Inspiring User Generated Content Trends

Inspiring User Generated Content Trends

2017-03-21 10:00:00 | Brooke Kwasny | marketing strategy

As a small business owner the concept of marketing your own business can be overwhelming. There’s so many opportunities to get your message out through digital marketing channels, and choosing your key platforms is hard enough as it is. And then creating content on top of that?! There just aren’t enough hours in the day.

But what if we told you that you don’t have to write or craft every post you publish. What if someone could do that for you. No, we’re not talking outsourcing (although that is a great option 🙂 ), we’re talking user generated content.

What is user generated content? 

In a word, user generated content is a godsend. It’s taking the content creation responsibility off of your shoulders and handing it off to some powerful voices – your customers.

You may think we’re crazy… Who would ever let their customers create content for them? You’d be surprised to know that some of the greatest user generated content campaigns came from some of the most well known brands out there.  Here are 3 of them for inspiration.  

3 of the Most Successful User Generated Content Campaigns 

The Starbucks White Cup Contest

Starbucks is famous for its seasonal cup designs. We aren’t the only ones whose Instagram feed was flooded with red cups during the holidays, right?

When Starbucks realized its cups were white for most of the year, it reached out to its customers in 2014 to rectify the problem. They launched the Starbucks White Cup Contest, where they invited users to doodle on the white cups and submit a photo via social media with the hashtag #whitecupcontest. A winner would be chosen a few weeks later, and their design would be created into the new Starbucks cup.

This campaign was effective for three reasons:

  1. It demonstrated that Starbucks values its customers and their opinion
  2. It created a lot of organic publicity for Starbucks – nearly 4,000 people entered the contest!
  3. Starbucks was able to share the contestants’ designs without needing to create fresh, new content themselves

Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor”

We all know how we ended up with Southern Biscuits and Gravy flavored potato chips, right? Thank you, Lay’s “Do Us a Flavor”.

This is another contest where a big name brand asked its consumers to pitch ideas, this time a new potato chip flavor. This contest was so popular it had nearly 3.8 million ideas sent in. But the user participation didn’t stop there. Lay’s then had users vote on the best flavor ideas.

This campaign was successful because engagement skyrocketed. People were using social media to share their ideas, and they were all visiting the Lay’s website regularly to pitch ideas and vote.

Lululemon’s #thesweatlife

Hashtag campaigns are an easy way to get users to submit their content for you to use. Lululemon introduced #thesweatlife campaign asking customers to take pictures of themselves wearing Lululemon and doing something active. Users could then submit their photos using the hashtag #thesweatlife.

This campaign was not a contest, it was simply a means to collect photos. But Lululemon was able to turn around and use the images. The company built out a page on their website to feature all of the submissions, and they linked the photos to the page where users could buy the featured product.

There’s no question. Customers love to be recognized by their favorite brands. Whether their idea is put to use, or their picture is featured on a brand’s social media account, it’s exciting to know you’re valued. User generated content campaigns do that and more. They show your audience you care about what they have to say, and they help you flood your social feeds with new content.

So, what will you do for your user generated content campaign?


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