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Using Instagram to build SEO

A method to crowd source content generation

As an ultraportable speaker company, we promote our users to take our product out in the field and engage in the world around them. One dilemma has always been being able to effectively capture the experience our customers are having. We followed GoPro closely over the years and saw how their users were using the video content in order to promote their product. GoPro was essential crowd sourcing customers content and educating future buyers how to use the crazy helmet camera. As a result, GoPro benefited from cost effective content creation and positive brand association with top athletes.

How we adopted the GoPro content creation strategy

Our product was initially created for the urban rider and we envisioned cyclists taking videos with their Boombot. As it turned out, photos became a much more popular medium than video content for our users. The growing popularity of Instagram and the simplicity of generating photo content attracted a larger user base.

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Say hello to the SEO Machine we call Swagonomics

The idea was simple. We called it Swagonomics because it rewarded users with gear for great content. Users would sign up for an account using their already existing Instagram account. Anytime a user hashtagged #boombotix in their post, it would get pulled onto our feed. We wanted users to capture their active lifestyle while stimulating brand interaction between our users. Over time, users connected with other Swagonomics users due to interest in each other’s photographs.

Our site flooded with hundreds of photos in just a matter of weeks. Naturally, this introduced more problems, but importantly we were acquiring user generated content.

And voila! It was crowd sourcing at its infancy.

In SEO, content quality is always king

What happens when people start hashtagging #boombotix on random photos just go get points? How do you determine what adds value to the site versus detracts from it? The questions bounced around internally, so you could imagine that the community was wondering the same things. The need for a site moderator became very clear early on. Suddenly we had to make decisions on what we wanted our brand to represent. Looking back on it, this was a positive problem. We were essentially defining our brand values and creating the rules around what we defined as swag.

We created a back end that allowed us to disable posts from the feed in bulk. We tried fostering an understanding in our users of the quality we wanted to see.  By moderating the feed quality, users are able to gain a better understanding of what to put on the site. It was tricky and feelings were hurt, but we had to make moves for the better interest of the brand.

We didn’t drop our bloggers that we worked with. The content from our Swagonomics site did not replace the keyword rich content we developed on our blog. Swagonomics was just supplementing the site with a massive database with SEO rich images in a very cost effective manner. On numerous occasions, employees in the companies grabbed content from Swagonomics to use in marketing. That’s convenient.

where our company is going with swagonomics and gamification

The Swagonomics experiment is far from done, but this site has created the foundation for a gamified brand experience. The introduction of points and rewards built around promoting the brand in real life can be applied to a number of activities. As our community grows, the potential for our users to spread the word does too. When traditional marketing mediums like print are on their way out, brands that leverage digital media with social content marketing will be the ones that come out on top. They will drive the most direct eCommerce sales and build the greatest brand equity of all.

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