There are so many ways to generate content ideas through brainstorming, mind maps, and other tried and true tactics. But, have you ever thought of having content created for you? User generated content from your fans and followers can be a unique and creative way to come up with individual content ideas or even create a whole campaign. Rather than hoping to provide your fans with with they want, you can hit the nail on the head by having them tell you directly. Today, I’ll interview Todd Hartley, Corey Post, and Pat Strader, 3 SEO experts that have found great success with generating content from their fans.
Arnie: Hello everyone, I am Arnie Kuenn, President of Vertical Measures and welcome to another monthly hangout that we host periodically, actually monthly.
Today I have three guests on. They were already making fun of me before we went live so we’ll see how this goes.
I am going to let them each spend a sentence of two to introduce themselves so we are going to get right to the questions. Why don’t you take it away Corey.
Corey: Sure. I am Corey Post. I am Vice President of Marketing for shoeboxed.com. We help users digitize their documents for tax keeping and bookkeeping.
Arnie: Great. Pat?
Pat: My name is Pat Strader. I am with Digital Relativity. We are a digital marketing agency located in the New River Gorge, in West Virginia.
Todd: My name is Todd Hartley. I am the CEO of Wire Buzz. We are a content marketing agency in Scottsdale, Arizona.
Arnie: All right. Awesome. Thank you. So by now hopefully people have looked at the title of this and they know why they are here, but it’s going to be all about creating content from
fans and followers.
I am going to ask each of the guest one question and I will get an answer out of them. If we have time we will follow-up with some tips.
The question is and I am going to read it right off. We will start with Corey. Can you give a great example of having fans or users help creating compelling content?
Corey: Yes, sure, absolutely. Contests are a great way to have… We actually ran a contest for Pinterest where users can upload photos of their messy desk because we help users get organized and have other users vote.
We had about 200 pieces of content or images submitted. Thousands of re-pins, it really kind of helped spread our message and create a great user experience with people.
Arnie: Pinterest is a great, great tool as most of us know these days. Super. Pat go ahead. I know that you had a great one about beer.
Pat: Yes. Yes. Beer and mountain bikes are two things that are very important to me. A great example from one of the larger craft brewers in the United States, New Belgium Brewery Company. Not too long ago they launched a campaign, it was called “Enjoy the Ride.”
This was a great example of encouraging people to create content and it really revolved around a lot of the things that are the values of the company if you will. They encourage people to take photos of themselves on the trail, after the trail enjoying a beer. They used the hash tag, “Enjoy the ride.”
People were loading pictures into Instagram, posting them on Facebook. There were lots of different things. The result of the contest was pretty amazing. These results were just published not too long ago in the Brewers Association’s trade magazine. They increased their Twitter followers by 10,000 over the course of this campaign.
They increased their Facebook fans by 50,000 and there was more than 2,000 pictures posted to Instagram that used that tag. We work with a lot of craft brewers, we do not work with New Belgium but this was a great example that I think was perfect for this.
Arnie: Super. Beer always helps, right? I saw Todd gave it the thumbs up. He must be a fan of the beer.
Todd: That’s right.
Arnie: All right, so Todd, why don’t you give us one of your examples.
Todd: We started a Breast Cancer Awareness campaign called “Breast Cancer Answers” and what we did is a series of interviews with leading experts around the country. We gave the audience the opportunity to suggest our next interview topic.
The net result over one year is 6.4 million video views, but what we had was a very steady stream of questions coming in from patients and loved ones all over the country. They come in regularly and the questions that we received, would then be our next content that we would develop.
In one year we created about video clips for that campaign and each question is its own clip. They are all accessible. What we really did is drive audience demand to create our library.
Arnie: Great. You had doctors actually answering those questions is that right?
Arnie: Was it always a doctor or how?
Todd: Yes. However, it was not always a doctor but probably about 90 percent are doctors. We also got patients and survivors to answer questions, tips, and tricks. So what we did is just really took the cream of the crop of all of the most important questions that the audience, our target audience was looking to find.
Arnie: Excellent. Excellent. I love that one. Corey, I found you online based on a blog post that you had written. I think it was a blog post or an article. I do not remember the publication any more. Do you remember what that was about?
Corey: Yes. Sure. So I wrote an article for KISSmetrics and outlined our contests. One of things we found, I mean, the goal, what we really loved about doing the contest used to generate content is that it really engaged people.
It tuned them in to both our brand and to other users. It just created a great community. It was a really fun experience in which to create content.
Arnie: Out of that, I am going to ask each of you for a tip or a trick for people to help increase engagement. Do you have one of two tips that seem to work well to get it to work?
Corey: Yes, Absolutely. I feel like it is really good to have the content creation related to your brand, in a fun manner of course. For example we help people to get organized, that is why we chose messy desks.
Anything that both relates to the brand and provides a solution for people and would also create an interesting experience for people, I think is a win win solution.
Arnie: All right. Excellent Corey. Pat how about you? Any great tips?
Pat: Mine kind of keeps it in line with the example that I gave surrounding the hash tag is to really own the hashtag. In the example of the photos being uploaded to intstagram, making use of tools like instagram.
Now, just the other day, they announced the desktop version of instagram that allows you to follow those hashtags closely and interact with people. The more that you interact with them, the more that other people will see it. The more likely that they will be to share content themselves.
Arnie: Super. I know this is like a speaker faux pas. I do not want to put you on the spot, but when you and I were on a panel together at PubCon I think it was, you did talk a little about the IPod thing. Would you talk about that a little bit.
Pat: No. That’s something that we used with folks to generate content themselves. In turn, it helped them to create interest from their fans to generate content. It’s a simple IPod touch that is loaded with the entire standard fair of instagram and hootsuite and now maybe you will start to see vine posted on that.
So that the folks now have a mobile dashboard, if you will that they can carry with them. You can create content on the fly.
I mean again, the folks that we work with Venture Travel, Craft Brewers and those types of things, they are moving around quite a bit and there’s a lot of action taking place. That tool enables them to create content quickly and share it very easily.
Arnie: Yes. Super. Great. Todd how about you? How about a big tip for engagement?
Todd: What we did was put together a list of who the big key influencers are in the breast cancer space. Let me use this example because I started off with it. So who really has the largest audience, on Facebook, on Twitter, on Google Plus?
We then developed a relationship where we went in and interviewed them and created little short series and then gave them back the content. The value in giving them back the content is they then want to go out and market it. They want to create awareness for their tips and tricks.
As a result, it drove a ton of traffic in their strategic links back to us. We do that with survivors, we do that with organizations, .edu’s and .gov’s domains. As our links come into us we then have an increased searchable footprint and create value.
The net result is that it shows Google that we are developing relationships with the really important movers and shakers in the industry. Still to this day, some of our highest traffic comes from key advocates or key influencers on social.
I think that is a really good tip. Look to see who can do your biggest marketing for you. Who already has an audience? Then promote them. Tap into their audience and their audience will learn about you by default.
Arnie: Super. Great. Well that’s all of the time that we have for this month’s episode. I want to thank Corey, Pat, and Todd. Thanks very much for your time. I really, really appreciate it. We look forward to seeing all of you.
Again, I am Arnie Kuenn with Vertical Measures and we will be back next month. Thank you.
About the Presenters
Todd Hartley is the CEO of WireBuzz and his unique insights have made WireBuzz one of the most innovative digital marketing agencies. He acts as strategy supervisor on all client projects, which guarantees clients receive the best WireBuzz the industry has to offer.
Corey Post is a marketing veteran with over ten years of impressive experience, and is the VP of Marketing at Shoeboxed. Corey has worked as the Director of Online Marketing and Cornerstone on Demand, IAC, Landmark Communications and AOL, as well as served as a marketing consultant for awesome companies like Reach Local and LegalZoom. Corey has an impressive track record for taking businesses’ marketing efforts to the next level.
Pat works with Digital Relativity in West Virginia. They are a Digital Marketing Problem Solving company that perform a wide range of services from content marketing to web development and SEO.