3 Clever Examples of User-Generated Content Campaigns

In recent years, the popularity of user-generated content (UGC) has been on the steady rise.

Now it just seems everyone – from tech giants like Tesla to local burger shops with rather questionable reputation – have embraced the power of sharing their customers’ content.

And there are many good reasons behind the choice, such as:

  1. Cost-efficiency. UGC is pretty low-budget as it turns the customers into the primary creators and distributors of the content.
  2. Brand exposure. It can also help the brands to increase their social outreach, since by creating and sharing UGC, the users essentially promote the brand to their personal network.
  3. Effectiveness. 9 out of 10 people admit that UGC has a much stronger effect on their buying decisions than any other form of brand advertising. The reason may have to do with the fact that user-generated content is often perceived as more authentic and trustworthy than brand-made one.

So what makes for a successful UGC campaign, then?

Let’s take a look as we dive into some of the most clever UGC campaigns of recent years and analyze the reasons behind their success.

Join 10k+ Shopify merchants who use Growave for better marketing

Loyalty programs, reviews, wishlists, UGC and more – all in one simple solution

1. Aerie‘s #AerieReal campaign

In an industry known for its unrealistic body standards and abundant photoshopping, the intimate apparel brand Aerie has surely stood out as it launched its body-positive #AerieREAL campaign.

The idea was to promote authentic female body images by encouraging users to share their unretouched swim photos. For every photo created and shared, the company would then donate $1 to National Eating Disorder Association (NEDA), thus solidifying their dedication to the cause.

Why we loved it

The campaign was pure genius in the way it turned the customers and prospects into active participants of the brand’s mission.

For example, instead of pledging to give the donation to NEDA straight away, Aerie creverly tied the donations to users’ participation. That way, the latter could feel that their actions had a direct impact on the campaign and could thus bring the actual social change with their efforts.

Who is it for

Such type of campaigns will generally be suitable for the brands with socially and ethically charged products, e.g. women clothes, eco products, cosmetics and so on.

The main idea should be to position the campaign and the product as a means of driving a positive social change. That way, the customers would be motivated to participate as a way to stand for their values as well as become the part of a bigger social cause.

2. Taste of Home recipe contests

Taste of Home is a cooking magazine that holds regular contests for readers to submit their favorite recipes. The winners then get published in the magazine and oftentimes get a prize for their submission.

Why we loved it

Besides the idea of being featured on the magazine or getting a prize, a great deal of what makes these contests so effective is their appeal to reader’s creativity.

The participants become encouraged to create something new, all while using affordable products and easy methods, thus making the whole contest not only creatively engaging but also accessible to almost anyone – from intuitive beginners to experienced chefs.

Who is it for

Any and every type of brands whose products may involve creative use, such as: tools for artists and musicians, food products, apparel and accessories, etc.

The point to keep in mind is that such campaigns should be easy enough to enter and, if the project necessitates a lot of resources on participant’s side, also include some form of a prize to balance out the effort.

3. Chewy‘s personalized pet drawings

A pet food retailer among many others, Chewy stands out brightly from competition with its ingenious use of personalization.

For example, the brand makes a handmade drawing of each of its customers’ pets, mailing it to the them soon after the purchase. Whenever the pet passes away, the brand makes sure to send the customer a condolence note. And when buyers want to refund the purchase, the company does so while asking the owners to simply donate the food to pet shelters instead of bringing it back.

Why we loved it

The personalized experience offered by Chewy makes for an ingenious UGC campaign, seeing how passionate most of us are when it comes to pet-related content.

So with each drawing and handwritten note, the brand essentially promotes itself to hundreds of prospects on social media, as the customers are surely likely to share their lovely gift online.

Who is it for

Such personalized campaigns are surely not for everyone due to the sheer costliness of such method. However, there are several types of brands that will find this approach more than worthwhile.

For one, it should pay off for the brands with high customer lifetime value (CLV), since by making recurring purchases, such customers are highly likely to compensate for all the effort in the long run. So think of pet-related products, subscription services and so on.

Secondly, there are certain types of products that people tend to form a deep emotional connection with, e.g. music merch, baby-care products and various niche markets. In such emotionally-colored environments, people are more likely to base their buying decisions on their relationship with the brand just as much as anything else. They’re also more likely to share the brand-related content with others, thus making for a great way to increase both customer loyalty and exposure of the brand.

Wrapping up

As we’ve seen, there’s a variety of ways to use UGC. The specific approach will depend on the industry you’re set in as well as the limits and opportunities it offers.

Broadly speaking however, we can identify three major categories within those UGC campaigns:

  • projects with a strong social causeAerie‘s #AerieREAL
  • creative but affordable challengesTaste of Home recipe contests
  • personalized campaigns for emotionally-charged productsChewy‘s pet drawings

With this in mind, we hope that finding the right strategy for your UGC campaign will become a smoother and easier process for you.

Until then, stay tuned for the new updates and thank you for reading, big time!

Join 10k+ Shopify merchants who use Growave for better marketing

Loyalty programs, reviews, wishlists, UGC and more – all in one simple solution