UGC Marketing: How to Get Your Players to Make User-Generated Content
by Game Marketing Genie, on 16-Aug-2022 10:01:38
User-generated content, popularly known as UGC, is a modern-day word-of-mouth recommendation. But what is UGC? UGC is the unpaid or unsponsored social media posts that users upload praising a brand’s product or service. It impacts the purchasing decisions of almost 80% of customers since it isn’t the brands self-praising themselves but the daily users raving about the products (source: Nosto). Therefore, UGC plays a crucial role in convincing potential buyers to make the purchase.
Many businesses invest in UGC marketing as it builds awareness, boosts credibility, and skyrockets conversions. More importantly, UGC helps establish brand loyalty and grows the community. Since the UGC-producing customers are active participants in your brand’s growth, they are highly likely to stick with you for longer.
Here are nine brilliant ways to gently nudge your customers to churn out social media content around your brand.
1. Search existing content
Before you make your customers generate more content, utilize the already existing social media posts. And the straightforward way to identify if your brand’s gaming UGC exists is through research.
You and your video game players are most active on social media platforms and search for branded hashtags and brand mentions. Review your past ad campaigns and put down all the branded hashtags you used for marketing your games in your past. Look for your brand names on popular search engines and social channels. Repurpose the posts you find, be it testimonials, game play-throughs, or reviews. This will attract new players and ensure you don’t run short of unique, engaging content to upload.
2. Join an existing trend
Jumping on a trend bandwagon is a common marketing strategy that even the most notable brands leverage. Following trends increases your chances of enhanced visibility, making you appear on IG Explore page or TikTok For You page. Therefore, smartly utilize trends to increase your follower count and your game’s download rate.
That said, don’t mindlessly jump on all trends. Identify the most popular trends in the gaming industry to keep your social reputation intact. Along with following the directions, encourage your fans to follow them.
3. Start a trend
Apart from joining an existing trend, you can start a trend and let the masses follow! But to be successful in your trend-setting venture, invest time researching the type of content that gets the most engagement and reaches a broad audience. Ensure the trend helps create hype around your video game and gives players a reason to talk.
For instance, the ALS Association’s Ice Bucket Challenge was successful, as it was well-thought-out and fun. ALS Association is an American non-profit organization that funds global amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) research. Their Ice Bucket trend helped them raise around $115 million in 2014 for their research. The trend appealed to a larger audience and was engaging. Therefore, it was a massive success.
Figure 1: Bill Gates joining the Ice Bucket Challenge. Source: Tech Crunch
So, be creative to become a successful trendsetter. Make sure your trend is original. You can also design hashtag trends on social media or start a new trend on your website. Platform-specific trends are also helpful, such as the dance challenges on TikTok.
Once you have a clear vision, get the word out to your gaming audience. Put your trending campaign on the social channels you’re most active on. Advertise the trend through both traditional and digital media. After all, a trend is a trend only when thousands of internet users follow it.
4. Run competitions
Running a contest that urges customers to generate UGC and rewarding them for the same is a great strategy. But avoid the typical “tag-a-friend” competitions, as they won’t help you produce user-generated content.
Instead, try fan art or cosplay competitions. These competitions are engaging and capable of creating a buzz around your game. They allow fans to portray their creativity and produce artwork based on your game’s universe or characters.
Additionally, you can run contests where players get to design new characters, weapons, or in-game assets for your game. Choose the best design and incorporate it into your game. This will skyrocket your player retention as well as produce UGC in abundance.
Lastly, you can run “share your collection” contests, encouraging your followers to show the entire collection of their video games. To increase the participation rate, give away exciting prizes, such as a Steam key that will let the winner download and play a Steam game for free.
5. Give exciting prizes for competitions
Rewards are a way of acknowledging your fans’ efforts, and they boost the participation rate. However, mediocre prizes won’t yield satisfactory results. Therefore, make sure the rewards you distribute are worthy of competing for.
The two most popular ways to reward the winners are by giving them monetary benefits or in-game presents. Creators of the game King’s Raid leveraged fanart competitions to keep their fans engaged and gave the winners monetary rewards. The prize money was 5 million Yen! While the first rank holder received 1 million Yen, the remaining amount was divided amongst the following 51 winners. Such competitions and rewards ensure the fans are never bored with playing your game.
Figure 2: An artwork by a King’s Raid player. Source: moldiedraws
On the other hand, developers of the famous game League of Legends (LOL) leveraged in-game rewards to keep the audience’s excitement levels high. Garena LOL gifted players an Arcane Capsule to celebrate the release of their Arcane series. This Capsule contained various goodies, such as skin shards, gemstones, and an Arcane Inventor’s Grab Bag.
Figure 3: League of Legends giveaway. Source: LOL
Avid video game players often rave about winning such amazing prizes on social media, and these posts are the best type of user-generated content. Examples include photos of/with the prizes, video clips of in-game rewards, and long-form YouTube videos sharing the reward’s review.
6. Start an event
Another exciting way to inspire users and give them a reason to talk about your brand on social media is through weekly virtual events. You can create a personal social media “tradition” and ask your users to participate. This will increase your recognizability and help retain users. It will also make the process of creating content fun for your players.
For instance, you can upload a social media post every week and give users a chance to win your game’s key. This weekly custom will keep your audience engaged and provide them with an opportunity to share their achievement on social media almost every week.
7. Ask questions
Often, users cannot create content for their favorite brands even when they want to. Giving them a writing prompt or asking questions work wonders in such cases! Asking thought-provoking questions also gives you a chance to produce word-based or textual content rather than the visual content only that every gaming brand churns out. You can spin the players’ answers into testimonials, IG Stories, and more! To top it all off, give prizes to users with the best story highlighting their experience with your game.
Outdoor retailer MEC smartly leveraged QnA to solicit UGC without directly asking its customers. They posted a thought-provoking question on Instagram on World Mental Health Day.
Figure 4: MEC’s QnA Story. Source: Hootsuite
8. Get influencers involved
Another intelligent way to solicit UGC is through influencers. UGC marketing and influencer marketing complement each other. Social media influencers have tight-knit communities and can positively impact people’s purchasing decisions. Besides, they produce content that resonates with their fans. Therefore, they can get the snowball rolling, helping you mass-produce UGC. Inspired by their favorite influencers, audiences share images and experiences on social media.
You can even start a hashtag campaign and hire influencers to amplify your message. Adidas’ #HereToCreate campaign is a classic case in point. The brand created the campaign while organizing the 2018 Boston Marathon. Influential people, such as Lionel Messi, Pharrell Williams, and David Beckham, helped promote the campaign.
Figure 5: Messi promoting the #HereToCreate campaign by Adidas. Source: Salonica
If you want to leverage influencer marketing to produce UGC, signing up at Atisfyreach will help. Atisfyreach is an AI-based influencer marketing platform connecting brands with expert influencers. The platform streamlines your search for top-notch influencers for successful game marketing.
9. Feature user-generated content on your website
The key to successfully producing user-generated content is to appreciate your users. Players will be more interested in creating organic content for your brand when publicly acknowledging their efforts. Make them the center of attraction; they’ll help you reach your business goals faster.
One way of showing appreciation is by featuring the audience’s content on your website. Place their social media posts and artwork of your game on your primary website. You can even feature a live feed on your website showing the success of your branded hashtag.
Build a successful UGC campaign with Game Marketing Genie!
We at Game Marketing Genie understand how difficult it can be for developers to create a solid social media presence while building a game. Therefore, we are always open to giving gaming brands a helping hand and honing their social media presence — if you can’t, let a multiple award-winning game marketing agency do it for you!
GMG is a full-service game marketing agency offering personalized game marketing strategies to gaming studios and indie developers.
Get in touch with us today, and we’ll ensure you succeed in your user-generated content marketing endeavors!