Intentional content

This content originally appeared on January 14, 2021 as part of the Future of Marketing weekly email series. Subscribe here.

Welcome to Future of Marketing. 

Each week, we send you the most relevant trends, resources, and strategies in social and user-generated content (UGC) by marketing leaders around the globe.

Two weeks into 2021 and: 

  • Slack had a global outage
  • The CIA rebranded
  • The U.S. Capitol was raided 

Looking back, we noticed some brands missed the mark and moved forward with tone-deaf content. Today, we’re discussing the importance of staying in tune with important conversations – and sharing content ideation tips for the future. 

PS. We’ve released the State of User-Generated Content 2021 report! Download it here.

Protect brand reputation

Slack’s global outage was the right amount of irony we needed to kick off the new year (consider it the “snow day” of remote work). Kudos to Slack for immediately turning to social media to update its users about the outage (a reminder to never leave your customers in the dark).

Meanwhile, the CIA tweeted about its rebrand right before the U.S. Capitol Riots took place. For many, this unfortunate event brought back the same mixed feelings and crisis control requirements many brands – global and national – faced during the Black Lives Matter protests last summer.

For future reference, here’s an example of a social listening cue: 

“Social media managers: Shut down and check your schedule and organic posts. Nobody needs company memes of marketing materials in their face right now.”

– @steinekin, Social Media Manager of Xbox

Each scenario presented opportunities for brands to step back and capture user sentiment and feedback – demonstrating the potential user-generated content (UGC) can have when it’s used to listen and understand how to best move forward.

Reminder: people expect brands to speak up on important issues (but only when it makes sense… not merely to produce noise). 

Create relevant content 

Marketers are busy – we have blogs to write, social posts to schedule, and content to produce. Meaning there isn’t much leisure time to wait for innovation and great ideas to strike. 

But here’s a secret… 

Great content marketers have a process, re-share relevant content, and are always consuming a wide breadth of topics across various industries – psychology, writing, design, business, art. But the *best* content marketers create a repository of all of these ideas and visit it regularly – whether it’s a Google Doc, Notion, Asana, Pinterest. 

Better yet, these marketers understand the impact of visual content and re-share what their audience is already creating. You can re-share UGC as testimonials, take cues from it, get ideas from it, and even encourage your audience to create more. 

Who knows… maybe you’ll discover the next star (or 7). 🤷🏻‍♀️

What we’re learning

  • Social media is a constant balance of speed and thoughtfulness by Dan Klamm, Vice President, Global Head of Social Media at Nielsen [LinkedIn]
  • Brands: this is not a marketing moment by Jayde Powell, Head of Social at Sunwink [AdWeek]
  • Twitter acquired social podcasting app Breaker to build Audio Spaces [TechCrunch]
  • PODCAST: Marketers (including ~ yours truly ~ slightly past the 20:00 mark) shared their 2021 B2B Predictions [B2B Better
  • NEW STUDY: Our State of User-Generated Content 2021 Report is NOW LIVE and uncovers 5 themes plus, insights from marketing leaders around the globe [TINT]

Spoiler ‼️
Nearly twenty-seven (26.5%) of marketers reported their organizations are planning to increase the most activity on LinkedIn during 2021 – more than any other social media platform.

#BrandCrush: Georgia State University

Congrats to the Class of 2020! As Georgia State University (GSU) stated, “You made it through a semester that didn’t go as planned.”

GSU celebrated a virtual graduation #TheStateWay by asking students to post a picture and tag #GSU20 on social media. 

GSU re-shared UGC from that hashtag on this page – which leads with a video created with UGC. As you scroll down, you’ll spot a TINT-powered gallery featuring content created and submitted by students (image above).

This not only increases conversion rates for GSU, but it builds trust with prospective students *and* strengthens the connection with GSU graduates. 

Office hours ⏰

Every once in a while, we gather our team of experts to answer your burning marketing questions about UGC. Interested in joining? Let us know.