Looking for new blog post ideas? Try using cooperative content marketing and let your prospects and customers tell you what they want to know.
The idea behind “content” or “inbound” marketing was never for businesses to publish blog posts worthy of winning journalism awards. It was always to educate prospects, turning them into leads, and then ultimately into customers. These customers are online, searching for information about your specific industry anyways, so when it’s your business that answers their questions, you gain respect, attention and status.
According to iAcquire, too many businesses mistake “great” content for “high production” content – which is “both inefficient and imperfect.” Luckily, cooperative content is the more efficient alternative, transforming customer emails and reviews into blog posts and sharing their experiences.
What is Cooperative Content?
Cooperative content is unique in the sense that it is not written by professional bloggers or journalists. In fact, it’s produced by individuals who are actively involved with the business, whether it’s employees, prospects, or customers. As a consequence, it’s rougher than your typical blog post, and not as highly polished or well-organized.
This may seem similar to user-generated content, however cooperative content isn’t so direct; that is, the company takes responsibility for using it. They could take a user review, and highlight the quote in a blog post. It’s ultimately called cooperative content because, unlike user-generated content, both the company and the user produce the final output.
Ways to Use Customer Reviews, and Why
There are a variety of methods of using customer reviews to produce cooperative content. When the review is positive, but hidden from immediate sight, you can simply quote it in the blog post to give it greater visibility.
Occasionally, the review mentions a product or service benefit that is frequently overlooked. Using it in a blog post will highlight it and gain more recognition amongst prospective customers. Especially considering the review comes from a customer, it is significantly more credible than descriptions created by the company. According to a study by Reevoo, 70% of consumers believe peer recommendations over professional sales copy.
Customers enjoy attention and being quoted in posts, and happy customers are your best marketing tool. When you base your blog post on a customers review, you’re demonstrating to the customer that you’re paying attention to them and care what they have to say. Don’t use short, quickie reviews, such as “Great product”, but do use the longer, more thoughtful and detailed ones.
What if the customer review is negative? That’s going to happen. Thanking them for trying out your product, apologizing for its defects, and sending refunds go a long way towards making you look respectable to prospective customers. However, winning yourself customer service brownie points may not overcome the perception that a particular product is simply not good enough.
Although, what if you’ve corrected the design or manufacturing flaws? Maybe that customer just happened to get one defective product, in which case you can send them a replacement to maintain that customer. Although they may not revise their bad review, the customer might give you permission to include these efforts in the blog post. If you’ve solved a problem, celebrate that with a blog post!
In another scenario, maybe you sell a line of products that range in quality (and price) from low to high. If the customer bought the cheapest product in the line, but left a poor review because the item they received wasn’t of the highest quality, take this as an opportunity to publish a blog explaining that the product quality is That’s an opportunity to write a blog explaining to everybody what they can reasonably expect.
For example, say you sell bed sheets. You can explain the differences in each level of quality and price for each one. The sheets made from low-grade cotton will feel differently than the ones made from 1500-thread-count Rayon or Egyptian cotton. Ultimately, let them choose the product right for them.
Customer Emails Generate Cooperative Content Too
If a prospective customer visits your site, looks at an item, but doesn’t buy anything, you can bet at least 50 other visitors have done the same. However, one in 50 customers might send you an email either questioning you or explaining why they didn’t purchase. In most cases, the other 49 customers also had the same concerns.
Therefore, by answering them with a blog post, as well as personally responding to their email, you’re letting everyone else see the answer as well.
Most customer emails that aren’t questions contain similar content as reviews, either compliments or complaints. Use them the same as you would a review to generate ideas for blog posts. Remember: if you quote them, make sure you have their permission. However, you are always allowed to generalize the comment like so: “Today a customer asked us why are handles made of plastic . . . ”
If you’re looking for more assistance in marketing your products, contact us today!