Marketing your company in today’s culture involves meeting a great deal of expectations. Think about what you count on from companies and brands...

We expect them to maintain an engaging and consistent presence across multiple social platforms, along with having a modern, user-friendly website, amazing and accessible online customer service, and fast responses to even the most complicated questions.

But constantly (and impressively!) keeping up with these growing expectations can be tricky, even for the most established brands.

That’s where user-generated content can be enormously helpful! User-generated content can massively lessen a company’s content creation burden, while also fostering goodwill and engagement among its followers and prospective consumers.

Here are some brands who are inspiring, encouraging, and implementing user-generated content:

Burberry

Burberry is an upscale clothing company with a huge celebrity following. Angela Ahrendts took over as Burberry CEO in 2006 and decided to launch a user-generated content strategy as part of her goal of changing the company’s aging brand.

The company launched The Art of the Trench website in 2009, where users could upload and comment on pictures of people wearing Burberry products. Burberry’s eCommerce sales surged 50% year-over-year following the launch of this site.

Starbucks

Starbucks’ White Cup Contest (April 2014) is another excellent example of user-generated content. Customers were asked to doodle on their Starbucks cups and submit the pictures of their doodles as entries.

The winning entry would be the template for a new limited edition Starbucks cup. Nearly 4,000 customers submitted entries in a three week span.

Square

Square is a small business owners dream! It is payment software that allows businesses to accept credit card transactions from wherever they are.

They use customer video testimonials as user-generated content to tell the stories of their wide variety of customers. This is a great way for them to connect with new customers and show the amazing value they provide. They do a great job of highlighting the benefits of Square, while also keeping the focus on their customer’s emotional or inspiring story.

Airbnb

This peer-to-peer travel exchange site uses their Instagram channel to ignite your wanderlust. And they do it well.

They feature user content from all over the world! Since no two travelers or experiences are exactly alike, the brand has the unique challenge of showing lots of disparate content in a unified way. Featuring user content helps them achieve just the right balance.

How can you use user-generated content in your business? Can you get your followers, fans, and potential customers involved and excited about your business?

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Kristi Brown

Creativity Consultant, Sales & Marketing Strategist
/krēāˈtivədē/ /kuh n-suhl-tnt/
Noun: An energetic native Floridian with a passion for smart, authentic, imaginative, effective marketing strategies and original ideas.
Synonyms: Netflix Junkie, Cockapoo mom, crazy aunt, world traveler, foodie.
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