When it comes to buying a product that is posing a purchasing conundrum, who are you more likely to trust? The self-commending word of the brand itself or a friend or family member who can vouch for a first-hand experience with the product?
Today, consumers are more digitally-savvy than ever before, and take trustworthy recommendations from real customers, followers, and actual partners, rather than brands themselves, especially when making a purchasing decision. If a product has a lot of user reviews with dozens of real product images uploaded under its belt, it makes it easier for them to make an informed decision with a complete peace of mind.
Here is where user-generated content comes into play.
In the US alone, 63% of adults post or talk about services and products online, while 81% read what other people have posted about those products. This renders earned content one of the most influential forms of content in this era!
User-generated content serves as social proof that is created by users and consumers pertaining to a brand. It enables a brand’s customers to become loyal advocates, which eventually goes to drive brand credibility and sales.
As consumers look up to their friends and other shoppers for recommendations, ecommerce brands and marketers can leverage this influential content in more personalized and authentic ways. Since UGC is created by users and they are not paid to post their UGC content, it makes the promotion more authentic and convincing for other users. This is why UGC is now considered an essential marketing strategy for millions of brands. Today, many brands are tapping into user-generated content to advertise their products and services.
If you are thinking of fabricating a UGC campaign for the first time, here are some awesome user-generated content campaigns that will give you a clear idea of how to drive prospective buyers to your brand by using the power of UGC.
1. Calvin Klein
A famous American fashion house that offers a sophisticated range of apparel for women and men, revived the nostalgia of their all-time famous tagline back in 1981, “Nothing comes between me and my Calvins, and launched #MyCalvins campaign on Instagram, asking followers to fill in the campaign line “I ____ in #MyCalvins”, and post pictures in their briefs. As predicted, the campaign was a thriving success.
Within a few months, the hashtag #MyCalvins took over Instagram and generated more than 18,000 tagged photos. The brand earned a massive follower base across Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. In fact, the campaign resonated more with young people than paid ads or influential posts did. The brand further launched the #MyCalvins gallery to allow customers to submit their best photos. The images, shot by users in their own bedrooms or homes, presented an exclusive sneak-peak at their lives and bodies.
The campaign wasn’t just designed to allure celebrities and attract customers into flaunting their bodies to gain attention, the ad is a nod to the 80’s, where the provocative image of Brooke Shields posing in a pair of slender jeans stormed the industry. The intimate shots of consumers posing in their most private affairs nurture a sense of vulnerability and emotional connection that a professional shoot cannot even hope to tap into.
Wayfair is an American ecommerce company, specializing in home furnishings and interior décor. The company launched fun UGC campaigns, asking customers to flaunt their chic home interiors, featuring their products in action. The brand launched the #WayfairSquad campaign, entailing their followers to portray their products decking out their homes; an ingenious strategy for blending design inspiration and customer testimonials all-in-one.
Leveraging UGC helped Wayfair channel more and more customers to their website, which eventually increased their sales since they gave users a way to find and shop for their products. Remember that people trust testimonials and feedback from real customers, and if you offer them a way to see your products being used innovatively by real people, it becomes easier to get them to think about purchasing them too.
The world’s renowned coffee company that has become deeply and irrevocably ingrained in our daily lives, has taken social media marketing to a whole new level by revealing a more authentic and human side of the brand. Starbucks earned a very engaged user base when they jumped on UGC content in an informative, pertinent and evocative way.
Starbucks ran a #StarbucksOnIce campaign on Instagram which rippled waves of excitement among users and kept them engaged, transforming them into content creators for the brand. The brand re-shared the best posts from the campaign.
Coca-Cola has been tinkering with user-generated content for quite some time now. “Share a Coke” is one of the longest-running UGC campaigns which is considered a huge marketing win for this beverage giant as they gained a massive boost in revenue. The brand encouraged their fans to post a picture or a video of their personalized coke bottles on social media with the #ShareaCoke hashtag. In addition, the brand allows its fans to customize and order their own bottles on their website.
— The Coca-Cola Co. (@CocaColaCo) June 2, 2017
The campaign generated stupendous results for the brand, with:
- 500,000 photos shared using the #ShareaCoke hashtag
- 25 million increase in the Coca-Cola’s Facebook page
- 6 million virtual Coke bottles created and shared by Consumers
Basically, with this campaign, Coca-Cola wanted their consumers to engage with their products and express their creativity. I bet it is one of the best examples of UGC you’ve ever witnessed, where an American couple is announcing their pregnancy by using Coke bottles and cans.
5. Outdoor Voices
The brand that offers activewear for men and women has strategically leveraged the power of UGC to highlight them in an authentic light. Instead of focusing on their products, the brand asked users to share their special moments when they are active and fun by using a hashtag #doingthings
Their UGC campaign looks authentic and feels sincere, as they focus on real people doing things, not exclusively their products. Showing how other people are using your products in their everyday lives will make it easier for prospective buyers to imagine themselves using your products in similar situations as well.
Doritos, a famous American brand of flavored tortilla chips, launched a campaign promoting their spiciest tortilla chips, called Roulette. They asked people to post their pictures by using the hashtag #BurnSelfie, and the results were amazing.
— Dennis & May Pang (@Pangcouver) July 5, 2014
— Doritos Canada (@DoritosCanada) August 11, 2014
This campaign encouraged people to engage with the brand in a more meaningful way and depict their creative side.
Now It’s Your Turn
By capitalizing on the power of social proof, you can convince more and more users to purchase from your brand, as buyers are highly motivated by the experiences of other shoppers. If truth be told, leveraging user-generated content in your marketing campaigns is an authentic and cost-effective way of promoting your brand, which can influence customers to trust your brand and purchase your products. Hopefully, these clever UG content campaigns will inspire your own marketing efforts. Good luck!