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You have probably seen a presentation with a slide stating: “Uber is the company that transports the most passengers and owns no vehicle, Airbnb is the largest accommodation website in the world and owns no land and Facebook is the site with more content of the whole internet and generates no content” So, let’s talk about why the companies of today  don’t need to generate content and retire that slide once and for all.

Every brand knows the challenge involved in growing a customer base organically. Whether it’s algorithm changes, branded content saturation, or a simple re-use of design templates, customers are not engaging the way they once did.


Enter User Generated Content (UGC). Marketers have found that UGC spread by real people or even the brand itself creates a substantial impact on almost any campaign. Not only do 84% of consumers trust other consumers above all other sources, but UGC keeps the branded experience real, fresh, and ever-changing while introducing a true degree of trust.HubSpot defines UGC as: “any form of content that’s created by users and consumers about a brand or product. UGC isn’t paid for, and its authenticity makes the user the brand advertisers as well.” In most cases, UGC has proven to increase engagement rates by up to 6.9x, and build communities at almost no cost.

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As you can see, this is not only something small brands are doing to save some time and money; large social media players (Airbnb, Qatar Airways, BMW, etc.) are leveraging UGC every single day.

Even the elusive algorithms like UGC. According to SocialToaster, lays-celu-225% of the search results for the world's 20 largest brands are linked to UGC.


And if we take that UGC and boost it … engagement continues to go up. At Flimper we partnered with Lays chips on the World Cup Russia 2018 to develop a UGC ad campaign that increased engagement and reduce CPM by 56%. Here you can see our case study


UGC isn’t restricted to organic reposts. Create interactive campaigns challenging your customers to upload a picture around your product, and pushing your favorites as a promoted ad/story, such as we did on the Lays campaign. Not only will these ads likely perform better than your standard content, but your user base will love that they’ve been invited to be part of the brand conversation. And more, even the photos you don’t use on your own channels will be seen by their friends and network.

A good idea is to promote hashtags and encourage users to tag your brand on their posts, so it’s easier for you to find the content afterwards. Plus, you’ll generate additional engagement and potentially even a trending topic.
Airbnb has been one of the pioneers on UGC. Almost 80% of content posted by Airbnb back in 2016 was UGC. And 80% of the engagement on Instagram was driven by those posts.


“Your community, your customers, are the best marketing asset you have” – James McClure, ‎GM Northern Europe at Airbnb.
Recent research by Nielsen show that more than half of US based users trust UGC more than original content or stock photos. And we know that trust drives engagement and sales.

Here’s another example with our friends at Pepsi, where we challenged users to tweet about prejudices they have, and pushed that content to digital out of home screens all over the streets of Buenos Aires. This campaign was even selected as one of the 10 best Twitter campaigns in Latin America.

 

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You can also combine offline, online, and real-time by listening to the content being shared at events with your branded hashtag, and then sharing your favorites at the event itself. With this tactic you’ll spread awareness while also generating more content - because who doesn’t want to be featured on the big screen..
To sum up: don't just wait for users to engage with your brand, encourage them to generate content with you! Then use your favorites to run low cost, high impact ad campaigns. 93% of marketers using UGC are seeing positive results. It is time for you to try UGC too!

Learn how Flimper can help you boost your UGC strategy

That said, UGC isn’t for everyone. If your consumers are creating high quality content on social, UGC is a no brainer. But if you have to spend hours looking for the right picture of your product, the time may not be right. Instead, keep creating your own content and train your users on how to create the UGC you love. Hey, that sounds like a great idea for a future blog post!

 

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