How do you make your brand trustworthy and noteworthy while still keeping costs low and timelines short? UGC!
It’s no secret that user-generated content is an effective and powerful tool for marketing and branding content in an authentic way. Many brands have started leveraging user generated content format, but there are some brands in particular who have made it a part of their core strategy and as a result, have seen massive success. What differentiates market leaders is how they are able to leverage UGC to drive increased lift and conversions.
Below, we've featured 3 of our favorite brands who have expertly leveraged UGC in their marketing strategy. Take a look and let us know if you know of any others that come to mind.
Anastasia Beverly Hills
Anastasia Beverly Hills is an American cosmetics company that initially began focusing exclusively on eyebrow products, but has since expanded to other makeup products. Moving from Romania, Anastasia began by opening up a salon for eyebrow maintenance in the states. She soon discovered the high demand for easy-to-use eyebrow products and the big gap in the market where eyebrow makeup was missing.
Now approximately $1.2 billion in value, her makeup company did not explode overnight. Anastasia explains on the Second Life Podcast that in the first few years of the business she wanted to expand to other types of products, such as contour kits. In order to rebrand and expand themselves on a small budget, her daughter convinced her to start using Instagram as a tool to market the brand. So, with the help of her daughter, Claudia, the pair grew their brand’s Instagram to a now whopping 19.5 million followers, about 2x more than the average follower count of other makeup brand Instagram accounts.
However, besides the follower count, their Instagram account content is unique and personalized, and has been this way since the beginning. The brand makes an effort to highlight their consumers through showcasing makeup artists and everyday people using their products in almost every post.
When the brand first posted their newly released contour kit, sold exclusively online, they posted UGC content on all their social media channels and as a result, sold out within the first two hours of launching. Companies, such as Sephora, began to pick up on their growing social media attention and as a result, came to Anastasia with deals to work together.
Still to this day, Anastasia Beverly Hills continues to be one of the leaders of the beauty industry with a core focus on engaging with their consumers authentically through social media. The brand continues to celebrate its users with each post, focusing exclusively on UGC to feature its consumers, from everyday people to professional makeup artists.
In the past few years, Crocs has completely revamped their brand and products. Starting with brands such as Balengiaca and influencers such as Drew Barrymore and Post Malone, they have more recently invested in a robust and vibrant micro-influencer strategy to create content that's more diverse and aspirational.
With the help of Social Native and their consumers, Crocs was able to create beautiful and impactful content that resonated with current and potential customers. A key to Crocs' success is that they allow creative freedom for consumers to create content that's most relevant and authentic to them personally.
Crocs has run 15 campaigns with Social Native, created 225 pieces of content with more than 170 creators, and was able to claim their place in the digital marketing space due to their use of UGC. As a result, they have increased the relevancy of their brand and subsequently, sales. Besides claiming their place in the digital world, Crocs reclaimed their place as a market-leader, being ranked the 13th favorite brand among teens in 2018.
With a shift towards e-commerce and a strategy to focus on personalized and authentic content to create a consumer-led online journey, UGC has been a main catalyst in Crocs’ comeback.
Maple Hill Creamery
UGC can be most impactful for SMB brands looking to make the most of their marketing spend. Maple Hill Creamery was able to make their mark and stand out among other competitors in the food space, all by leveraging UGC.
Maple Hill activates micro-influencers to create authentic UGC that they re-use across all marketing channels including website, packaging, emails, e-commerce and more. They wanted to use real emotion and enthusiasm that comes with buying their product, and were able to capture it organically. CMO, Hannah Robbins notes on The Marketing Mix podcast that Maple Hill “learned having the children interacting with the product itself is the most effective” and that they are featuring the user-generated content across all marketing channels including national packaging. As a result of their micro-influencer efforts, Maple Hill was able to increase in-store sales by 172% and achieve a 130% higher Facebook paid CTR.
Maple Hill is a perfect example the power of what's possible when brands target creators based on content quality, not reach. When UGC is good enough to re-use across all marketing channels, the possibilities are limitless.
When content is relatable, consumers are more inclined to have an emotional connection to your brand.
Brands that use UGC in their channels have had amazing results in sales because of the personalized connection they curate with their companies and products. Who wouldn't feel inclined to buy from a brand that demonstrates they truly care and understand their audience of customers? Want to take your UGC strategy to the next level? Let's talk!