User-Generated Content (UGC) is brand-related content created by your audience. They are not influencer content but posts that are by any regular Joe. However, this does not mean that UGCs are off-limits to influencers.
UGCs are considered an organic word-of-mouth. These posts receive no forms of compensation and they may not necessarily be from people with a sizable following. They could have 20 followers, 200, or even 20 000.
As a brand, this is one publicity way you can work towards.
First of all, they are sharing with no vested interest. They do not gain any direct benefits from your brand. Some people do it out of goodwill as perhaps, your brand helped resolve an issue that has been bugging them for the longest time. Or if you are an F&B, your service Team went the extra mile for them. Such “gratitude” posts may be shared via their post or stories.
These content forms are typically what brands everywhere will aim to achieve. The reason is that they are adding to your brand equity and assisting you to reach out more organically to a group of people who may/may not be part of your audience. Due to the poster, the receiver might be more receptive to your brand and give your brand a shot.
Especially in the F&B business, this is the type of content lookout audiences seek out.
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How do influencers then play a role in UGC?
Giveaways are not new to us. Brands typically participate in some form of giveaway whether with the help of Influencers or not. Generically, they will look something like this:
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Something that is relatively easy for anyone to qualify. However, if your goal is to increase your credentials as a brand, the strategy could be to capitalise on an influencer’s reach for you to achieve your aim.
In the case of the Sentosa Giveaway, viddsee, a local film production company with relations to some of Singapore’s well-established personalities, leveraged on that to produce a genuine giveaway on behalf of Sentosa.
Image Credit: @sggiveawayig
Such giveaways that require a little bit more effort to qualify normally have a bigger prize bait. This strategy assists in deterring fake accounts from participating and rewards genuine followers.
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One of the criteria states that they needed to post directly on their account (which contributes to a permanent online imprint). While such intrusive giveaways can go south relatively easily, they are worthwhile if they can substantially improve your brand authority and standing.
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Back to the Sentosa giveaway, #ShrinkSGfootprint was used to track the entries. Hashtags enable easy reference for measuring and evaluation purposes. The giveaway require participants to show a favourite Sentosa memory which means foot flow onto the island for those who wish to participate. It displays a really authentic side of the “island life” experience that Sentosa embodies and motivates as a form of reminder to more people about perhaps visiting the island sometime soon.
In order for any influencer marketing campaign to be successful, it is important to engage with people who have submitted their entries. It is to assure them that their entry has been taken into account and that this giveaway is real. Engagement too, plays a huge role in encouraging the post’s visibility.
One of your main concerns should be engaging one that advocates for what the giveaway is about. Returning back to #ShrinkSGfootprint, the giveaway would not make any sense if an influencer who is not sold on sustainability (since it is relating to carbon footprint), hosts it. This will then backfire and hurt your brand value.
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In your search for the right influencer to spread the word, it is important to understand the interactivity level they have with their audience. Some questions in your head could be “Are they generating enough excitement for people to care about what they are saying?” , “Are they, on a normal basis, authentic in their engagement with their target audience?” , and so on …