WHY BRANDS NEED TO EMBRACE UGC IN THEIR MARKETING STRATEGY
Published on 8/1/2017
If you are trying to step up your marketing game, here are three words you need to know: user, generated, content. User generated content is one of the most effective ways to engage and connect with your consumers. According to Nielsen report, “43% of people are more likely to purchase a new product when they have learned about it through social channels, and 77% of people are more likely to purchase a product if their friends of family recommended it”.
77% of people are more likely to purchase a product if their friends of family recommended it.
In 2015, National Geographic launched the Wanderlust contest. The contest was aimed at amateur photographers. It asked participants to “capture glimpses of the unforgettable people, places, and experiences that have impacted their lives from their travels around the world” and then to share these images via Instagram with the #WanderlustContest hashtag. It ran from June 8, 2015 to July 6, 2015. The rules were simple: participants had to come from the United States, and had to have a public Instagram account. The prize was a National Geographic Photo Expedition to Yosemite National Park with a professional photographer.
“Capture glimpses of the unforgettable people, places, and experiences.”
The contest received hundreds of entries, and all of the photos are still featured on National Geographic’s website. Viewers can share and comment on the images they like. Under the photo caption of each image, there is a question: “What makes this photo great”?
Viewers can then click on: Composition, Lighting, Creativity, and/or Story for a description of how that particular element contributes to the “greatness” of the photograph. This is a great way to keep consumers engaged with the contest even though it has already finished.
The contest tapped into the passions and interests of National Geographic’s consumer base. Through the competition, National Geographic harnessed an impressive network of travel photography and videography which, not only generated copious shareable content, but also strengthened brand connections with consumers in a personalized manner.
The campaign garnered a lot of attention. It created good publicity as well as increased brand awareness. Instagram followers increased from 10.1 million followers to over 45.6 million followers today. The main reason that the #Wanderlust campaign was so successful was because National Geographic understood their audience and tailored the campaign to their consumers.
Understanding the passions and interests of your consumer base, and building an integrated content marketing strategy based off this knowledge, forges communities and brand loyalty to your products and services.
Understanding the passions and interests of your consumer base forges brand loyalty to your products and services.
Starbucks’ yearly red cup campaign is another example of an effective use of a user generated content strategy. Every holiday season, Starbucks reveals a new holiday cup design that coincides with a contest. Coffee drinkers from all over share shots of their coffee, via social media, using the tag #RedCupContest for the chance to win a Starbucks gift card.
The contest amasses a lot of attention; there are more than 405,000 #RedCups and #Redcup hashtag mentions and over 39,000 #RedCupContest hashtag mentions. The UGC campaign is smart. It employs holiday spirit and anticipations as way to connect with their consumer base.
The UGC campaign is smart. It employs holiday spirit and anticipations as way to connect with their consumer base.
This crafty campaign motivates people to participate and engage with the brand by offering a prize, and also helps to promote sales, as you need to buy a red cup in order to partake in the contest.
In addition to the annual #RedCupContest, in 2015 Starbucks held another challenge, #RedCupArt. The brand took a cue from their customers, who have been using their cups as canvasses for years, and encouraged them to post their designs on Instagram under the branded hashtag #RedCupArt.
The idea being to generate shareable content about their customers’ holiday experiences. They received over 1,200 submissions from thirteen different countries and featured many of these images in an online cup collection. At the end of the contest, Starbucks chose thirteen customer designs from six countries to use as their 2016 holiday cups. This brilliant campaigned integrated customers’ personal interests and stories, what the holidays’ mean to them, with their brand, which helped forge a sense of integrity and loyalty to their brand.
Starbucks and National Geographic each successfully harnessed the power of a user generated campaign. They considered the personalities of their customers and used this as a foundation for their marketing plans. Both companies used contests and prizes to generate buzz around their respective campaigns- encouraging people to comment, post, and share via social media.
Commit to your consumers and they will commit to your brand.
User generated content is an effective way to capture the attention of consumers. Think about who you are marketing too? What are their passions and interests? How can you use these in a contest or campaign to draw attention to your brand? Commit to your consumers and they will commit to your brand.
Are you trying to create shareable content on social media? Stories can create strong marketing campaigns with many shareable pieces. At Fabl we facilitate brand engagement- readers can share a quote, an image, or a video with a click of a button! Let us help you commit to your consumers!