What is consumer generated marketing

What Is Consumer Generated Marketing?

Author: Jojo Dixon

If you're looking for someone with a knack for crafting compelling copy that captivates audiences, you're in the right place. My experience in marketing bolstered with my experience in creative industries allows me to deliver engaging content that drives results.

Some say that word of mouth is the best kind of marketing there is. With all of the different businesses that exist and all of their marketing and advertisements, it can be hard to know who to trust with your hard earned cash straight off of the bat. But, for every problem there is a solution. It is here that consumer generated marketing (CGM) makes an entrance!

Consumer generated marketing is a game-changer, transforming the conventional marketing paradigm. No longer are brands solely responsible for crafting polished advertisements and promotional campaigns. Instead, they are increasingly embracing the creativity, experiences, and opinions of their customers to create compelling and relatable content that resonates with target audiences.

Consumer generated marketing is one strategy that you should definitely be using within your marketing efforts if you’re not already.

Read along as we jump into the world of consumer generated marketing. Exploring what it is and how  you can use it to leverage the voices of your customers to amplify your reach, strengthen brand loyalty and foster a sense of community. 

Would it be a Ninja blog if we didn’t tell you how to go about it yourself? I think not!

The last part of the blog will be all about consumer generated marketing tactics that you can employ in your marketing efforts, with some examples from other companies who have done it well.

Let’s jump in!

What is consumer generated marketing?

You may not realise it, but consumer generated marketing is everywhere. We see so much of it in the media, on the internet, in buyer’s guides and brochures.. Once you know what you’re looking for, you’ll realise how often you come across it.

Consumer-Generated Marketing is a marketing strategy that utilises user-created material to promote and market the brand and its products. The term includes a wide range of activities: product reviews, videos, podcasts, social media posts, articles, blogs, photo-tagging, and other activities.

Oftentimes, before we even open a book, it is littered with little reviews from other authors on the cover. Or, when you’re scrolling through ASOS looking for some new clothes, you can find other customers' reviews under each item. You’ll see verbatim reviews placed on websites, underneath email signatures - the list goes on and on.

What is consumer generated marketing?

84% of consumers state that they trust peer recommendations over any other form of advertising and CGM resulting  in a 29% increase in conversion, it is pretty clear that consumer generated marketing has its place. 

Consumer generated marketing doesn’t just help you to convert your leads. It also helps you to build relationships that are built on trust, educate and validate them. These are all important components if your goal is to increase CLV, ROI and to keep your customers moving through their customer journey.

Consumer generated marketing in real time

The concept of consumer generated marketing is great. It allows you to make your customers and the community that they make the focal point while being able to create some innovative new content, too.

One of the best things about CGM is that you can make it whatever you want it to be so long as your consumers are at the fore. Before we jump into some tactics that you could use, let’s take a look at some big brands who have smashed their consumer generated marketing.

  1. 1. Coca-Cola

Coca-Cola's "Share a Coke" campaign is a prime example of consumer-generated marketing. 

The brand replaced its iconic logo on Coke bottles and cans with popular names and phrases. This encouraged customers to find their own names or the names of loved ones, take photos with the personalised bottles, and share them on social media using the hashtag #ShareACoke. 

This campaign sparked a massive wave of user-generated content as people shared their personalised Coke bottles, leading to increased brand visibility, engagement, and a sense of personal connection with the brand.

The campaign was first introduced by Coca-Cola in Australia in 2011, and it was later expanded to the US, the UK, and other countries. After more than ten years of dwindling revenues, the corporation credits the campaign with a 2% gain in U.S. sales.

  1. 2. Starbucks

In 2014, Starbucks launched their ‘’White Cup Contest.’’ They invited their customers to doodle and customise their Starbucks cups and submit their designs on social media.

The contest encouraged customers to showcase their creativity and express themselves using Starbucks as their canvas. Starbucks received thousands of submissions, and the winning design was even produced as a limited edition cup.

 This consumer-generated marketing campaign not only generated a massive amount of user-generated content but also fostered a sense of community and engagement among Starbucks customers.

  1. 3. Airbnb

Airbnb's "Made Possible by Hosts" campaign focused on highlighting the stories and experiences of Airbnb hosts. 

The brand invited hosts to share their personal stories and the unique aspects of their listings, which were then featured in various marketing materials such as videos, blog posts, and social media content. 

By showcasing the real people behind the listings and emphasising the human connection facilitated by Airbnb, the campaign generated authentic, consumer-generated content that resonated with audiences and strengthened brand loyalty.

4 ways that you can use consumer generated marketing

As you’ve seen above, the world is your oyster when it comes to consumer generated marketing. As exciting as that is, it’s also a little daunting. With so much freedom, what do you choose?

What is consumer generated marketing?

No need to fear, as I’ve compiled a list of a few simple strategies that you can use right away to hit the ground running with your CGM.

  1. 1. User reviews & testimonials

Leverage the power of customer reviews and testimonials to build trust and credibility for your brand.

Prompt satisfied customers to share their experiences by providing incentives or by simply asking them to leave feedback on review platforms, your website, or social media.

 You can make this process easier for yourself by implementing a trigger in your marketing automation platform that asks for feedback in a timely manner after a purchase has been made. We have a blog here that tells you how to plan for desired behaviour with your marketing automation. 

 Display these reviews prominently on your website and social media channels to showcase the positive experiences of your customers, helping to influence and attract potential customers.

  1. 2. Create your own hashtag campaign!

While it may sound very 2011, creating a hashtag campaign is a great way to get started with consumer generated marketing.

Hashtag campaigns are a great way to encourage user-generated content and increase brand visibility. Create a unique and catchy hashtag related to your brand or a specific campaign, and encourage your audience to use it when sharing their experiences, photos, or stories related to your products or services. 

This can be as simple as asking your followers to share a photo using your product or participating in a themed challenge. Engage with and amplify user-generated content by reposting, featuring, or rewarding participants. 

This strategy not only generates authentic content but also creates a sense of community around your brand.

  1. 3. Competitions and giveaways

Competitions and giveaways are a brilliant way  to encourage consumer-generated content and engagement.

Design a contest or giveaway that encourages participants to create or share content related to your brand. It could be submitting photos, videos, testimonials, or creative responses to a prompt. 

Set clear guidelines and incentives, such as offering prizes, discounts, or exclusive access to your products or services. By incentivizing participation, you can generate a buzz around your brand and collect valuable user-generated content to showcase and promote.

  1. 4. Customer stories & experiences

Highlight your customers' stories, experiences, and testimonials on your website, blog, or social media platforms. 

Regularly feature user-generated content, such as customer spotlight interviews, case studies, or success stories. Encourage your customers to share how your brand or product has made a positive impact on their lives.

(If you have the data available to you, it’s always a good idea to analyse it so that you can solidify the positive impact that you have had on your customers with the numbers that prove it!)

This not only showcases real-life examples of your brand's value but also helps build a sense of community and fosters brand loyalty. Reach out to customers directly or encourage them to tag your brand when sharing their experiences to ensure you don't miss any opportunities to feature their stories.

Power to the people!

There is so much to be said about the various marketing strategies that you can employ that educate, validate and move your customers through their customer journey swiftly for success.

But, in the digital world that we live in, our customers really do hold the power in their hands. If you’ve already built yourself a marketing strategy that works for you, consumer generated marketing is the cherry on top of the cake that you’ve been looking for.

If you’re yet to use it, there is an abundance of results awaiting you on the other side.

With consumer generated marketing, you are able to build a community, establish trust, broaden your reach and strengthen your brand loyalty. It sounds like a winner to me!

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