Five Golden Rules of Engagement With UGC

UGC, User Generated Content, is seen to  resonate better with the conversion rates for UGC being 5X higher. Brands have reportedly seen an increase of 10 percent in conversion rates when User generated content has been used in the purchase path. While Sweepstakes is a commonly used tactic to expand reach for your campaigns, UGC helps you target your existing customers creating a deeper bond with your brand. According to a Forrester research on UGC,  User Generated content is helpful through all stages of buyer journey, making it a key tactic for new product launches.

Consumers research more and more products online and on the go. Consumers don’t just research big-ticket items like cars or computers, they research everyday purchases like toothpaste and cereal. 

Marketers view user-generated content as a critical tool during the early stages of the customer life cycle. 

Marketers employ UGC as a key component of new product launches. For leading consumer packaged goods (CPG) marketers, user-generated content has become a key tactic for new product launches — the lifeblood of CPG brands

Awareness Campaigns For Storytelling

Campaigns that are designed to harness the power of UGC require an awareness campaign that positions the campaign to be unique enough for audiences to react, engage and share. Generating awareness with existing fans and followers can increase conversions from your Sweepstakes Contest.

Lucky Charms has announced #LuckyCharms sweepstakes awarding ten lucky winners with a box of Lucky Charms cereal, according to a General Mills blog post, “It’s simple! Just share a photo of yourself holding an imaginary box of Lucky Charms on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram between October 14 and 18 using #Lucky10Sweepstakes”. While promoting your Sweepstakes “Articulate the keywords and Hashtags that are mandatory for your campaign discovery. Build the same in your messaging“.


In an another User Generated Content Campaign, Under Armour has effectively used Video advertising to create awareness with a YouTube video to promote the contest with hashtags #RuleYourself and #IWill.

Social Media Engagement On Preferred Channels

Social Media posts are the favored way for Lucky Charms fans and enthusiasts to express their love for the brand, and the cereal brand has posted several creative takes to promote the contest.

Under Armour generated engagement with an Instagram feed with the hashtag and a link that directs audiences to an interactive game, creating a more immersive experience. You may choose to promote your messaging across networks while keeping the engagement for UGC on preferred channels.

Warby Parker has a campaign where, they allow consumers to try on different pairs of glasses and have the expert team comment on which pair of glasses suit the user. The #WarbyHomeTryOn has been followed up by #FallSyallabus Campaign.



Targeted Offerings

Sweepstakes are an effective way to target audiences and brands can get creative with different themes.

Design your contest to create a desire with your targeted audience, with a reward that they are most likely to cherish and at the same time posts with content that they find engaging.  Reese’s has created a series of Game Day Celebrations titled, Reese’s Gameday Greatness,  with video features that give a true feel for some of the oldest college rituals and see the passion and excitement surrounding game days.

Starbucks regrammed posts are an example of engaging audiences with user-generated content. The rewards that engage audiences may differ for different personas of your target audience.





According to OfferPop, Create variations of your UGC campaigns, each targeted at a different buyer persona.

Applebee’s targets different audiences within #beeafantographer campaign by creating programs that appeal to different demographic. An example below shows how they use targeting by interest with Sweepstakes and Instagram posts.

Applebees Summer





A fun way to engage audience as seen below is to ask an open-ended question, like “What is your favorite way to enjoy Apples?”









Focused Brand Messaging and Recall

UGC offers access to a wealth of insights into what customers respond to and how they use your products. Insights, when turned into action, can be used to fuel new product innovation, improvements, or stronger and Focused messaging.

Pepsi Perfect Australia has extended the theme of Back To The Future, version of Pepsi Perfect to a User Generated Contest asking users to share their 2K version of  Marty McFly look, that can provide insights unto how Pepsi fits into the users interpretation of future and the character in the film.

Incorporate UGC in your brand messaging to promote the product features that make your service exceptional. Lowe’s Rave or Rant Facebook App lets users voice their opinion that can help the brand identify services that work for them and promote the same.

  Customer Centricity

Consumers have a world of content to choose from. If you are too self-serving, you will turn customers away. Instead, focus on your customers’ needs to provide value-added content that puts customer first, product or brand second.

At the same time harness the power of endorsement, turning referrals into a point that creates compelling messages for your audience.

According to Forrester’s report,  “Harness the power of peer-to-peer endorsements by sharing them widely. Incorporate stellar ratings or innovative product uses into point-of-sale materials and online or mobile ads. One CPG manufacturer learned that display ads that incorporate ratings and reviews drove higher web traffic and conversion than ads without such information”.

Source: Forrester and Bazaar Voice