Success in Sharing: How UGC Content Strengthens Brands in 2024
The current era of technological advancement forces companies to adapt their content and user interactions. One of the hot trends is User-Generated Content (UGC). We will explore what UGC means, its advantages, and how to make the most of it in 2024.
Advantages of UGC
- Authentic content: Users prefer to watch genuine videos, reels, or stories. For companies or brands, this form of content creation can be cost-effective, as it requires lower expenses compared to producing content with sets, scripts, makeup, etc.
- Credibility: Consumers are more likely to value stories or videos featuring products from their peers in the same target group, rather than standard internet advertisements. Such authentic content helps build trust in the product or brand.
- Engagement and Interaction: Other forms of promotion may not generate enough engagement opportunities. When consumers see someone genuinely appreciating a product and talking about it, they engage in conversations and share. This natural sharing leads to increased reach, higher engagement, and interest in the brand or product.
Types of UGC
User-generated content (UGC) can be diverse, encompassing everything your customers publish about your business online. From reviews and comments to detailed assessments, UGC is typically categorized into several main types, which we will discuss in more detail below.
Reviews: Users assess a product based on their previous experiences and provide information about the service (brand, delivery, packaging), benefits, recommendations, or practical usage.
Stories and Social Media Posts: A great way to spread brand awareness and product recognition, with the positive aspect being a wide audience that may become customers after seeing a public review. User stories are shared on platforms such as Instagram, Facebook, YouTube, or Twitter.
Video Content: YouTube is one of the most widespread platforms for UGC advertising without us even realizing it. YouTubers create unboxing videos, meaning they open packages on camera. Then they share their reviews and feelings with a broad audience. Another big advantage to the platform is the comments section, where viewers can share their personal opinions, experiences, or evaluate the brand presented by the person.
Brand Ambassadors: By a brand ambassador, we mean an influencer with a large reach and number of followers, or one who belongs to the same target audience the brand wants to promote its product to. Their role is to widely spread their experiences, brand values, and company name to boost brand recognition.
Trends for 2024
The trend toward naturalness and informality in marketing is gaining strength every year. User-generated content continues to maintain its popularity, making it widely usable in marketing campaigns. If you want to maximize the potential of UGC, focus on several prominent trends for this year.
UGC in Email Marketing: Personalized emails with content created by users that aim to get as close as possible to the targeted community. Users feel that the brand is paying attention to them and sharing essential content. Photos, reviews, or short videos can be attached.
Collaboration with Micro-Influencers: UGC in collaboration with smaller but more authentic influencers is advantageous because they focus on organic growth and creation. For example, you can suggest they try your product and share their opinion on their profile. Note: If you choose this path, be prepared for honest reviews.
Inclusion and Diversity: The range of uses is genuinely extensive – sharing can be done on platforms like Instagram, TikTok, Twitter, or YouTube. Each network has its specific users and target groups.
Modern consumers are becoming increasingly conscious and interested in the principles and values that guide a brand. They prefer to support brands actively promoting social responsibility, including the people in their campaigns and inclusive ideas.
Socially oriented campaigns have a higher chance of engaging the audience. When users see that their opinions and stories are taken into account, they are far more willing to actively create user-generated content and share it.
How to Generate UGC Content
By now, you’re probably convinced that user-generated content (UGC) is a real boost for your business (provided it’s used correctly). The next step is to understand how to motivate your audience to create such content for you. There are three universal ways to obtain user-generated content that work in any industry.
Motivate Users to Share with Incentives:
- Customer Contests and Challenges: Who doesn’t love contests and a bit of creativity? Launch challenges with rewards (products, discounts) on your social media platforms. These challenges can be of various themes, such as taking a picture with your product on a specific day, video of the week, the most-liked comment, reasons to win the product, etc. Don’t hesitate to set contest rules that benefit both parties.
- Customer Engagement Through Social Media: For example, reposting content from users shows how much interest there is in your brand and how people use your products on a daily basis.
- Barter: Everyone is interested in this. Sharing user opinions is a great way to collect positive reviews.
Create Aesthetically Pleasing Products: If you want to ignite the desire in customers to share your product on social media, it must be stylish. Pay attention to packaging, design, and pleasant details, such as personalized cards in the packaging. Brands can use various tricks to motivate their target audience to create user-generated content, but all that effort goes to waste if the product is not aesthetically appealing to consumers. Traditional high-emotion points include moments right after purchase, unboxing a product, and achieving results promised by the company.
Ask Directly: Brands should openly communicate their wishes to their audience, which means choosing the right approach and wording. This is one of the simplest ways to stimulate the creation of user-generated content. Start by exploring the customer journey and identifying high-emotion points – these are usually moments when users provide positive feedback. That’s the best window to ask.
How you can motivate customers to provide feedback at these points:
- Add a “share on social media” button on the page that appears after completing an order.
- Send customers an email a few days after receiving the product.
- Create a feedback or review form.
- Include a postcard with friendly greetings and a “thank you for the purchase” in the packaging.
- It’s also important to proactively engage with customers. For example, provide them with options to write reviews on various platforms or regularly share content they have created. This confirms that you value their opinions.
Many brands, regardless of their size, launch user-generated content (UGC) based campaigns. These campaigns are often effective, but sometimes UGC has the power to make a real splash in the industry. Here are five amazing examples of major brands using user-generated content to make headlines worldwide:
In 2014, Apple used UGC for its #ShotoniPhone campaign. This campaign motivated brand enthusiasts to take photos and showcase what the latest iPhone 6 and 6 Plus could do. The improved 8MP camera quality attracted consumers, and the campaign has been running for over seven years, with more and more photos being added as tech-savvy users purchase the latest iPhones.
Starbucks' White Cup Contest
In 2014, Starbucks initiated the White Cup Contest, a campaign that encouraged users to embrace their creativity and help design their famous white cups. People drew or created designs on their cups and shared them on social media using #WhiteCupContest. Over 4,000 participants entered the contest within three weeks.
In 2011, Coca-Cola launched the #ShareaCoke campaign. The brand strategically modified its iconic label to say “Share a Coke with” followed by common names from each location. Consumers took photos with their friends and shared these unique images across social media. This campaign was distinctive, raised brand awareness, and boosted sales.
Calvin Klein's #MyCalvins
Calvin Klein, a fashion brand established in 1968 in New York, wanted to take its marketing to the next level. Using the phrase “My Calvins,” they harked back to 1981 when a young Brooke Shields made her famous appearance. The campaign gained virality in 2014 when young ‘influencers’ posed in their Calvin Klein underwear, adding #MyCalvins to their captions. It was light, intimate, and resonated with the message of comfort from Calvin Klein. It generated up to 4.5 million interactions. In 2018, four years after the viral posts, the brand collaborated with Kardashians and Jenners, who, during a casual conversation, wore the brand’s jeans and underwear.
Our marketing agency, NAVIAN.studio, is a reliable partner when it comes to creating marketing strategies, content, or advice. We have extensive experience with UGC and are ready to share our expertise to create high-quality content for your brand across social media platforms. Feel free to reach out to us and let your brand grow.
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