Marketing trends for 2020 included a dramatic surge in customer-created photos and videos—that’s content that we created and big brands (brands) shared with their audiences. Thanks to you and me, brands saved a lot of money on production costs and logistics by depending on us for our great user-generated content (UGC).
Brands love our UGC because it’s homespun and authentic
UGC may take the form of a product photo, video or an employee review/testimonial. What they really love is when we post photos of ourselves happily using their products. Could there be a better endorsement, after all?
Who’s using UCG really well?
- The travel industry. Big hotels and resorts–especially now as they desperately try to lure us out of our safe zones with photos of kids and families having the times of their lives. Of glorious tropical paradises that promise more than they can deliver.
- Nonprofits. Traditionally, NGOs and charities have used direct and print to reach their potential donors. But social media has taken over. Photos that show how an organization is using its donors’ money to do good or empower its community is a formidable message.
- GoPro, an industry leader in camera technology, is successfully embracing fan and influencer engagement and showcasing it on their website. On GoPro Awards, they ask customers to submit a favorite video or image using a GoPro camera. GoPro’s marketing team shares the best submissions on their Instagram and YouTube accounts.
- Warby Parker. One parent shared an adorable photo of their baby wearing big Warby Parker glasses on an Instagram feed that racked up more than 15K likes and thousands of comments. If brands were doing that ad, you’d get a slick photoshoot with high production values, an actor, and a lovely but very predictable end result.
Sharing USG isn’t just for brands—we should all be repurposing our own UGC
I work with a nonprofit dedicated to retaining and building affordable housing, and I take photos every week that I repurpose to our social media sites and use in our mailings. I’m creating a photo history of our projects and engaging our community.
Get creative: Think about creating memes out of client testimonials
Think testimonials and Yelp reviews. Get more mileage out of these endorsements by creating memes and posting them to your social media sites. Use them as pullquotes in your newsletters and annual reports.
The pandemic has created a new generation of users—old people
Millennials are famous for seeking out reviews before purchasing anything. But it’s not just millennials anymore. The pandemic has bred a new generation of users–old people with extra time on their hands. They went online and got a lot savvier about using social media, about wanting to read reviews and do some research before buying. The result? Social media usage has soared. Use your great UGC to reach this audience!