Social media gives brands a quick and easy way to stay engage with their customers. But when used to its full potential, it can be so much more than that. Social media allows customers to generate their own content, which they share with other customers and their own friends.
User-generated content (UGC), when done well, can work wonders for brand awareness and creative marketing campaigns. It gives you advertising, establishes brand loyalty amongst your existing customer base, and brings awareness and credibility to your brand in the eye of potential customers.
Showcase the Customer’s Creativity
If you feel like your marketing strategy has gone stale, a strong approach to soliciting UGC can breathe new life into your brand. When tech-startup AirBnB was beginning, they created a short film made from Vines submitted by 42 users via Twitter. The video was a huge success, increasing AirBnB’s following and representing their brand message.
Your customers often view your product in a different way than you do. By showcasing their content, their lens could bring insight and creativity to the product.
Let the Customer Tell Their Story
Your product solves a problem in your customer’s life. Each customer has a story, no matter how small, as it pertains to your product. Let them share it.
Garrett Churchill, a Philadelphia-area landscaping company, held a contest on Facebook for which users submitted images of their decrepit yards, competing for a free landscape makeover worth $500.
Users on social media voted for the yard they thought needed the work most, and Garrett Churchill brought new life to their landscape.
Following a blog entry posted to Facebook showing the landscape makeover, the winner’s friends left comments complimenting the work, and the winner himself posted positive comments about Garrett Churchill’s work.
This customer’s story gave Garrett Churchill a chance to advertise their work, while increasing their following. Letting a customer tell their story allows people like them to put themselves in those shoes.
In many cases, this can be more effective than showing buffed stock images, which don’t always appear real or believable. At its best, UGC allows potential customers to see how product is made for people like them.