Online businesses should be taking advantage of CGM and adapting their online marketing so that it is interactive with their consumers. To begin adapting to the new CGM, you simply need to:
- Observe, listen to, and engage customers and potential customers in your target market
- Provide your customers and potential customers with a convenient way to communicate with you and participate in your marketing.
Understanding the trends in CGM is what will give you the competitive advantage. Listening to and leveraging such media may be the most important source of competitive advantage for any online business.
Leverage CGM by having systems in place to help you listen to, and understand, what your customers are saying about your company, your products and services, and even your competitors. Pay as much attention to unsolicited commentary as possible. Invite active consumers into a discussion to help gain more control over the buzz that is being generated about your operation.
Different companies use CGM for different reasons. The most important uses of CGM are to:
- Get in sync with consumers—Use CGM to find out what consumers are looking for from related sites and use that information as a way to come up with new content for your site, your social media, or your corporate blog.
- Track your online ads—Use CGM to identify what buzz words people are using to describe your operation and use this information to help you decide what keywords you want to use in your ads and where the best place is to advertise.
- Track your competitors—Use CGM to find out what is being said about your competition. Implement any positive elements from what they are doing and avoid any negative elements.
Consumer-generated media is a great tool in helping online businesses understand their target markets—what they want and what they need.