According to the Content Marketing Institute, the average half-life of a Tweet is less than three hours. On Facebook, five hours will give you 75% of all the views you will get for a post. An average blog article reaches just about everyone it’s going to reach in 37 days. Odds are you have a business to run, so who has the time to keep up?
These numbers don’t lie, but they also don’t tell the whole story.
The reality is that not all content is created equal. Generally, most of the content produced by your brand loses value as time goes on. By no means does this imply a lack in quality; it’s just the nature of how most content is created. Social posts, emails, and blog articles are often tied to an offer, event, or timely trend that is bound to change.
While most content has a clear expiration date, it is possible to go the opposite direction. Content that maintains its value over time is often referred to as “evergreen" — since viewership remains constant as time passes, you experience a compound effect on views as you add new content. The graph below illustrates this idea:
More often than not, customer-generated content falls into this “evergreen” category. Experiences with your products and brand have no expiration date, holding their value in the shopping experience over time. As these submissions grow older and new content is added, they form a library of unique products uses, experiences, and reviews.
3 Ways to Get More Compounding Content
Make it about your customers
When customers submit content about themselves, shoppers identify with the person or experience in addition to the product. As you increase the variety of this authentic content, your brand becomes relatable to a larger audience.
Consider this example from Seek Outside:
Rather than just a review about the tent and stove, this short story, at its core, is about this customer’s bear hunting experience. While the store's products may change with time, this story will maintain its relevance. As an added bonus, the testimonial about Seek Outside’s products make the brand a destination for shoppers looking to purchase gear for a similar adventure.
Now consider there are multiple stories about the same type of experience on site. As each new story is added, they do not replace one another, rather build upon the value and credibility provided by the others.
Ask for content that delivers value
Asking customers to submit content that delivers value is a great way to keep shoppers coming back to your site. “How-to” and product-use videos are obvious choices here, but value comes in many forms, such as inspiration, entertainment, or education.
The beauty of content created by your customers is that it often delivers value in multiple areas. For example, this submission from C.B. Gitty features multiple photos and walks visitors through how the guitar was built:
Customers looking for an interesting guitar idea can quickly find inspiration in the images, yet this customer also gives specific instructions on the materials that were used in the project. When another customer submits their version of the same guitar, it’s likely that they will have used a different method or materials. As you add more projects, you create a library of useful resources for site visitors.
Ask for content that will make others want to share
Content that inspires the creation of more content is the definition of compounding! When shoppers view your content, are they going to want to participate as a member of your community? Create this feeling, and you’re onto something special.
Consider Jeep People — their content represents a community of customers that own cool Jeeps and share their experiences, rides, and parts recommendations. The walk-around photos of custom Jeeps and off-roading videos of customers showing off will make any enthusiast want to get in on the action.