This guest post is by Jenny Dean of Business Blog Writers.
You might have read my article about a business blogging platform called Compendium. Today, I wanted to share with you a fantastic Compendium tool called, Web to Post that allows customers or clients to tell stories about your products or services.
Web to Post turns your consumer’s advocacy into web content.
Of course, as Business Blog Writers, sometimes this writes us out of the picture, but at the same time, if we are used to supplement the Web to Post content, then we can also get a lot of content ideas from what customer or clients submit.
In addition to my blog writing business, I also have a Ragdoll cat blog and all images of Compendium’s Web to Post form come from that.
How does Web to Post work?
A Call to Action is put in the sidebar of the blog. The CTA usually says something like, “Share Your Story”.
This call to action can also be put on your Facebook fan page, in your newsletter, on your YouTube Channel or in an email to an existing database.
The customer sees the CTA and decides to submit a story. They click on the link and are taken to an online form that asks them things like their story title, the story, and their first and last name. They can also choose to upload a photo to include with their story. The forms are totally customizable to fit your campaign or story needs.
Once the stories are received, the administrator of the blog is sent an email letting him or her know there is content waiting in the system. The stories can be edited, approved or declined from there, just like internal blog posts on Compendium’s system. So in other words, the story isn’t instantly on your company website the second the customer or client hits “submit”. Rather, it has to go through an administrative layer for final approval. This is awesome, because it turns your advocates into your bloggers! [Share Your Story Submission on Dashboard.jpg]
Once the administrator has checked out the post and added a keyword rich title, then the admin approves it. At that point is the Compendium algorithm automatically categorizes or tags the story to the relevant, targeted keyword pages on your blog . The admin can also choose to promote it on your company’s social networks, like Twitter, Facebook, and LinkedIn.
Then, the viral effect kicks in. Each story is published on your company’s blog, Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn pages.
The customer who submitted the story also gets an automatic email that says their story has been published on your company’s blog. Another link encourages them to share their featured story on their own social network profiles.
How Web to Post helps business blogs
Lee Jorgenson, an Account Manager at Compendium recently pointed out that Sears Outlet has generated over 5,000 posts in just three months by gathering content from five different channels.
Sears Outlet sends a great transactional email after someone purchases from their website that invites customers to share their stories. This email is timely and helps harvest stories while they are fresh in the customer’s mind. The email has a link that drives the customer to a web to post form to submit their story. They also use the Web to Post forms to capture stories from blog and website visitors. They also have one embed on their Facebook fan page tab and collect stories from Facebook fans that way.
The process is simple: Content → Exposure → Referrals → Sales
Another Compendium client, The College Network, was able to launch a contest asking nurses to share their stories. The prize? An iPad. They received nearly 100 user generated stories (that’s 100 free posts!). The stories got over 40 comments and over 1,500 Likes. They drove 3,500 unique visits to their story page and tracked an average of 35 additional Facebook fans per day from the campaign. It also increased their organic search traffic by 25%—all for the cost of an iPad.
How Web-to-Post helps smaller bloggers
As far as my site, Floppycats.com, is concerned, Web to Post has made my life incredibly easier. When I run a giveaway, I tell people that for an extra chance to win the prize, they can submit a photo of their cat as well as a description explaining why their cat needs to win the product.
This approach not only generates more activity on my site, but also creates more content for my blog. And readers love to see photos of their cats on my blog!
I also use Web to Post for Ragdoll breeders who want to advertise kittens for sale. It saves me the time involved in uploading them to the site, and entering all the information—and they’re hosted on Compendium’s server, not the one I am paying for.
I also use Web to Post to accept content from people who need to rehome their Ragdoll cats, and cat rescue groups that need to get the word out about cats available for adoption.
I give a lengthy explanation of what I want (this eliminates time-consuming emailing back and forth between the poster and me) and provide examples so readers know what information they need to submit.
So while Web to Post is great for sales and boosting social media buzz about your company, for the blogger who wants an active online community on their blog, Compendium’s Web to Post can also make your life a lot less busy. Just say “no” to too much right- and left-clicking!
What if you don’t have compendium?
If you don’t have Compendium, you can probably still put something like this together, but it would require more manpower and coordination to get it done.
Frankly, I don’t like to spend my time on the technicalities and would rather have it right from the get-go. Compendium’s business blogging platform simply takes care of the strategy, process and technology so your business can focus on the content and stories.
Jenny Dean is a 31-year-old-business owner and entrepreneur from Kansas City. Jenny is currently working on Business Blog Writers, a company that supplies blog content specifically for company’s blogs, Floppycats.com, an informational website about Ragdoll cats and Antioxidant-fruits.com, an informational website about the antioxidant powers of fruit. Follow Business Blog Writers on Twitter or on Facebook.