The Abbi Agency is in the middle of collecting data on the life of UGC. If you are a marketer, contribute your personal experience with UGC and tell us about campaigns you’ve worked with. Two survey respondents will be randomly selected to win $100 Visa gift cards.
Across the Internet marketers are writing about the gospel of the good acronym, UGC (user-generated content). It makes sense — people are snapping a whopping 150 new photos on their smartphones every month, and 46 percent of the population is sharing these photos on social platforms as original content — why not harness all this creative consumer energy to promote your brand?
Meanwhile, diverse audiences are swarming every social platform. Empty nesters ages 55+ lead the pack of new Facebook users. And don’t discount Gen Z — most of this population has already earned their social wings. A group that has grown up surrounded by technology, Gen Z kids have the tools to adapt quickly to changes and trends, and the will to blast their thoughts out and change the world.
Conditions are ideal for companies to implement fan submission campaigns. Here are a few ways brands are strategically using UGC to glean long-term benefits.
Real Stories Drive Commerce
Audiences want to buy into brands that champion real stories. UGC can help you push your brand out there, establish a presence, and immerse your audience in a storyline that is timely and relevant. After noticing an absence of pictures on Instagram and Twitter that included both mom and child, Soap.com took on the challenge with their #GetInThePic campaign. The campaign launched in time for Mother’s Day, increasing sales by 15%.
The Takeaway: Fans support messages that resonate with them. Use UGC to get personal and down to the core of what truly matters to consumers.
Sharing your Brand Essence
UGC campaigns are the perfect opportunity to share the values and attitudes that make up the essence of your product. When marketers pull this off well, audiences get those warm, positive feelings from memories of interacting with the brand. Natural beauty products brand, YES TO, created a campaign with the spirit of paying it forward. For every photo submission with the tag #YESTOSNACKS, they donated a snack to Blessings in a Backpack, a nonprofit that supplies healthy food to schoolchildren.
The Takeaway: Fans want to know there is substance behind an end product that makes it worth spending money on. There are so many companies out there peddling similar products. Break through the noise with a unique personality that can be replicated through thousands of user submissions.
Promoting Lifestyle Brand Awareness through Community
Social communities unite folks on a common platform and motivate them toward an end goal, even going so far as to motivate lifestyle change. By encouraging fans to share content, we’re able to strengthen our online presence and build a movement to push important issues. Take Advocate Health Care, the largest healthcare provider in Illinois. To spark conversations about living well between patients and doctors, they created a series of UGC campaigns. In combination with a series of traditional ad campaigns, they saw a 26 percent increase in physician appointments.
The Takeaway: When you build a UGC community, you fuel a common mentality and people begin to feel more comfortable with buying into your product.
Constance Aguilar is the Director of Digital Experience for The Abbi Agency, an integrated marketing communications firm with offices in Reno and Las Vegas. Learn more at theabbiagency.com.