How To Boost Your Brand With User-Generated Content

 In Blog, Social Media

With over 90% of U.S businesses using social media for marketing purposes, it is easy for customers to get bored with overly branded content. Many companies are turning to user-generated content (also known as UGC) on their social media accounts. User-generated content is content related to a brand that is voluntarily produced by its customers. Customers who have a positive experience with your brand are motivated to inform their peers by sharing their experiences. The average person wants to feel a real human connection to a brand before agreeing to buy from them. In fact, according to AdWeek, 85% of users are found to be more influenced by the UGC than the content made by the brands directly. This statistic makes UGC one of the most scalable ways to show products and drive revenue. Here are a few ideas to help you boost your brand with user-generated content.

Aerie: #AerieREAL Campaign

With high-profile breaches of consumer trust, more and more consumers are demanding authenticity from businesses. In fact, consumers’ trust is at an all-time low according to Salesforce. Companies who fail to connect on social media platforms miss the opportunity to demonstrate authenticity and earn consumer loyalty. This is where user-generated content can shine as a powerful marketing tool.

Aerie, a woman’s clothing company, utilizes UGC to showcase its brand values: body positivity, empowerment, and self-love. They drive their commitment to these core values by showcasing their customers on their social media profiles. Aerie uses Instagram posts they have been tagged in by their customers while using the hashtag #AerieREAL, a campaign that promotes diverse body images. They stay true to their name by featuring women of all body shapes and sizes, creating a sense of authenticity with their audience. And it’s definitely working. The fashion brand saw a 20% sales jump after unveiling the #AerieREAL campaign.

Key takeaway: Reposting a customer’s image that aligns with your brand’s core values strengthens your image on social.

Adobe: #CreateYourStory

An amazing way to utilize user-generated content is showcasing your audience’s talents. This is generally less expensive than a celebrity endorsement or an elaborate production setup. Not only are you showing the full capabilities of your product, but you are also cultivating a sense of community by interacting with your customers. This creates a powerful connection between the customer and the brand, promoting brand loyalty. Additionally, user-generated content serves as a continuous source of new and fresh content.

Adobe, a designing software company, is known for using innovative hashtags in their user-generated content campaigns. Inventive designers share their creative artwork and highlight their skills using any Adobe product, such as Photoshop or Illustrator. They share other user’s visionary works for free – making it a great opportunity for Adobe to engage with its users. It also highlights what their software can actually do – serving as inspiration for new customers. For the artist whose work is shared, they receive free publicity to Adobe’s Instagram audience of more than 976,000 users. This mutually beneficial relationship is the perfect way to get started using user-generated content!

Key takeaway: Create a sense of community and trust by sharing your customer’s pictures and by using a strong hashtag!

Starbucks: #WhiteCupContest

Contests are one of the best ways to generate exciting, engaging user-generated content without having to overspend. Users love to be noticed and engaged with by the brands they follow. According to HelloWorld, engaging customers on social media is one of the best ways to drive brand loyalty! The best types of contests are ones that directly relate to the product people love as well as being easy enough for anyone to participate.

Starbucks, the American coffee company and coffeehouse chain, ran a wildly successful contest in 2014 and 2016. They encouraged their customers to doodle over their white cups and to post it on Twitter with the hashtag #WhiteCupContest. The winning white cup drawings submitted would be used as a limited-edition template for the cup design of Starbucks. In just three weeks, the competition generated over 4,000 cups to choose from. It was so wildly successful that they ran a similar contest: the #RedCupArt challenge. This generated enormous activity for Starbucks on Twitter and Instagram! Running a contest can be as simple as asking people to submit their favorite aspect about your product for a coupon code! Turn these ideas into posts that echo the positive features of your brand!

Key takeaway: Running a fun and lighthearted contest can produce tons of user-generated content for you to feature!

Are you using user-generated content to its fullest potential? At Social Fire Media, we’re the social media management experts. Contact us today to get a head start on your next user-generated content campaign!

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