Word-of-mouth advertising has been one of the best-performing kinds of marketing for a very long time. More than $6 trillion worth of annual purchasing is driven by it, and in today’s digital age, it usually happens through user-generated content. But What accounts for user-generated content success?
User-generated content (UGC) allows regular people to compete for digital stardom by showcasing their creative talents. This method has emerged as a critical component of contemporary marketing, attracting audiences and changing how companies interact with consumers through everything from touching testimonies to mind-blowing images.
In this article, I will explore the most impressive UGC examples that have entirely altered social influence and engagement.
What is User-Generated Content?
User-Generated Content (UGC) is any content material produced and distributed by people, clients, or customers of a fantastic brand. Regular people voluntarily produce and contribute content material in preference to the business enterprise or logo. Text postings, social media posts, photographs, videos, opinions, testimonials, blog comments, and extras are just a few examples of UGC.
UGC has become increasingly popular with increased social media systems and virtual groups. Thanks to the structures and tools allowing customers to generate and distribute content material with a broad audience, it has become an essential part of cutting-edge virtual advertising methods.
Why is User-Generated Content Important?
Here are some key reasons why UGC holds significant value:
- Provides Authenticity and Trust: UGC is considered more authentic and trustworthy than brand content. It offers social proof by revealing the sincere experiences and opinions of others because it comes from actual clients or users. Instead of polished marketing messaging, customers are more likely to believe the unbiased opinions of their peers.
- Enhances Engagement: UGC often sparks higher levels of engagement among audiences. Users are more likely to relate to and feel a sense of community with a business when they see content made by their peers. A deeper connection to the brand results from this increased involvement, which also results in more interactions and shares.
- Improves Your Brand’s Reach: UGC can significantly increase your brand’s reach beyond its current marketing initiatives. Users promote the brand to their followers and contacts when they post UGC on social media or other platforms, increasing your company’s organic exposure.
- Creates Strong Emotional Connections: UGC often evokes emotional responses in viewers. Positive user-generated content (UGC), such as endorsements, success tales, or sincere reviews, can forge deep emotional ties with potential customers, influencing their purchase choices and encouraging brand loyalty.
- Offers Valuable Feedback and Insights: UGC provides brands with insightful feedback. Companies can learn important information about their goods, services, and customers by watching what consumers say and share about the brand.
- Encourages User Involvement: Brands show their user community that they appreciate their thoughts and experiences by supporting UGC, which encourages user community engagement and appreciation.
Best User-Generated Content Examples
1- Apple’s #ShotoniPhone Campaign
Do you recall when iPhone owners complained about the poor quality of their cameras?
The company devised a brilliant solution to rectify the issue. Apple launched a promotional campaign called “Shot on iPhone” when they discovered their customers were dissatisfied with the camera’s performance in low-light conditions. The objective was to restore customer trust and highlight the exceptional photo-taking capabilities that set the iPhone apart.
The mobile company had a lot of consideration for the marketing campaign. Professional users use their iPhones to take images in poor light and then upload them for others to view on social media platforms under the heading “Shot on iPhone.”
This campaign mainly featured some great everyday images that could only be recorded utilizing Apple’s incredible lens—the iPhone camera.
2- Glossier’s UGC Instagram Hashtag Campaign
Glossier is a cosmetic company that uses customer images to spread the word. It shares images of customers using its products and a variety of touching testimonials from people who fell in love with Glossier’s reasonably priced skin care line as it restored their confidence or helped them feel attractive again after years of not wearing makeup.
The company places more emphasis on user-submitted images than on pricey product pictures and model shots, which are typically posted one at a time on social media platforms where users can upload content that is seen by the public – something that not everyone is keen to do for the benefit of the companies.
Thousands of customers shared pictures of themselves wearing Mega Greens Galaxy Masks on social media with the hashtag #MaskForce in the caption. Glossier capitalized on this and reposted the images, which increased user interaction even further.
3- Calvin Klein’s #MyCalvins Campaign
One of the best marketing tactics for fashion brands is to develop UGC campaigns. Utilizing UGC can boost traffic, conversions, and return on investment. User-generated content helps fashion firms increase conversion rates while lowering costs per new client.
It was possible for individuals worldwide to feel connected through their underwear thanks to Brooke Shield’s well-known whisper of “Nothing Comes Between Me and My Calvins.”
Calvin Klein has recently asked what the hashtag #MyCalvins means on Instagram and encourages those who wear their briefs to share a photo with the caption “I _____ in my Calvins.”
And it gained popularity!
The hashtag #MyCalvins became very popular on Instagram and was used in over 190,000 images created by teenage user-generated content artists.
Calvin Klein has acknowledged that their campaign has gained millions of followers through social media platforms like Facebook and Twitter. The campaign has established a strong connection with young people, surpassing the impact of influencer posts and paid advertisements.
4- Netflix – Stranger Things 2
Stranger Things, a popular Netflix series, gained a massive global following with its first season. BFG Agency and Telescope teamed up to increase fan engagement for the second season and used a music product. This product allows fans to use a selfie filter that quickly transforms them into one of the main characters, resulting in a fun and amusing experience.
Viewers of the show had the option to select their preferred character, which could be either mysterious Eleven or Mike, the group’s leader. They were then required to provide a clear photograph of their face or opt for one of their Facebook profile pictures.
Once the fans have finished editing, they can scale, rotate, and adjust the brightness to achieve the desired fit and overall appearance. Once satisfied with the final product, users can post their Stranger Things-inspired selfie to any social media profile.
The collaboration between LG and Netflix was showcased in the final images. To help even more fans, they were also added to the official gallery.
5- Spotify – #FindYourFeels
To stem the decline in monthly active listeners and increase brand loyalty among Gen Z, Spotify created a content-led influencer campaign in September 2021. This campaign encouraged Gen Z users to use music to connect with their emotions.
They collaborated with influential figures to give them a platform to share their experiences with music. Different social media platforms showcased audio interviews and video content. Acne London served as the campaign’s creative agency, with Louis Bryant as the content director.
Gen Z users explored various genres, songs, and lyrics on Spotify, enabling them to express their emotions in happy, lively, messy, and even humiliating ways. The platform allowed them to communicate their viewpoints and ideas to global users.
The campaign helped Spotify increase brand loyalty and the number of monthly active users by 91K.
6- Coca Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign
Coca-Cola had the most amazing UGC campaign of all time. Do you still have memories of the “Share a Coke” campaign?
You do, right?
When they chose to print the 150 most popular male and female names in Australia and put them on their bottles in 2011, their marketing team developed the concept. The purpose was to persuade individuals to share a Coke with someone they care about.
And this fad completely captivated the public!
Everyone purchased customized bottles, took countless photos, and posted them on social media.
People worldwide embraced the concept, and there was a lot of excitement. Social media websites were flooded with images of people sharing Coke with friends and family.
7- Starbucks’s #WhiteCupContest
In 2014, Starbucks initiated the impressive #WhiteCupContest, which allowed customers to participate in a Twitter contest. They aimed to create a unique and artistic design for their white cups.
The company used the winning entries as models for their upcoming cup designs. This dramatically inspired people, allowing them to appreciate unique ceramic art they may not have encountered before.
In 2016, Starbucks responded to the success of its previous #WhiteCupContest by launching the #RedCupArt challenge. The famous coffee chain promoted the challenge using the hashtag and once again enjoyed positive customer reactions, as it generated a lot of buzz on Twitter and Instagram.
8- National Geographic’s #WanderlustContets
National Geographic implemented a powerful user-generated content campaign that significantly increased participant count, follower count, and engagement rate. Additionally, their execution of the campaign was distinctive.
Participants were required to use the hashtags #WanderlustContest to upload their best photos of the outdoors. The winning prize was a 7-day trip for two adults to Yosemite National Park.
9- GoPro’s Ongoing Hashtag Campaign
The user-generated content example on Instagram is breathtaking. They used the hashtag #GoPro to persuade travel influencers to share their travel experiences with others using the GoPro camera.
GoPro is a famous brand among outdoor enthusiasts and offers reliable cameras for people who want to capture their adventures on camera. As a result, many people shared breathtaking images taken in various locations worldwide. The user-generated content highlighted the benefits of using GoPro to capture photos and films while exploring, which gained brand publicity. The result was impressive, with over 50 million posts using the hashtag and sharing their travel experiences with GoPro.
10- Aerie’s #AerieReal Campaign
The #AerieReal campaign from the women’s clothing brand Aerie is straightforward but effective.
The controversy and criticism around the overuse of photo editing in marketing and advertising have been focused on how it affects young women who read magazines and look at pictures on social media. Women’s self-esteem and perceptions of a healthy body image have drawn particular attention due to the effects that manipulated images can have.
As a result, Aerie promised to stop editing images of models wearing its bathing costumes. The National Eating Disorders Association (NEDA) now receives $1 from Aerie for any Instagram user who submits an unaltered image of themselves in a swimming suit with the hashtag #AerieReal.
With the help of this campaign, customers view unaltered, authentic photos of real individuals using the merchandise. Participants are encouraged to embrace their bodies, which has the charity component that contemporary customers expect from corporations. When consumers feel accepted and honored by an inclusive company like Aerie, they are likely to share UGC, which is why the ad promotes engagement.
11- BMW’s #BMWRepost
BMW shares Instagram images of pleased BMW customers and their wheels using the hashtag #BMWRepost.
The car company offers high-end vehicles to owners proud of their accomplishments; this campaign allows owners to brag while also allowing BMW to highlight its devoted and proud customer base. If I were shopping for a car and came across so many satisfied BMW owners, I might think about buying one of their vehicles.
As a result, the hashtag has simultaneously spread awareness of the BMW brand, its specific product range, and the lavish lifestyle that it stands for. The campaign entices current BMW owners to join the debate and flaunt their wheels and offers crucial social evidence for anyone considering purchasing a new vehicle or motorcycle.
Then, BMW often reposts user-generated content (UGC) with that hashtag to its brand sites, creating an aspirational feed that boosts sales by luring new prospects and inciting their purchasing behavior.
12- OREO’s #StayHomeStayPlayful Campaign
Cookie enthusiasts, OREO got playful in lockdown at the height of the COVID-19 outbreak with a new campaign to combat overt boredom.
In a series of social media posts on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram, OREO intended to provide its followers with suggestions for entertaining and accessible activities to make the worldwide lockdown more bearable. There were 15 different tasks, such as making recipes with OREO cookies, devising novel ways to make Zoom calls, and building your very own escape room.
Every suggestion included the hashtag #StayHomeStayPlayful to encourage participants to share their efforts and produce high-quality user-generated content for the brand. Influencers were also included in the campaign and urged to participate in the 15+ activities.
13- Adobe’s Innovative Campaign for Talented Designers and Artists
Design tool manufacturer Adobe had the great notion to utilize a hashtag to highlight talented designers and artists. The business started an “Art Maker Series,” where talented designers were encouraged to share their work and demonstrate their skills in brisk videos using Adobe products like Illustrator, Photoshop, and more.
The company then utilized this shared UGC for user endorsements, product/feature promotions, and other expert endorsements. Adobe has attempted to demonstrate its design prowess through such UGC.
They also use the hashtag #AdobePerspective, which allows privileged designers to publish their original works and those of other users freely. Adobe had a fantastic chance to interact with members of many other communities.
Many new users can only understand what they can do with their software once they see an example of this user-generated content. This UGC, therefore, displays the vast capabilities of Adobe products.
Adobe is an excellent example of user-generated content, and its campaigns frequently feature other talented individuals. They also value moral character and fraternity culture. This gives businesses an advantage over other companies and gives users the idea that the UGC is authentic.
14- Mint- #MyMintMoment
Mint is a personal finance app that utilizes UGC to connect its users with its offerings further. They held a contest where participants were urged to share instances from their lives where their objectives and finances lined up. They may enter to win a cool $1,000 by tagging the brand’s Instagram with the hashtag #MyMintMoment.
Every entry, from buying coffee to graduating college, was a visual reminder of the relationship between accomplishing your objectives and wise money management.
Mint opened the competition to all accomplishments, encouraging accomplishments other than purchasing a home or getting married. They ensured participants could demonstrate anything, from taking a vacation to setting aside money for a birthday party. More individuals joined due to emphasizing the achievement’s photo rather than the creator’s financial investment.
The fact that participants needed to be Mint subscribers wasn’t made clear by the brand. The competition gained excellent traction by accessing more feeds and expanding its audience, raising brand awareness.
They contributed to developing a sense of community by creating a campaign featuring genuine lives. The brand’s reputation and image among potential customers improved due to the comments sections being frequently active with positive comments.
15- Herbivore Botanicals
Herbivore Botanicals, a skincare company renowned for its natural and clean beauty products, has used UGC to connect with its audience and highlight the potency of its offerings. They urge their clients to use the hashtag #HerbivoreBotanicals when posting about their skincare regimens, results, and reviews on social media.
Herbivore Botanicals then showcases this user-generated content (UGC) on their website and social media profiles to highlight the genuine customer experiences and the advantageous effects of their products on their skin. The beauty brand has built a community of devoted customers who actively share their appreciation for their goods and promote the brand thanks to the incorporation of UGC in their marketing initiatives.
Including user-generated content in your marketing campaigns provides your prospective customers with a more authentic view of what your existing customers think of your brand rather than simply providing them with your brand’s perspective. Prepare yourself for a display of ingenuity, inspiration, and sincere human connection that captivates and inspires you to explore the fantastic world of UGC.