Today’s Consumer Packaged Goods (CPG) brand marketers are facing a new and mounting set of challenges. Shopping patterns have shifted as consumers look to omni-channel shopping experiences. Loyalty is suffering under supply chain woes and inflation. And direct-to-consumer (D2C) brands are chipping away at share-of-market.
Thankfully in the midst of so much change, the best solution is a familiar one. Brand advocacy remains the gold standard of marketing strategies for a reason. Mobilizing your biggest fans to go to bat for you and recommend you to their friends and followers has the benefit of trust, relevance, authenticity, and efficiency, making it one of the most effective marketing strategies.
And at the heart of brand advocacy campaigns is user-generated content, or UGC. After all, seeing is believing.
For CPG brands in particular, brand advocacy efforts focused on UGC can help breakthrough in crowded categories and organically amplify your messaging to reach mass audiences. It can also personify your brand in new, relevant, and authentic ways to create buzz and elevate consideration from target audiences.
Below, we’ll highlight how to generate UGC for CPG. But first, let’s talk about why UGC is important for all CPG brands.
What are the Benefits of Leveraging UGC for CPG Brands?
Increasing reach and brand awareness
Easily one of the biggest benefits of leveraging UGC for CPG brands is the ability to expand your reach. When consumers who rave about your products create shareable content, you can use that content to get the word out about your brand, a new product line, an existing product line that needs some love, or any other aspect of your brand that you want to reach the masses.
This strategy has nearly limitless potential for scaling, too. As you reach more and more people with shareable UGC, some of these people become fans of your brand and, in turn, will create UGC on their own, and the cycle continues.
Improved trust in your brand
84% of consumers trust recommendations from their peers over all other forms of advertising, such as paid media.
There’s no type of content that your consumers put more trust in than word-of-mouth. And as the saying goes, a picture is worth a thousand words. User-generated images and video bring your brand to life, capturing the interest and imagination of your target consumers.
UGC’s importance in improving the overall authenticity of your brand can’t be overstated. And its impact is real: According to a recent study by Edelman, consumers said trust in a brand (88%) is even more important than love (81%) in deciding what brands to buy or use.
Collect valuable insights
UGC for CPG isn’t only about getting the word out about your brand and bringing in new customers. You also get the opportunity to collect valuable insights from your consumers, such as why they love your products.
These insights can be used to fuel future marketing efforts and product development.
How an Online Brand Community Helps Generate UGC for CPG Brands
One of the primary draws of an online brand community is how useful it is in all aspects of UGC, from curating the content to measuring brand advocacy.
For CPG brands looking to generate more user content, your online brand community is the best place to start. Here’s how your online brand community helps generate UGC for CPG.
A ready-made pool of raving advocates
One of the best parts about your online brand community is that you’ve cultivated a group of consumers who are crazy about your brand. Not just the products you provide, but the lifestyle created by your brand and your overall mission.
These are exactly the kind of people that you want to mobilize to create more content.
Community platforms make it easier than ever for these brand advocates to share their UGC. For example, the Vesta community platform amplifies advocacy by incorporating Single-Click SharingTM technology, giving your advocates a seamless experience for sharing their UGC across all types of platforms, from TikTok to Instagram and Bazaarvoice.
Simple and effective sampling programs
Easily the most effective way to generate UGC for consumer packaged goods is with product sampling. By giving your consumers the opportunity to try your products for free, you’re providing value to them in exchange for UGC in the form of testimonials, authentic reviews, and other important content.
Although product sampling can be done without the help of an online brand community, your community provides several benefits that can help with the effectiveness of your sampling campaigns.
For starters, sampling campaigns need proper audience targeting. With a community platform, such as Vesta, you’ll have ready-made customer profiles that are enriched over time, allowing you to hyper-segment and target the individual needs of each customer with your sampling.
Once consumers have received their samples, your online brand community is used to generate UGC in real-time as community members post their experience through images, videos, testimonials, and reviews.
Lastly, many community platforms have robust reporting capabilities. By analyzing sampling data, you will discover ways to optimize and improve your campaigns over time.
Sampling campaigns powered by an online brand community make generating UGC for CPG easier than ever.
Product samples aren’t the only way to activate brand fans to advocate on your behalf. With an online brand community, you have even more options to incentivize your consumers to take part in UGC campaigns.
Some of the ways brands incentivize advocates to generate more UGC with a community include:
- Discounts and special offers
- Social recognition (shout-outs, etc.)
- Points and badges
- Exclusive events
- Contests and sweepstakes
For example, let’s look at Drip Drop. With the help of Vesta’s community platform, they were able to activate 1,800 community members to share UGC of the product by providing a special $2 off coupon good at key retail websites. In just 8 weeks, the campaign delivered over 5,900 pieces of UGC and increased share of voice by 1450%.
With a high-value incentive, this campaign resulted in high-quality UGC that delivered results, as the DripDrop Brand Manager shared: “We were thrilled to see not only an abundance of content that drove an increase in online share of voice, but also an increase in sales at our key retail partner.”
Seamless reporting and analytics
It’s not enough to simply generate endless UGC. If you want to measure your progress and stay on track with your goals, tracking certain metrics is essential.
Your online brand community can be a one-stop shop for these reports.
Many community platforms allow you to track advocacy and UGC-related metrics such as quantity and type of UGC, impressions, friend and follower engagement, ratings and reviews, and more.
Vesta’s online brand community platform makes it easy to not only capture but track all the UGC your advocates create in one convenient place. You’ll also be able to sort through content to identify high-quality pieces, flag creators of effective UGC, tag and organize UGC for future use, and more.
Conversion tracking is made easier using your online brand community as well. By arming your advocates with a specific link, you can enable tracking on that link and get an accurate representation of conversion metrics.
These analytics will enable you to better understand the impact of the UGC your advocates are creating and can fuel future marketing strategies.
Questions About How to Generate UGC for CPG?
The Vesta team are experts in the unique needs of CPG brands, from UGC and review generation to building brand equity and more. Reach out to us. We’re here to help.
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