How Leading Brands Curate User Generated Content

Posted by Chris Formosa

As discussed in a previous post, user generated content fuels social sharing, brand awareness, and the development of customer trust. But just how do you get users to submit content?

Requiring more than a simple “Like” or “Share,” curating user generated content says one thing to your viewers: “Make a concerted effort to devote time to my brand.” What motivates people to create a video, submit an image, or share their points of view?

The Key to Curating User Generated Content

In my experience, it all comes down to your approach. Because the ultimate goal is to make a connection with your audience, you need to present an idea they will truly get behind. Learn how top brands execute successful UGC campaigns that both deepen customer relationships and boost brand recognition.

Call for Powerful Moments

As Content Marketing Institute points out, moments are the building blocks of great storytelling. When brands put a callout for submissions that encapsulate moments, customers instantly become excited about sharing their own moments for the entire world to see and share. One brand that used this principle to launch a successful UCG campaign is Adidas. With its #mygirls campaign, Adidas generated thousands of video and photo submissions capturing moments of fitness-minded women. In addition to making a powerful connection with customers, Adidas amassed a variety of content that was later repurposed for the company’s website.

Adidas #MyGirls Promotion

Create Incentives

Most brands attach some sort of incentive to calls for user generated content, but some prizes are more impressive than others. Crate & Barrel took their UCG contest to a new level by offering a free $100,000 dream wedding to customers in exchange for wedding registry creation

Couples were required to create a registry at Crate & Barrel with a minimum value of $2,000 prior to entering the contest. With Strutta’s help, the brand qualified thousands of entries before awarding the grand prize to one lucky couple. The brand showcased each entry on its website and cross-distributed the content among multiple channels and press outlets.

Crate & Barrel Dream Wedding Contest

Ask for Stories

The Internet is filled with stories, both solicited and not, that represent generations of opinions and experiences. Develop a user generated content campaign that inspires customers to tell their own stories as they relate to your brand. With more social platforms supporting video, asking for video submissions that highlight unique stories gives any UGC campaign viral potential.

In the case of the New Mexico Tourism Department, inspiring New Mexicans to share their stories and photographs of their in-state travels was at the core of its campaign. With #nmtruestories , the organization gained hundreds of images, testimonies, and experiences that uniquely showcased the state’s history, culture, cuisine and off-the-beaten-path adventures. Once all entries were evaluated, a select few were chosen for publicationon the organization’s website before the best authentic images were collected for inclusion in the Department’s annual Vacation Guide.

New Mexico True Stroies Promotion

Sing Your Customers’ Praise

While this might sound cliche, singing your customers’ praises is one of the best ways to get their attention. Whether you’re asking viewers to be creative or display their talents, they’re more likely to participate in a campaign that provides an opportunity to be original. In 2014, Starbucks launched a UGC campaign inviting customers to create artwork on branded reusable cups.

The coffee company’s #WhiteCupContest earned thousands of entries from brand ambassadors eager to show off their artistic skills, but the content’s value didn’t end there. Starbucks’ goal was to choose a winning submission that would be reprinted on reusable cups. In addition to receiving a gift card, the lucky winner would also receive 25 cups featuring their own design.

Since launching the campaign, Starbucks continues to receive submissions despite the lack of reward. Content received was promoted via multiple digital channels before the brand repurposed the entire campaign; this time, Starbucks asked employees to submit entries using #CupArt in 2015.

Make a Connection

Established brands offer great inspiration for running a campaign that will curate UGC. There are many different options that will help you with your UGC campaign, but discover how easy it is to receive valuable, shareable content from your customers across the globe with Strutta’s Social Promotions Platform!