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Brands, once fiercely protective of their messages, have flipped the switch. Not only are they allowing consumers to create their messages, they’re embracing it. It’s called User Generated Content or UGC, and we love it.

In the summer of 2013 (yes, there was once a summer in CLE), Coke launched a campaign asking consumers to #shareacoke. Thanks to a few million consumers willing to snap a photo or send a tweet in their spare time, this UGC campaign reversed a decade long decline in U.S. Coke consumption.

Rent the Runway (RTR), an online service that provides designer dress and accessory rentals, is using UGC in a big way, encouraging their customers to upload images, size information, and feedback after rental. Potential renters can then “Find Women Like Me” via “Our Runway” to select their own measurements and see the dresses on real people with a similar body type.

The result? RTR customers viewing UGC photos are 200% more likely to rent than those who have viewed a product shot on a model.

Why does it matter to you?

  • 65% of consumers are seeking out UGC content before making a purchase
  • 51% of Gen Y say UGC is more important to them than the opinions of their own friends and family
  • 92% of consumers say they trust earned media above all other forms of advertising

When UGC is integrated into your brand’s overall marketing strategy, it can grow your following, encourage customer loyalty and engagement, and ultimately, increase sales. Audiences are already producing content at a faster rate than ever, so we’d say it’s time to get your hands on some!

Exit pop-ups are .007% less annoying than intro pop-ups.

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