User generated content is a powerful tool for increasing sales—but do you know how to start collecting it and promoting it to improve your marketing? The first thing you’ll have to learn is how to incentivize your customers to share on-brand content. In order to get your customer posting, you’ll want to learn some basic gamification. Successful brands have already incorporated these tactics into their social marketing campaigns. To help get you started, here are some ideas to help you implement a gamification layer into your user generated content campaign design.
1. Create Leader Boards
Ranking campaign submissions and displaying results on your owned media can increase brand awareness and engagement. If you do not have a visual marketing platform, you can rank submissions based on social media likes, shares, traffic, or a formula of your choice. Leaderboards bring out the competitive component of your campaigns and encourage brand advocates to post high quality and creative content. Presumably, the best user content will receive the most social acknowledgement organically-- but it doesn’t hurt to push it out through your own social channels for extra engagement!
2. Know Your Customers
Some brand advocates will create content for the sheer joy of it, but you can increase social posting if you offer concrete incentives. When deciding how to reward your customers for their content, really hone in on who your customers are. Do you want to offer social recognition? Free products? Feature them on your website? Free loyalty points? Discounts and coupons? Or something else entirely? Bottom line, if you know your customers and what they value most—it will be easier to incentivize them.
3. Create an Online Community
Affiliating yourself with a brand is a lifestyle statement. Create an online space that your fans can interact. Whether that be a hashtag or a Q&A forum, help your customers find others affiliated with your brand. Once you’ve started to grow your community, partake in the conversation and build relationships with your most engaged members.
4. Share your Values
Millennials value social action and want to see the brands they love giving back to the community. Launching philanthropic campaigns (see Pacifica Beauty's #BuyOneGiveOne or Marriott’s #LoveTravels) is a great way to not only be authentic but to demonstrate that you care about more than just profits. This gamification technique reinforces the values your brand stands for and helps to build a community around a real cause.
5. Track Social Media Data
Has one of your customer photos been shared over a thousand times? After dispersing it on your brand’s owned media channels does it have millions of impressions? Share these social media metrics with your customer! Chances are they will be blow away by how many people have interacted with their photo. It’s an easy way to show your customers the influence and reach they have when they partner with your brand.
6. Challenge your Customers
You don’t want the barrier to entry to be too high—but creating contests that challenge your customers can be particularly effective. People love to show off their accomplishments. Whether that be a toned body or biking to the top of a mountain, celebrate your customers’ success.
7. Implement Progress Bars
Create a progress bar for becoming a brand influencer. How many photos of your products do your current brand influencers share a month? How many followers do they have on their social media channels? Identify and share the tangible metrics your customer needs to achieve in order for them to reach 100% completion on their progress bar and become an official brand influencer.
Your user generated content campaigns will be more successful and see more engagement if you provide triggers, social reinforcement, and rewards to incentivize your customers. By broadening your marketing mix with user generated content and gamifying your social media marketing strategy, you will not only improve your marketing but build lasting relationships with your most active customers.