5 WAYS TO BOOST ENGAGEMENT WITH USER-GENERATED CONTENT
Consumers nowadays are no longer passive shoppers. They look for expert opinion and customer reviews before buying, share about products they love, and most importantly, create authentic content with the power to influence others’ purchase decisions. According to Crowdtap and Ipsos, user-generated content (UGC) is more trusted than other types of media by 50% and is an important marketing strategy to help brands build trust and grow sales.
Ready to take your brand to new heights in 2021? Let’s take a look at some of the most inspiring UGC campaigns in the world to learn from for your UGC strategy!
1. Create Contests or Giveaways
Holding contests or giveaways is a classic way to have your customers get involved in your marketing campaign. To gain more social media traction, brands can consider collaborating with social media influencers in a compatible niche to reach a wider audience.
Offering a compelling prize is also a crucial element to encourage more to join the campaign. However, a good reward is not necessarily an expensive gift or a large amount of money. Back in 2014, Starbucks came up with the #WhiteCupContest, encouraging customers to create artistic doodles on their white cups. To take part in the contest, users had to take a photo of their cups and post it on social media with #WhiteCupContest. The best part? The winning white cup drawings get to be featured as Starbucks’ limited edition reusable plastic cup!
The contest, of course, created a buzz on social media. Within 3 weeks, there were 4000 cups drawn by users uploaded on Twitter and Instagram. Riding on the huge success of #WhiteCupContest, Starbucks came up with another contest in 2016, called the #RedCupArt challenge. Once again, the campaign generated a huge amount of UGC which flooded social media and helped consumers usher in the holidays with Starbucks’ festive red cups. Without pouring millions into marketing, Starbucks captured the hearts of many by creating not one, but two impactful campaigns!
2. Send motivating message
Building an emotional connection between your products and customers is one of the best ways to improve customer engagement and form long-lasting relationships with customers. Let’s take a look into Aerie and Dove’s campaigns to learn from their inspiring campaigns.
In 2014, the women’s clothing company Aerie launched the #AerieREAL campaign to promote body positivity and inspire women to be comfortable in their skin. The brand encouraged users to post unedited photos of themselves in Aerie’s swimsuits and shared customers’ photos with encouraging captions. As part of the company's 6-year initiative to promote real women's bodies, the campaign was a move to empower women who are fed up with the idealised body type promoted by fashion brands. Aerie leveraged on UGC to create an inclusive community among its customers on social media. By spreading the message of body positivity through its customers, there was also a huge boost in terms of brand image.
Dove’s campaigns are well-known for promoting beauty in all shapes, forms and colors. One of the UGC campaigns we can take inspiration from is the Real Beauty campaign. Dove ambassador and television producer Shonda Rhimes encouraged women everywhere to share their stories and explore their beauty through photos and videos. Dove’s famous ad Real Beauty Sketches also explores the gap between how others perceive us and how we perceive ourselves. The idea was to change how women and girls see themselves represented in media and culture.
The campaign received positive feedback from the media and gathered lots of stories sent by their customers. To utilize the content, Dove also created a campaign page and featured their stories on it.
3. Give customers incentives to review your product/service
By giving customers good incentives to feature your product/service, brands can generate a huge number of organic content and tap into their follower communities at the same time.
Hilton Grand Vacations, one of Hilton's world-class global brands, encourages customers to upload their holiday pictures on social media with the hashtag #myHGV before featuring some of the best images on its Instagram feed (@hiltongrandvacation). These beautiful images act as a source of inspiration for potential customers to book the next vacation at the hotel!
Furniture brand Wayfair inspires their audience to transform their living spaces by featuring beautiful home decor ideas using Wayfair items. This brand also partnered with numerous influencers to boost awareness for the campaign. To date, #wayfairathome has more than 55k posts on Instagram showcasing stunning home decoration across all styles and budgets!
Recently, YesStyle, a global retailer of Asian beauty and fashion products, has gained a lot of social media traction with its ingenious YesStyle Influencer Program. Registering to become a YesStyle influencer gives shoppers a chance to receive attractive benefits such as earning commission and getting shopping discounts. Ever since YesStyle announced its influencer program at the end of January 2020, there were more than 4000 organic posts created by its influencers, alongside with a huge number of Youtube unboxing videos and giveaways.
What’s also worth mentioning is their commission scheme. When followers shop through the reward link, influencers will earn a higher commission rate compared to using the reward code. This small but important detail is a great contributor to drive traffic to the website and improve their SEO performance.
4. Collaborate with influencers
Influencer marketing is a great way to generate buzz around your products. Collaborating with the right influencers allows brands to tap into a massive following to increase brand awareness and drive purchasing decisions. While we mentioned many influencer marketing campaigns in our previous blogs, one campaign that stands out recently is the collaboration between technology giant Samsung and famous Kpop influencer, Blackpink.
In early 2020, before the release of the Galaxy A model, Samsung collaborated with Blackpink to launch the hashtag challenge #danceAwesome. The dance challenge includes a short dance on the campaign’s catchy music, “Awesome screen. Awesome camera. Long-lasting battery life,” which perfectly highlights the smartphone’s features. The challenge also involved the participation of hot TikTok influencer@hollyh who has more than 16 million followers!
The challenge, of course, spread through social media like wildfire, resulting in 16B views, 4.7M user videos and a significant increase in purchase intent. Besides the catchy music and involvement of Kpop celebrities, Samsung also used a financial incentive to trigger engagement as the selected winner would have a chance to receive a free Samsung Galaxy A71!
5. Personalize your product
Customers love personalized items. By offering personalized products, brands could make customers feel special and spark social conversations naturally. While you might think it is challenging to customize your products at a large scale, let’s take a look how the most famous beverage brand Coca Cola did it!
In 2012, Coca launched its ‘Share a Coke’ campaign which replaced the Coca-Cola logo on cans with 150 of the most popular names in Australia. Thereafter, the campaign expanded to over 70 countries and more than 500k names as customers flocked to their local stores to look for Coke cans named after them to show it on social media. According to StoryBox, there was a 870% increase in Facebook traffic, 2 out of 5 Australians bought a Share a Coke pack, and more than 200k tweets from customers over the world used the #ShareaCoke hashtag.
Think that is all? This year, Coca Cola leveled up the campaign by producing Coke bottles printed with “frontline heroes”, “doctor” and “nurse”, in honour of frontline workers who are fighting against the Covid-19 pandemic. Using personalisation, brands are putting their customers on the spotlight as brand advocates to attract those around them and increase brand loyalty among existing customers.