The Importance of User-Generated Content as Digital Marketing Strategy
As soon as brands release advertisements for their products, viewers automatically speculate the validity of their claims. Some are already convinced at first sight and buy the products almost immediately like Coca-Cola and Vaseline. Others are much more skeptic especially when it comes to products that are new to the industry such as Sand&Sky and Coco & Eve.
To keep up with the giant brands and avoid further loss sales due to customers’ skepticisms, these new comers not only depend on their ability to create attractive graphic designs for their advertisements, but also heavily relied on user-generated contents as part of their marketing strategy.
In this article, we will elaborate the meaning and the advantages of user-generated contents as part of your brand campaign. We will also enumerate some examples of brands that nailed the utilization of this marketing trend.
These are contents that came from the consumers themselves. These could be texts, photos, videos, or blogs that are published by unpaid contributors, and in turn, will be shared or featured by the brands on their websites and social media accounts. In simpler terms, these contents are testimonials by the people who have first-hand experiences with the products.
Customers tend to share a lot of their experiences on social media, whether they are happy or not with the brand’s products and services.
With that being said, your brand’s online growth will reach a significant amount of viewers or followers once the word gets out. As a brand, part of your strategy is to make their statements your contents as this will also encourage them to engage more with your business.
Also, make sure that your customers receive the maximum level of satisfaction so your brand will receive positive feedbacks from them.
Now that your brand presence has grown and more people recognize your products, your chances of being searched online will also improve.
Your customers’ feedbacks most likely contain keywords that are connected or relevant to your business, products, or location. This will help put you on a higher rank due to the intent match.
When you respond to your user-generated contents, you are making your audience feel like they are not just customers, but rather co-creators of your brand. They will feel important and appreciate that you value their insights; therefore, this would likely compel them more to spread word about the goodness of your brand.
As you continue to engage with user-generated contents, you will learn more about your consumers’ approach to your products and reflect on the areas where you can improve more. This could also be a way to build a better, stronger, and more unified community for the like-minded individuals that constantly participates with the development of your brand.
Because of these established user-generated contents, more skeptic audience will now have an insight as to what customers genuinely think about your brand. This could be a major impact in your brand’s sales because of their renewed perception due to the influence of your UGCs.
Yes! As a matter of fact, even the most popular brands that are already consistent with their sales performance are now also incorporating user-generated contents to improve their marketing strategies. Here are some of the brands that are successful in using UGCs.
Back in 2014, Starbucks announced a design competition called the White Cup Contest that encouraged their customers to submit their art by drawing on their cups. The winning art will be printed on a reusable plastic cup of Starbucks which will be available for a limited time only. Over 4,000 entries were submitted, which is a testament in itself that the brand’s sales were high during that period.
Like Starbucks, Adobe launched the Art Maker Series, and also made use of the hashtag #AdobePerspective, an innovative campaign where designers were asked to share their artworks using any of Adobe’s products: Illustrator, Photoshop, Lightroom, InDesign, etc. Some of these user-generated contents were used for promotions and advertisements.
In 2014, instead of hiring professional models or celebrities, Marc Jacobs decided to launch the AW14 campaign on Instagram where he invited users all over the world to post a photo or video of themselves using the hashtag #CastMeMarc and winners will get the chance to model for the popular fashion brand. Even though the campaign didn’t require the contestants of any purchase of the products, the brand increased their social media followers and garnered a total of 70,000 entries for the contest.
Aerie is a lingerie lifestyle retailer which aims to empower women across the globe. In connection with this, they started a campaign with hashtag #AerieREAL that encourages women to post images of themselves in a swimsuit without retouching or enhancing the photo. The movement aims to create awareness about everyone’s self-esteem, and this campaign received massive positive reviews and women started sharing their unedited photos. What’s more is that the brand pledged $1 for every post to a certain charity. Who doesn’t want to support a cause like that?
Sand & Sky is a beauty brand that offers skincare products with ingredients that originates from Australia. Relatively new to the competitive beauty industry, Sand & Sky creators Sarah and Emily Hamilton developed products that cater as a solution to most of the skincare problems. Although they are competing with other popular brands such as Kylie Jenner’s Kylie Skin, Sand & Sky is continuing to grow its fan base due to its user-generated contents which is composed of their customers’ positive reviews about the products.
Building your brand’s online presence might be easy, but creating a successful and engaging online community for the brand could be the real challenge.
It will take time and your patience as the brand owner is required. But once you get the opportunity of building a beautiful community, your user-generated contents will create an impact to your brand if you continue to take care of it and encourage every member to grow with you.