Authenticity is a word that seems to get thrown about a lot in the marketing world. According to a study by authentic100, 78% of consumers don’t think brands are open and honest. This increasing cynicism towards brands highlights a need to become more transparent and authentic.
One way brands are finding success with overcoming this challenge, is by teaming up with their audience to create content. 75% of people feel user-generated content makes a brand more authentic (the drum). Therefore, it’s a great thing to try in your marketing strategy.
Furthermore, social media campaigns including user-generated content see 50% higher engagement, and email campaigns see 73% higher clickthrough rates. Consumers also find user-generated content to be much more influential, with 85% saying it has more of an impact on their opinion of a company than branded photos or videos.
In this blog, I’ll be covering a few of my favourite marketing campaigns involving user-generated content. Use these ideas as a bit of inspiration for your next user-generated content marketing campaign.
Back in 2014, ASOS launched a section on their website titled ‘As Seen on Me’. It links to images of their customers wearing clothes purchased from their website. Customers can upload photos directly to ASOS or by using the hashtag #AsSeenOnMe on Instagram.
As you’ll probably know fashion blogging is huge on social media. Thousands of users are posting their ‘outfits of the day’. ASOS have cashed in on this trend and have basically created a feed of adverts for their clothes for free!
Takeaway: Trendjack: Jump on social media trends and find a creative way to apply it to your brand.
You’ll probably be familiar with Starbucks white cup contest. Each year Starbucks invites its customers to decorate its coffee cups using the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. In return, they can win a gift card and their design to be printed on a reusable cup.
The result of the campaign? Loads of visually appealing social media posts which increased Starbucks organic reach and user-generated product design!
Takeaway: Run a competition to encourage user-generated content
Probably one of the most famous charity user-generated campaigns, Cancer Research no makeup selfie campaign raised more than £8 million in six days. In case you aren’t familiar with the campaign, users were encouraged to post selfies without makeup on, and then donate £5 to Cancer Research, and nominate others to do the ‘challenge’.
Takeaway: What you encourage your users to post doesn’t necessarily have to relate to your product. In this case, posting selfies without makeup on doesn’t relate to Cancer Research, yet was still hugely effective.
Collaboration is at the heart of Loughborough University’s strategy. In 2016, the university sent out personalised golden tickets to all of the year’s new freshers. Many then took to social media to post pictures of them with their golden ticket using the hashtag #LboroFamily. This campaign drummed up excitement and helped the university expand its reach.
Takeaway: Creating something personalised for your audience will help to encourage engagement and user-generated content.
LEGO Ideas launched in 2015. The concept? Lego fans are invited to create an original LEGO build. Next, the fan has to gain support (similar to crowdfunding), if the creator gets 10,000 supporters then the LEGO board reviews the creation and decides whether to make it into a LEGO product to be sold around the world.
There are so many great things about this campaign. Firstly, it shows users being creative with their products. Secondly, to gain support for an idea, the user has to promote their idea (and LEGO) online which expands the reach and brand awareness. Finally, having people vote on an idea, shows what LEGO users want to see in the shops.
Takeaway: Let your customers tell you what products they want to see
Hopefully, these examples will have got you inspired! Check out these below resources for more learnings!
On-demand webinar: social media in a PR context