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How Brands Can Use Experiential Marketing To Increase User-Generated Content

  • Madison Vettorino

According to a study by Event Marketer, nearly three-fourths of consumers state that participating in brand experiences makes them more likely to purchase from the activating brand.

Marketers know that brand experiences can impact consumers—and are willing to invest in brand experiences that will form or strengthen their connection with consumers.  81% of brands expect their post-pandemic brand activation budgets to rebound or exceed pre-pandemic levels, demonstrating pent-up demand and a desire to return to events.  

Not only does a brand activation provide your consumers with a real opportunity to connect with your brand, but it also offers the brand an opportunity to get influencers involved and garner valuable user-generated content from attendees. Here’s what brands need to know about user-generated content and experiential marketing. 

What Is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content, or UGC, is a buzzy term with a simple definition. User-generated content refers to any content—including images, text, videos, reviews—created by people instead of a brand. 

Brands frequently re-share their consumers’ user-generated content on their social media platforms, websites, and other marketing channels that they deem fit. So while Instagram might be the first platform that comes to mind for disseminating UGC, brands can repurpose user-generated content on various platforms.

Why Is User-Generated Content Effective?

Integrating user-generated content into your social media strategy can prove impactful for several reasons. One of the main reasons brands incorporate UGC into social media is because it provides a credibility boost. 

Did you know that consumers are 2.4 times more likely to see user-generated content as authentic (compared to content that the brand itself produces)? Most people believe that less than half of brands craft genuine content. Therefore, user-generated content can enhance your consumers’ perspective of your brand’s authenticity. 

A massive 90% of consumers believe that authenticity is necessary when deciding which brands to support—an increase of 4% from 2017. Because consumers perceive user-generated content as authentic, and authenticity is increasingly valuable to consumers, incorporating UGC could help build credibility. It’s no wonder that social media campaigns that include user-generated content see a 50% increase in engagement, according to information from Salesforce.

In addition, user-generated content could help your brand establish or enhance trust. With the internet at the fingertips of modern consumers, customers want to know what they will get before they click add to cart.

It ultimately comes down to trust. For example, 70% of people trust online consumer opinions, and 92% trust familiar people’s recommendations. Therefore, if a brand shares user-generated content, or testimonials from actual consumers, this could give the brand’s trustworthiness a considerable boost. 

Finally, user-generated content is fresh and can demonstrate to consumers why they need the product. For example, a recent survey revealed that 40% of respondents purchase something because they feel they “need” a product after an influencer promotes it. So if your user-generated content can show consumers how the product fills a need, it could prove impactful in driving sales.

How Experiential Marketing Can Increase User-Generated  Content

Experiential marketing can increase user-generated content, which can be included in the brands’ marketing channels and ultimately enhance authenticity and trust. Here’s how. 

First, you should ensure that your event will appeal to content creators. Take Inspira’s Café Bustelo activation, for instance. This mobile pop-up retail shop offered caffeine, pastries, and flamenco dancers and commissioned local artists that created murals in each city the pop-up visited. 

This activation, which was recognized at the 2020 Pro Awards with Bronze for Best Local/Regional Campaign, demonstrates how creating a visually appealing, interactive pop-up could prove impactful for garnering user-generated content. Consumers took pictures with their coffee underneath a neon Café Bustelo sign and in front of the pop-up itself. Consumers then posted these images on Instagram; Café Bustelo itself reposted some of the content on the brand’s own social media channels.

By creating Instagram-friendly brand experiences, you are inviting content creators (and social media users) to spread the word about not only the activation but the brand itself. In addition, creating a specific hashtag for the event could also prove helpful, as all the user-generated content consumers make will be easily accessible by visiting the hashtag.  

You can also indicate to consumers which content you want them to create and mention the opportunity for unique content to get reposted on the brand’s platforms. 50% of consumers wish brands would directly indicate what type of content to create and share. 

Our Experiential Marketing Agency Can Help Your Brand Craft An Unforgettable, Instagrammable Brand Activation

If your brand wants to create an unforgettable, Instagrammable brand experience, reach out to learn how Inspira Marketing Group can make that a reality! 

 

SOURCES: 

Bridging the Gap: Consumer & Marketing Perspectives on Content in the Digital Age | Stackla  

User Generated Content: 5 Steps to Turn Customers Into Advocates | Sprout Social  

A Simple Guide to Using User-Generated Content on Social Media | Hootsuite  

EventTrack | Event Marketer 

Urge Customers To Create Content, Amplify Existing UGC | YouGov 

Influencer Marketing: A Key Building Block Of A Successful Content Marketing Engine | Forbes  

36 User-Generated Content Statistics That You Can’t Ignore | Everyone Social  

Influencers’ Impact on Consumer Purchase Decisions | PR News Wire  

89 Experiential Marketing Statistics You Must Learn: 2020/2021 Consumer Preferences & Industry Data | Finances Online

Survey Reveals How Consumers Really Judge Brand Authenticity (and Influencers) | Social Media Today

User Generated Content for Events – How Does it Work? | Oveit

Event Track 2016 | Event Marketer