Tips to Convince your Customers to Create Content

By Ben Miller|Content Marketing|Wed Jul 06 2016|


The idea that customer engagement is good for a brand is not a new one. In fact, it’s something that’s been steadily building as the presence of consumers online – and the sway that their easily-shared opinions hold – increases. Today, it’s hard to imagine a brand really hitting it big without a lot of customer interaction. That doesn’t mean a lot of money spent on marketing, of course, but rather a level of interaction that encourages community and demonstrates that the company in question values their customers. One of the best ways you can encourage interaction and increase brand loyalty at the same time is by convincing your customers to create their own content that you can then use to promote your brand. Let’s take a look at how you can go about doing this.

Have a Hashtag

When you’re looking to encourage customers to create user generated content, you might want to take a look at employing catchy hashtag. While this advice might seem rather trite, the simple truth is that Twitter can be an incredible network for user generated content campaigns, and a hashtag that catches attention is a likely candidate for viral attention. Once you have a hashtag that interests your customers, you’ve completed the first step towards encouraging users to create their own content and share it with the rest of the community. Take for example UCLA, who have utilized the specific hashtag #SceneAtUCLA to encourage people to share their photos with them.

Create a Contest

Sometimes a hashtag is all you need. On the other hand, sometimes you’ll need to do a little bit more convincing before your customers are ready and willing to take their time to create some content. In these instances, a simple contest can go a long way! It doesn’t need to be an overly expensive contest, either. Simply offering users something of value – be it a featured spot on your twitter, perhaps their blog showcased, a free t-shirt or “swag bag”, etc. – is enough to catch their attention and earn their goodwill. And once the content starts rolling in, I think you’ll find that other people will quickly jump on the trend.

Determine Your Content

Is there a specific kind of content that you’re hoping to generate? If so, make sure to figure that out before making any announcements about a contest! The last thing you want to do is encourage blanket content creation that could see you flooded with pictures when you’re really after is video. You can even use a “gentle reminder” rather than a hamfisted list of rules if you think that the community would prefer to dictate their own content creation rules. Something like “create a video about your favorite flavor!” is just as effective as a list of guidelines that states “Only accepted media type: videos longer than 30 seconds but less than 2 minutes”, etc.

Not Just Images and Video

Don’t make the mistake of writing off anything that isn’t an image or a video. While different brands and different customers will prioritize different kinds of content, it’s important to remember that you can use all different things. This includes something like a user review. The impact that user reviews can have upon future and potential business is often underestimated, but I think that’s a mistake. You should encourage and prominently display customer testimonials and reviews about your product or service! This helps inspire trust in potential customers and also assures the community that you value their input. Simply displaying customer reviews is oftentimes enough to convince customers to send them in, too.

Are your users creating content for your brand? If not, try the tips above! If you can get the user generated content bus rolling, you’re sure to see an increase in community and sales.

About Us

Based in Silicon Valley, ShareRoot offers a software as a service (SaaS) platform that works with brands and digital agencies to easily find and source user generated content (UGC). ShareRoot’s proprietary, legally secure process allows for brands to obtain the legal rights to these images as well as display them in customizable galleries that can feature on any webpage. For more information about ShareRoot’s award winning platform and why it can truly help “Harness the Visual Power of your Consumers” please visit