be a better social media than Instagram which has an audience of teenagers and early 20’s.
Once a company can correctly situate their social media and their primary target market, they can begin to launch user-generated content campaigns. To be realistic, small businesses like a Hair Salon or Restaurant will never run a campaign as large as Disney, but these businesses still have large enough audiences to create a buzz in the community. To help with user-generated content campaigns, DeMers recommends using some newly developed apps to organize and manage social networks, schedule message blasts, and analyze media traffic.
A new year means a new clean slate. Small businesses should be paying attention to user-generated content marketing this year to gain that extra leverage on the competition. Consumers want their 15 minutes of fame, why can’t your company give that to them?