In 2014, Starbucks introduced its white cup challenge, a social media campaign in the form of a contest where it encouraged users to doodle on the Starbucks white cup and post it on Twitter using the #WhiteCupContest hashtag. The winning designs (user generated content) were to be featured as a limited edition templates. This move not only attracted a lot of engagement but also increased the sale of their product.
This shows how user-generated content (UGC) can help brands gain high engagement without spending too much on marketing costs. UGC is highly valued by both brands and social media users.
UGC provides valuable content for brands to use in marketing campaigns and proves that the brand values customer feedback. As for consumers, UGC offers honest reviews of the product from users, which helps in making the purchase decision.
The word-of-mouth marketing is one of the most effective marketing tactics that brands can use to increase conversion rates. Brands and marketing agencies must track and identify positive feedback and conversations on Twitter and leverage user-generated content to promote their brand.
What is user-generated content?
UGC is any content created by users and provided to brands through social media platforms. In can include content ranging from photos, videos, blog posts, testimonials, discussion boards and more. Implementing UGC in your social media campaign is essentially the consumers promoting the brand on social media.
There is no better approach to marketing as it lets the users promote your brand and thus reducing the overall marketing costs and efforts. Not only does it prove that the brand values its customers’ feedback, but it also helps in increasing the conversion rates through word-of-mouth marketing.
Why is user-generated content highly valued by both brands and users alike?
One of the distinctive elements of UGC is that it is highly effective in building trust among users and eventually leads to an increase in prospective customers and conversion rates.
The other great thing about UGC is that it is a highly cost-efficient marketing strategy that attracts high engagement where users promote the brand themselves.
As for customers, what would you believe in, an advertisement for a product or genuine feedback from a customer? In any case, word-of-mouth from a current user of the product will be always prioritized over any advertisement while making a purchase decision.
User-generated content campaigns are a cost-effective marketing practice that ensures high engagement from users. But you must analyze the sentiments of the consumers before introducing a UGC campaign. The negative sentiments of the users can cause some hilarious memes, a great deal of embarrassment or worst, a social media crisis.
TrackMyHashtag can help you track conversations related to your brand with specific keywords, hashtags or @mentions. You can analyze the user sentiments or how they perceive your brand on social media. Launching a user-generated campaign when the user sentiments aren’t positive can severely damage your brand’s reputation. Ask McDonald’s! #McDStories
Successful user-generated content marketing campaigns
Coca Cola’s user-generated content campaign
Coca Cola was facing a decline in the sales volumes and, in an attempt to mend its relations with the community and increase conversion rates, Coca Cola came up with its ingenious social media marketing campaign. The #ShareACoke campaign was introduced on Twitter where users could customize the names on the bottles.
The campaign encouraged users to share photos of the bottles with custom names featured on it. The move gained high participation from users and allowed the brand to connect with its customers on a personal level.
Loews Hotels user-generated content campaign
Loews Hotels were looking for a creative social media campaign that could help them connect with their audiences on a personal level and build trust. To achieve that, Loews Hotels encouraged users to post their happy experiences on Twitter with the hashtag #TraveForReal.
By encouraging users’ participation rater than hiring paid commercial actors, the organization generated awareness among the social communities about its services. It also offered insights into the genuine experiences of previous customers that increased its prospective customers.
Travelex user-generated content campaign
Travelex introduced a creative 12-month photo contest to encourage user participation for their social media campaign. The contest required users to post the best photos related to the theme provided each month. The photos had to be posted with the campaign hashtag #Travelxwow, which enhanced the brand’s awareness among the Twitter communities.
Not only did the move attract high engagement, but it also helped the organization in accumulating valuable user data for future promotional efforts and personalized advertisements.
Campaigns focused on user-generated content help brands generate awareness and ensures high user participation on social media. But you must monitor the conversations in real-time as some negative elements can hinder your social media efforts.
TrackMyHashtag can help you monitor and measure the impact of your social media campaigns in real-time with instant updates on the engagement and other KPI’s. It can also help you in analyzing the accumulated user-generated content to gain vital insights into the audiences. The keywords gained by analyzing the UGC can help you increase your SEO rankings. The data can also help in developing personalized products or services and can also be used for future brand promotions.
Benefits of User-generated content (UGC)
User-generated content marketing is an effective way of motivating user participation when promoting your brand on social media. It is also a great means to show users that their feedback plays an important role in personalizing user experiences. Let’s discuss some important benefits of user-generated content for your social media campaign.
Reduce marketing costs
Content creation is one of the costliest and time-consuming practices while developing a social media campaign. Brands need to frequently update content that resonates to drive engagement. But creating engaging content is difficult even for major brands. The next best option, use content created by users and let them promote the brand themselves.
The move will indefinitely decrease the overall marketing costs for your brand. Also offering a reward for high-quality content ensures high engagement from the social media communities.
Increase SEO ranking
Through user-generated content, marketers and brands can amass relevant content that social media communities use to find relevant information. By analyzing the UGC, brands can specify the common keywords and phrases that can increase reach and awareness.
Also, positive customer reviews can increase your brand’s reputation, SEO rankings and guide more traffic to your website.
Unique and authentic content
User-generated content marketing is an excellent means to stockpile unique and authentic content for your social media campaigns. Apple’s #ShotOniPhone is a great example of how brands can leverage USG in its marketing strategy.
Apple encouraged users to post pictures captured by iPhones and edited by apple editing software. Apple used the best photos for its billboard advertisements along with the hashtag #ShotOniPhone.
Implementing user-generated content in your brand’s social media campaign strategy provides you an opportunity to gather valuable user data. Analyzing this data provides insights into audiences’ likes, dislikes and what they find engaging.
The data can also help you improve your SEO ranking and help in delivering more personalized content appealing to the audiences. It can also help you generate leads and find prospective customers for your brand.
Brands and marketers must leverage user-generated content marketing as it not only decreases the over marketing cost, but it also provides an opportunity to generate awareness and increase reach. Implementing UGC means that you are letting the users generate content and promote the brand.
Analyzing user-generated content can help you gain key insights about the audience, along with the chance to increase the SEO ranking for the website and its products.
Start analyzing the impact of user-generated content marketing campaigns with TrackMyHashtag, a hashtag and event tracking tool that can help you find relevant content, keywords, phrases and influencers to promote your brand.
See you next time!