User generated content (UGC) has become of increasing significance and relevance to brands, particularly the digital world. As social media climbs in popularity, UGC is a successful tool for reaching new customers. It has also allowed many users to become part of the narrative of a brand.
As the name suggests, user generated content is where the customer forms a two-way relationship with the brand. The consumer can create, like and share anything from videos, pictures and tweets. This gives the business a large majority of content, while at the same time allowing their brand to be accessed in increasingly innovative ways by consumers.
The best campaigns are creative and unique. They use social media platforms in a new way and have been highly successful.
John Lewis Christmas Advert ‘ReWorked’ (2013)
- This campaign invited people to recreate Lily Allens cover of ‘Somewhere only we know’. These were shared on social media and gave them a great deal of content they could then repurpose.
Burberry ‘Art of the Trench’ (2009)
- This was one of the first major UGC campaigns. It greatly took advantage of the popularity of Instagram. It asked users to upload images of themselves in their Burberry trench coat. Featuring real people from all over the world, it still forms part of Burberry marketing strategy today.
Queensland Tourism ‘Best job in the world’ (2009)
- One of the best Australian UGC campaigns, it had 34,000 people apply for the ‘best job in the world’ and gained a reported $200 million dollars in publicity for Tourism Queensland. Applicants created a short video explaining why they should be chosen. The winner received $150,000 and would stay on Hamilton Island as a caretaker.
Belkin ‘Lego Iphone Case’ (2012)
- Another example of how using a social media platform effectively can sell product. Belkin, created an iPhone case, with Lego, that had the lego studs on the back of the phone. Users could then change the look of the phone to their liking and share photos on Instagram.
Air New Zealand ‘#AirNZ Packed’ (2014)
- Air New Zealand has always been highly creative about how they present their brand. Users were invited to take photographs of their packed luggage and share it online to be in the running to win $1000. It greatly highlighted the eagerness and expectation of travel. The competition was widely shared on many different social media platforms.
These campaigns are all examples of how a small budget can still have a great impact. The best UGC campaigns are creative, engaging and underpinning the brand strategy.
Tips for creating great User Generated Content:
1. Make it Visual
2. Make it fun
3. Make it personal