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Want to Launch User-Generated Content Campaigns? Learn from These Brands

In this day and age, brand authenticity greatly matters. Consumers trusting your brand because of its honesty and authenticity can be the catalyst you need to transform from a startup to a household name. So, what’s the best way to show your brand values and what you offer? This is where UGC or user-generated content comes in. UGC is any content created by people, rather than brands. Ninety percent of consumers say UGC influences their buying decision more than other marketing tactics. That’s because, in most cases, brands don’t pay for UGC. It’s unbiased content from consumers who are satisfied with the products or services of a brand — the brand simply re-share that content on their pages. How can you leverage UGC to attract more customers? Here are some examples from the big brands.

Starbucks’ #RedCupContest

Every December, Starbucks holds the #RedCupContest and asks consumers to buy a red holiday cup and take a cool photo of it (and use the hashtag) to have a chance to win a Starbucks gift card. It’s a simple contest that incentivizes Starbucks customers. No wonder, many people participate every year. The good thing about this UGC campaign is it doesn’t only boost brand exposure and authenticity, but it also helps Starbucks increase its holiday sales. That’s because people have to buy a red cup first before they can participate in the contest. It’s definitely a win-win situation for both consumers and brands. Take a page from Starbucks’ UGC campaign by running a photo contest to make customers spread the buzz around your brand, feel they’re part of a community, and get a chance to earn rewards. Also, use branded hashtags to find the posts on social media and get your customers excited about the contest.

BMW’s #BMWRepost

Major automobile company, BMW, encourages proud BMW owners to use the hashtag #BMWRepost to share photos of their rides on social media. The campaign doesn’t offer any rewards. Still, it’s a win-win for both parties: the car owner gets to show off their rides to their friends, while BMW gets free ads. Recreate this campaign by thinking of your own hashtag to give customers a platform where they can brag about your products. You don’t even need to sell high-end items or target upper-class consumers. Many people love to share their shopping hauls, unboxing videos, or product highlights on social media. team meeting

Outdoor Voices’ #DoingThings

Rather than focusing on promoting their recreational apparel, Outdoor Voices asks their fans to snap photos of themselves #DoingThings they love while wearing their shirt, shoes, pants, or even just socks. The product doesn’t have to be the highlight of the post; customers are encouraged to show and tell the story of how they survive their first marathon, walk their dog on a sunny day, or hang out with friends. This UGC campaign feels authentic as the posts are focused more on the individual, not the business. This approach applies to different brands, even to service-oriented businesses like auto repair shops. Think of a campaign that highlights your clients’ lifestyles and values that can be related to the services you offer in your shop. And you will see posts of car owners and motorbike enthusiasts thanking your shop that they get to go on their summer beach trips, Sunday rides to the church, or ATV adventures. Depending on the nature of your brand, some UGC tactics may work better than others. Your audience may not be good at taking videos but is happy to capture photos all day long. So rather than using one approach, experiment with different UGC campaigns to find the one that works best for your brand. The important thing is you get to involve your customers in raising awareness about your brand and solutions.
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