The truth is, customers trust each other more than they trust brands. That’s why user-generated content (UGC) has gained such massive appeal among marketers and business owners.
User-generated content transforms loyal customers into enthusiastic brand campaigners to help build community engagement around services or products.
How to Begin a UGC Campaign
There are four steps to a top-notch user-generated content campaign:
Design your concept and ‘main’ question: This question will be the focus of your campaign. Ask a question that evokes emotion, is specific and surrounds a theme you know your audience loves. Look at humanitarian organization Women for Women, who begin their UGC campaign by asking their audience to share a story about someone who inspires them.
Launch and amplify: Launch the campaign by asking your community the question (from point 1), then engage with them. Amplify the best answers by posting on social media and gaining more feedback and shares.
Display: Gather the best entries you’ve received over a set period of time and display them on your website
Share: Take these best entries and share on all marketing channels.
You’ll also need to figure out which type of ‘user’ you’re looking to highlight:
Brand messages are re-shared 24 times more frequently when distributed by employees than by the brand using its own channels.
While this is not the most effective user-generated content type, it definitely has its benefits – especially if you’re just starting out.
Humans will trust another human over a faceless company or written mission statement – anyday. If you don’t yet have a large following on social media or a group of people to choose a customer user from, opt for employee-generated content first.
It’s a great way to show the human side of your brand, while introducing audiences to your brand’s culture and offering a viable source of authenticity.
Brand Advocate Content
Having a brand advocate is totally worth the extra bit of work it requires.
That’s because advocates are 2-3 times more effective than non-advocates when it comes to persuading others to make a purchase.
To find your brand advocate, narrow down your customer base to those individuals who have interacted with your brand already, then ask them if they’d like to become a brand advocate. After that, let them take the lead.
For the full picture on how to find yourself the perfect brand advocate for your brand and utilize their abilities effectively, check out our guide here.
Customer-generated content is the most effective form of UGC.
According to the Spiegel Research Center, 95% of buyers read online reviews before they make a purchase.
These days, it’s a given.
No one takes blind chances on services or products anymore – consumers know how to do their homework, and they’ll make sure it’s done thoroughly, almost every time.
Besides promoting personalized user reviewers who take social media platforms by storm with your brand name held high, when UGC is done correctly it will actually refer customers to you.
This word-of-mouth marketing strategy creates an added layer of authenticity, trustworthiness, and desirability among customers.
4 Brands Using UGC in a Stand-Out Way
Now that you’ve started planning your UGC strategy, it’s time for a bit of inspiration.
While there are many brands taking UGC tactics into their own hands, creating an authentic and powerful image for themselves, we’ve narrowed down the top four brands using UGC in the most unique and stand-out ways while offering tips on how you can implement these strategies for your own marketing campaign.
1. GoPro: Real-life Action
4 Great Examples of User-Generated Content (UGC)
An obvious choice for this list is sports camera maker GoPro.
That’s because GoPro’s products naturally create UGC – just by being what they are.
As a popular camera retailer, GoPro provides the platform and tools required to help customers share the images and videos they capture with their GoPro devices.
While this might not seem unique, the surprising thing is that not many GoPro competitors are establishing the same platform to take advantage of this obvious opportunity.
GoPro users generate roughly 6,000 GoPro videos online every day.
And the company encourages this by:
Asking their users to use a GoPro hashtag Philippines Photo Editor so their social media team can choose which videos they’ll post on GoPro’s platforms.
Uploading their favorite customer-generated content on their webpage.
Including a separate webpage with information on how users can also upload and share content, in hopes of making it to the ‘page of fame’
Don’t have a UGC-specific product or service? You can still take a page from GoPro’s bible.
Adventure video cameras aren’t the only thing that made GoPro stand out.
By developing a sense of culture (adventure-junkies and outdoor-enthusiasts) and then exploring how to promote this sense of culture while thinking outside the box, they were able to do something game-changing.
You can do this with your brand by:
Understanding what your product or service does best.
Brainstorming how to best display these actions and culture on social media.
Inviting your audience to join in and become involved by using your product or service to be featured and a recognized part of your global community.