Continuously created engaging content for customers or potential customers is no easy task for brands. And in the ever more competitive digital landscape, brands are forced to get creative to capture the attention of their audience in an authentic way that earns trust.
What better way to maintain authenticity than to utilise the brand-related content generated by users to win over the hearts of new customers or to strengthen brand loyalty?
User Generated Content (UGC) is any digital content produced and shared online by customers or potential customers. It can consist of social media or blog comments, blog posts, images, videos, or reviews of your brand.
Understanding how to take advantage of UGC will not only save you hours of scratching your head searching for content ideas. It will leverage positive associations with your customers to earn more! According to research conducted by Nielsen in a study into Global Trust in Advertising, 92% of people surveyed said they trusted recommendations, even from people they don’t know, over branded content. So turn your own customers in brand advocates that not only generate content ideas for you, authentically, gaining the trust of your audience. Win-win.
Through social media the ability to create a community among your audience is profound. And the brands that recognise that, and avail of it are winning through UGC. Connect the community and create an emotional bond between your audience and the brand.
Don’t let the benefits of UGC pass you by. Create a simple way that users can share digital content about your brand, and reward them with something of value.
Need some inspiration? Here are a few User Generated Content examples that should get your creative juices flowing.
We’ve all heard of Influencer Marketing, and Instagram is the motherland of all things related to using influencers within your industry to act as brand advocacy. But the lesser known term of UGC is the definition of converting happy customers, who are talking about your brand online, to brand advocates. If you are ¨in the know¨, you will be ensuring that these brand mentions don’t get lost in cyberspace. Track them, share them and showcase the positive associations of your brand with your social community.
GoPro, one of the brands more famously known for acing their user generated content strategy across all of their social media channels. Instead of investing heavily on fancy marketing campaigns. GoPro used their customers and brand loyalty to showcase and grow their, what was once, tiny brand.
They encourage (and make it easy for) users to share their best content with branded hashtags like #GoPro #GoProCommunity #GoProAwards and a specific hashtag for just about every country in the world. With roughly 6000 GoPro videos being shared online daily, there is no end to content created directly from their product. Users are further incentivised to share their best content by competitions for cash prizes under the hashtag #GoProAwards.
What better way to showcase your awesome videos and pìctures that have GoPro share them with their community of over 16.2 million followers? Users upload their best content with the hashtag #GoPro and as a result there is a continuous flow of unique content generated by users, displaying the features and capabilities of GoPro cameras. While actively engaging with their community and creating a place where they can share ideas, content and gain kudos from fellow GoPro users.
The large majority of Airbnb´s Instagram engagement is driven by user generated content. Airbnb now the leader in the travel and hospitality sector, utilizes their own users to showcase what makes them unique, travel that is local, authentic, diverse, inclusive and sustainable. They aim to showcase these qualities with their followers.
User Generated Content consists of unique homes, experiences and destinations around the world. Appealing to their audience as inspiration to use their platform, while allowing their users to share their experiences with a huge global audience of 4.4 Instagram followers. They have run competitions to encourage the best content and reward their users for sharing them! Their UGC is some of the top Instagram posts ever! If they like your content, you might receive a message requesting that they share it on their Instagram feed. Wouldn't be a bad message to receive. Follow this awe inspiring UGC campaign with #Airbnb #AirbnbExperiences and see for yourself the power of a well executed user generated content strategy.
Alo Yoga is a clothing and lifestyle brand for yogis and other exercise-enthusiasts. The majority of posts on their feed are curated from their pool of 2.1 million followers, all sporting Alo pieces. Showcasing real yogis practicing, playing, and living their lives in the activewear not only highlights the new lines, but demonstrates the functionality and comfortability of the clothing.
The user generated content on Alo’s Instagram feed is filled with people in extreme poses of strength and flexibility, often with eye-catching backgrounds from around the world. Alo’s team will always tag the yogi pictured in the comments, noting a fun fact about the image along with information about the products featured. For a chance to get featured on the Alo Instagram, or to connect with others in Alo Yoga’s community who have contributed user generated content, check out the #aloyoga hashtag.
If you’re inspired by the incredible campaigns from above, you can create a similar strategy for your own business by following a few simple steps.
1. Match the promotion to your audience
It’s important that the challenge you offer to your followers is relevant to your brand’s identity and the interests of the audience. For example, asking followers to tag photos of them practicing yoga makes sense for a yoga clothing brand, but not for a bakery. Try to make a request that both satisfies strategic brand promotion and involves an activity your followers are interested in.
2. Request entries that you can use in your marketing campaigns
Make sure that you’re clear with followers that photos they submit will potentially be used for marketing the products or services of your business. This not only puts all parties on the same page but can help those submitting better feature your product when taking photos!
3. Make the effort required match the reward being offered
If you’re a relatively small brand, chances are most people aren’t posting for you without an incentive. Come up with a prize for winners to entice followers to participate. This can be a percentage off online purchases, a free item, or one big prize like a vacation if you’re only planning to have one winner. Keep the reward to scale of what you’re asking of followers. If your brand already carries some social clout, many users would gladly offer up images to be shared simply for the attention alone!
4. Stay legally informed
It’s important to make sure that all legal bases are covered before resharing content from someone else’s feed. It’s common courtesy to first ask for permission to repost. Many brands also will include a few stipulations regarding the user acknowledging that their photo will be reshared for promotional purposes, the transfer of rights over the content, and any restrictions regarding the giveaway challenge.
Regardless as to the specifics of your user generated content campaign, it’s important to keep a few guidelines in mind to maximize engagement. First, make sure that you’re truly connecting with your community of followers. Avoid any overtly salesy copy that might make your brand sound disingenuous.
Second, be on the lookout for brand advocates. Creating a UGC campaign is a great way to discover the true fans of your business, and people who would be willing to partner with you as influencers. Finally, be sure to always tag and give credit to the user who contributed the content to your brand’s campaign. This not only strengthens trust and respect with that follower, but also shows the community your brand strives to be ethical.
Of course, you also need to use the right tools. Juicer makes it easy to curate and display user generated content. Try it out; we’re sure you’ll love it!