User-generated content (UGC) campaigns have emerged as a potent force in modern marketing, capitalising on the authenticity and engagement that only real customer experiences can provide.
However, devising a successful UGC campaign is no small feat; it requires strategic planning, creativity, and a deep understanding of your target audience.
In this guide, we will explore actionable UGC campaign ideas that empower customers to become brand advocates and create compelling content that drives business success.
Let's dive in and harness the power of UGC to take your marketing to the next level.
Table of contents
1. Behind the scene
2. Customer takeovers
Doritos' #Crash the Super Bowl
3. Product evolution
4. Recognition and Rewards
National Geographic's #WanderlustContest
5. Create a time capsule
6. Involve your customers
7. Show support for community
Setup your first UGC campaign today!
- Behind the scene
The Behind-the-scenes UGC campaign idea encourages users to share exclusive glimpses of their experiences with a brand, product, or service.
Disney's #DisneyMagicMoments campaign was to bring Disney's magic into its fans' homes during the COVID-19 pandemic. The campaign aimed to provide fans with a behind-the-scenes look at Disney's parks, movies, and entertainment, even when they couldn't visit the physical locations.
Also, Disney encouraged its users to share their content, stories, and experiences at Disneyland while sitting at home.
This campaign worked because
- It showed Disney's commitment to maintaining connection and offering a much-needed escape during difficult times.
- It was engaging as Disney added interactive elements, videos, live interview sessions and Q&As.
- It showed that Disney cares about their customers.
Check out one of Disney's attempts to bring Beauty and the Beast to life in this video:
- Customer takeovers
This is one of the most common and widely used campaign ideas where your customers are in the spotlight. You offer them the opportunity to tell a story, share their experiences, and bring their creativity to your brand's name.
One example of a customer takeover campaign idea is The Doritos #CrashtheSuperBowl. In this the team asking its audience to share a commercial idea they want Doritos to make for the Superbowl. The campaign was so successful that it raised the company's valuation from $1.5 billion to $2.2 billion and received loads of participation worldwide.
This campaign was successful because
- It was an audience-centric approach, emphasising consumer creativity.
- It was memorable and iconic commercials created by consumers.
- It was entertaining with humorous and creative ads.
Also read: 5 Amazing UGC Examples on Instagram
- Product evolution
The idea behind a product evolution UGC campaign is to show behind-the-scenes of our product over the years and how it has evolved. This UGC idea aims to create buzz around the success of your product and engage the audience by inviting them to be a part of your brand’s journey.
Apple’s #ShotoniPhone is an excellent example of a UGC campaign that showcases the product evolution of the iPhone camera. The campaign highlights the remarkable journey of iPhone cameras and the evolving photography skills of iPhone users. Currently, #ShotOniPhone has amassed more than 26 million posts on Instagram alone, making it one of the most effective UGC initiatives to date.
This campaign was a success because
- It highlighted Apple product’s quality and evolution
- It created a global community of brand enthusiasts
- It focused on leveraging authentic user-generated content
- Recognition and Rewards
This campaign idea revolved around offering incentives to your users to encourage them to create content related to your brand and products/services. Often, this UGC idea is so common that you can use this along with any other idea we've discussed.
For instance, if you ask your customers to share photos and videos of you having a great time at your restaurant, you can offer them special discounts or products at low cost.
National Geographic's #WanderlustContest
#Wanderlustcontest by National Geographic invited people worldwide to share their travel experiences and adventures on social media. The campaign encouraged participants to post their most captivating and wanderlust-inducing travel photos using the hashtag #WanderlustContest.
Their campaign was a success because
- It tied incentives such as travel experiences and the opportunity to be featured on their renowned platform.
- The campaign aligned perfectly with National Geographic's brand identity.
Also read: Best Bar Marketing Campaigns 2024
- Create a time capsule
This UGC campaign idea taps into human nostalgia, bringing back past experiences, moments, and activities. With this campaign, you encourage your customers to live the moment again in real-time, which fosters connectivity.
For instance, a clothing brand can pull out their users’ previous purchase history, pack all their purchases and send it to them via an email or showcase them on their website. Then, encourage customers to share photos and videos on social media to create a buzz around the campaign.
With their year-end Wrapped campaign, Spotify is winning their users' hearts with a nostalgic UGC campaign. Users can access their Wrapped summary, which includes statistics on the most-streamed songs, artists, genres, and listening times. Spotify Wrapped also includes a shareable visual graphic and playlist of a user's top songs.
The campaign has been a success because
- Spotify makes it super easy to share the wrap on every channel.
- It appeals to human emotions and feelings of nostalgia.
- It is personalised to every individual.
- Involve your customers
The concept behind the "Involve Your Customers" UGC campaign is to actively engage and encourage your customers to create content related to your brand, products, or services. This content is then shared on various digital platforms, helping to increase brand visibility, build trust, and foster a sense of community around your brand.
Starbucks launched the #WhiteCupContest in April 2014, which was a huge success. The campaign invited customers to transform their plain, iconic white Starbucks cups into personalised art pieces and share their creations on social media. Participants were encouraged to use the hashtag #WhiteCupContest when posting their designs on platforms like Instagram, Twitter, and Facebook.
This UGC campaign worked because
- It was engaging and involved customers
- The barrier to entry was lower as anyone with a Starbucks cup can share their work
- There was a lot of recognition and rewards given to the winner.
Here's a snapshot of the Starbucks Pinterest board showcasing all the #white Cup contest entries.
- Show support for community
Showing support for your community is one of the best UGC ideas to build trust and show your dedication towards social responsibilities. With this idea, you can encourage customers to showcase their values, highlight the positive impact your brand has helped them make, and how they've fostered a better community among themselves.
In response to the global refugee crisis, Airbnb launched a campaign with #Weaccept. The campaign encouraged people to open their homes to refugees and support them during such crises. There was a heartfelt Super Bowl commercial and a call to action for people to share their stories of acceptance and belonging on social media.
This campaign worked because
- It was relevant and timely
- It had a strong emotional appeal
- It reflected Airbnb's value of being inclusive and empathetic
Set up your first UGC campaign today!
As you now have a lot of ideas to inspire your next UGC campaign, the only thing left to do is plan and implement what you learned. To make your UGC campaigns successful, lay down clear guidelines, understand your audience's motivation and align your brand values with your customers.
If you want to make the entire process easier and faster, try ttagz's instant barcode generation feature, which allows customers to generate content at the moment without much hassle. And the best part? You can easily tie up rewards when they share content with you.