Come Together: Propeller and BIMA’s Panel on UGC and Co-created Content

Guests snacked on food for thought at the latest BIMA Breakfast Briefing devoted to User Generated Content (UGC) and the rise of co-creation.

Specialists on the panel included Propeller clients Marina Cheal of Reevoo and Liz Faber of SapientNitro, who were joined by Carl Wong of Living Lens and Adam Stamper of Hashtag’d.

The Loft room at The Club At the Ivy was packed for this BIMA event with an attentive mix of brand and agency attendees keen to learn more about how to involve their consumers in co-creation programmes.

Each panellist gave a short presentation on a specific angle of co-creation before joining a discussion moderated by our own Director of Content Branwell Johnson.

To set the scene, Branwell explained that UGC and co-creation are not new concepts – for instance, magazine publishers relied heavily on letters, recipes and ‘real-life’ stories sent in by readers. However, digital has changed the game, making it easier and quicker for brands like Starbucks and Procter & Gamble to create communities of customers at scale who can help develop content, give feedback and work on ‘stuff’.

The panellists went on to make key points including:

  • Have a clear idea of which customers you want to target with co-created content.
  • The basis of a strong relationship between brand and customer is a common interest and trust.
  • People are now eager to share content and there is a growing ‘if I didn’t share it then it didn’t happen’ mindset.
  • Co-creation might seem a challenge for a ‘cold’ brand like utilities or financial service but human stories can be found.
  • Communities can start very small – maybe start with an email programme just to ask for feedback and then give encouragement to those that engage to keep up the contact.
  • A ratio of one useable piece of content out of 10 generated is very good and one out of 50 is often the benchmark. Setting up automated processes to identify good content will be essential as a community scales.
  • Helping with content that has a social purpose is a great incentive to get people involved.
  • Video is exploding and customers are increasingly willing to provide one-to-one video feedback on marketing, products and services.

Advice to avoid mis-steps and embarrassment included a reminder that clear permission is needed to use customer Tweets and other content – stealing content will be seen as a big no-no.  And in your enthusiasm, remember not everything a user shares is brand appropriate.

The slide presentations from the event can be found here.