CEO at Bazaarvoice, the leading provider of product reviews and user-generated content (UGC) solutions.
What is your screen time looking like nowadays? I doubt many of us would like to admit the actual number. But even if it’s quite high, you can take solace in the fact that in 2022, the U.S. population spent an average of eight hours and 14 minutes a day consuming digital media. And the number is only likely to continue on the same upward path.
You can overcome challenges using a content supply chain.
For brands and retailers, these numbers are full of both exciting possibilities as well as strenuous difficulties. Exciting, because there are endless opportunities to get in front of potential customers. Stressful, because creating content is expensive. You have to pay the people creating it, editing it, participating in it and posting it. Plus, it is impossible for a company to create enough content itself to keep up with their consumers’ insatiable demand, especially today, with budgets and headcounts being cut left and right.
So, how can you make sure to create enough to not get lost in all of the noise? You create what I like to call a “content supply chain.”
Just like if you were trying to ship physical products around the globe, you need to plan everything from the beginning (collection or creation) to the middle (curation) to the end (distribution) of the chain through which your content travels.
Let your customers do the work for you.
The first step in creating a content supply chain is to first tap into the endless (and often free) workforce that is your customers themselves. So many of them are already posting about products they love without being prompted to on social media. Plus, almost all of us have an incredibly high-quality camera in our pockets at all times. This makes the difference between user-generated content and brand-created content often minimal.
Branded content will never go away, and there are still many use cases for it, but user-generated content can help fill the gap with today’s content demand. It is highly scalable, cheaper, faster to create, seen as more authentic and has a higher conversion rate.
In many instances, it’s what consumers want to see. In fact, two-thirds of consumers prefer real customer photos to professional shots. It’s also personalized for each content channel that it’s on and as timely and relevant as can be, which the same often can’t be said for branded content.
Manage your content in one place.
Today and in the past, businesses often assigned different parts of the content supply chain to different departments. I think that needs to change. The way content is created, managed and distributed, as well as the technology used to do all those things, needs to all be connected—that’s a core part of the content supply chain.
Customize your content, but stay on brand.
For content to convert (and frankly make sense), it must be tailored to each channel on which it is posted. This personalized experience is what consumers expect, and it can make your content more authentic. Especially as digital marketing and e-commerce take place 24/7, customization is paramount. Things rapidly change online, and consumers shop and browse social media at all hours of the day and night. This is why user-generated content is crucial in making your content more efficient and effective.
However, as important as customization is, staying on brand is equally as important. While your content must be unique to each platform, you also must make sure that it aligns with your brand’s voice and guidelines. On top of this, adhering to each social platform’s content guidelines is absolutely necessary for content supply chain success.
The biggest part of a content supply chain is user generated.
You cannot create enough content to satiate today’s social media-obsessed consumers yourself. It’s too expensive, especially in today’s economic times, and there’s not enough time in the world. In order to keep up with the demand, you need to create a content supply chain, making sure that the beginning to the end of the content cycle is connected and in sync.
One of the biggest parts of this chain that I see brands and retailers missing out on is utilizing user-generated content to its full potential. It’s what consumers trust and want to see.
Forbes Business Council is the foremost growth and networking organization for business owners and leaders. Do I qualify?
Read the full article here