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Simplifying user generated content (UGC) programs using digital asset management

by Canto  |  April 20, 2023

11 min. read
A photograph of a laughing woman with sunglasses used as a social media item, along with hashtags and a 5 star rating.

User generated content (UGC) is a great way to build brand loyalty and reach new audiences. According to consumer research, 79% of people report that UGC highly impacts their purchasing decisions, while over half indicate that they would be more likely to continue engaging with a brand that shared their own content throughout its marketing. Given the power and popularity of UGC, it’s imperative for marketing teams to incorporate more user content into their strategies to stay ahead of the competition.

However, managing UGC can be overwhelming for businesses. With the help of digital asset management (DAM) software, companies can streamline their UGC programs and take advantage of its full potential. In this blog post, we’ll look at the benefits of incorporating UGC into marketing campaigns and explore how DAM makes managing UGC easier than ever.

What is user generated content?

User generated content marketing sounds like a fancy term, but it’s actually a pretty simple concept. It refers to any content created and shared by users rather than a company or organization. Think about all those Instagram posts, tweets, and YouTube videos you come across daily – that’s all user generated content.

It’s become such a big phenomenon that companies now actively seek it out to use in their marketing strategies. User generated content marketing is authentic, relatable, and genuinely looks at how people use their products or services. Plus, who doesn’t love seeing their content shared and appreciated by others? So, next time you’re scrolling through your social media feeds, remember that every photo, video, and post you come across is a form of user generated content.

Why user generated content is so important

User generated content shows people how other people use products or services in their everyday lives. From product reviews to social media marketing, UGC can help build trust and create a stronger customer connection. It’s also a great way to show off how creative and different your brand can be compared to the competition.

Simply put, UGC brings something unique to the party that no amount of clever marketing can replace: authenticity. Whether it’s giving voice to brand enthusiasts, sharing advice and experiences among users, having real customers talk about their shopping experience, or letting visitors post their photos on web pages – UGC can be just what it takes to cut through the clutter. UGC gives legitimacy and personalization to your messages by allowing real people to speak for you.

Benefits of user generated content

There are several benefits of user generated content for brands willing to get creative. Most importantly, it drives increased engagement with customers and prospects and enhances trust and credibility. Brands can reach a wider audience not familiar with their brand by utilizing UGC, which is more authentic than traditional advertising or marketing messages. Additionally, it allows customers to participate in campaigns which can increase customer satisfaction.

Leveraging existing UGC saves brands money on creating original content. As a result, brands can scale content strategies and use their budget more efficiently for other projects. Incorporating user content into campaigns also gives brands valuable insights about their customer base and what resonates most with them. Data on customer preferences is incredibly beneficial for both current and future campaigns.
A video file and a blog post as examples for types of user generated content.

Types of digital user generated content

Now that you know why UGC is so influential, let’s look at some of the most popular types. There are many ways to get creative with your campaigns, from photos to videos and beyond. Here are just a few examples:

  • Photos and images: Whether it’s a selfie or a beautiful landscape, photos are the most popular type of digital UGC and offer an immediate connection to your brand for followers and customers
  • Videos: From unboxing videos to tutorials, video content is incredibly engaging and can be used to promote products, services, and events
  • Reviews and testimonials: Letting customers share their experiences with your product or service is a great way to build trust and credibility with potential customers
  • Blogs and articles: Encourage customers to write about their experiences with your brand to share their knowledge and enthusiasm
  • Social media posts: Take advantage of the power of social media user generated content by sharing customer posts on your social accounts

UGC is a powerful way to showcase your brand in an authentic and honest light. Not only does it help build trust with customers and prospects, but it also gives them a voice in your marketing campaigns. By leveraging UGC in your strategies, you can create content that stands out from the competition and drives real results.

Examples of user generated content marketing

Sometimes, it can take a lot of work to know exactly how to use UGC in your marketing strategies. To help get your creative juices flowing, here are a few examples of how brands have used UGC to capture attention and engage customers in new and exciting ways:

AirBnB: “Live There”

Airbnb’s 2016 campaign encouraged users to share their experiences traveling and living in different cities worldwide. Twelve customers were selected to live in a new Airbnb location every month for a year, with the company covering all expenses. During their stay, the guests shared their experiences on social media to showcase some of the best destinations in the world. The successful campaign helped the company reach out to a new audience, with more than 223 million impressions, nearly 1 million engagements, and a 10% increase in long-term stays during the promotion’s run.

Coca-Cola: “#ShareACoke”

The beverage giant’s youth-focused campaign encouraged customers to share photos of themselves with Coke bottles personalized with their names. When the campaign rolled out in 2012, #ShareACoke became the number one global trending topic with over a billion impressions and more than 150 million personalized bottles sold. More importantly, the company saw its US sales increase by 2.5% after experiencing years of declining revenue.

Apple: “#ShotOniPhone”

For the release of the iPhone 11, Apple launched a campaign that invited users to share the images captured with their iPhones on Instagram and has generated over 27 million posts. The campaign was so successful that it has all but become an enduring tagline for the company. By sharing content posted by ordinary users as well as celebrity artists, Apple found ways to continually repurpose the campaign to promote new features, such as the 5-hour long museum tour video that showed off the improved battery life of the iPhone 11 Pro.

Starbucks: “#WhiteCupContest”

One of the best examples of a company tapping into an existing UGC trend, this campaign encouraged customers to turn their Starbucks cups into a canvas and share their creations on Twitter or Instagram. Since many customers were already drawing on their cups and sharing them over social media, the campaign quickly caught on. The contest generated 4,000 entries in three weeks, and the winner’s design was printed on a limited edition Starbucks reusable plastic cup, which helped the company to promote its sustainability efforts.

Oreo: “#MyOreoCreation”

No stranger to innovative engagement campaigns, Oreo’s unique cookie creation contest invited fans to create and submit their unique Oreo creations over Twitter, Instagram, or text message. The company received hundreds of thousands of creative submissions that were ultimately narrowed down to three flavors. Oreo then kicked the campaign into a whole new phase by actually producing the three flavors and encouraging consumers to vote for their favorite, driving both increased sales and social media shares.
Various files of different media types in a digital asset management system.

What is digital asset management (DAM) and how can it help your UGC program?

Digital asset management software is designed to help organizations store, organize, and publish digital assets such as images, videos, audio files, and documents. The software typically works by allowing users to upload and tag their digital assets, making them easy to search and access when needed. Digital assets are stored in a centralized repository and can be accessed by authorized users from anywhere at any time. Digital asset management solutions also include features for version control, metadata management, and workflow automation, making it easy for teams to collaborate on projects and streamline their processes.

By implementing a DAM like Canto, organizations can better manage their digital assets, increase productivity, and ensure consistency in their branding and marketing efforts. They also make it much easier to manage UGC programs because user-created assets can be organized, located, and shared quickly. Canto, for instance, offers a Portals feature that allows marketers to create curated and branded content libraries for specific projects and use cases, ensuring that collaborators can find the assets they need quickly and easily. This feature saves time and enables team members to access the most relevant and up-to-date content, improving the overall quality of the campaign.

5 steps to launch your UGC program using digital asset management

Are you ready to launch your UGC program? It may seem like a daunting task, but fear not! We’ve got you covered with these five easy steps to get you started.

1. Centralize user generated content marketing using DAM

User generated content is a powerful tool for brands to leverage in their marketing efforts. But without the right system in place, organizing and managing all of this content can be a headache. That’s where digital asset management (DAM) software comes into play. By using DAM to centralize all brand content, marketers can easily store, manage, and share user generated content with stakeholders across the organization. In addition to organizing content, DAM can be used to approve submissions and measure ROI on UGC content. With DAM as a single source of truth for all your digital assets, you’ll find it easier than ever to stay organized and maximize the potential of any campaign – including ones using user generated content.

2. Organize content by type, campaign, funnel, and more

Once you have your UGC centralized in DAM, the next step is to organize files so they are easily accessible for future projects. To do this, you’ll want to create different folders or collections based on various criteria such as campaign and channel. Next, add relevant keywords and tags for brand colors used, funnel stage in the buyer journey, or products mentioned. AI-based tagging and facial recognition can help capture relevant imagery and influencers in images for you. All of these features will make finding the content easier for any team searching for it.

3. Create Portals to collaborate with influencers and marketing channel partners

Creating Portals within your DAM system is a great way to collaborate with influencers and other marketing channel partners. By setting up individual Portals for each partner, you can easily share relevant content and resources while giving them access to the content they need—and nothing else! This makes it easier for everyone involved while keeping your UGC secure and organized within the DAM system.

4. Integrate with social channels for distribution

To maximize the reach of your UGC, you’ll need to integrate with social channels for distribution. Integrations let you quickly and easily post content across multiple platforms while keeping UGC content on-brand with preset downloads that use the proper ratios and sizing for sharing across various channels.

5. Use DAM reporting to analyze results

Finally, you’ll want to use DAM reporting to analyze the results of your user generated content campaigns. With Canto, you can see the top content shares, tags, keywords, and share terms being used from your library. From there, you can reference social network analytics to drill down further into UGC campaign results.

By following these five steps, you’ll be well on your way to launching a successful UGC program with DAM software. With the right system in place, organizing and managing user generated content is easier than ever—opening up new opportunities to engage customers and drive ROI from your campaigns.

Streamline your user generated content marketing with Canto

Canto’s DAM technology is an invaluable tool for marketing teams seeking to streamline their UGC campaigns. With Canto, marketers can consolidate their digital assets, enabling them to keep their creative workflows moving efficiently. Canto’s platform offers a range of features, including powerful AI-driven tagging and metadata tools that can organize various digital assets, such as images, videos, brand elements, and much more. The Portals feature also makes it easy to share user created assets with the team members who need them most.

In addition, Canto’s seamless integration with leading project management, social media marketing platforms, and storage solutions further enhance its utility for marketers. These integrations help break down content creation barriers, ensuring that workflows run smoothly and efficiently. With Canto’s, marketers can easily manage their UGC campaigns and ensure they are getting the most out of their digital assets.