Owning a small business can be a time consuming job – you have to be sales, marketing, book keeper, HR, strategic lead – and that’s on top of your day-to-day work of making/selling a product or providing a service.
The ideal scenario is that you hire people to help you with those tasks, whether a staff member or outsourcing to another business. Unfortunately both of those options can cost too much if you are a particularly small business or sole trader. So you have to rely on yourself to do all of the tasks. Well maybe not all of the tasks – I’m going to walk you through a few ideas on how to get your customers to help you generate some website and social media content, so they can relieve that time-consuming burden off your shoulders.Encourage customers to create content for you to . It will help with brand awareness and save you time. Click To Tweet
Before & After photos/videos
Get your customers to submit before & after photos or videos demonstrating the service or product you provide. It’ll give potential customers the reassurance that you do good work or sell a good product, as they will see real people interacting with you. Ideas:
- A garden landscaper – get your customer to photograph before and after, particularly good if you can get after photos of them enjoying the garden. This also works for decorators, builders, handymen, carpenters
- Using your product – if it’s clothing, then get your customers to send photos of them wearing the item. Baby products make good photos: Morrck who create hooded blankets for babies asks customers to send photos of babies snuggled in their blankets which creates lovely social media content for the business. Makeup and skin care is also good – get customers to post pics of them looking fabulous, or even funny photos of them using a face mask!
- Events business – easy peasy, get your customers to send you pictures of them having fun at the event you organised
It’s a great idea to get customers to contribute their tips and tricks that can be shared with your audience. If you’re a cleaning company, get customers to share their top cleaning tips, if you’re an odd-job person then get customers to share their top DIY tips.
“Name my” competitions
Last year, one naming competition that made the headlines was Natural Environment Research Council (NERC). They invited the general public to name their new polar research ship, with the final choice being ‘Boaty McBoatface’. This generated a large amount of social media content and news coverage without much time or money being invested by NERC. Competitions where you get people to name something for you are good fun and generate lots of content from the funny entries. If you’re a farmer, get your audience to name your new tractor etc
Reviews & testimonials
Reviews & testimonials are great content to use on your site and social media. Ask your customers to write a nice review for you, or use a feedback tool that collects all feedback and displays it on your site, or if you have a Facebook page then encourage users to leave reviews on there. Make sure you are fair with reviews, don’t delete the bad ones, contact the customer who left it and talk through it with them – maybe you can turn it around to a good review with a little effort. Listen to reviews and learn from them.
Put up a simple poll online – Facebook has an easy-to-use poll tool. Get customers to vote for their favourite option via the poll then post the results. It could be any topic – the colour of your new logo, a new product, a new service, or just about general life (try and keep it vaguely related to your business though). You could also ask for comments from the audience on why they chose the option they did and get a lively discussion going on social media.
Ask your audience for photos relevant to the season. For example, if you sold jewellery, you could ask customers to take a photo of themselves with one of your pieces on at a Christmas party. If you sell food or drink, then maybe photos of people enjoying it at a summer BBQ. Seeing other people engaging with your product or service will inspire others and also give them confidence that customers enjoy what you do for them.
Get your audience to design you something, depending on your business this could be varied – e.g. if you’re a jewellery maker, then users could design you a piece of jewellery, a landscaper could have a garden design competition. All the designs will make great content for your site and social media. You could even get your audience to vote for the best design.
Sometimes people will create content for free, if they have fun doing it or are in competition with one another – but you can also add incentives to get people to send you content, such as if they submit a photo and it gets used then they receive 10% off their next purchase with you, or perhaps a £5 Amazon voucher.
By getting customers involved in creating content, you’re not only spreading your brand name, you get some really nice pieces to put on your website, social media channels, and email marketing. Plus it saves you time creating loads of content yourself!