The Power of User-Generated Content
With the amount of choice available to the everyday consumer, the need for brands to cut through the clutter is arguably greater than ever.
As marketers, it’s always a difficult task to produce content that is interesting, relevant, and engaging to your target audience. Just imagine all of the content you are presented with each day, how many of them do you click on or engage with? Most likely, it's only a mere fraction of what you see each day. One avenue of content marketing that has become increasingly effective is using branded user-generated content.
User-generated content (UGC) is by no means a new concept; sites such as YouTube, TripAdvisor, Wikipedia and Reddit were founded on the principle of collecting and distributing UGC and have enjoyed huge success, but only in recent years have marketers been able to harness the power of UGC for marketing campaigns.
Many consider Burberry’s ‘Art of the Trench’ as one of the pioneering UGC marketing campaigns where customers could share photos of themselves wearing their Burberry trench coats, giving them their '15 minutes of fame' as models on the site. This platform allowed current and potential customers to admire their sense of style, and most importantly became another medium where consumers could buy Burberry products.
We took to the Web and found some recent UGC campaigns that made our heads turn:
To launch their cheapest meal ever, KFC in Romania created a light-hearted campaign where they parodied the #RichKidsOfInstragram hashtag, often used by very wealthy teens on the social network, with their very own #LittleMoneyBigFun hashtag campaign. This challenged Romanians to pick famous rich kids Instagram photos, and upload their own side-by-side version. The end results were incredibly funny and clever photo parodies but more importantly for KFC, a 21% boost in sales.
Yahoo7 recently teamed up with Australia's favourite cookie company, Tim Tam (who also partnered with pastry chef extraordinaire Adriano Zumbo) to launch a simple ‘How do you Tim Tam?’ campaign on Instagram. A whole host of submissions were curated and featured on a social hub, and customers also had the chance to win a trip for seven nights in Paris for two. This certainly was a fun way to add some flavour to Instagram, and generate lots of interest along the way.
As you can see, the world is filled with consumers who find creative ways to show their love of brands. Marketers need to stay alert, listen, because sometimes the best ideas come from your very own customers.