Boost Your Next Campaign with User-Generated Content

ContentEarlier this week, we took a look at some great social media lessons from Ford. The automaker also announced this week a completely user-generated campaign centered for the new 2014 Ford Fiesta. As with their previous “Fiesta Movement” campaign, 100 participants will get to drive their own new Fiestas for eight months, and document their experiences via social media.

And like the previous campaign, the selected participants will be asked to complete challenges and regularly post about the Fiesta on their blogs, Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and any other social networks they use.

User-generated content isn’t a new idea, but it’s an ambitious use of the strategy from a brand that continues to invest heavily in social media as part of their marketing efforts. Here are just a few ideas for adding user-generated content to your content marketing plan.

Encourage fans to upload photos featuring your product

Bring offline experiences into your online social channels. Asking fans to upload pictures of themselves using your product, with some type of incentive of course, is the simplest way to generate user-driven content. Dunkin’ Donuts even had fans take the extra step of making those pictures their profile picture for a chance to enter a daily giveaway drawing.

Ask for video submissions and reward the best

Remember the “Best Job in the World” campaign from a few years back? The campaign from Tourism Queensland was a huge success, encouraging applicants to submit videos in order to be considered for the position. The result was over 34,000 YouTube submissions and plenty of attention for the campaign. As Fast Company noted in a recap of the campaign “don’t underestimate the power of content creators.”

Make your fans co-collaborators on Pinterest

Pinterest fanatics need very little extra incentive to keep pinning. That said, offer an incentive to your top fans, perhaps ones with large Pinterest followings, to become co-collaborators on your branded Pinterest boards.

Add your fans as guest bloggers

Make it clear that you’re open to having your devoted fan base contribute content to your company blog. Guest bloggers may be so excited to contribute to your brand’s content, they’ll share their own posts with their networks. Think about it, if your friend got a post published on a brand’s website and shared it, wouldn’t you give it a read? Salesforce Marketing Cloud has done so in the past: take this example from one of their longtime brand fans, Eric Tung.

Go beyond a blog post with a case study

Consider asking a particularly passionate/long-time customer to write about the experience with your brand as a case study rather than a blog post. Again, always incentivize,  perhaps by asking for submissions as part of a new contest. The final version could be a downloadable PDF, presented as a SlideShare presentation, or maybe even a YouTube video

Spotted any recent example of great user-generated content campaigns?  Share them in the comments.

(Note: This post originally appeared on the Salesforce Marketing Cloud blog on February 22, 2013.)

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