Is your social media strategy starting to feel a bit stale? Do you feel like you are running out of content to post? More importantly, are you having difficulty connecting with your audience? User-generated content (UGC) is any type of content that is created for a brand by its fans – ranging from online reviews to customer photos on Instagram. While the brand gets free content and promotion, users are rewarded with discounts or similar offerings. Consumers trust peer recommendations more than any other type of advertising, so your audience is more likely to trust your brand if the content is user-generated. Simply put – it’s marketing gold!
But how do you incorporate it into your existing strategy? Carrying out a successful UGC campaign requires a thorough understanding of your audience and a well thought-out strategy. Stumped on ideas? Here are a few ideas to get your creative juices flowing:
Create a buzz
If you want people to be speaking about your brand, you need to give them a good reason! From Coca Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign where they swapped their logo for random names, to Starbucks’ festive ‘Red Cup Contest’ campaign, there’s a number of different ways you can create a buzz for your brand with products. One of the more recent UGC campaigns that got everyone talking was #castmemarc
Popular fashion designer Marc Jacobs took to social media, announcing that he’s casting models for his next advertising campaign from Twitter and Instagram submissions. The campaign generated over 15,000 submissions in just 24 hours from fashionistas around the world! Needless to say, this led to a trend of ‘selfie-casting’ with companies using social media to discover the next face for their campaigns.
UGC idea for your brand: Create a campaign completely bespoke to your brand that has not been done before, think outside the box!
Suggested read: Writing for Social: Why one size just doesn’t fit all
Leverage the power of the #
A hashtags is the most popular way of initiating UGC. Used effectively, it can spread like wildfire. A brand that’s slaying the UGC hashtag game is the renowned online retailer ASOS. Creating a curated page on their website for #AsSeenOnMe, customer could submit their images via Instagram or upload them directly.
While that already created a lot of buzz, ASOS went a step further making every shared image shoppable, linking it to the product item featured in the image.
UGC idea for your brand: Add customer photos to product pages
Offer cool rewards
You don’t have to give out discount codes or pay anyone? It can be as simple as sharing the content of users. When it comes to UGC, the smallest gesture of appreciation of a ‘like’ or a ‘share’ can go a long way. In 2015, National Geographic launched their ‘Wanderlust Contest’ campaign, encouraging users to post photos with the #WanderlustContest hashtag, for the chance to win a National Geographic photo expedition to Yosemite National Park.
The idea took flight – the campaign photos were featured on their website with their hashtag still generating over 60,000 posts. Campaigns of this nature underline the power of the hashtag, in conjunction with a creative, shareable reward.
UGC idea for your brand: Offer rewards to customers who write reviews
Make its easy for users to generate content
Having a UGC strategy is a great idea, until it becomes complex. Keep your platforms easy to coordinate, straightforward and fuss-free. This way you won’t be putting off your users from engaging. Take GoPro as an example, the GoPro product is literally a content creation machine, coming from the better-known phrase it’s a ‘video camera’. Yes, this is a given advantage, but, as much as GoPro’s product lends itself to UGC, you still need to make it happen. GoPro recognised this and made it happen, introducing their DIY product to the world allowing us to share our experiences, like those in the below GoPro user-generated clip:
Similarly, creating tools and platforms to enable your customers to share content without the fancy software makes a world of difference to encouraging UGC for your brand. Empower users to capture, create, share and enjoy their own work with others – to your brand’s benefit.
UGC idea for your brand: Introduce a platform that is easy to use with simple guidelines to follow for your users
Get in touch with us at firstname.lastname@example.org to see how we can help you create your own user-generated content.