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User-Generated Affiliate Content Marketing: A Complete Guide

User-generated content marketing is like having your customers become enthusiastic ambassadors for your affiliate marketing brand. It not only enhances brand loyalty but also significantly boosts brand awareness. When you share content created by your customers, it’s akin to receiving a free advertisement for your brand. It’s a powerful strategy that seamlessly complements your traditional content marketing efforts.

What Is User-Generated Content?

User-generated content is essentially from individuals who have engaged with your brand. These folks typically become familiar with your brand by purchasing your main product or service, or they might belong to your target audience.

Regarding user-generated affiliate content marketing, the idea is to share this content across your platforms. By doing so, you’re aiming to create a buzz around your brand and garner positive attention.

Why Do You Need User-Generated Content Marketing?

Why do content marketers need to add user-generated content marketing to our overflowing to-do lists? People don’t like or trust traditional advertisements. 7 in 10 people use advertising avoidance strategies such as ad blockers.

It’s true. Humanity has become very suspicious of advertisements that seem to promise heaven on earth. The Fyre Festival is only one of many reasons for this distrust.

In April 2017, Fyre Media co-founder Billy McFarland started selling people tickets to a once-in-a-lifetime experience – a luxury music festival set against the backdrop of a tropical island in the Bahamas.

An average of 5,000 people spent thousands of dollars on these tickets, which should include luxury accommodation for the festival’s duration.

These people arrived on the island excited to mingle and party with celebrities like Ja Rule and Kendall Jenner. They were astounded to find that all the A-list musical acts had dropped out of the festival. To make things worse, their five-star accommodation had transformed into dilapidated tents soaking wet from the rain.

Advertisements for the Fyre Festival had promised “a place where the tropical sun shines all day, and our celebrations ignite the night.”

Unfortunately, the reality was like something out of a nightmare. In addition to scamming 5,000 festival-goers out of their money, McFarland scammed investors out of $26 million.

Fyre Festival Expectation vs. Reality

Image source: METRO

User-Generated Content Marketing vs. Traditional Advertising

Marketers have been breaking hearts worldwide since the beginning of time. Yes, the Fyre Festival scam is a dramatic example of this, but it always happens. Advertisements promise us the sun and the moon but deliver an anticlimactic experience.

Our burgers always look juicier on a billboard than on our plates. Our resorts look better in the photos on the website than in person. Red Bull promises to give us wings.

McDonalds Burger Advertisement vs. Reality

Image source: Business Insider

Maldives Advertisement vs. Reality
Maldives Advertisement vs. Reality

Image source: Architecture and Design

Unsurprisingly, people will trust what one of your customers says about your brand more than an advertisement from your affiliate marketing brand. User-generated content marketing is seen as more authentic than traditional marketing. This is why your brand needs it.

User-generated content is a form of social proof for your brand. It helps you strengthen your relationship with current customers and reach a wider audience.

Here’s how sharing user-generated content can boost your brand:

1. It Is Authentic

User-generated content is created by people who don’t work for your brand. This content presents an authentic perspective on your affiliate marketing niche for a potential customer because it is produced by someone just like them who has had first-hand experience with the brand. For this reason, people will trust your user-generated content marketing more than they will trust your traditional advertisements.

2. It Creates a Content Community

When you share content from one client, you encourage others to create similar content. This results in a community of people who love and enjoy advocating for your brand. A content community is a source of valuable publicity for your brand.

3. It Generates Brand Loyalty

Speaking of content communities, user-generated content marketing also inspires brand loyalty. If you encourage people to share what they love about your brand, you will remain at the top of these clients’ minds. This increases the chances that they will return to you the next time they look for a similar product or service.

4. It Drives Sales

Sharing content created by people loyal to your affiliate marketing brand boosts brand awareness. Ultimately, more brand awareness generates more sales.

Read Also: Why is Affiliate Content Marketing Important for Your Brand?

5. It Is a Source of Valuable Feedback

User-generated content is an excellent place to find out what people love about your brand and what they don’t particularly enjoy. The feedback won’t always be positive, and that’s not bad. Instead, negative feedback is an opportunity to tweak what isn’t working for your affiliate marketing clients, allowing you to build a product that they truly love.

Taking this feedback seriously will help your clients feel seen and heard. If your customers believe you value what they say, they will stay with you long.

Examples of User-Generated Content Marketing

1) Coca-Cola’s “Share a Coke” Campaign

In 2011, Coca-Cola launched its “Share a Coke” campaign in Australia by printing people’s names on the sides of their bottles. Coca-Cola encouraged people to buy a friend a bottle with their name on it and share the Coke.

User Generated Content Coca Cola

Image source: StoryBox

While the original campaign was launched in Australia, it became a multi-national campaign. Images of the Coke bottles were widely shared on social media, and the company tailored the campaign to each new culture. This approach allowed them to create a personalized campaign in each new country.

For example, in Israel, the company greeted people personally by name on giant billboards. Similarly, in China, nicknames were included among the original names.

With this campaign, Coca-Cola built a personal connection with consumers and spread some joy.

2) Aerie’s #Aeriereal Campaign

In 2014, American Eagle’s loungewear and lingerie line – Aerie – launched the #AerieREAL campaign to encourage women to appreciate their natural beauty. Since our adverts are filled with retouched photos of flawless women imposing unrealistic expectations on real women, this campaign is still relevant today.

With #AerieREAL, Aerie hopes to promote body positivity and confidence in women. This is a noble goal, especially in an industry with ridiculous beauty standards.

When Aerie launched this campaign, it also committed to stopping the editing of photos of its models. In addition, it encouraged its customers to post unedited images on social media with the accompanying hashtag “#AerieREAL.” Aerie donates 1 to the National Eating Disorders Association for each photo shared on social media.

User-generated content marketing #AerieREAL campaign

Image source: Forbes

In 2020, Aerie launched #AerieREAL Changemakers, a program that recognizes women who are helping their communities and changing the world. #AerieREAL Changemakers awards these fierce and inspiring entrepreneurs, advocates, and humanitarians $20,000 each to support their selfless projects. These women are now brand advocates for Aerie. Moreover, Aerie has gained publicity as a brand that cares about humanity.

3) Starbucks White Cup Contest

2014, Starbucks launched its white cup contest to build a deeper connection with its customers. They wanted to develop a new design for their cups and invited their customers to submit designs using the hashtag #whitecupcontest. These customers, who enjoyed drawing on their cups, were eager to participate.

The #whitecupcontest united Starbucks customers and encouraged them to achieve a common goal. This contest resulted in thousands of cup designs being shared on social media. In addition, Starbucks enjoyed more publicity and brand loyalty.

User-generated content marketing Starbucks White Cup Contest

Image source: Medium

With the pandemic confining many people to their homes more than usual, brands are reaching out to reassure their clients. By keeping clients’ companies online, brands can create a sense of community during a trying time. Here are two brands that are doing this well:

4) Recreate a Piece of Art at the j.paul Getty Museum

When COVID hit back, the fact that the J.Paul Getty Museum had to close its doors didn’t stop them from engaging with the public. The museum called for people to recreate works of art while quarantined at home.

“We challenge you to recreate a work of art with objects (and people) in your home,” the museum tweeted. Contestants had to:

  • Choose their favorite work of art
  • Find objects and people in their homes
  • Recreate the piece of art
  • Share their creation on social media

Twitter users joined the fun and encouraged their families and friends to participate. The result was a series of exciting and amusing submissions and increased publicity for the museum.

User-generated content marketing J.Paul Getty Museum

Image source: CNN

5) the Perfect #Stepowknd

To celebrate National Travel & Tourism Week 2020, Stevens Point Area invited the public to vote for the perfect way to spend a #StePoWknd. The campaign was designed to engage locals and former guests.

User-generated content marketing #StePoWknd

Image source: Stevens Point Area Blog

People submitted different must-haves for the perfect weekend. Stevens Point Area then used these submissions to curate the ideal weekend. The final perfect #StePoWknd was divided into drinks, food, and adventures.

With this campaign, Stevens Point excited their community about having a new adventure over the weekend. The public appreciated this excitement, especially given how isolated many people were at home.

User-Generated Content Marketing: Best Practices

Now that you understand user-generated content marketing let’s discuss how to do it for your affiliate marketing brand.

1. List Clear Requirements

If you ask your audience to submit user-generated content, you must be clear about what content you’d like them to offer. For example, the Starbucks white cup contest had a list of rules.

Even so, sometimes, your audience will post unexpected and unscripted content. This is good because the content someone posts spontaneously reflects your brand more authentically. So when this happens, enjoy the moment and share this content with the rest of your affiliate marketing network.

2. Ask for Permission

Before you share user-generated content, it’s essential to ask the content creator for permission. By asking for permission, you show this person you respect them. Ultimately, clients who feel appreciated will speak highly about your affiliate marketing brand.

3. Offer Something in Return

It’s not enough to ask for permission to use someone’s content. If you share someone’s content, offering them something in return is only fair. This person will appreciate feeling valued as a brand advocate. You can provide your content creators with branded gifts, event invitations, or discount vouchers for your core product or service.

User-generated content marketing can sound very technical and unfathomable at first. However, as you have seen, it’s pretty easy in practice. With the above tips, you can boost engagement with your current affiliate marketing clients and increase brand awareness among potential clients.

Do you need help brainstorming the perfect content marketing strategy?


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