User-generated content is one of the most powerful methods of marketing. It allows you to tap into the creativity and energy of your customers and fans.
UGC can be a powerful way to build brand awareness, create loyalty, and boost sales.
I have listed some of the most successful UGC campaigns, discussed the benefits of user-generated content for marketing, and learn how to implement them for your business.
What is UGC & Who the Users are?
Before we go through what a UGC is, we first need to understand who the users are.
It’s quite simple, the users are basically the unpaid contributors/fans/consumers/ end-users of online services, etc. In short, it’s simply the general public who uses the internet or any network service. Therefore, that makes UGC a form of content that has been created and posted by the users themselves.
The contents include images, videos, text, blogs, audio, etc. These contents are usually posted on various social media platforms, blogs, forums, Wikipedia, etc. The contents they make are publicly available to other users and as well the professional content contributors of the web.
Marketers use UGC as a method to spread brand awareness and do the promotion of their products and services. In marketing, UGC is an idea that refers to fans/consumers promoting the business knowingly or unknowingly. This is a clever strategy to do brand building with the most unlikely of individuals – the consumers and users. It’ll be much clearer when we give you some examples.
I think everyone remembers how Coca-Cola started a ground-breaking UGC campaign when they first brought their personalized coke bottles on the market. The campaign was launched with “share a coke” as their promotional headline. People loved it because it had their names on the bottle and it felt more personal. Coca-Cola did something to keep the momentum going.
They asked the consumers to share pictures of themselves enjoying a drink with their bottles on any social media platform. It soon became a global sensation as people started to share their pictures and perform the role of advertisers for Coca-Cola. This initiative led the company to profit billions and gain plenty of loyal customers.
Why UGC is a Successful Method of Marketing?
From a business point of view, a customer-orientated business has a higher chance of gaining brand loyalty from customers than those who do not care about this. Businesses these days keep their customers at the center of their marketing strategy. Keeping up with the ever-changing trends and demands of the customers is hard. Attention can easily be diverted from one company to another. If the brands aren’t dedicated to serving their customers, they’ll simply just find another brand.
Customers prefer to seek validation from other customers rather than sleazy marketers. They prefer connections and stories that have come out from people like them. Word-of-mouth is still considered as the best tactic to increase brand awareness even in this digital era. In a recent report, it has been found that more than 90% of customers trust a recommendation from another person over marketers with their promotional content.
The trust issues basically rely on the authenticity of the products they are promoting. Back in the day, customers used to heavily rely on TV commercials and billboard advertisements. Now they are more active and want to seek the best quality product by researching themselves. UGC helps to create communities and bring the audience together under one roof.
Since customers like to interact with one another, it becomes a great way to earn the credibility of your brand. Being part of a community helps to gain influence over your brand. It also makes it easier to solve problems regarding the brand by taking customers’ complaints/suggestions into account.
Most user-generated content is provided by unpaid contributors who are just willing to share their experiences with the world. Sometimes they do it for a chance of winning something, like a limited edition brand product. It is obviously cheaper than putting out hundreds of billboards or TV commercials. Marketers don’t need to empty their pockets since the users are in charge of the promotion.
Some of the Most Successful UGC Campaigns
Like the previously mentioned Coca-Cola campaign which was massive, there are many other successful campaigns. Some of them made a global impact while some dominated the local market. Here are some of the successful UGC campaigns –
Starbucks launched its “White Cup” contest back in 2014. What customers were encouraged to do was doodle all over their white Starbucks cup and post image of their doodling. These were taken as submission entries for the contest. Nearly 4000 customers across the country participated in the contest with some of the best beautiful and aesthetic doodlings! The winner of the contest received a limited-edition Starbucks cup.
In 2013, Belkin partnered up with Lego to launch a UGC campaign that involved making your own customizable iPhone cases with Lego blocks. Initially, Belkin developed a series of iPhone cases with Lego blocks. Afterward, they asked their customers to build their own custom iPhone cases with Lego blocks using their creativity. They were asked to share their pictures on Instagram with specific hashtags. This initiative proved to be an effective marketing method when they received a huge promotional boost from their customers.
Chobani, a Greek yogurt company launched a campaign of their own to boost their sales and increase brand awareness. Chobani asked its customers to share their love for their product on social media platforms via images, videos, stories, etc. It received a massive response as they had overflowing loyal customers. The contents were shared through the company’s website, digital platforms, and every other related medium. This initiative gave them a massive revenue boost as they increased their brand awareness and gained many loyal customers.
4. Pepsi MAX
Just as their rival company, Pepsi also leveraged the influence of UGC to make a campaign of their own. Pepsi MAX was launched in the market to combat Coca-Cola’s Coke Zero. They both had a similar price, so to get the upper hand in the market, Pepsi developed a UGC campaign. The company asked the customers to share their experience with Pepsi MAX and why they prefer it over Coke Zero.
They were asked to share their thoughts on various social media platforms as well as a small site only developed for this cause. The initiative received a massive response. More than 7000 entries were submitted and the site received a large number of unique visits. The campaign was extremely popular and received strong valued customer feedback. The winners or the best entries were up for many prizes, including a year’s supply of free Pepsi.
Video equipment company GoPro has become the most successful brand for UGC. GoPro encourages people to share their adventures. They inspire their customer to share their experience with them and made an online community. Almost six thousand GoPro-tagged videos have been uploaded on YouTube every day. GoPro offers go pro awards every year, for anyone who creates the best high-quality content with GoPro Camera. In 2018 Go pro offered an equal share of $1 million to every clip in GoPro’s year-end-reel.
Types of UGC Content:
1. Image: Image content is the most popular and common type of UGC. Customers purchase products from brands and sometimes happily take pictures of the products and post them on social media to let others know. You can use this technique as a weapon in your marketing.
2. Video: It has been a very popular type of format nowadays. Customers make videos of products like- Unpacking, unboxing, first-time experience, etc, and share that on their YouTube channel, Instagram reels, and Facebook story. The content creators make videos for their audience and brands get their promotions as well. If you want to drive more authentic reviews for your brand, influence your customers to make videos of your products.
3. Testimonial: Testimonials are another form of UGC. That can be a powerful weapon for promoting your business. When your potential customer visits your website testimonials will draw his/her attention. You can collect testimonials from your loyal customers and place them on your websites in the formates of quotes, videos, and images.
4. Blog post: you can find a blogger from your niche and request him/her to use your product and give a genuine review by writing a blog because a blogger has a fan base who regularly follows his blog site. They are one kind of influencer. They often share their experience by writing blogs to share every single detail with the audience.
5. Hashtag Campaign: You can make a hashtag and encourage your customers to share their experiences on social media by using your specific hashtag. It is the most powerful UGC strategy. Hashtags build your brand community on social media.
I think it might be helpful for you if I give you an idea about using hashtags for Instagram marketing. To get that idea follow my another blog where I gave you the ultimate Guide To using hashtags For Instagram growth.
6. Reviews: You definitely have a review section on your website or on your social media channel. Customers can visit your page and leave a review for your post. You can take screenshots and post them on your social media channel to show your audience so that they can feel reliable about your service
How to Create User-generated Content?
I would like to give you some more tips for establishing your success for UGC.
1. Make an easy UGC strategy so that customers can cooperate without any Hassel.
2. Make an easy path for customers to share Those UGC
3. Keep engagement with the customers by thanking them for sharing their content and complimenting them for their effort.
4. Make individual strategies for the individual platforms.
5. You can take screenshots and mention the name of the creator for giving them credit.
6. Set your goal for UGC and measure the result.
7. Do not repeat the same campaign again and again, Change your strategy to make excitement among the audience.
Which Platform is Best for UGC?
You can not ask for the same format for all the social media channels. As we all know every social media is not popular for the same type of content.
Facebook: Facebook is popular for casual posts like videos and images. Suppose you can run a video or image contest. And ask your audience to make a video/take pictures using your products. They can make tutorials, testimonials videos, or behind the scene funny videos.
Instagram: You can run a photo contest on Instagram. Ask for High-resolution content from your audience using your hashtag. It will build your brand awareness.
Youtube: As we have discussed about a company name Go pro who is growing the fastest for their UGC. Go pro uses the Youtube platform for promoting their UGC content. You can ask for direct videos or you can ask them to use your hashtag when they post their videos on youtube using your products.
In my opinion, Instagram is the best platform for UGC because Instagram is popular for sharing lifestyle-based content. People use Instagram for sharing their daily lifestyle-relevant content. So if you are working with such kinds of products. Running a UGC campaign on Instagram would be a good choice for you.
UGC campaigns help you to grow your brand values. Because this is a very authentic way to promote your business. Nowadays customers becoming smarter. They do not pay much attention to scripted Commercial Ads.
So when you are selling something online/offline make sure to run a UGC strategy that attracts the attention of your customers. Plan something exciting to push them to share their content on social media. In my blog, I have discussed the benefits of user-generated content and all types of UGC for individual channels. I hope it will help you to find out which type of UGC you should choose according to your business and niches.