Interacting with consumers is one of the very basics of advertising.
And lots of people do it in different ways, from collecting data with competitions to simply offering them a coupon that saves them money and makes them feel special in equal measure.
The power of the internet though allows you to be more personal and connect with your customers in incredible new ways. And, for me, the best way to do that is with content marketing.
But that doesn’t mean just being creative with your ideas. It also means being creative with how you use and execute them, where you place them, who for, and why.
A lot of people think content marketing is on the ropes which is probably the biggest load of baloney I’ve ever heard. It’s existed long before gaining internet popularity from marketers a couple of years back, and will thrive long after they’ve moved onto their latest toy.
And here are a few very modern reasons why;
What are your favourite campaigns when it comes to creative online content marketing? How have they inspired you? Let me know in the comments section below.
I can’t look around online at the moment without seeing user-generated content marketing campaigns from companies big and small.
Where the likes of Kia were using user-generated content and reviews for their campaigns a few years back, though, a lot of brands are taking the idea and using it to create stars of the future.
This morning on Good Morning Britain I noticed a sort of user-generated content. They have a competition running at the moment for the chance to win the lovely sum of £60,000. Competitions are one of ITV’s best ways to collect data, but they’re going one step further with their latest effort.
Instead of flashing the prize at viewers Good Morning Britain has incentivised the competition to get more people entering by rolling out previous winners and the benefits winning gave them, from paying off their mortgage to having a holiday and buying a new car.
A simple idea but an effective one to not just show there’s a benefit to handing over your data but that real people have won before, and that if you don’t buy the proverbial ticket you won’t win the lottery.
The right mix
But what’s that got to do with online marketing? Some will argue that example’s a bit far from content marketing but I beg to differ. Why? Because thanks to the internet companies are breaking the barrier between the customer and the advertiser to create something special.
Warhol said everyone will have their fifteen minutes of fame and, thanks to brands willing to take a risk with their content strategy, more consumers are willing to engage with companies than ever before.
Thanks goes to YouTube, too, and the rise in cameras that can sometimes match modern professional equipment. Think of vlogger Zoella going beyond the net to star in The Great British Bake Off, and Liverpool FC impressionist Darren Farley using YouTube as a springboard for advertising with Coral.
User-generated content isn’t just a marketing gimmick for brands. It’s a way for them to connect better with their target audience, and for the audience themselves to jumpstart an exciting career by being themselves.
Have you got any other examples of brands that have interacted with consumers through user-generated content? Let me know below!
4 user-generated case studies
I recently mentioned Nivea, and how they broke into the tough women’s market across the UAE with an incredible user-generated content marketing campaign that boosted sales, market share, and brand awareness.
Here are a few more doing the rounds that you may have noticed:
Snickers’ ‘You’re not you when you’re hungry’ campaign has been a hit over the airwaves and in the press, with the brand managing to gain nationwide attention with a cute PR stunt that capitalised on Clarkson’s recent BBC sacking.
Now they’re inviting people to submit their own comedy shorts and giving aspiring actors and actresses the chance not only to show themselves off but to let a wider audience see the depths of their own creative talents on a wider level.
Though the football season’s coming to an end Budweiser is putting faith in people’s ability to have a kickabout and a laugh with their friends in the park. Budweiser is giving football lovers the chance to upload their own world-class amateur goals and, even better, the howlers that they make on the pitch.
Especially clever as this is especially suited to their target audience. Sporty lads that like to play hard that it can target, whilst also encouraging people to get out more with their friends and have a laugh with a football. Their videos can also be analysed by Gary Neville and Jamie Redknapp.
Another cleverly-targeted one that you’ve probably seen promoted all over TV. Vanish has been building a community for a while with its Tip Exchange, encouraging people to share their ideas online through social and video on how to best get rid of stains.
The Tip Exchange also leads on to some highly relevant and widely searched for content, such as tips and tricks on how to get stains such as grass, coffee, and more out of your clothes.
Not all user-generated campaigns are a roaring success, though, as Dove discovered recently. They asked women to choose between two doors to walk through in public, one labelled Average and the other Beautiful.
Though Dove found some astonishing results (96 per cent made their way through the Average door) and were aiming to use it to show women they were all beautiful the move was accused of being cynical and of shaming women.
It was as much PR stunt as encouraging the public to take part, but Dove has been pointed at for exploiting women’s deepest anxieties and fears, something that no skin-deep beauty product can alleviate.
If you’d like to learn more about consumer outreach and how to involve your customers with creative content marketing contact the Webpresence team today!