The pinnacle accomplishment of social marketing for brands is to reach a high level of advocacy. When you hear recommendations and support from an objective, trusted source, that is far more influential than hearing advertisements and jargon from the brand. Brand marketers need to focus on strategies, plans, and tactics that motivate consumers to generate positive referrals, suggestions, and brand expressions.
There are no shortage of statistics supporting the importance and drive of customer action related to UGC. The infographic below is just one example of supporting UGC data.
Successful forms of UGC implementations include:
• Actively asking your audience for content
• Posting it on your site or social channels
• Production of stories, testimonials, videos, pictures and other types of multi-media
The food and beverage category is one particular industry that has seen many successful UGC programs. Yes, the most obvious implementation is the exchange of recipes. Food brands can develop communities and other social channels to associate their product with meal planning and entertainment. For instance, McCormick’s Gourmet line, solicited dinner party ideas from more established cooks who love meal planning and millennials who may have less experience but enjoy activities like taking photos of their food and participating in underground dining events. (eMarketer Report – User-Generated Food and Beverage Content: Satisfying a Hunger to Create and Share, Krista Garcia, August 29, 2012)
But there are other examples of promoting UGC programs from the food and beverage industry that are applicable to most verticals. Take Doritos “Crash the Superbowl” campaign. Doritos looked to break a bunch of advertising and marketing rules. Their objective was to produce content the audience actively sought out. They invited fans to create their own Doritos commercials for the opportunity to have their commercial shown during the Superbowl (and a $1 million prize). The outcome produced more than 2,000 video submissions, 2MM votes cast to determine the contest winner, and more than 1B impressions in all. Doritos had the financial ability to create their own commercial, but they gave the reins to their consumers and left the promotion of their brand in the hands of their fans.
Another example is Coca-Cola’s “Happiness is …” tumble page. Coca-Cola is notorious for putting brand content generation in the hands of their audience and this Tumblr page is another strong example worth checking out. Also worth noting are Red Bull and Chobani. Red Bull uses Instagram to highlight their “daily awesome” uploads and weekly “Flying Friday” pictures, which showcase extreme activities like cliff diving or motorcycle stunts. Chobani uses a Pinterest board for inspirational quotes and fun images. Note, this does not have direct correlation to yogurt, but generates brand associated marketing to keep Chobani top of mind of their target audience.
As I have highlighted, UGC implementations by food and beverage brands represent strong examples for other verticals to learn from. There are two main positive outcomes of UGC driven initiatives:
• Allows your audience to connect, build loyalty, and deepen relationships to your brand
• Promotes greater sharing – people want to show their friends that their content is highlighted on specific sites
Think about how you can activate your user base to further promote your brand via their generation of content.
Make It Happen,