The Power of User-generated Content

The Power of User-generated Content

Stopwatch in head against social media buzzwords on black backgrAccording to most research, millennials spend nearly three to four hours looking at user generated content. User generated content can include social media posts, blogs, pictures, video and more. User-generated content is now becoming more prominent than traditional media like radio, television and newspapers. What’s even more interesting is according to most polls, 30% of millennials say they are influenced more by user-generated content created or curated by their peers than general media.

Why have new generations moved from traditional advertising to user-generated content and what does it mean for marketing? People today are bombarded by advertisements. We are more inclined not to trust advertisers than trust advertisers. We trust our friends and what they say. So if you’re in marketing, what are you doing to curate content for your brand. Instead of having a blogger, you pay individuals like you and me to write content from a personal experience. Allow them to be truthful and honest; if you feel confident, your brand is strong. It’s up to your marketing experts to take that content and present it in a non-invasive way.

One of the best user-generated marketing campaigns was Starbucks’ “White Cup Contest” which allowed users to doodle drawings on their cups, and submit pictures as entries. Nearly 4,000 doodles were submitted in less than three weeks. Think about the impressions Starbucks made with this contest. 4,000 doodles being submitted and most likely shared across social sites like Instagram, Facebook and Twitter. Not only are you not paying for advertisement, user-generated content is being shared by thousands.

Another great campaign came from a 2010 Target campaign where Target decided to pledge millions if people shared videos of them opening their acceptance letters to college on video. What does this have to do with Target? It promotes philanthropy, fun, and education. Target doesn’t need to sell their product more than just have their name on the campaign. They used all the videos to create a great Target commercial.

If you’re marketing a brand, you need to look at creating opportunities for your customers to be your biggest advocate. Consumers look at your customers as much more trusting as you so what can you do to get them excited about their brand? User-generated content.

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