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Effective UGC Campaigns Hint At A New Wave Of Digital Marketing

July 23, 2020 Carolyn Harding

User-generated content (UGC) has become a popular trend used within marketing strategies, as it presents an organic and real-life perspective for consumers. More and more consumers are gravitating toward brands that implement UGC, with a recent study revealing 96% of consumers are now wary of traditional advertisements.

Shutterstock_1734170210 Happy millennial hispanic teen girl checking social media holding smartphone at home. Smiling young latin woman using mobile phone app playing game, shopping online, ordering delivery relax on sofa.

According to Social Media Today, 93% of consumers say UGC is helpful when they are considering a purchase. Millennials, specifically, rely heavily on UGC as a “good indicator” as to whether or not a brand or product is high-quality. For brands questioning whether to implement UGC campaigns into their marketing strategy, Social Media Today found that companies incorporating UGC have seen a 20% spike in repeat visitors to their websites, and an increase in time spent on their websites by 90%.

The success modern-day marketing tactics (like UGC) have had in recent years leads many to believe a new wave of marketing has revealed itself. In order to engage consumers, build brand loyalty and position their brands as “authentic,” many marketers have embraced UGC as a core element of their marketing strategies for customer acquisition and retention. 

Doritos: #CrashFromHome

Doritos newest UGC campaign celebrates the upcoming return of NFL football, while still reflecting the current state of the country, as many consumers continue to spend more time at home (and find themselves in desperate need of new sports content). Called “Crash from Home,” the campaign challenges Doritos and NFL fans alike to create their own Doritos commercial, which can be uploaded to the newly launched #CrashFromHome website. Contest winners (15 total) will split the $150,000 prize and see their advertisements – compiled into one video – during the first game of the NFL season.

With this year’s NFL Draft Day bringing in higher viewership than years past, Doritos has a strong chance of reaching an even wider audience through its UGC ad spot, as the kickoff to this year’s NFL season will likely bring in more viewers long awaiting the start to sports entertainment once again.

BWW: Sports Live On

Piggy-backing off the recent growing desire for sports, Buffalo Wild Wings called on consumers to make up their own sports – from the comfort of their homes – and share their videos on Instagram. With the tagline, “even when sports aren’t on, sport lives on,” BWW proved that even without a monetary incentive or established challenge, brands can bring consumers together through one common theme. From one-wheeled skateboards to toilet paper soccer skills to the classic trick shot challenge, the “Sports Live On” effort from BWW didn’t replace the void in sports entirely, but the UGC effort was effective in connecting consumers and furthering BWW’s brand awareness.

“We’re a brand that connects people over their shared love of sports,” said BWW CMO Seth Freeman. “And even though sports aren’t on TV, they’re still playing out in living rooms across the globe. So it was only fitting that we acknowledge them. And in doing so, hopefully make fans feel a little more connected.”

Fanta: In The Name Of Play

Fanta’s latest UGC campaign, “In the Name of Play,” utilized the power of social media to encourage consumers to submit “hilariously dumb videos” in an effort to increase direct engagement between the brand and its audience.

Fanta identified that it’s primary audience is younger consumers, who are widely known for spending a large amount of time on their phones. Prioritizing the values of their core audience, Fanta incorporated social media activations every week to maintain a consistent, light-hearted connection with their younger fan base – especially during a time when much of the world is experiencing isolation and uncertainty. “Enlisting influencers and bringing entertaining content to teens’ preferred channels will likely help Fanta build its brand as a fun and relatable beverage option, especially as it continues to focus on teens and extend its broader play-focused messaging,” noted MarketingDive.

Wayfair: #WayfairAtHome

Popular online furniture store, Wayfair, took a subtler approach to their UGC plan, creating the hashtag #WayfairAtHome for customers to share photos of their home décor, featuring their previously purchased Wayfair products. The hashtag, bringing in  53,479 UGC submissions and counting, was a strategic move by Wayfair, as it promotes sentiments of authenticity for consumers to see real-life photos from past customers, while also giving the online retailer additional marketing promotion of its products. Wayfair capitalizes on the success of the ongoing UGC submissions, frequently sharing user posts to its Instagram page for further (and free) promotion. 

Utilizing UGC For Social Media Engagement In A Post-Pandemic World

Consumers are continuing to use their voices on social media to share their interests and opinions, making UGC an ideal marketing strategy for brands looking to align with their audience through a trusted and authentic form of social media advertising. Additionally, according to recent Nielsen research, 92% of consumers stated they “trust earned media, like UGC, more than any other form of content.”

Successful UGC social media campaigns give marketers the ability to deepen long-term relationships, respond to consumers’ changing needs and establish community among audiences, all of which are themes the ongoing pandemic has continued to highlight.

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About the Author

Carolyn Harding

Carolyn Harding is an Associate Manager of Communications at Digital Media Solutions (DMS), the fastest-growing independent digital performance marketing company. DMS helps its clients accelerate growth by deploying diversified and data-driven customer acquisition solutions that deliver scalable, sustainable and measurable marketing results. DMS performance marketing solutions connect the right consumers with the right offers at the right time to achieve the marketing objectives of our clients. DMS is continually innovating to provide new and emerging media and technology solutions that minimize waste and maximize results across the most competitive industries. Since its inception, DMS has demonstrated incredible year-over-year growth which has earned recognition on the Inc. 5000 list in 2014, 2015, 2016, 2017 and 2018.

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