It’s well-established that user-generated content (UGC) is among the most effective ways to reach today’s customers. Compared with all other types of media, UGC is considered 50% more trustworthy, 35% more memorable, and 20% more influential on purchase.
As UGC continues to catch on, marketing departments for successful brands around the world are finding that UGC is the answer to several different pain points they frequently deal with, such as:
- Stagnant brand image
- Difficult to promote new products
- Lack of credibility
- Poor social media engagement
- Lots of social media followers, but not enough sales
- Expensive and time-consuming to produce original content
Keep reading for 6 great examples of successful brands that are tackling a wide array of problems by leveraging UGC.
Always’ #LikeaGirl campaign sparked a massive UGC movement that helped them redefine their brand.
For many people watching Super Bowl XLIX, the most memorable moment of Super Bowl XLIX wasn’t the worst play call ever, but one of the best ads ever – a one-minute spot that spawned the #LikeaGirl campaign that continues to this day (watch it above, it's great).
The ad is empowering and puts the customer first – not just in the context of how they interact with the brand, but in addressing universal issues that their target audiences face in their daily lives. In addition to endearing millions of people to the Always brand, the ad kicked off perhaps the most successful UGC campaign in history, with millions of social media posts in the years since that tell the stories of the customers with whom this message resonated.
This powerful campaign has single-handedly elevated Always’ brand perception above that of their competitors, with results including 50% higher purchasing intent and massive social media growth. Not to mention, it has significantly altered the perception of the phrase “like a girl” itself.
#LikeaGirl remains central to the Always brand, with user-generated social media posts continuing to successfully define the brand by promoting their values, their product, their philanthropy, and their dedication to their customers.
Lego’s UGC website feature is very effective in promoting new products to a high-intent target audience.
The Lego creation gallery encourages submissions of custom Lego creations by customers. The feed is curated by Lego to show off the best user-submitted creations with the intent of inspiring other site visitors to build their own. Frequent building challenges are run by Lego to seek out the best custom creations related to their new products and partnerships, including Star Wars, Marvel, Minecraft, and Disney. These campaigns encourage user engagement while effectively promoting new products that are never more than a few clicks away from purchase.
Inc.’s fastest growing company of 2016 employs user-generated content to establish the credibility of their product and brand.
Founded in 2012, Lootcrate’s subscription box business model is shared by many startup consumer products companies of widely varying quality. To establish themselves as head and shoulders above the competition, Lootcrate uses positive endorsements of their product – monthly themed mystery boxes of “gadgets, art, apparel and gear” – as a centerpiece of their marketing efforts.
UGC in the form of video testimonials by several well-established YouTubers, along with a wall of fan images pulled from Twitter and Instagram. These frequently updated endorsements – from industry influencer and average customer alike – give potential customers a glimpse into both the high quality product they can expect to receive and the excitement that is integral to the Lootcrate experience.
With an incredible $116 million in revenue in their 3rd year of business, there is no doubt that Lootcrate is doing all the right things – and employing UGC to establish the credibility of their product and brand is certainly one of them.
Suja Juice, another one of the fastest growing companies in the United States, uses UGC to increase their reach and engage with customers on their most important marketing channel – social media.
The San Diego-based juice company encourages users to submit personal stories related to their product, resulting in thousands of positive customer reviews being posted to Instagram and other social media platforms each month. The incentive for customers to do so is simply a chance to see their posts featured on the Suja Juice website – making this a great case study in how much of a money-saver UGC can be when it comes to content creation. The brand has been tagged in over 17,000 posts on Instagram alone for next-to-nothing beyond initial investment.
L’Oreal, the multibillion dollar cosmetics company, has a UGC feature on their website that helps convert social media follows into e-commerce sales.
Their Trending Gallery website page lets users submit images – either through specific hashtags on Instagram and Facebook or via direct upload – for a chance to be featured on the gallery wall. Both celebrities and regular customers are featured, with each selected post being linked to a specific product. Site visitors can click through to the corresponding product page and purchase in just a few clicks.
With 2.7 million followers on Instagram alone, even minor increases to percentage of sales originating from social media can translate into significant revenue. UGC website features are a great way to capitalize on a large social media following.
Ben & Jerry’s Ice Cream uses UGC as a source of inexpensive, authentic marketing content.
Marketing collateral can be expensive and time-consuming to produce. Ben & Jerry’s does an excellent job of seamlessly incorporating UGC into their website, social media, blog, and newsletter. By using images of their products that were tagged on social media by their customers, the company saves on production costs while getting authentic content that adds to their customer-focused, values-based brand image.
Real images of people enjoying the company’s product can be just as effective, if not more so, than expensive photoshoots or stock photography.