Over the last few years, user generated content has grown in importance.
A recent HubSpot study of more than 500 marketers selling content through social shopping tools found that 92% of them said user-generated material increased brand awareness for their products.
As Emplifi Chief Strategy Officer Kyle Wong explained to me: “User generated content is an opportunity and a marketing channel that exists 24/7/365.”
We’ll look at 10 impressive UGC campaign examples to help you create your own. Wong also shares five UGC strategies that will help you take your UGC to the next step.
User-generated campaign examples
Kyle Wong shares his 5 top tips to create your own UGC Campaign
Ten Examples of Outstanding User-Generated Campaigns
Sephora, the cosmetics giant, describes its Beauty Insider Community on their website as “your destination for sharing beauty advice, inspiration and news with real people, in real-time.”
In addition to text threads and groups that users can interact with, Sephora’s Community Gallery features UGC from real customers in an aesthetically-pleasing, interactive design.
Sephora collects this content via social media, direct uploads and UGC. The site is then made to shoppable for visitors so they can explore the products that are featured in photos from members of their community.
Sephora is committed to their customers and this gallery updates automatically as soon as a new UGC has been approved. This helps drive conversions, product discovery and Sephora’s commitment.
2. Farrow & Ball
Farrow & Ball, a manufacturer of wallpapers and paints known for their bold designs, is also well-known for the way it inspires its customers. Farrow & Ball showcases UGC on its blog, product page, and various other pages of the site to celebrate and highlight their talented community. Visitors can also filter UGC in a dedicated gallery by room style and color.
Farrow & Ball has a community of 1.6m followers on and Instagram. UGC is the main source of content for the brand.
3. The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas
The Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, one of the top Instagrammed hotels on the planet, is proud to display its impressive guest photos.
On the category pages of its various offerings, The Cosmopolitan showcases stunning UGC. From restaurant photos to moments in the casino, UGC is featured on every page. The hotel has benefited from blending influencer and UGC content on its Instagram, which ultimately generated over 250,000,000 impressions. This engagement of followers also contributed to the site’s traffic.
4. The article below provides more information about the Article.
Article is an online-only furniture brand known for creating chic, Scandinavian-inspired modern pieces. Since Article sells directly to its customers, it lacks traditional showrooms where customers can see the products.
UGC is the answer. Article provides its customers with a variety of images that show how real people have styled their furniture.
The article displays customer photographs and recommendations for furniture combinations on product pages in order to encourage visitors to stay longer on the site. This will also reduce bounce rates.
Vitamix is a leading manufacturer of food processors and juicers. It also takes an innovative approach in engaging with its community. Vitamix also ran a contest for “Smoothie Of The Year”, asking its fans to choose between nutrient dense “nourish smoothies” or Insta worthy “flourish smoothies”.
On the landing page of this contest, Vitamix showcases its UGC Carousels titled nourish and thrive.
Crocs, a footwear brand that is loved by all age groups and offers customers the chance to personalize their look with Jibbitz gems.
Crocs invites its customers to post UGC using the hashtag #MyCrocsEra on social media in order to celebrate the global community of Crocs and show how the style is done.
Crocs, as a well-established brand, adds a community element to the content it posts on its website and through social media, increasing customer loyalty and confidence in their purchase.
7. Revel Nail
Revel Nail increased their conversion rate, reduced product abandonment and added a splash to its digital marketing strategy by adding colorful, beautiful UGC.
Revel Nail also features TikTok videos that customers have created to show how they use the products. These videos can be purchased.
8. Jones Soda
Jones Soda, the beverage brand that makes Jones Soda, has one of the uniquest approaches to UGC. Fans can submit UGC by uploading to Instagram and direct uploading for a chance to see their photos on the label. Visitors to the site can cast their votes on UGC submissions via an interactive UGC Gallery.
Jones Soda’s Reels Label Campaign in 2021 took the opportunity to another level, by encouraging users on social media to share Insta Reels, which could be printed onto soda bottles, and viewed via augmented-reality (AR) using its app.
9. Northumbria University
You may not think of universities when thinking about UGC. Northumbria University, in England, embraces both its faculty and students through creative UGC displays on campus.
Northumbria has a #IAmNorthumbria gallery that showcases the university experience through photos of students. Newcastle Business School at Northumbria also highlights UGC by real students to show visitors what a typical day is like for students.
10. NAVY Hair Care
NAVY Hair Care, last but not least, is an outstanding leader in sharing and celebrating authentic customer experiences — via visual UGC and detailed reviews and ratings.
NAVY Hair Care, founded in 2018, embraced social values and boosted engagement on their website and social media pages by 264%. Combining reviews and customer photos adds a new level of social evidence for the brand. It shows customers how it feels to actually use its products.
Emplifi Chief strategy officer, John Emplifi, explains how to run your own user-generated content campaign.
Kyle Wong began our conversation by stressing the importance of user generated content, both for large and small businesses.
He says, “Every business has three marketing branches: earned, paid and owned.” One aspect of earned media includes PR. The other is word-of mouth marketing, traditionally done by customers.
Wong says, “The word of mouth marketing that your customers are doing has become more and more scaleable over the last couple years.”
Then he continues: “So, when investing in user-generated content strategy, it is important to know the basics. We are investing to help capture positive word of mouth marketing from our clients.”
Customers are already sharing positive reviews of your product, whether it’s via customer service phone calls, review pages or social media channels. It is important to use a user-generated campaign in order to simply amplify the messages that your customers are already sharing.
We’ll start with Wong’s 5 steps to create a powerful campaign.
1. Offer your customers a variety of ways to submit reviews.
Many customer stories have already been shared. The stories can be written, in photo, audio, or video form. There are countless places where you can find stories like these: review sites, emails, social media, product reviews and post-purchase feedback.
Wong said to me, “If you see people posting positive stories about your company or brand on social media, ask yourself: What are you going to do? Do we want to ignore it, or use it to help grow our company? The first step is to collect that content and encourage more.”
It’s important to create a system for storing and collecting positive stories that your team can use in UGC marketing campaigns.
Wong says, “I’m not sure if many brands have an effective repository to store all that content.” It is important to have a central repository for these customer stories. “Our platform can do a lot, but even if we are not used, a central repository should exist.”
Wong also encourages owners of businesses to provide as many positive opportunities as they can. For instance, you might:
- Feedback forms
- Create a section on your site that tells positive stories
- Create testimonial pages
- Make sure you are active across all social media channels
It’s easy to let customers share positive feedback wherever, whenever, and however they choose.
When you plan your UGC promotion, you should consider what types of entries you will accept. Images, testimonials, and videos are powerful types of content that can easily be converted to advertising.
2. Find the best place to enhance this content.
You now have an archive — fantastic. What’s next?
It’s important to determine how to spread these messages. Social media is a great way to spread UGC. You can at least retweet and repost other people’s posts. The post could be shared to your Instagram Stories and you can also save a collection of UGC Stories on your profile.
You can create landing pages to display customer content or create sections on product pages and homepages. This will let your visitors see what other people are doing with your product, and that is a great way to encourage them to buy it.
Users-generated content can be a great asset to your website. Wong said, “We found that the conversion rate of user-generated images is higher than stock photography.” This is due to a few reasons. “The authenticity is one of the reasons.”
The second reason, he adds, is that the community’s content can be difficult to duplicate because the products are used in different ways, forms and places. A photographer can get the same number of photos, but not the variety.
Variety helps you sell your products. When I can see how your customers use it, I’m more likely to be able to imagine the ways that I could also benefit from using it.
3. Call your clients to action.
Wong recommends that you have a call to action for customers who post their own content.
You could, for example, create a hashtag specific to the campaign or ask them to tag you in the post so that the content will be associated with your brand. You could also ask people to complete a survey to have a shot at being featured.
You can display all the user-generated material in one location by using CTAs. When users click on a hashtag, they can see related posts.
Wong points to a big advantage: as more and more users see that your brand is sharing content created by others, they will naturally start to do the same.
He adds, “I have seen this happen in every company that we work with.” “The more that a business features its customers, whether on their website or social media — the more people will start to talk about them.”
“Many of the brands that have grown rapidly, particularly in the SMB sector, are strong on social media and with their community effort.”
4. UGC can be used to create new product ideas or positioning.
Listening to positive feedback from your customers has a lot of implications.
Both positive and negative reviews are equally important to your product’s strategy.
Wong said, “User generated content gives you a great perspective on how people use your brand and their satisfaction with it.” It’s also a great source of inspiration. “The ‘user,’ of user-generated campaign, can assist you in rebranding your business, creating new product lines, positioning yourself on the market, and much more.”
You’ll ultimately want to use your user-generated campaign to help you make future decisions about how to build and market your products.
5. Legal issues can be resolved.
Consult legal counsel if you plan to conduct a giveaway in conjunction with your campaign. You should be aware of two key issues: your rights over the content that is submitted for your promotion and restrictions on giveaways.
You need to tell participants in a clear and easy to understand language what happens to their content after submission.
You’ll also want to make sure that your giveaway is compliant with the laws of your state, municipality, or the media through which it was conducted.
It’s evident that, given the variety of industries mentioned above, any brand could follow the same model in order to generate positive publicity and promote engagement with customers.