3 Ways to Tell If Your UGC Campaign Is Working

UGC campaigns are the hottest marketing strategy on the block, and for good reason. Consumers trust the opinions of other people more than traditional advertising, making the authenticity of fan photos, videos, and testimonials tough to beat.

After all, who do you tend to believe? The neighbor sharing about a product they like or a brand’s TV commercial telling you to buy it?

The only difference may be the voice behind the content, but it’s enough of a distinction to matter. UGC shows us real people using real products, and 85% of consumers say those posts are more influential than brand-generated content.

Getting started in UGC marketing isn’t hard. The Internet is loaded with tutorials, examples, and statistics. But how will you know if you’re doing it right?

Here are three markers of a successful campaign.

1. Participation in the campaign is mutually beneficial.

Every great campaign must be anchored around goals, but there’s a catch. Your goals can’t be all about yourself. To be truly successful, UGC campaigns need to be consumer-minded, too.

As Small Business Edge Founder Brian Moran explains, social media marketing is “an opportunity for you to connect, in a meaningful way, with the people who have helped you and supported you in business.”

The idea is to build deeper relationships, and that requires mutual understanding. Fans need to know what you want them to do – so be sure to deliver a strong call-to-action – but you also need to know what drives them to participate. For some, the opportunity to be heard may be enough. Others might be motivated by public recognition, interactive content, or tangible prizes.

Every demographic is different, so researching and developing buyer personas is time well spent. Then, like any good relationship, be prepared for some give and take. Only when brand and consumer goals are aligned does great content follow.

2. Your brand is capturing valuable content.

Not long ago, hashtags were an oddity. Now, they’re as common as a cup of coffee.

Categorizing each post with a unified keyword or phrase helps users more easily come together around a product, event, or even a feeling, so every brand ought to be using one. However, even with hashtags, social media activity is inherently fragmented. Loads of fans may be engaging with your brand at the same time, but they’re also doing it separately – on various networks and to different audiences. That means valuable content will quickly fade out of view unless something is done.

Successful campaigns are capturing content that resonates. By using a social media aggregation engine to search major platforms like Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, Pinterest, and YouTube, brand managers can transfer (and moderate) relevant UGC onto streaming social hubs, like a “best of” reel for all the world to see.

Presenting the full breadth of a campaign in this way gives consumers a better picture of what the brand looks like in real life. And, as marketing strategist April Rudin tells Forbes, that kind of social proof will “move your brand forward in ways you have not imagined.”

3. UGC is incorporated into brand messaging.

UGC can and should be repurposed. Promoting a social media campaign but leaving fan posts on the networks is a huge mistake.

Bazaar Voice discovered an astonishing 84 percent on millennials – big spenders on the planet right now – are heavily influenced by UGC on a company’s website. Yet, many marketers overlook the opportunity. In fact, nearly half say the biggest challenge they face is content production. If that’s you, chances are high the content you need already exists.

The best UGC campaigns are designed for more a few minutes of fame on social media. That’s because brand managers know they can extend the conversation by collecting resources – like fan photos, testimonials, and video tutorials – and showcasing them long-term on landing pages, e-commerce sites, or even live events. Statistically, this is the most credible advertising brands can do, and best of all, these visuals cost virtually nothing to create.

Inviting customers to share their stories is just the beginning of a successful social media campaign. Smart brands leverage UGC to get attention-grabbing results, and TwineSocial is proud to power their efforts.

For more ideas on how to deploy UGC, check out “8 Brilliant Ways to use Hashtag Content” and enjoy a free trial of TwineSocial today.

For more ideas on how to promote shared enthusiasm around an idea, product, or community, check out our solutions gallery. Then, kick off your own success story with a free 7-day trial of TwineSocial. Let us know how we can help!

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