As an already-busy entrepreneur, taking the time to create kick-ass marketing campaigns can sometimes seem more like a distraction than a worthwhile investment of your time. That being said, most entrepreneurs aren't taking advantage of something that could dramatically reduce the time they spend on marketing: their customers.
If you take the time to strategize correctly and are crafty enough, your customers could be a content gold mine for your company. Here are even creative ways to do it.
1. Host a photo-sharing contest.
One way your customers can help your marketing efforts in a big-time fashion is through creating content to promote your business, and a photo-sharing contest is a great tactic to get the ball rolling. To do this, host a contest where customers must post a picture of themselves using your product or service on social media and tag your company in the photo to enter.
From there, you'll have loads of images of happy customers to repost to your own social media channels for the next couple of weeks. Not only will this save you time, but it'll also act as social proof that others are enjoying what your company is offering.
Important Note: Be sure to get explicit permission from whoever you plan on reposting that they're okay with you doing so. Otherwise, you could have a lawsuit on your hands.
2. Use Instagram Polls for content ideas.
Stuck trying to settle on an idea for your next blog post, email newsletter, or video? Use the Polls feature on Instagram Stories to see what your audience is most interested in learning about. Within the app, they'll be able to respond directly and vote on the topic they like best, saving you time trying to figure out which topics to cover.
3. Use Twitter Advanced Search to eavesdrop.
Twitter has a too-often-overlooked feature called Advanced Search, which allows users to type in keywords to see what people are tweeting about as it relates to those keywords. You can also filter by location and more.
This makes it an awesome place to eavesdrop on what people are really saying about your company. Whether the tweets are questions customers may have about your company, complaints, compliments or something else, you can use this information as fuel for your content.
For example, if you have a question that frequently pops up, create a blog post to address it. If you have a part of your business that garners a lot of support, bring attention to it by posting about it across social media.
4. Take full advantage of user-generated content.
Using a tool like Tack or TINT, sift through the content your customers have already posted about you, then republish it across your social media. If you're a moderately successful business, chances are high you'll have a fair amount of user-generated content hiding online somewhere, whether it's people eating at your restaurant or using your app.
One of the benefits of using a tool like TINT or Tack is they can automatically reach out to the creator of the post and ask them for permission to republish it, which will cover your bases from a legal perspective.
5. Turn positive comments into social posts.
Have a lot of positive comments from customers on social media or your company blog? Turn them into social posts by taking screenshots of the comment and publishing them to your profiles. You could even use a tool like Canva or Adobe Illustrator to make the pictures into captivating, branded word art.
6. Set up a referral program.
When it comes to brand awareness, few things beat word-of-mouth marketing. To drive more of it, try setting up a referral program where customers get kickbacks and perks for telling their friends about you. Additionally, if you have the resources to do so, consider setting up a member rewards program like Starbucks. This will gamify your customer experience and create a tightly knit community of people around your brand.
7. Create an incentive for video testimonials.
Give customers a reward or benefit for creating a video testimonial about what they like most about your product or service. Hearing and seeing positive feedback coming directly from a customer is much more powerful than a plain-text quote testimonial.
To encourage users to share their video testimonials, you could give them 10 percent off your products, free company merchandise, or something else. Once you have these videos, you can share them across all your social media channels.
It's no secret just how time-consuming creating marketing content can become. This year, be sure to take advantage of the loads of content sitting right in front of you. It just might be the thing that dramatically brings down your time spent on creating marketing content.