User-generated content marketing encompasses a broad variety of items and actions, including visual commerce, question and answer sections, ratings and reviews, and more. While most consumers have lost trust in traditional advertising, many are willing to trust peers and peer-produced content. Meanwhile, an effective UGC campaign can also serve to engage current consumers with your brand. Here are a few examples of customer engagement with UGC to inspire your future strategy.
Melissa & Doug is a toy company that was started by a couple in the 1980s. Initially specializing in puzzles, the company wanted to expand online as they expanded their selection. Melissa & Doug already had a loyal following, and plenty of parents who bought their toys were posting pictures. To increase consumer engagement, the company launched a #CountlessWaysToPlay campaign, where parents were encouraged to hashtag images of their kids’ spin on playtime or to post pictures on the website. Using Annex Cloud’s powerful visual commerce platform, Melissa & Doug was able to obtain permission for image use. As a result, the company saw a 128% ROI and an 89% increase in conversion rate.
By encouraging consumers to post their photos, Melissa & Doug not only generated plenty of images for their visual commerce campaign but were also able to increase consumer engagement. Having organic images from former satisfied customers also served as a way to encourage new potential consumers to invest in their brand.
Well known for producing flavorful chips, Lay’s launched a campaign in 2006 to help increase engagement and create publicity by asking the public to create a new chip flavor. Thus, they created a contest where the winner would either receive 1% of sales in the year or a payout of $1 million. As a result, they received 3.8 million submissions the first year and 14.4 million submissions over the second year. The campaign also successfully increased Lay’s ad awareness and Buzz Score.
By offering consumers a chance to create their own flavor and get rich, Lay’s used UGC to significantly increase their customer engagement.
Known for stunning images and glimpses into exotic places, National Geographic needed to connect with the latest generation of travelers and adventurers. As a result, they launched a social media community content campaign called “Wanderlust.” The campaign asked users to capture images and videos of interesting, exotic, and unforgettable places around the world and post these with #WanderlustContest. As an incentive, National Geographic also offered participants a chance to win a National Geographic Photo Expedition of Yosemite National Park. As a result, the National Geographic Twitter account was flooded with beautiful imagery and video footage from around the world.
By recognizing their audiences’ passion and offering an appropriate reward, National Geographic was able to update their image and video stock with UGC while also keeping consumers engaged.
Loews is a growing hospitality company that operates luxury hotels in the U.S. and Canada. Loews sought to connect with their consumers by diving into their own Instagram. The hotel encouraged guests to post photos of the hotel with their #TravelForReal campaign. This resulted in genuine photos that allowed hotel guests to see exactly what they could expect. The campaign was so successful that Loews collected some of these photos for their own social media outlets and even posted some on their website. Each photo receives credit, giving consumers appropriate recognition and serves to show guests that the photo is from a real person and not a marketing campaign.
By utilizing the photos of satisfied customers, Loews was not only able to increase engagement but also create a powerful visual commerce campaign that was appealing to the general public.
MUJI, a Japanese fan retailer, decided to take a unique spin on UGC by launching an art contest on Twitter and Instagram. MUJI encouraged artists to use their pens to create beautiful artwork and post it with #MujiPenArt. The campaign quickly generated over 3,000 submissions of beautiful artwork made with MUJI pens. Instead of judging for themselves, the company opened the competition to a vote, which served to further draw consumer interest.
Through their #MujiPenArt campaign, MUJI not only gained the attention of the public but also nearly 3,000 highly detailed, beautiful pieces of art that were drawn with their very own product. This allowed MUJI to expand their marketing campaign and present their pens as art tools and inspiration for creativity in addition to writing tools.
By creating and executing a campaign based on their own unique products, each of the above brands was able to take advantage of UGC while also engaging with their consumers.