Best Practices

User-Generated Content: What Is It & How Should You Use It?

By Editorial Staff

User-generated content encompasses many things within marketing. At its basis, User-generated data is simply content that your users and consumers create in relation to your product, service, or brand. Examples of user-generated data include those reviews you see on Amazon, blog posts that people write about your company or product, videos on TikTok or Instagram that review or showcase your product, and massive trends that encompass large swathes of people that engage with your company.

For more campaign insights, check out our article explaining the latest social media trends here.

The Rise of User-Generated Content

As apps like TikTok rise to prominence, it is no wonder we are starting to see marketing companies utilize user-generated content more and more in their marketing strategies. TikTok specifically enables users to see a variety of creators and reviews, leading people to create their own content around products and services.

User-generated content does a couple of things. For one, it creates awareness for your product in a more natural manner. If your campaign is well-planned and successful, it can distribute awareness for your product in a more decentralized and efficient manner. 

On top of that, user-generated content gives your product and campaign a sense of validity and trust in the eyes of the consumer. This is because consumers look to other consumers to evaluate and judge products.

Have you ever checked product reviews to help you choose a product amongst many possible choices? If so, you have experienced the power of user-generated content firsthand. This is something that you share with 70% of consumers

Via Amazon

User-generated content is beginning to grow as people increasingly trust other users and consumers over the words of traditional advertisements. According to the Nielsen Consumer Trust Index, 92% of consumers trust user-generated data over traditional marketing campaigns. It is for these reasons that user-generated data has gained traction in the marketing world.

If you want to harness the power of TikTok users, check out our article explaining TikTok’s creator marketplace here.

Case studies 

It is one thing to read about user-generated content but another to see it in action. In order to apply user-generated content to your campaign, it is important to see good case studies of what it can provide. 

Share a coke

UGC campaigns have been around far longer than the rise of TikTok. One example happened in 2011 when Coca-Cola created its famous “Share a Coke” campaign. This campaign might ring a bell and conjure images of endless names on their cans and bottles.

This campaign began when the advertising division at Coke promoted bottles printed with 150 of the most common names in Australia. The end result was a campaign so successful that it expanded into 80 other countries. 

Via the Coca-Cola Company

The impact of this one act created a connection between consumers and Coke in a way no other beverage company had done before. Users flocked to Instagram and Facebook to post bottles that had their names, boosting the already famous brand even further. 

The takeaway from this campaign is the importance of creating a connection between your product and your consumer. Consider integrating customization and personalized designs into your product in order to evoke this connection and user content.

Looking to run an epic influencer marketing campaign with user-generated content? NeoReach has the best experience in creating viral campaigns that convert on social media. Sign up here!

Shot on iPhone

In the iPhone’s early years, it ran into customer dissatisfaction with the camera quality. So when Apple released the iPhone 6 in March of 2015, it had to regain the trust of its users by proving to them that the iPhone had a good quality camera. This gave birth to Apple’s “Shot on iPhone” campaign which asked people to submit photos they took on the iPhone.

This campaign ended up incorporating photos from 77 users across 25 countries and 73 cities into newspaper ads, magazines, TV advertisements, and over 10,000 billboards. This campaign tried to play into their brand image of innovators and dreamers.

The montage of stunning iPhone pictures prompts the viewers almost to accept their campaign as a challenge, as they want to match the quality of photos on the billboards and ads. 

The takeaway from this challenge is to create a campaign where user-generated content can be a means of disputing public discontent with aspects of your product. In the case of Apple, they also promoted an inspirational message: “their technology enables any man to create great art”. In your campaign, try to showcase user-generated content to demonstrate to the consumer what they are capable of doing or creating. 

If you’re looking to focus on user-generated content on TikTok, read about revenue data here.

Lid flip challenge

In 2019, 60% of TikTok users fell between the age of 16 to 24, and Chipotle decided they wanted to reach this demographic on the app they frequent most. They started gaining traction with this video of a Chipotle employee flipping the Chipotle bowl lid. To help spread awareness and increase sales, they turned to Chipotle super-fan David Dobrik to post about it on his main channel and TikTok

The result was 111,000 video submissions in the first six days of the challenge. Chipotle’s campaign was a smashing success. It succeeded because it capitalized on employee UGC by using a demographic-friendly user and network to support its campaign. 

The biggest takeaway is to look for UGC where it appears naturally and capitalize on good UGC by choosing a demographic-friendly influencer and platform. 

User-Generated Content Tips

  • Always Request Permission from the original user
  • Credit Original Users
  • Be clear about what type of content you want
  • Be strategic and set goals

For more information on how to center the people already using your brand, read more about brand ambassadors here.

This article was written by Benjamin Byun

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