User-Generated Content Campaigns That Actually Worked

Here is a secret you may not know – You don’t always have to rack your brain to crank out the endless streams of contents to keep your audience engaged. There is another option you are not using and that is user-generated content. This new technique allows businesses to delegate part of their marketing work to their customers.

These tactics come with so many benefits. When you leverage user-generated contents, you are not only getting the audience to create contents for you, you are also getting them to promote and help you build your brand. Studies show that consumers are most interested in hearing the opinion of other consumers. In fact, they are more likely to trust their peers over you.

In another research by Bazaar Voice, it was revealed that about 53% of baby boomers and 64% of Millennials want to share their opinions more about brands.

This, indeed, creates an opportunity for a brand with smart marketing strategy. It allows you to give your customers voice and in doing so, get them to spread the word about your business, extend your reach, and build your brand.

What is User Generated Content Anyway?

Just like the name sounds, it is a content created by fans for their brands. These contents are usually promoted on social media platforms such as Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter. The use of the user-generated content is a win-win for both the brand and the customers; it allows the brand to get free contents and promotion while the user gets their content promoted.

Does The Use of User-Generated Content Actually Work?

Yes, it does. Below, you can see some good example of User-Generated Content that actually worked.

National Geographic (Wanderlust Contest)

Almost everyone knows National Geographic. In June of 2015, the company encouraged it, followers, to post photos with the hashtag “#WanderlustContest”. Users were required to make this post for a chance to win a National Geographic photo expedition to Yosemite National Park.


Within few days, this went viral, like, comments, and shares rolled in. At the end of the campaign, this single hashtag generated a whopping 57,705 posts and thousands of new followers for the company.

Starbucks (White Cup Contest)

You probably know Starbucks as the largest coffee chain in the world. In April 2014, the company asked its users and customers to come up with the next design for their cup. They asked customers to draw the design on the cups and take pictures with the cup. They were required to post the pictures on social media with the hashtag “#WhiteCupContest”.


Well, apart from getting their next cup design for free; they got almost 4000 submissions in just one week alone. The contest was eventually won by a 21-year old woman who now has her own business and about 27,000 followers on Instagram.

Marc Jacobs (Cast Me Marc)

A popular modeling company – Marc Jacobs in 2014 told their followers they were casting models in an unconventional way. They announced they are casting them via an ad campaign on Twitter and Instagram instead of using an agency. They then ask that anyone who wants to be considered should submit their best photos with the hashtag “#CastMeMarc”.


This user-generated content campaign was a huge success. The company received 15,000 submissions within just 24 hours and over 70,000 by the end of the contents. This, of course, got them thousands of new followers and more engagement.

Loews Hotels (Travel For Real)

Loews Hotel shocked the world of social media marketing with their brilliant user-generated content campaign in 2015. The company came up with a caption “Because nobody tells our story better than you”. They then ask their followers to share their experiences at Loews Hotel with the hashtag “#TravelForReal”.


Within few weeks, they received over 35,000 images shared by their users. The campaign was hugely successful. They used the resulting images on their website, social media pages, and on their print advertising with no editing whatsoever.

Lay’s: Do Us a Flavor

This is one of the oldest user-generated content campaigns in the history. It was used as far back as 2006. The company known for the production of chips took to the social media to ask their followers to suggest new flavors for their chips. They promised a prize of $1 million. The company used the same campaign in 2012. But this time around, they used videos to make it more interesting.


The campaign generated over 3.8 million suggestions. They were also able to increase their sales by 12% as a result of this campaign.

Final Thought

Anyone can leverage user-generated content to come up with interesting and engaging posts. However, you might need to experiment severally before you can come up with a successful one. Take time to prepare your campaign, keep on experimenting until you discover your winning campaign.