User generated content is gold dust for marketing. It inspires decision making in a much higher capacity than any other technique, through its demonstration of genuine reactions and opinions to certain products.
This is especially prevalent with the millennial generation; around 85% of which state that user generated content inspired a purchase. With people spending an average of 18 hours a day on social media across two to three devises, there are endless opportunities to tap into this engaged market.
Events are a breeding ground for user generated content as they are interactive and experiential. By putting in certain techniques in place you can capture these invaluable moments to help promote your event.
We help lay out the five fundamental ways to encourage your attendees to get involved in user generated content at your events.
PRE-PLAN YOUR GOALS
Step one must be to pre-plan what you want to achieve from this encouragement of user generated content. Whether it’s promoting the delegate experience, furthering it’s social media presence or gaining repeat clients - decide on this before you put the plan in place.
Once decided on your end goal, you can then begin work on gathering the content. What social channel you use, information you request and conversations you ignite will all depend on the demographic of your audience. Take the time to research this thoroughly in order to achieve the best results possible.
GIVE YOUR EVENT A BUZZ
Traditional marketing techniques such as branding, videography, event pages and promotion through traditional and social channels are all still vital. Used correctly you will create a buzz around your event and get people to it in the first place.
Hashtags are the most important of all. A solid and memorable hashtag will encourage the trending of your event across social media and be the connecting link between all of your user generated content.
By incorporating a user generated content plan into your typical marketing plan you will achieve the best results.
CONTESTS AND PRIZES
One of the best ways to encourage engagement during events is to simply ask for it. Through competitions, you can directly ask your audience to talk to you in a very specific way. Given a clear set of instructions, users will feel more confident in talking about their own experiences as they will have guidelines to follow.
Offering incentives such as prizes or discounts will encourage this further. In addition, the value of the content will be better as the competition is heightened.
There is an opportunity here to capture your event in a unique light so be innovative with what content you ask for. Take the red bull ‘#PutACanOnIt’ campaign; this unique idea of asking consumers to incorporate the red bull can into their photos produced over 10,000 inspiring images.
When using competitions and prizes to encourage user generated content, do adhere to a few simple guidelines. Make the requirements of the competition clear and simple to follow and use only one hashtag.
If your audience isn’t as willing to post on social media, there are various technical solutions to encourage engagement from all of your guests.
Interactive photo booths are ideal for instant photos; they can also be branded and uploaded to social media. Why not combine content encouragement with a typical event feature? For example, when using electronic registration tablets, take the chance to ask your attendees a few questions at the same time. These snippets of testimonials can be used for years to come.
However, the most popular, and effective, event tool has to be the social wall. These large interactive walls display the social media interaction and engagement from the event as it develops. They also encourage the less confident guests to have their say with anonymous contributions as well as question portals. This will increase the opportunity for user generated content even further.
Additionally, these features will add a sense of prestige to your event due to the use of advanced technology.
USE YOUR EMPLOYEES
The key to any successful piece of user generated content is evoking emotion and is best done through storytelling. Consumers react far more positively towards this type of content.
These stories need to come from people who love your event; and who are better brand advocates than your own employees? No one will know the event better and have had a more hands-on experience. They are therefore the best and most trusted group of people to create this type of content.
Set out certain tasks and run internal competitions for the best content. You are then free to use these bits of gold to establish the prominence of your event.
If you're looking for a venue to help capture your user generated content, email the sales team now.