Generating Traffic through User Generated Content
Give Tom, Dick and Sally a truckload of thingamajigs and a spanner to put it all together and soon they will be creating stuff that they absolutely have to share with the entire world. Me, me, me, it’s all about me. User Generated Content has the fun of a game and the effectiveness of a viral idea, all wrapped into one.
How does it work? • Generated Content tools are as sticky on a website as chewing gum on the pavement.
• It is as attention hungry as a game, so you have their brains in the palm of your hand (OK, maybe that creates the wrong picture but you get the idea!) • Since the thingamajigs they use to create their own stuff is your branded elements they cannot help but fall in love with your grandmother.
• The User Generated Content tools can capture, measure and analyse a happy user’s every thought (well, at least some of it).
• User Generated Content is ideal for building communities as they share, comment, rate, compete for attention and pass on the content they generate. Isn’t that sweet?
What is needed?
• Like viral ideas and games you need a really cool idea and it has to be fun and easy to use.
• The library of elements you provide and the tools with which to manipulate them has to allow for maximum creative expression.
• The quality of visual, audio and animated elements has to be exceptional.
• The user has to have a means of easily sharing the stuff they’ve created.
• To build a strong community they have to be able to easily view, rate and comment on submitted content.
What kinds are there?
User Generated Content tools come in various formats and can be combined to create tools for unique creative expression. Examples are:
Picture maker: This tool allows people to create visual content such as e-cards or posters, from a library of elements which can include animation. They can even upload their own images to be used in their creations.
Sound maker: This tool allows people to create audio based events, such as audio messages or funny phrases, based on a library of professionally recorded voice clips. They can also create music or audio effects from pre-recorded audio clips.
Cartoon maker: The cartoon maker allows users to create either single frame cartoons or multi-frame cartoon strips. As the cartoons are created from existing clip images the user does not have to be a brilliant artist. All that is required is original stories or jokes.
Comic maker: The comic maker allows users to create entire comic books. These books can become collaborative events where several people work on one comic.
T-Shirt maker: The T-shirt maker allows people to create their own t-shirt designs which can then be printed by an online print-on-demand service.
Character Designer: If you want people to have fun with your character property why not let them design their own character versions from a library of components?
Story maker: The story maker allows people to create their own gripping short stories, based on your character property. The story book can even be structured as a multi-path story line which will allow people to create alternative branches to the story direction.
Game maker: The Game Maker application allows people to create their own game levels for others to play and vote on.