An At-Home Guide to Content Creation Part VI: Embrace the Power of UGC

By Gabe Gerzon

Power to the People

With “RECORD” buttons gathering dust on most professional video cameras these days, there’s never been a better time to add user-generated content (UGC) to your brand’s marketing mix. User-generated videos are sensitive and appropriate to this challenging moment, and offer tremendous potential for engagement and shareability when executed well – you’ll just want to keep a few tips in mind along the way!

Think Beyond “Users” 

UGC is 20% more influential and 35% more memorable than traditional branded advertising. But seeing this content as merely “user” generated is flawed; for you, UGC might mean any content that’s DIY and crowd-sourced from your audiences. This includes your distributed workforce, your solutions partners and your consumers/clients. Internalizing that reframing opens up a wealth of possibilities, from internal communications to deeply felt external marketing messages. 

If you’re in the healthcare industry, you could solicit sound bites from medical professionals to create a timely video like Google’s “Thank You Healthcare Workers.”

Set Your Initiative Up for Success

For any successful UGC initiative, you’ll need at least three things: 

  • An Incentivized Ask — Whether it’s a simple, personalized “please” to your colleagues or a social media contest to inspire customer submissions, you’ve got to give folks a compelling reason to take time out of their busy schedules.  
  • Crystal-clear Direction — What do you want? Could a five year old understand what you’re asking? Be ridiculously clear about your desired messaging or shots. Since a metric of success is obtaining consistent, quality footage, consider sending our guide on how to shoot smartphone video. Don’t be shy about adapting it to fit your own needs to make sure you get the right content.
  • A Frictionless Process — Don’t make it hard for your valued contributors to submit their UGC. Create a basic landing page with a link where they can upload their assets to your business’s preferred cloud storage solution.

Matter leaned on these success keys when we created this #insidetogether UGC video for client Xandr, which explores how its employees around the globe are staying connected and productive right now.

Humanize Your Brand on a Budget

UGC videos can be disproportionately effective considering the relatively small budget. In Dick’s Sporting Goods “Long Live Sport,” the main cost was likely just minor compensation for contributors. And the rough, amateur footage actually helps Dick’s connect with their audience to build credibility. What could this look like for your business? Maybe it’s asking your clients to speak about how you’re serving them well during this difficult time and using those clips to create a testimonial compilation that drives new business.

Oh, and it should go without saying, but never use customer content without first asking for permission. It’s just wrong and will undermine the purpose of your entire UGC initiative: building credibility.

Amateur Footage Does Not Equal Amateur Results

Just because the footage might be rough doesn’t mean the final product has to be. From editing techniques like L-cuts to color correction, there are countless ways to combine your clips into a branded piece that feels cohesive and creative. So, if you’re not sure where to start with your massive mound of UGC, or need insight into how to get your UGC campaign off the ground, fill out the form below to schedule a free strategy call with our team. We would relish the opportunity to help create awesome content with you.