Screen-Shot-2014-10-22-at-3.30.43-PMIn today’s social media age, people create branded content every second of every day. However, this incredible resource is often overlooked as brands feel the need to take charge and create their own content.

It’s true, not all user-generated content necessarily fits your brand’s needs. Some posts might be negative, some could be off topic, and others might be low quality. But what brands need to realize is that user-generated content is trusted 50% more than other media. It has the power to attract new customers and it helps retain current customers in the long-term.

In order to handle this content machine and collect quality branded content, give your influencers a direction and encourage them to create and share branded content by offering valuable incentives and rewards for sharing. Take a look at the potential incentives below to see which type of reward you should use to fuel your next influence marketing campaign.


If you want more influencers to share branded content on their personal networks, you can offer them cash incentives. With a prize in mind, users will be more inclined to share. This may be good for reach because more eyeballs may end up seeing your content.

However, keep in mind, this type of incentive may not elicit a genuine response. Influencers might share your content just to get the cash prize and may not have any loyalty towards your brand. Because your incentive doesn’t have any tie to your brand, their post might fall flat.


This form of incentivizing is cost-efficient (free). Encourage people to create and share branded content simply by recognizing them for their efforts.

Host a photo or video of the day, week, or month on your social media pages or your website. Allow people to submit their content by tagging it with a certain hashtag or submitting it directly on your website. After the deadline, choose the winner/winners and feature them! Influencers will enjoy a moment in the spotlight and those who respond will likely have a passion for your brand.

It’s also important to continuously interact with top contributors by occasionally commenting and liking the content they create. This way they continue to be a lasting customer and continue to refer more customers to your business. 



Offering a discount for sharing branded content with friends is a great motivator. If you want to keep it simple, ask influencers to share brand-generated content in exchange for a discount.

For example, give customers the option share their purchase with their friends as well as offer those people referred a discount on their first purchase. With a single click, users can share a prepared piece of content. As a thank you, every time an invited friend makes a purchase, give your initial customer a certain dollar value discount.

You can also step up your content and make it co-developed by giving users a prompt and a space to include a personal message to share with their friends. This way, their friends will be more likely to trust the offer and be moved to make a purchase.


Branded Reward

Another way to incentivize passionate influencers to share is with a unique reward. Unlike a generic cash reward, users will receive a free branded product in exchange for producing an organic post to share with their online networks. This likely means they are genuinely interested in your brand, making their posts more genuine.

For example, offer influencers a chance to win a pack of Blue Diamond Almonds for posting about them on Facebook. This way, Blue Diamond Almonds will generate genuine excitement around their product and winners will continue to talk about the product after receiving a much-anticipated free sample.


Contest Reward

Your method for capturing user-generated content will influence what incentive you choose. If you’re rewarding everyone who shares, your prizes will most likely be much smaller in size, the same goes for a contest with many winner. However if you hold a large contest with a small number of winners, you will likely have one large incentive a for a few lucky winners.

Grand-prize winners could win cash, but this wouldn’t have any tie to your brand. Instead consider offering one of your more expensive products or a large amount of store credit. If the contest asks influencers to put in a good amount of effort to participate you could offer a “lifetime” of free products. Make sure the value of your prize matches the effort influencers will have to put in to receive an entry otherwise you might not receive the participation you’re looking for.

The Wrap-Up

Word-of-mouth is powerful. 84% of people believe brand recommendations from friends.

Use the incentives above in your influence marketing strategy to increase your sales and promote long-term customers.