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Outstanding user-generated content (UCG) campaigns from leading brands provide a framework for success.
Let’s look at 11 successful campaigns featuring user-generated content examples.
Learn from these great word-of-mouth marketing examples to build your own campaigns.
Before the release of the Galaxy A smartphone, Samsung collaborated with K-pop girl group Blackpink and launched the hashtag challenge #danceAwesome. Here, the K-pop stars posted a TikTok video and danced to the campaign’s catchy chant, “Awesome screen. Awesome camera. Long-lasting battery life.”
Next up, it prompted fans to post creative social content about their upcoming product. To enter the contest, each entry must have the campaign’s “Awesome Phone Song,” which highlighted the smartphone’s features. Selected winners would snag a free Samsung Galaxy A71.
From there, members of Blackpink’s Blink fandom danced to the beat of the music and mimicked their favorite girl group. The best part? Popular influencers joined the craze and showed off their dance moves to millions of followers.
Social media maven Holly H - who has 16.6 million followers - posted her own version and joked that she was working on her Blackpink audition. Her entry gained 250,000 likes.
Some fans preferred to stay behind the scenes. Instead of dancing on their own, they edited Blackpink’s performances with Samsung’s tunes serving as the background music.
Surprisingly, the #danceAwesome campaign generated 20.5 billion views. Not only did Samsung earn a lot of publicity, but participants also shared their love for Blackpink.
People are wary of wanderlust photos from travel agencies. That’s precisely why a lot of time, money and effort goes into recruiting influencers, creating sponsored ads and conceptualizing quality content. But the Swedish Tourism Board found an ingenious way to advertise its destinations with little to no effort.
The organization started a campaign that lets consumers dial a number and get redirected to talk to a random Swedish person. Although these Swedes signed up for the initiative, they received no training, scripts, or instructions. Their only task was to answer the questions of aspiring locals and promote their country by saying whatever they wanted.
Locals answered questions of callers, shared their experiences, or engaged in conversation. The success of the initiative is based on actual conversations with locals who genuinely loved their country. Contrary to most marketing campaigns, they relied on unfiltered conversations to bolster tourism.
Not surprisingly, it won the Direct Grand Prix at the Cannes Lions festival in 2016.
Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign is one of the most phenomenally successful user-generated content campaigns to date.
In 2012, the brand launched limited-edition Coke bottles printed with popular names. Shortly after, customers were motivated to find Coke bottles labeled with their name or the names of their friends and family. They unconsciously spent time digging through stacks of Coke cans while grocery shopping. Once they succeeded, they snapped a picture and posted it online with the #ShareACoke hashtag.
As expected, each post sparked social conversations. Consumers posted bottles with their own names and reached out to #ShareACoke if they found a can named after them or a loved one.
The result of the personalized campaign, notes StoryBox, is more than 150 million personalized bottles sold. On Instagram, there were 650,000-plus pictures and 1 billion impressions for posts with the #ShareACoke hashtag.
GoPro shot to stardom through user-generated content.
The company frequently hosts contests, and challenges based on a specific theme. Then it encourages content creators to share their photos and videos for a chance to earn products, cash, and global exposure through GoPro’s Instagram account—which has more than 17 million followers.
For instance, GoPro’s “Million Dollar Challenge” encourages participants to grab their HERO9 Black camera and film rad videos. Content creators with the best entries got a share of the $1 million allotted for the campaign.
Besides travel-themed Instagram posts, highlights of these winning clips are usually combined to make an epic video montage. An example is this “Million Dollar Challenge Highlight” video which racked up millions of views.
No GoPro HERO9Black camera? No problem! As long as you have a GoPro camera, you can join other contests and have a shot at global exposure. The #GoProLiveIt even challenges creators to share photos of moments that made them feel alive to earn valuable prizes.
By giving content creators the opportunity to earn rewards and publicity, GoPro is able to get content and show off their camera's capabilities.
Japanese retailer Uniqlo teamed up with TikTok for its #UTPlayYourWorld contest.
Participants were required to submit “creative, authentic and inspiring” videos while wearing Uniqlo’s ‘UT’ graphic T-shirt. Entries must include the #UTPlayYourWorld campaign soundtrack and hashtag. They must also follow the @uniqlo.tiktok account to qualify.
Chosen winners would get featured on the company’s retail stores and social media accounts.
A shot at global fame is certainly motivating. According to Asia Travel Club, the campaign led to 708.9 million views and entries from top TikTok influencers.
TikTok influencer Sebastian Bails — who has 10.9 million followers — posted a video which aggregated 193,000 likes on the platform.
Likewise, Japanese influencer proudly donned her Uniqlo shirt and danced to the tune of Uniqlo’s campaign music.
This campaign aimed to target the Gen Z-ers so TikTok was the platform chosen for the campaign. Thanks to the signature music and Uniqlo shirt, viewers could instantly recognize the brand and remember their products while scrolling through their newsfeed.
User-generated content inspires the product line of Threadless.
The apparel retailer hosts numerous design contests for graphic designers and illustrators. Once an artist makes a submission, their designs are rated and critiqued by the Threadless community. They also shamelessly can promote their designs for more chances of winning.
Top-rated designs are printed T-shirts, hoodies or iPhone cases. Winning artists also get an opportunity to earn commissions and snag big cash prizes.
During the company’s face mask challenge, designers shared amazing face mask designs. The results were patterns inspired by cats, whales, robots, and plants — which we never knew we needed until today.
Unlike most fashion retailers, Threadless releases products based that gained fame within their community. Therefore, there’s already existing demand for every product launched. Plus, artists get an opportunity to hone their craft, shamelessly promote it and get critical feedback.
They say life is too short to wear mediocre underwear.
That said, Calvin Klein empowers their stylish community by giving them an opportunity flaunt their look in the #MyCalvins underwear campaign. For maximum publicity, the campaign featured celebrities and influencers in their undies.
In 2015, Justin Bieber’s #MyCalvins video received 9.8 million views. According to a case study, the #mycalvins hashtag even generated 1.6 million interactions within 48 hours from its launch.
Campaign ads also encouraged celebrities to fill in the blanks for the phrase, “I _____ in #mycalvins”. Their answers ranged from “flaunt”, “dream”, and “excel”. These statements showed the impact of Calvin Klein on their daily lives and it encouraged viewers to join the conversation.
Following the example of their favorite celebrities, thousands of users shared photos of their underwear with the #MyCalvins. Best photos got featured on the #MyCalvins microsite, which fueled consumers’ motivation.
To date, it became such a phenomenon and led to 850,000 photos with the hashtag on Instagram.
Through UCG, Calvin Klein receives authentic promotions that are more effective than sponsored ads and videos. Consumers also gain social media approval and confidence by flaunting their style. Also, friends, and acquaintances of these participants get tempted to own a pair of #MyCalvins too.
Pet owners frequently scroll through social media accounts filled with adorable corgis and beagles. Just like proud parents, they also post pictures of their pets online.
This phenomenon fueled the strategy of the pet lifestyle brand Camping With Dogs. The outdoors-focused retailer gets followers to add the #campingwithdogs hashtag alongside the pictures of their beloved canines. High-quality photos are reposted on the brand's Instagram account, which has 622,000 followers.
From majestic dogs hiking mountain trails to huskies hugging their owners, these photos show that they genuinely care about their customers.
Rather than posting product photos, they use user-generated content featuring dogs using their own products. The result is free publicity and authentic content.
The best part? Camping With Dogs can promote their pet products and gain new followers without lifting a finger. Meanwhile, pet owners are motivated by the possibility of their pets gaining insta-fame.
Buffer, a provider of social media-management software, has a unique approach to user-generated content.
It encourages the ‘Buffer Community’ to submit their best content for a chance to get featured on their account. To make it relevant for their audience of social media marketers, they add marketing tips in the caption.
In the image below, the caption offers tips so readers can “squeeze more” out of their YouTube channel. Buffer also encourages viewers to check out blog posts to generate traffic for their website.
Besides their high quality content, the brand responds to each comment. Questions are added at the end of each caption to motivate viewers to share their own experiences.
Plenty of business-to-business brands struggle with creating a relevant social strategy. However, Buffer conquered this challenge by using their Instagram account to share gorgeous photos with relevant tips.
While their photos can easily grab your attention, their tips and comments section will make you stay or even check out their blog posts.
Supreme has built a massive following by playing hard to get.
Unlike most fashion retailers, the brand has a small supply for each product. Once these products get sold, they’ll never make it again.
The exclusivity and rarity has made Supreme a king in user-generated content. Proud owners regularly flaunt their Supreme bags and apparel online.
Supreme’s online community of streetwear fans stay tuned for product drops. The company also leaks information about their upcoming collections and waits for rumors to spread like wildfire in online Facebook communities.
Interestingly, a case study by Sumo reports that 99.9% of traffic to their website is organic. It mainly relies on user-generated content and its cult-like following.
Klook is an online concierge for travel experiences. It sells tickets to tours and attractions to popular destinations in Asia.
To collect high-quality photos for their website and articles, the brand hosted a travel pawn shop in Singapore. Here, participants can trade their old travel photos for deals and free activities for their next holiday. Activities ranged from baking in Bangkok to go-karting in Tokyo.
The company also amasses user-generated content through consumers on Instagram. Using the #KlookStories gives you a shot at getting featured and gaining publicity for your travel photographs.
Consequently, viewers of these eye-catching images discover these destinations or visit the Klook website to avail of these experiences.
By rewarding consumers, Klook can get high-quality photos of stunning destinations from across the globe. In exchange, travelers can get free activities or experiences for sharing their wanderlust moments while viewers discover these beautiful destinations.
It’s a perfect win-win-win situation.
Now that you’ve seen some phenomenally successful user-generated content campaign, it’s your turn to make your own.
Make consumers a part of your marketing campaigns to get authentic promotions for your business.