For decades, businesses have used traditional marketing ideas to sell their products and services. Print ads, television commercials, and radio spots are useful to a point, but they are not enough anymore. Baby boomers and millennials want to share their opinions, provide their feedback, and post it on social media. Basically, this means potential free advertising for businesses.
Instead of merely looking at an advertisement for a product, and then going to a store and purchasing it, consumers want to talk about the product before they buy it. In fact, they also want to share their opinions after they have used a product. The product becomes part of their experiences, and they are eager to share those experiences with other consumers.
Businesses that make meaningful connections with their consumers on social media notice something magical happening: their sales skyrocket. Social media is vital in today’s marketing world, and when a business connects and interacts with its customers through platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Snapchat, people take notice.
By leveraging user-generated content for a branding campaign, businesses are letting consumers know that they value and appreciate their opinions and comments. Consumers sharing positive brand experiences through social media channels (via photos, reviews, and discussion boards) are fantastic opportunities to use consumer-generated content for a branding campaign. When consumers see that a company is authentic in its interaction with them, they will feel the company is relevant and ‘understands’ who they are.
An excellent way to utilize user-generated content is to set up a contest on your brand’s social media channels and encourage consumers to participate using a particular hashtag. For example, suppose a business ran a campaign in which celebrity lookalikes posed while holding the brand’s product. This would instantly add social proof for the brand’s authority and definitely generate some buzz.
Consumers were invited to replicate the ad and post their own photos on social media platforms, using the hashtag generated specifically for the contest. The campaign slogan could read, “They sure look like celebrities, and so can you!” With company engagement on social media platforms, consumers become brand advocates and are more likely to share content with their own followers, thereby producing even greater ‘free’ advertising for the brand.
Try to Create a Buzz
Some very successful user-generated content campaigns are terrific examples of how useful they can be. Not only does leveraging user-generated content increase business for the duration of a brand campaign, but it also increases brand social media followers. In the long run, creating ‘buzz’ over products can have lasting, positive consequences for businesses.
A company can inspire its consumers by including their thoughts, opinions, photos, and reviews into its brand campaigns, creating a strong relationship bond. The consumer feels a personal connection to a company who shared a photo on social media of their family on vacation using the brand product. It’s a trust in the company the consumer feels, and that can be a significant key to the success of user-generated brand campaigns.