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Who better to tell you how your business is doing than the people purchasing from you?

Having a conversation with your customers has never been easier than it is today. Implementing a consumer-generated content (CGC) program can open a dialogue that connects you to customers—and customers to other customers—and gives you the power of conversation, at least a modern version of one.

At the core of every CGC program is the ability to collect and share ratings and reviews. Though marketers see tremendous benefits from doing so, there is much more they can do to increase the effectiveness of their CGC.

To maximize the value of your CGC, check out these five habits that make for highly effective and successful CGC marketers.

1. Content collection is at the core

We live in a world of "now": Consumers are more empowered than ever to get what they want, when they want it. Patience for outdated, untrustworthy, manicured information is nonexistent. Shoppers and search engines are on the prowl for fresh content, and they don't care where it comes from. Consumers who want to be heard will be heard, and consumers who want information will find it.

Continually asking, collecting, and displaying fresh content from purchasers could be the difference between shoppers landing on your website, or your competitor's. There is no such thing as collecting too much content.

2. Be there in the moments that matter

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image of Kristen Strauss

Kristen Strauss is a marketing manager at Bazaarvoice, provider of user-generated content (UGC) marketing solutions.

LinkedIn: Kristen Strauss

Twitter: @TechMeditate