On Assessing the Effectiveness of Consumer-Generated Advertising
Have you ever thought about changing your marketing approach? Have you thought about the consumer-generated advertising concept? Consumer-generated ads are gaining more and more prominence among leading brands around the world. When executed right, consumer-generated advertising is powerful enough to taking brand-consumer relationships to a completely new level.
The Rationale behind Selecting Consumer-Generated Ads
The logic behind the use of consumer generated ads is simple to understand. People tend (most of the time) to distrust corporate ads created by marketing departments. Such ads could be considered as a marketing hype and most probably natural scepticism kicks in immediately.
Consumer-generated ads and content, on the other hand, are based on the experience that actual people have had with a product or service. As such, these ads may be considered much more trustworthy than straightforward advertisements.
Having the ad recipients aware of the fact that it is consumer-generated will be of paramount importance. Studies suggest that people respond to ads created by marketing agencies and to user-generated content in the same way, if they do not know that one ad was created by actual consumers. Thus, brands will need to make sure that they are sharing different experiences of real customers/users at the execution level of their campaigns.
Examples of Effective Consumer-Generated Campaigns
Depending on the creative approach and the aim of the campaign, numerous brands have managed to make particularly good use of consumer-generated content. Here, you may find several examples of successful consumer-generated ad campaigns.
Let’s take Starbucks as one of the brands that have understood the importance of the trend, translating it into action at several occasions. In the spring of 2014, the brand launched its White Cup Contest. People were asked to draw on their Starbucks cups and photograph the creations. The winning entry was to be used as the model for the creation of a limited edition Starbucks cup.
Over the three weeks of the campaign, more than 4,000 Starbucks customers submitted their entries. Through the competition, Starbucks proved just how greatly it valued customer feedback and how this information was taken into consideration. Besides, the approach strengthened the brand-consumer relationship while extending the brand awareness level a bit further. You may have a quick look at the outcome of the contest here.
Pepsi Max was another brand that enhanced its market position by relying on consumer-generated content. The company asked its consumers to share on Instagram why they preferred Pepsi Max over other soft drinks. Consumers were encouraged to share Instagram photographs, as well as submit content through a website mainly developed for the purpose of the campaign. During the campaign, Pepsi Max fans generated more than 7,000 entries! The campaign boosted engagement with the brand, not to mention the social media impact that it had.
Consumer-Generated Advertising: Tips for Campaign Result Measurement
All of those examples and more demonstrate just how spectacular the potential of consumer-generated advertisement/content for branding purposes is.
So, what does it take to measure the results of a campaign and figure out if consumer-generated ad/content is delivering the desired level of engagement? Here are few roles suggested by different studies:
Understanding what the audience values: the manner in which people judge marketing agency-created ads and consumer-generated content is different. Agency ads are held at a higher standard in terms of execution. Yet, Authenticity and Creativity are the two most important characteristics that people look for in consumer-generated ads besides many other characteristics.
Using the consumer-generated approach in the right context: research suggests that consumer-generated ads are best for increasing brand loyalty. Thus, to assess their effectiveness, you need to have a good idea about the desired outcome and you need to choose this particular approach only when it makes sense for the context of discussion (the idea or message you want to tackle).
Making the intentions of the ad creator known: people tend to respond positively to ads created by consumers who are fans of a certain brand. Try to establish a strong emotional attachment level right from the start to boost the effectiveness of your campaign and to get favourable results.
Measuring the brand-consumer engagement: engagement with the campaign is a definite metric of success. Many consumer-generated ad campaigns take place online. Hence, it is easy to evaluate the number of comments, shares and likes that a particular message gets. All of these metrics are indicative of audience engagement, whether positive or negative.
Measuring the campaign outcomes: has the campaign led to a bigger number of inquiries, more significant number of website visits, purchases or online mentions of the brand? All of these could be classified as measurable outcomes that could shed light on how your consumer-generated ads have influenced your business growth.