- Experiential Marketing
5 Proven Ways to Collect UGC at Experiential Events
User-generated content (UGC) is the secret sauce that can turn a good event into a memorable one. UGC includes reviews, social media posts, videos, and any content created by your customers and event attendees. This type of content is a powerful tool in your marketing arsenal because it’s genuine, unbiased, and resonates with your target audience.
Collecting user generated content at experiential marketing events can have a huge impact on your brand’s authenticity and engagement with your target audience.
Here are 5 strategies you can use today to collect user generated content from your next brand activation event, pop up, or mobile tour. But first…
What is User Generated Content?
User generated content, or UGC, is content created and shared by your customers or audience. It’s an umbrella term encompassing various forms like reviews, social media posts, images, videos, blogs, and more. UGC is the authentic voice of your customers, and it’s more important than ever in today’s digital landscape. It comes in various forms, such as:
- Reviews: These are invaluable insights from customers who have experienced your products or events. Reviews provide potential attendees with a genuine glimpse of what they can expect.
- Social Media Posts: Pictures, stories, and posts shared on social media platforms like Instagram, Snapchat, Twitter (now X), or Facebook. These offer a visual and interactive view of your event.
- Videos: User-generated videos can provide in-depth coverage and testimonials. They’re a dynamic way to engage your audience.
- Blogs and Articles: Some attendees may write about their experiences, offering a detailed perspective.
- Hashtags: Encourage attendees to use specific event-related hashtags when posting on social media. This helps create a centralized hub of content for your event.
Now that you understand what UGC is let’s explore why you should combine it with experiential marketing.
Why Collect User Generated Content?
In an age where consumers yearn for real connections, genuine experiences, and brands they can trust, user generated content serves as a powerful tool that humanizes your brand. A well-planned and executed content marketing strategy should always include user generated content.
Collecting user generated content from your experiential marketing events builds trust, nurtures loyalty, and cultivates authenticity for your brand and your brand’s image.
In the realm of experiential marketing, trust is a priceless currency. UGC acts as a formidable trust signal for your brand, akin to receiving a heartfelt recommendation from a close friend.
Authentic content from previous visitors or customers — like enthusiastic posts, authentic product reviews, or candid videos — can transform the perception of your brand and provide reassurance of your brand’s quality.
Your target audience will see your brand as reliable, credible, and worth their time and money. This trust factor is invaluable, it attracts new customers and helps retain existing ones.
Nurture Brand Loyalty and Community Building
User generated content goes beyond trust, it creates a sense of belonging and camaraderie. When people actively participate in and contribute to your experiential marketing event, they’re not just passive attendees — they become a part of a vibrant community.
This loyalty goes beyond individual brand activation events and helps establish long-lasting relationships.
People who actively engage with your brand are more inclined to return, share their experiences with friends and family, and become vocal brand advocates. User generated content captures moments and hearts, weaving a tapestry of emotions that resonate with the audience.
User generated content is inherently authentic because it originates from real people sharing genuine experiences. Authenticity is a fundamental pillar of successful event marketing. It’s more than just a buzzword — it’s a prerequisite for resonating with today’s discerning consumers.
This raw and unfiltered user generated content offers a refreshing departure from the polished advertising tactics many brands employ. The authenticity of UGC sets your brand apart from competitors and creates a relatable, human face for your brand and your next marketing events. It’s a reminder that your brand isn’t a faceless corporate entity — it’s a genuine experience enjoyed by real people. This authenticity speaks volumes to your audience, assuring them that what they see is what they’ll get.
5 Ways to Collect User Generated Content at Your Next Experiential Marketing Event
Now that you recognize the value of collecting user generated content, let’s delve into five effective strategies to gather it at your next experiential marketing event.
1. Make Posting Easy – Use QR Codes or Hashtags
Simplicity is key when it comes to gathering user generated content. Make it as effortless as possible for attendees to share their experiences. Use QR codes or event-specific hashtags to streamline the process. Place QR codes around the venue, on all signage, and encourage attendees to scan and share.
Similarly, create a unique event hashtag and promote it online and on-site. The easier it is for attendees to post, the more likely they will do it.
Hellmann’s and Feeding America partnered with Promobile Marketing for their Mayo For Meals campaign featuring a giant jar of mayonnaise in a glass box truck. The campaign consisted of driving from Phoenix, AZ, through Missouri, Wisconsin, North Carolina, and finally ending in New Jersey at the Unilever headquarters. Hellmann’s incorporated a hashtag and photo opportunity as part of their campaign – for every photo on Instagram, Twitter and Tiktok with the hashtag #MayoForMeals, Hellmann’s helped provide the equivalent of 500 meals to their long-standing partner, Feeding America.
2. Provide Incentives to Post – Contests, Drawings, and Giveaways
One effective way to promote your event is by encouraging attendees to share their experiences on social media. You can also offer exciting prizes as incentives, such as free tickets to the next event, exclusive merchandise, or even cash rewards. This motivates attendees to post and generates buzz and excitement around your event.
3. Connect with Influencers and Collaborators
Influencers have the power to impact their followers’ decisions, which can be highly beneficial for your brand and experiential event. Encouraging user generated content by collaborating with social media influencers can significantly boost your event’s engagement.
Reach out to individuals in your industry who have a significant social media following. Invite them to your event and ask them to document their interactions with your brand. Their endorsement and content can draw more people to your experience, and their posts will carry weight with their loyal followers. This influencer-driven strategy can give your event a substantial boost in collecting user generated content.
4. Use an Enthusiastic Street Team
An enthusiastic street team can provide a memorable experience for your attendees and can be a powerful strategy for collecting UGC. You can set up visually appealing backdrops or provide a mascot with which attendees can take pictures. These photo opportunities add to the attendees’ delight and encourages them to share the images on social media, creating further buzz for your event.
This summer, Promobile Marketing embarked on the ultimate Road Trip with Klondike, traveling to three U.S. cities to ask hometowns what they would do for a Klondike. In each city, The Klondike truck stopped in a high traffic, public area where fans completed group challenges and filled up on free ice cream.
5. Use the Power of Food
Food is a universal language, and beautiful-looking food is a feast for the eyes. Incorporate a branded food truck to offer free samples of delicious, visually appealing food options at your event. Whether it’s unique snacks, artistic desserts, or gourmet dishes, the goal is to make them Instagram-worthy. Attendees will be eager to take pictures and share them with their followers. Food can be a powerful magnet for collecting UGC.
Harness the Power of UGC in Your Experiential Marketing Campaign
In experiential marketing, UGC is the magic ingredient to make your event unforgettable. Incorporate these 5 strategies to collect UGC and build trust, loyalty, and authenticity.
- Make posting easy with QR codes and hashtags.
- Provide incentives through a social media contest, drawings, and giveaways.
- Collaborate with influencers to amplify your reach.
- Create a visual experience with a street team and photo opportunities.
- Use the allure of food to entice attendees to share their experiences.
As you plan your next experiential marketing campaign, remember the power that user generated content can have on your brand.
Incorporate ways to capture user generated content at your next event and watch as your audience becomes your most powerful marketing tool.
Promobile Marketing is a dynamic experiential marketing agency based in New York City. For over a decade, Promobile Marketing has collaborated with a range of brands—from budding startups to major CPG brands—on immersive marketing campaigns. Get in touch to discuss your next project.