All hail user-generated content! Are photos of your friends sporting the latest fashion or technology trend flooding your newsfeeds? User-generated content is everywhere and it’s making waves, especially among the millennial demographic. According to a study done by Ipsos MediaCT and Crowdtap in January of 2014, millennials are more likely to trust UGC when it comes to making purchasing decisions or to share their own opinions about a particular brand or product. ((http://blog.crowdtap.it/wp-content/uploads/Millennials-Heart-UGC-Infographic.jpg)) Absorbing and producing content daily, millennials are deeply engaged, finding UGC 50% more trusted and 35% more memorable than other types of media. ((http://blog.crowdtap.it/2014/04/millennials-heart-ugc-infographic/))
So what’s the big deal? An endless source of real-time authentic conversations that are occurring around a particular brand or product; sounds like a marketers dream to us! More importantly, these discussions can be utilized for building marketing strategies, generating strong brand loyalty, or simply getting your audience to engage with your product, especially if they are millennials!
One of our favorite examples is Urban Outfitters, who got creative with how they related to their millennial audience by starting an online community of Instagram images, featuring fans, with a campaign called “Show Us Your UO.” ((http://www.urbanoutfitters.com/urban/catalog/category.jsp?id=UOONYOU)) Consumers were simply asked to share their Instagram or Twitter pictures with the hashtag #UOonYou to have their posts pulled onto to the site. Consumers visiting UrbanOutfitters.com can browse a collage of real fan pics featuring clothing items, home décor or jewelry and make real-time purchases by clicking on the images that appeal to them. ((http://www.mobilemarketer.com/cms/news/content/16716.html)) The design of the #UOonYou campaign is snack-able, shareable and spotlights influencers by offering brand aficionados a prize of having their snap featured on the website. ((http://www.mobilecommercedaily.com/urban-outfitters-exec-instagram-inspires-shows-brand-personality))
Another example is Coca-Cola’s digital and social “This is Ahh” campaign that was aimed at engaging their target teen audience by spurring UGC creation. ((http://creativity-online.com/work/cocacola-feels-like-ahh/34363)) Coca-Cola asked their fans to share their “AHH moment” (what they experience when they drink Coke) with the hashtag #ThisisAhh on a social media platform of their choosing with the special prize of being spotlighted in a Coca-Cola ad. ((http://creativity-online.com/work/cocacola-feels-like-ahh/34363)) Gathering some 400 submissions, Coca-Cola created the new commercial with their favorites, which is the first 100% user generated ad they have ever run. ((http://adage.com/article/cmo-strategy/coke-retools-teen-campaign-year/292314/)) The brand plans to continue to push out shareable GIFS, photos, videos and games on microsites they have created for the campaign to keep fans coming back for more.
These two innovative examples tell us that UGC should be an integral piece of the whole digital, mobile and broadcast channel mix. More importantly, UGC is giving consumers a powerful voice, but also empowering marketers by offering unbiased and unsolicited data through which they can devise smart strategies. So go ahead and dig into the goldmine of UGC and use it to empower consumers to tell your brand’s story. ((http://blog.crowdtap.it/2014/04/millennials-heart-ugc-infographiC/))