Good content is hard to find.
When you’re hosting a large-scale corporate event, there’s never enough time to handle your regular marketing responsibilities on top of taking the perfect photo for Facebook or thinking of a clever Tweet.
The brands that focus on content marketing – like promoting their events on social media with photos, blog posts, videos and infographics – are seeing massive returns on their investment.
There’s just one problem: users are consuming more content than businesses can generate. Consumers are eager for valuable, helpful and educational content, and it’s becoming more and more difficult for brands to keep pace and stay on top of their operations, too.
That’s where user-generated content (or UGC) comes in handy.
What is User-Generated Content?
UGC refers to the content that consumers, fans or unpaid contributors create to promote or talk about a brand. If you’ve ever seen an unboxing video on YouTube, or seen customer’s product photos on Instagram, you’ve seen UGC.
Not only can UGC take some pressure off company content creators, it can also boost their bottom line. Studies show that user-generated content is a decisive factor that influences up to 59% of people’s purchase decision-making. Potential customers love seeing UGC! They perceive it as a more honest look at the product, service, event or company they’re considering.
Incorporating UGC in your content marketing strategy makes your day-to-day post planning easier, promotes your events and takes them to the next level. Here’s how:
Increasing personalization is a great way to bring your events a step further, especially if your attendees are the ones that get to do it. Similar to Starbucks letting customers design their coffee cup, be open to tuning your events’ looks with the help of amateur designers and artists.
Even something as simple as retweeting or re-sharing an attendee’s post and tagging them in it can go a long way. It's all about making your audience feel special and included.
Create a Social Media Wall
One excellent way to encourage social interactions at your events is installing a Social Media Wall, where people can share their opinions, write tweets or take selfies. Set up a display that rotates through all of the social media posts using catchy event hashtags. Showcasing the content users create on a big screen will encourage other attendees to create and share more of their UGC.
This tactic is a great way to start a social media trend as your event is taking place. Not to mention, when attendees see their content displayed on a massive screen, they develop positive feelings towards your brand, and that’s never a bad thing!
Reach out to the influencers in your niche that either have an affinity for your brand or have an audience that wants to hear more about what your company offers. They can be more valuable than any expensive marketing tactic because when they talk, people listen.
Offer them a VIP pass to your event, invite them to speak during one of the conference sessions, or give them a personal link to share with their fans for a promotional event discount or give-away. Whatever your approach, leverage their social influence to get people talking about your brand.
It may seem obvious, but one of the best ways to get organic (naturally occurring), user-generated content is through contests. Organize a contest and ask your prospects to do something - have them take a selfie while using your products, then post it on Instagram. Offer a free event pass to the most creative image. That’s an excellent way to generate content and get people talking about your event.
You can also implement this strategy during your event. Publish and distribute rules for a social media contest and give participants a set number of posts they have to create to win. For example: "Take a photo with your group at the registration counter and use #CompanyName and #Event2018.” This way, the interested people are supplying multiple posts you can use to boost your event’s social media presence.
One More Thing…
User-generated content is a cost-effective and authenticity-embracing method of brand promotion that will most certainly give wings to your events. If you want to keep a winning streak with your events, be that event planner that immerses attendees in a more socially connected experience. Remember, you can always lean on us for event ideas and social media marketing consulting.