How To Create Value Through User Generated Content

How to create exponential value through user generated content.

A question that we get asked by a lot of our clients is how to ensure and leverage user-generated content. There’s no mysterious art involved in how you can achieve this, however, to actually deliver it, well that’s a difference story.

So the real trick to doing this comes in 4 parts….

1. Get the right people there.

2. Make your experiences inspiring, unforgettable (and ownable)

3. Make it easy to share.

4. Never forget, no one is interested in telling  your story they are only interested in telling theirs you just need to help them do that

…ssh don’t tell anyone

There, that should help you now best of luck.

Only kidding, here are a few points to help you go above and add exponential value to your event or brand experience.

Not All Audiences Are Created Equal

The single greatest consideration for all brands looking to harness the power of user-generated content is that people are not interested in spreading brand stories, they are interested in sharing their own.

The simple truth is that people LOVE to gain social currency by sharing their experiences. It’s one of the key reasons why millennial audiences value experiences far more than things.

Social currency + reach = influence and influence = power in todays world.


Pick Your Influencers

The truth is not all people are natural influencers, studies of network marketing define people by many different categories but we tend to find that the people who are most influential are those who are active within multiple social groups. They are more connected and your message is far more likely to spread with these people than those who keep to one closed set.

There is a lot of study into how network models are created but I will leave you to do some digging into the topic if you are interested.

For our purposes, the key aspect to understand is how and why people seem to be natural influencers or ‘mavens’ and how to harness them. Over and above just looking to the people with a large social following.

With a little digging, it’s pretty easy to track those who are influential in your sector or sphere, social listening tools are getting more advanced as we use them, but there is a true value in the old-fashioned way of logging onto someone’s profile and having a look. See who they are and rank them, consider all activity, both in your sector and in the wider sphere and of course look at the numbers of their followers and see who they are connected too.

A top tip is to try and isolate influencer groups that communicate and support each other.

Once you have your list its time to do some outreach. Try and pick as many as you can really handle, its better to get 10 great deep relationships than 50 shallow level links.

Follow them, interact with their tweets, message them, support them, offer them access to proprietary content and invite them to events.

A side note, authentic relationships are far more valuable in the long term so its worth a little work here unless you just want to get your chequebook out.

Think of this activity as an investment in a brand asset, monitor it and set some KPI’s, but do it.

Always keep in mind that acting, as a partner is not asking people to do you a favour, it’s working together to create opportunities that wouldn’t otherwise exist. The more you understand about what’s important to them and help them the better all-around.

Research shows that the power of influencers now far outways traditional media. With word of mouth generating more than 2x the sales of paid advertising and 37% higher retention rates, the rewards are certainly there.

Make Your Experiences Inspiring, Awesome and Unique

This is where it’s great to work with a specialist in the space.

Remember the content your audience is sharing isn’t about them telling your brand story it’s ALL about allowing them to tell theirs.

It all starts with a clear and motivating story, that’s a critical start point, just turning up with a banner and a smile is never going to get people sharing creating and amplifying your brand activity. Providing an experience that your audience can relate to and helps them to tell the world what’s important to them inspires content. It will make them want to tell the world about what they did and how you helped them.

Make your purpose and your story demonstrable, wear your heart on your sleeve and inspire others to join your cause rather than just offering rewards.

Keep your activations fresh and inspiring and you will be rewarded.

You don’t have to have people abseiling from the golden gate bridge to make your event interesting, offer something fun something interesting and something that no one else can do, if you need help figuring out what that is just give us a call.

Simply put being average is one of the biggest fails we see in this space. You’ll miss out on a great opportunity for your brand.

Make People Get Their Hands Dirty

Making your experiences interactive is essential.

Rather than a presenter just standing in front of the audience showing them how to do something, get them involved immerse them, make them the essential part of the experience. The most successful campaign makes the audience the stars of the show

After all it’s their story their content that they will be telling, we merely provide the stage.

Make it easy and encourage them.

Give Blogger and Vloggers the assets they need. It’s your role to help them not vice versa.

Make it easy to share

Give your audience the tools they need to share their story

From snapchat glasses (more to follow on that one) to selfie frames and giff booths there are loads of innovative techniques that can be leveraged here, having a fun and interesting way to generate and share content is a really useful tool.

Make content sharing part of the experience rather than just begging for a retweet, for example we could unlock new parts of the experience when social engagement reaches key levels, anything that works with in the context of what you’re doing from a round of free drinks down to prizes and other branded content.

Inspire, Incentivise monitor and reward

From retweets to instant prizes and chances to win get your audience to want to share. Remember there is a sliding scale between how engaging your events are and how much you will have to incentivise your audience. Money spent on creating inspiring activation has more value than incentivising someone with an offer.

With all attendees prompt and encourage them to share and measure how well your doing, use tracking metrics and #tags to see who’s doing what, and make sure you show your appreciation with retweets and mentions likes and shares.

And of course, make sure people can share from your events if necessary provide wifi and charging stations but remove any barrier to harnessing your audience.

As with all things marketing, it all comes down to the delivery

All of this also ties into your wider content strategy but that’s a topic for another post. To find out how to get more value through your own content check out our blog  “Stop wasting money on Events’.

We’d love to hear about how you have spread your story through brand experince campaigns along with any challenges or successes that you’ve had along the way.

If you’d like to talk to us for an objective view on your activity and how it might be improved we’d love to offer you our thoughts.

People forget what you tell them, but they’ll never forget how you made them feel.