The acronym is so oft-repeated that it seems almost archaic now.
Don’t get me wrong! Enough and more has been published on user-generated content by marketers of every stripe that writing about it, once again, seemed to be a futile exercise.
But the fact is: user-generated content (UGC) although an overused, regurgitated marketing tactic, is here to stay.
Because people tend to trust UGC 1200% more over commercial content from brands, since content generated by regular customers tend to resonate with other customers more than pushy, promotional messages released by brands, and, going by these stats, very soon, UGC may be the only form of marketing left to reach clients.
Sports brands seem to have realized this and are making the most of it. And given that user-generated content of sports brands is highly visually driven, the customer engagement rate of such content is also quite high.
(For the uninitiated, visual content gets 94% more clicks than content without it.)
Unsurprisingly, sports brands such as Nike, GoPro, Adidas, Lazer Sports have UGC baked into their marketing strategies as a way to engage, retain, and reward customers.
The biggest plus: The healthy growth of UGC content could be attributed to a generous contribution by sports fans themselves. And sports marketers are acknowledging this fact and taking advantage of it in their marketing strategies.
Let’s take a look at how the sports industry is leveraging UGC content:
# Laser Sports
In the world of cycling, eCommerce brands are looking for ways to touch base with customers in a positive way. And given that cyclists around the globe connect uniquely, it made sense for the cycling industry to make the most of this association.
For example, cycling brand Laser Sports leverages user-generated content to foster deeper relationships with its online customers.
To celebrate its 100 anniversary, the oldest helmet manufacturer in the world roped in famous athletes and teams, who had being wearing their products for quite some while, for their UGC campaign.
The brand made use of the Photoslurp platform to display products that cyclists had been proudly wearing and, in the process, inspiring other cyclists to wear them as well.
Nike collaborated with Instagram to conjure a UGC campaign called Nike PHOTIiD. With 65.7m followers on Instagram – a brand with the most extensive fan base – it made a hell lot of sense for Nike to run a user-generated campaign leveraging Insta photos.
The campaign had a two-pronged approach: one, to focus on the Nike brand and two, to satisfy the creative urge of the audience.
The result: The campaign helped Nike turn a good number of followers into customers. Almost 100,000 shoes were created and sold within the first hour of the week. And during peak times, almost 600 shoes were designed every hour.
Throughout the entire campaign, Nike witnessed a click-through rate of 8% to buy designer shoes via the customer’s respective Nike ID.
SheFit, a sports bra brand, is making the most of user-generated content via its emails. The upgraded integration between Yotpo and Klaviyo (ecommerce marketing software) enabled the sports bra brand to quickly and easily integrate user-generated content into their emails.
According to Luke Butler, director of marketing for SheFit, adding UGC to their emails has increased the CTR of the brand by almost 5.8%.
This major sports brand has set up separate Instagram and Twitter accounts, called “Adidas Originals,” to highlight the exceptional contributions of influencers and customers on its social media profiles. And, amazingly, these profiles have more followers than its main account.
For instance, the Instagram account of Adidas Originals has over 33.8m followers. The account displays new merchandise photos, and more importantly, how Adidas customers are happily donning mismatched pair of shoes; additionally, how celebrities are supporting their brand, among many others.
These photos make the account more exciting than Adidas’ main account that’s into posting several general and commercial-looking images of products. Adidas Originals is not a one-way marketing tool, but also a way for fans and consumers to show their love for the brand.
What’s more, for a global campaign ‘No Fakers, Creators Only,” that featured football stars such as Paulo Dybala, Lionel Messi, and Mo Salah, Adidas invited fans to post videos on its microsite.
The videos showing the best football skills received a pair of Exhibit Pack boots of their choice and a signed Real Madrid jersey.
With 4 of the world’s top-notch sports brands embracing UGC to engage with their customers directly, this form of content has almost become the sine qua non of the content marketing world.
Sure, Nike and Adidas boast of a massive follower count and all, so it becomes a tad bit easier for them to generate a whole lot of UGC content. But then, don’t forget, UGC is cost-effective as opposed to other mediums, so brands, per se, won’t stand to lose anything if they want to try UGC.
Over to you now, have you tried leveraging UGC content for your brand?