Since the rise of the social media influencer, audiences have become increasingly accustomed to recognising ads on influencers’ feeds, seeing through their latest grid post or story as paid-for promotional content. Due to this, we’ve reached a point where consumers are starting to seek out more authenticity from brands. In fact, a Consumer Content Report has found that 86% of people think that authenticity is important when deciding which brands to support.
User generated content is one of the most powerful, and most importantly, authentic forms of marketing content a brand can utilise. UGC is a sign of customer advocacy, turning your customers into brand ambassadors. It allows customers to share their positive experiences of your brand with their following, whilst providing you with authentic content to share on your own social media channels.
So how do you encourage your customers to create user generated content? Here are a few tips.
Generate a buzz
Give your customers something to talk about by creating a campaign that is shareable and engaging.
One brand who does this really well is Coca-Cola with their Share a Coke campaign, where they printed peoples names on their bottles in place of their logo. This encouraged customers to seek out their name, and share their bottle on social media, creating brand desire as customers searched for a bottle with their name on it.
This campaign resulted in tons of user generated content for the brand. Though not everyone has the huge brand power of Coca-Cola, this campaign just shows how building an engaging message that encourages your audience to share can build excitement and boost user generated content for your brand.
Create a hashtag
Using hashtags is a great way to spread your message across Instagram and Twitter, whilst encouraging your audience to get involved.
Disney showed us a creative way to get their customers involved by using a hashtag when they partnered with Make-a-Wish Foundation. Using the hashtag #ShareYourEars, Disney encouraged their audience to share a photo wearing their Mickey Mouse ears. In return, Disney pledged to donate $5 to Make-A-Wish for every post.
The campaign was a huge success, donating $2 million to the charity, and creating a whole lot of user generated content at the same time.
Offer an incentive
Offering an award or incentive for your audience to contribute can be a successful way to generate more UGC. This doesn’t always have to mean giving away a prize of a discount, in fact, a survey found that only 32% of consumers created and shared UGC because they wanted to win a prize. Instead, 60% shared UGC to get more likes, or to have their content featured by a brand.
Always respond and interact with customers who share their branded content, and reward their efforts. This could be featuring their content on your social channels, website, or email newsletter if you’re not able to offer a prize.