Harnessing the Force: User Generated Content

Burberry Marketing

In the Star Wars series, the venerable Obi-Wan Kenobi mentors the struggling hero, Luke Skywalker, as he prepares to defeat the enemy.
Obi-Wan Kenobi doesn’t fight the battles for Luke, but instead guides him to use his strengths and the power of the Force. At one point, Obi-Wan Kenobi describes the Force as “an energy field created by all living things. It surrounds us, penetrates us, and binds the galaxy together”. Spoiler alert: Luke eventually defeats the evil forces.

Now, imagine the Force to be all around us, but in the form of content, more specifically, User Generated Content. The question remains: how will we harness the power of the Force?

Learning from the Best

According to a study recently conducted by Bazaar Voice, 64% of millennials and 53% of baby boomers want more ways to share their opinion about brands, and more than half of consumers trust User Generated Content more than information on company websites or news articles about companies.

Let’s look at two great companies that have harnessed the power of the Force.

Burberry

burberry
Burberry is a designer clothing company that was established in 1856, but struggled to remain a relevant brand into the 21st century. In 2009, Burberry launched The Art of the Trench website, which integrated and curated comments and pictures that were posted by consumers. After the launch, ecommerce sales surged 50% year-over-year. You can visit the website here http://artofthetrench.burberry.com

Chobani Yogurt

Chobani
Established in 2005, this Greek yogurt company was able to increase its revenue by 225.9% between 2009 and 2010 as a result of the “real love stories” videos the company asked its consumers to create. The campaign was a big hit, and Chobani is now a leading competitor in its industry. The company continues to launch successful integrated campaigns that utilize User Generated Content.

Be the Obi-Wan Kenobi of Digital Marketing Campaigns

Here are a few top tips for creating optimized opportunities for User Generated Content:

Mobile Optimization

Regardless of your industry, product, or campaign, make sure all your content is optimized for mobile use. It doesn’t matter how tremendous the content is, if it cannot be quickly and easily accessed through mobile devices (smartphones, tablets, etc.), it will deter consumers from viewing the content.

Asset Alignment

Figure out if you have the bandwidth to sustain an ongoing program on your website, or if a one-time campaign will be more advantageous. Make sure your goals align with your audience, assets, and execution.

Hero Messaging

Ensure the consumer is the “hero” of your messaging. Consumers are looking for brand authenticity, and while the goal of the campaign might be brand awareness or a revenue increase, make sure the results are mutually beneficial.

Instant Integration

You don’t have to reinvent the wheel when launching User Generated Content! If there is a successful way to integrate current social media platforms into your campaign, integrate away!

Utilizing User Generated Campaigns can be extremely effective in spreading brand awareness and increasing revenue. Spend some time brainstorming how you can effectively utilize your digital tools and platforms.

Photo Credit: Dana Malhas for Art of the Trench Middle East. Courtesy of Burberry.

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