How to Make the Most of User-Generated Content
By Annabel Hennessy, Account Executive
User-generated content is any content that has been created by users of a brand. This could include a Tik Tok, an Instagram post, or even a review. User-generated content is one of the most valuable types of content, but only if brands can use it effectively.
The first step to figuring out what user-generated content to use and promote, is to establish a campaign strategy and the messaging that aligns with this strategy. Not every piece of user-generated content will align with the messaging of the campaign, so it is important to be selective when deciding which content to promote because it is a direct reflection of the brand.
A study done at Northwestern University claims that the odds that a customer will purchase a product increase by 270% when the product has five or more positive reviews about it. Including reviews is the easiest way to entice customers to purchase because it alleviates any worry they may have about the product or service. Encouraging reviews shows customers that the brand is open to feedback, and prospective customers that your product or service is valuable.
In order to leverage user-generated content effectively, it is necessary to collect it in a streamlined manner. Creating a hashtag where users can post pictures, videos, and comments makes it easy for both brands and potential customers to see what is being said about the business. Using this streamlined process, it is easier to weed out the content that does not align with the strategy and find the content that does.
Coca-Cola harnessed the power of user-generated content with their Share a Coke campaign that launched in 2011. Coca-Cola printed 150 of the most common names on coke bottles and sold them in 80 different countries, encouraging customers to post a picture of their drink with the hashtag #shareacoke. Customers began searching stores for coke bottles with their name, or the name of family and friends to post and join the trend. This campaign was so successful, it led to the “Share a Coke and a Song” campaign. When Selena Gomez posted a Coke bottle with the lyrics to one of her songs printed on it, it went viral and became the most liked picture on Instagram at the time. This campaign illustrates just how powerful user-generated content can be. Coca-Cola made their customers feel special by printing bottles with their names on it and it made people excited to find their names and collect the bottles.