Happy customers – this is what every firm in every company dreams to have. Learning from the complaints registered by customers creates a solid backbone of reliability. But, what if you don’t have a brand presence among your relevant audience? How can you make them believe that your product is better than your competitors? This is where many companies are using User Generated Video Content (UGC).
User generated content describes your brand from your customer’s point of view to other potential customers. You can invest thousands of dollars in your new brand campaign, but until and unless your customers acknowledge your brand as a valuable asset – your campaign is just another botch in the wall of over expensive media buying.
In the world of User Generated Content, videos play an essential part. There are of course many other types of UGC’s like content (written reviews, blogs) and pictures (product appreciation, reporting). Visual content like videos, on the other hand, can play a vital role in your content generation.
“When a waiter from a restaurant behaves in a rude way with you; what will be your first reaction? – take a video of the person and register a complaint to the manager with video as a proof. This is why video holds the most weightage”
Today, almost everyone has a smartphone with a camera in their pockets; ready to take a snap or a video and upload it to social media in a matter of minutes. According to statistics, user-generated videos are watched more than the videos uploaded by brands on YouTube. Ex: There are more than a billion collectible views of videos showing the popular Mentos+Coke experiment compared to the views of their celebrity-studded advertisements.
Web sites like Wikipedia, Deviantart, YouTube, Behance, Pinterest and much more thrive on user generated content. Games like world of Minecraft, The Sims etc. give a huge amount of freedom to the gamers, who eventually build the essential parts of its ecosystem. Nintendo launched a new Mario game where the user has the power to change the environment and build gamers own difficulty level.
Why should a brand use the User Generated Video Content?
User generated content is cost effective and can help you save a substantial portion of campaign budget. All you gotta do is create a well thought out campaign where you ask your customers to submit their video on popular social media platforms!
Video’ generated by users gets an insane number of viewership and shares. This can be your gateway to engage your audiences by showing their support, rather than opting the traditional forced marketing.
- Start your campaign with a hashtag supporting your core values
- Ask your fans to upload the videos with a deadline
- Set a date to disclose all the videos submitted by the fan
- Showcase their video on your social media platforms and make them feel valuable
- Nurture your customers even after the campaign
Word of mouth is very influential and is responsible for 20 to 50 percent of all purchases we make in our daily lives. If you have submissions from different customers talking positively about your brand then it would eventually result in an increase of your sales and brand image. Also, do make a note that the word of mouth you get should be genuine and authentic. Buying your way out could cause serious damage to your reputation on social media platforms.
When people watch other customers using your product on your website, it gives them extra motivation to use/buy the product. Their doubts about the product which made them skeptical before even considering it, get cleared by someone just like them!
Here are a few examples of successful UGC campaigns:
Dove: A popular personal care brand owned by Unilever.
Campaign: Dove Campaign for Real Beauty
This revolutionary campaign started in 2004 on a global scale. Their mission was “To make women feel comfortable in the skin they are in, to create the world where beauty is a source of confidence and not anxiety.”
They ran a fill in the blank contest with photos, where they asked their fans to tell why their friend represents “The real Beauty”. The winners were selected as the next face of the brand. This campaign continued its progress through different campaigns like Evolution, Dove Real Beauty Sketches and Free Being Me.
Starbucks: This is the largest coffeehouse in the world with more than 23 thousand locations worldwide.
Campaign: Starbucks’ White Cup Contest
In 2014, Starbucks launched their new campaign where they asked their customers across the country to doodle on their cups and submit their entries. The company registered more than 4000 entries within a three-week span where the winner gets new limited edition Starbucks cup.
GoPro: GoPro altered the thought of letting clients recount the story. When you visit their website, User Generated Content is put over the front of the page demonstrating their items being utilized by genuine individuals in the real world.
Campaign: World’s most versatile
They started hiring professional stuntman and people with extreme athletic skills to show off their capabilities while using its high-performance cameras. Currently, there are more than 7000 videos uploaded on YouTube with GoPro in their title. This 12-year-old company started its YouTube channel 5 years ago, and now it’s considered as one of the most innovative, vivid, and viewed channels on YouTube.
Pampers: Even though pampers is promoted through various ways of advertising, video campaign is the one which connects it the most with its buyers.
Campaign: Love, Sleep, and Play
After taking up authorizations for recordings transferred by parents demonstrating infants nodding off, playing and having a ton of fun together, they bundled it together to make a branded piece of content that got overwhelmingly positive feedback from their audience.
Coca-Cola: The world famous carbonated cola drink is famous for using UGC videos in its marketing campaigns and is now regarded as third most valuable brand according to Interbrand.
Campaign: Happiness is Movement
This campaign used a number of users generated videos to create a moral image for the brand. This campaign evolved into another advertisement directed by Johnny Kelly capturing the happiness in the life of a child all the way, and his metamorphosis till he has a child of his own.
On many occasions, social media influencers tend to push start a UGC campaign, and some even become more famous because of their association with a brand.
James wrights is a popular YouTube vlogger who sings and dances flamboyantly while giving reviews about his favorite food. His new video “My Review On Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie review” got a huge amount of virality with more than 3 million views in mere 12 days. Patti LaBelle sweet potato pie is sold only at Wal-Mart and was out of stock just after this video kicked off on social media.
The demand is so high that people are selling this pie for $50 on Ebay and Amazon. All this just because of a happy customer who in turn did a vlog on his YouTube channel. This is the power of User Generated Content Video.
A word of caution:
Going overboard and leaving everything on your users can cause serious damage to your campaign. If you are using photos or YouTube videos of your audience, then be aware of the privacy protection rights. So, here are some common mistakes that marketers often do while using user-generated campaign. We call it 4 P’s of User Generated Marketing that you should keep in your mind.
This is not like permission marketing where you have the privilege to personify your audience and blast them e-mails according to their interests. Make sure to create campaign guidelines which cover all aspects of privacy and always ask before using any user generated content.
The worst mistake a social media marketer do is asking/replying from his own personal social account. Also, as you are representing your brand, make professional communication with your user.
There are chances that the brand’s audience may post a negative review or submission about their dissatisfaction with your service or product. Respond to each and every complaint and learn from the mistakes.
The sole reason your users are participating in your campaign is to get something in return. Whether it’s a teddy, coupon, free pass, freebies, or anything; it should relate your contest and your brand. Make sure that your price is clearly displayed on your campaign posters. It takes 7 seconds to the customer to decide whether to participate in your campaign or not. If your brand is asking your audience to be creative and more involved, then you need to up the ante.
This is holiday season and every brand will work equally hard to attract enthusiastic millennials ready to try their luck. So, if your business is ready to try user generated content, then do keep the pro’s and con’s in mind to ensure that your campaign is a success.
Being an artist, movie buff and a media enthusiast, content writing is my career train. I am a proud alumni of Symbiosis Institute of Media Communication (Pune) and currently working for Vidooly.