Leveraging Consumer-Generated Marketing Campaigns

Branding is one of the most important tasks for a business, yet it can be one of the most challenging. Building a brand, conveying the brand to the public, and most important, creating consumer awareness for your brand are what most businesses are looking to achieve. Tapping into social networks such as YouTube, Facebook, and others are cost-effective ways to reach millions of potential customers and build your brand.

Using these new media networks to launch consumer-generated campaigns is also a successful strategy. Consumer generated campaigns make the participants—your current or potential customers—part of the process by looking to them to supply content that can be later leveraged for sales and marketing. My company embarked on a consumer-generated marketing campaign in the form of an online shopping confessions video contest. We asked consumers to confess to purchases they have made and hidden. The contest was successful, and we decided to extend it throughout all of 2008.

It is important when creating your campaign to be sure it ties back to your brand as much as possible. Have participants feel they are playing an active role in your company or contributing to your brand. It is a chance to educate them, create recognition for your business, and stand apart from your competition without the support of a big budget.

Marwan Forzley President and CEO of eBillme Wilmington, Del.

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