The emergence of social media several years ago changed the way brands communicated with and to consumers – forcing them to completely change their approach to marketing products and services not only online, but offline as well.
The vast networks of people who participate on various social platforms has made it possible for one person to communicate with hundreds or even thousands of other people about products and companies. As you’d imagine, this emergence of consumer-to-consumer communications has been greatly magniﬁed in the marketplace – and become an essential piece of the marketing puzzle for brands.
As I’ve written before, your brand is what people say about you when you’re not in the room, which is why finding unique ways to leverage these consumer conversations into marketing strategies is essential and integrating user-generated content is an important component of brand building.
Unlike traditional marketing communications, where brands and marketing managers had a high degree of control, today’s marketers have to learn how to best leverage and shape consumer discussions and generated media. In recent months, more and more brands have realized the power in using consumer-generated media from social networks to help power their campaigns (read “5 Best Social Media Campaigns with User-Generated Content”).
The power of sourcing user-generated content has not been lost on many of the major brands and agencies. In last year’s Super Bowl, half of the national advertisements mentioned a Twitter hashtag in the ad (encouraging viewers to participate in the conversation well after the ad aired).
In fact, many major brands are not only incorporating consumer content into their websites, billboards and television commercials, but are also using it on ecommerce pages and in retail displays.
Here are some examples of innovative brands using consumer-generated media to help propel their marketing campaigns, drive awareness and increase sales:
Keen – Letting Consumers to Fuel a Campaign
Keen and their agency North was recently nominated for a SoMe Award for their campaign for Worldwide Recess Day. The campaign encouraged people to take 10 minutes to get outside and move, and aimed to amplify awareness of the Keen brand and social media channels, as well as drive traffic and sales through their website.
Keen encouraged people to upload photos and tweets with the hashtag #Take10, and then aggregated all of that social content on a hub page using Postano.