How To Run a Successful User-Generated Content Campaign

Apr 13, 2017 Leigh Hamer

Marketing, Marketing Trends, Production

Social media users are consuming and creating content at a rapid pace. With a smartphone in hand, today’s consumer is always armed with a camera and an opinion.
In order to get consumer attention in a memorable and positive way, user-generated content campaigns have grown as a popular way to assist marketers in messaging that works. A user-generated content campaign allows your loyal advocates to share their personal experiences with your brand.
Here are some tips on how to create user-generated campaigns that will get consumers talking:


Be specific in the ask.

In social posts, clearly outline what type of content the brand is seeking.

Hashtag it.

Hashtags are popular because they work. Brand social media managers like them because they organize content. Brand followers understand them, especially around contests.

Go where the followers are.

Promote the campaign and ask for content on the brand’s most popular and active social media channel. If a brand’s followers are engaged on Facebook, ask them to post photos or videos on Facebook.

Tell followers how the brand will use the content.

Do you plan to create a commercial? Will users see their photos or videos appear on your website?

Respond and react.

As users start to share content, respond with authentic comments that show a human being saw their content and appreciates the time they took to create it.

Set a time limit (especially if it’s a contest).

Expiration dates create a sense of urgency and help keep the attention of loyal followers who want to see the outcome.



Allowing users to own ‘your’ brand ups the brand’s credibility. Don’t censor how people represent their experience, rather try to embrace their interpretation of ‘your’ brand experience. (But, censor the obvious.)

Stop marketing.

User-generated content is not the end of a brand’s marketing, it is a tool. You must continue to market as usual through a user-generated content campaign.

Brands That Are Doing It Right


Starbucks user generated content
The massive coffee chain ran a competition under the hashtag #WhiteCupContent to gather new artwork for the brand’s iconic cup. More than 4,000 entries later, Starbucks announced a winner.


user generated content for Coca Cola
Remember when Coke put everyone’s name on their bottles and everyone just had to share a picture with ‘their’ bottle? Genius. Coke personalized their brand experience and brought the iconic red label to a whole new, relatable level. With it, they also tapped into everyone’s narcissism and established a killer user-generated content campaign.


The chip maker pulled out all the stops a few years ago with its annual “Crash the Super Bowl” contest. The grand prize winner not only had their spot played as the official Doritos Super Bowl ad, but they also won $1 million and a job with Universal Studios to work on a major motion picture. The runner-up got $50,000 and the second Super Bowl ad spot, and the other eight finalists won $25,000 (and all 10 got Super Bowl tickets).
These inspirational ideas prove that the sky is the limit when it comes to user-generated campaigns. Consumers today are looking for experiences and ways to engage with your product. With the power of social media,  a creative user-generated campaign has the capability of reaching millions of potential consumers. Continue to watch other brands bring user-generated campaigns to life and try some of your own!
For advice on winning support for your campaign idea, download our free how-to guide: Show Me The Money: How to Get Buy-in and Budget For Your Next Marketing Idea.
Show Me The Money [e-book]

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