User-generated content (UGC) has emerged as the new ‘must have’ marketing strategy used by leading brands to boost audience engagement in their omnichannel customer experiences.
UGC campaigns is an excellent way to collect creative material for marketing purposes, get photos of your products on the social Web, and drive sales and brand engagement. Shoppers make a brand's content more personal and relevant. When skillfully integrated into overall marketing strategy, UGC helps brands grow their following and increase sales - conversion rates on product pages that include customer photos can increase up to 30 percent. According to the Content Marketing Institute, 86% of businesses now use content marketing, and 78% of B2C companies incorporated UGC in 2016.
A few of the many reasons why UGC is a vital element of content marketing plans this year:
1.UGC Drives Purchases
2.UGC Creates Brands Engagement
3.UGC Creates Brand's Exposure
So how can companies leverage the power of content contributed by their audiences to promote their own brand online? The following examples demonstrate that not only fashion brands can successfully tap into user-generated content.
Here are 7 brands that have successfully utilized user generated content by encouraging customers participation, displaying social media on their websites and hosting various contests.
Last year Belkin created one of the most customizable iPhone cases in a partnership with Lego that had Lego studs on the back of the case. Belkin asked their customers to show off their creativity and how each one personalized their case by tagging their Instagram photos with #LEGOxBelkin. The integration of user-generated content onto a product page as a way to help sell a product is a brilliant idea. From marketing perspective It allowed Belkin to let its customers do the selling for them, showing potential customers how cool the case could be in a very authentic and organic manner. Marketing Week
Their #DermaBlendPro campaign encouraged customers to share their make-up inspired transformations. Thousands submitted photos and videos, and the submissions quickly became a key component of L’Oreal’s brand story. The campaign drove trust and advocacy, and helped to achieve specific KPIs around email acquisition, social followers and web traffic.
National Geographic is an organization renowned for their stunning images, so the stakes were high when they turned to their social media community for content. Their recent “Wanderlust” contest, however, proved that user-generated travel content is a goldmine for brands. Asking users to “capture glimpses of the “unforgettable people, places, and experiences” that have impacted their lives from their travels around the world” and then share these images on Instagram with the hashtag #WanderlustContest, National Geographic tapped into a huge database of travel photography and video content that their community was more than happy to share. Econsultancy
Luxury car company Infiniti took the user-generated content contest to the next level with their “New Heights” contest to promote their Q30 model. Participants were asked to download the Infiniti Q30 Augmented Reality app and print out the Q30 app maker. Then, they were asked to capture a photo of the 3D Q30 in creative situations, and upload their images to Instagram, Twitter, or Facebook, with the hashtag #Q30Challenges. While definitely requiring more effort from participants than other contests, the prize included an all-inclusive trip to Budapest for two lucky winners. Marketing Land
Lay’s “Do Us A Flavor” campaign invited customers to invent their own flavors and then allowed fans to vote on their favorites.
Lay’s offered an extremely incentivizing prize of one million dollars for the winning flavor idea. Not surprisingly, there was a massive amount of participation (3.8 million submissions, to be exact).Lay’s even took the customer involvement a step further by having customers vote on Facebook and Twitter for the winner after it had been narrowed down to three options.
Mint, a personal budgeting app has mastered the art of the user-generated content pull. Recently launching the “My Mint Moment” contest, the company asked the Instagram community to share photos of moments where their “life and finances align to make your dreams turn into your #MyMintMoment”. For a prize of $1,000, participants were asked to stop and celebrate these moments “whether paying off a loan or saving for a trip.” Marketing Week.
While it may be difficult to conceptualize what a budgeting company might use as images for an Instagram account, this contest proved that Mint understands some key principles of content marketing. With their Instagram presence and this campaign, they are highlighting the way Mint fits into and enhances the customer’s lifestyle. They aren’t posting images of money or their app’s interface, but rather appealing to the customer’s emotions. With photos of weddings, new homes, and university grads among those being tagged with the #MyMintMoment hashtag, the brand is generating authentic and meaningful content from its audience. AdWeek
Video content has exploded on social in 2015, and Costa Coffee were ready to take full advantage to celebrate the launch of their new Ice Coffee shake this summer by asking consumers to upload a video to Instagram demonstrating their shake. All the best entries with the hashtag #ShakeUpSummer were then curated and featured on an engaging social hub. Plus, to incentivize participation, there was the chance to win a summer essentials bundle including an iPad Air 2, a £250 designer sunglasses voucher, Beats by Dre headphones and much, much more. Costa also launched a phase two of the campaign, with #ComeOutAndPlay.