How to Engage B2B Audiences with User-Generated Content

By Megan DeGruttola - November 15, 2018
4 mins read time
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User-generated content (UGC) has become an increasingly important tool in modern marketers’ toolboxes.

Not only do the majority of people believe UGC is the most authentic form of content, they also say it’s the most influential when making purchasing decisions.

When asked to recall some of the best user-generated content campaigns brands have produced in recent years, people will often cite well-known B2C examples like Starbucks’ White Cup Challenge or Coca-Cola’s ‘Share a Coke’ campaign. But while UGC may seem more relevant for B2C audiences, the same principles of UGC’s authenticity and influence apply to B2B audiences—albeit with slightly different use cases.

Let’s explore some of the best ways companies can effectively leverage user-generated content in B2B scenarios.

Recruitment

Getting the right people to join your organization is crucial to every company’s success. You’ve put a lot of effort into cultivating a great workplace environment; now it’s time to show it off! What better way to do that than to let your employees’ social posts and company ratings speak for themselves?

To help showcase their stellar company culture, Johnson & Johnson added a ‘What People Are Saying’ section to their careers page, featuring tweets posted by real employees.

Then, taking their talent acquisition efforts to the next level, J&J also launched a new candidate experience platform called Shine that allows candidates to follow their progress throughout the interview process, get status updates, read educational articles, etc. To highlight their high employee ratings within Shine, J&J embedded dynamic reviews and rating from their Glassdoor profile.

 

By putting their employees’ reigning endorsements throughout their online recruitment channels, Johnson & Johnson is able to strengthen their pipeline of candidates.

Company Events

Every B2B marketing team has faced the challenge of finding creative ways to engage employees and partners at annual company events. But what if you could make your events as compelling and interactive as people’s social feeds?

B2B2C beauty and wellness brand, Arbonne, hosts an annual Global Training Conference (GTC) that brings all their beauty consultants from around the world together to share advice, provide inspiration and receive sales awards.

As a big proponent of using UGC to engage their consumer audiences—Arbonne features real customer content on their homepage—Arbonne looked to carry that organic engagement over to their GTC event by featuring the social content their beauty consultants were creating in real time across the big screens throughout the conference.

Making their consultants the stars of their event helped to drive engagement and grow the amount of social content generated around the event.

Thought Leadership

Thought leadership is the cornerstone of B2B content strategies, requiring marketing teams to spend lots of time and resources to create a solid library of educational content. Yet, once that content is created and disseminated across corporate and partner blogs, various media publications and industry events, there is rarely a single, centralized place for people to browse every piece of content marketers have invested hundreds or thousands of hours to create.

This is where real-time user-generated content widgets can be valuable to B2B brands.

Companies like Egon Zehnder, one of the world’s largest executive search and talent strategy firms, have started to display UGC streams across their homepages, effectively aggregating all the social posts people are sharing about their thought leadership content—no matter where it lives across the digital web.

These UGC widgets not only help to showcase thought leadership content from various channels, but have also been proven to boost onsite engagement.

Employee Engagement

Since highly engaged employees are happier employees, companies of all shapes and sizes are constantly searching for new ways to spark employee participation, which is particularly challenging for global organizations with distributed teams.

Here at Stackla, we engage our global teams with a legendary, company-wide fitness and charity challenge. Every year the whole company takes part in a multi-legged virtual race around the world, called Stackla Run Club.

Everyone across our U.S., UK and Australian offices are divided into groups—each with people from different departments and regions. As the year goes on, we collectively run the distance between each of our offices, posting #stacklarunclub photos of our workouts as we go.

Since we are each trusted to track and log our own kilometers—using either your own personal Fitbit, fitness app or our trusty Stackla Run Club Conversion Calculator—we require each person to share at least one photo per week during each leg of the race.

Using our own UGC platform, we curate and display the fitness photos our employees are posting to social networks or directly uploading to our Run Club site as inspiration and encouragement for other team members.

At the end of the year, the winning kms generated from each leg of Run Club are converted into dollars that we then donate to one of the charities we support. For example, last year we worked with One Education to provide computers to underfunded schools.

Run Club has been an incredibly successful way for us to bring our global teams and offices together in a fun, healthy and generous way.

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