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4 Ways to Harvest User Generated Content?

Flying Hippo

By Flying Hippo

Inbound marketing is a bit like farming. (Bear with me—this analogy isn’t as stupid as you might think.)

When you create content on your site, you’re planting the seeds for your customers to learn. And as your customers want to grow and learn more, you feed them more content to keep them happy.

So you make a sale and they’re happy with their choice. They even talk about it with their friends and other customers. So what the heck do you do now?

Savvy inbound marketers should take advantage of the online chatter their customers are already having and turn it into something viable—and profitable. Are you overlooking these four ways of harvesting user generated content?

Product Reviews

So much of e-commerce revolves around five little stars. It’s incredible to think that something so tiny—just a few pixels on your screen—can influence your buying habits. After all, who would purchase something with a two-star rating when they could buy the same thing with a five-star rating?

If you’re in the business of e-commerce or B2C, place these positive online product reviews around your site. Don’t leave a five-star review floundering in space—let it shine all over your site!


Comments are a great way of knowing that the content you’re making is really resonating with your core audience. When you write a post that resonates with your audience, you’ll get feedback—and not all of it is great. And that’s OK. There’s still a lot to be learned and created from blog or social media comments.

Take the comments you receive, reply promptly and turn the information into a blog post, building momentum and your site’s SEO in the process. Your audience learns and your site grows. This type of user generated content is a win-win.


On the TV show “Parks and Recreation,” Ron Swanson is a no-nonsense man’s man who is slow to speak and gruff. He’s also a man of his word, and not quick to offer a recommendation. In one episode, he offers a recommendation of Snake Juice.

“You should know my recommendation is essentially a guarantee,” he says.

When you get a resounding testimonial—in an email, in a Vine, in person, whatever—put it to use! Movies have recommendations, and so do books. So why doesn’t your site?

Product Forums

It seems like every possible hobby—basket weaving, moped repair, chapstick addiction and innumerable other things—has an online forum dedicated to it. For those in the business of marketing to them, these are a veritable treasure trove of untapped content!

Every post on a forum conceivably brings up an opportunity to create targeted, timely and thought-leading content that strikes right at the heart of what your core demographic really wants to know.

For instance: if you’re marketing vacuums, pay attention to the forum that your fans use to discuss your products. Better yet, chime in and bridge the relationship between official source and fan!

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