User Generated Content: A Beginner’s Guide on How to Get Started

User Generated Content (UCG) is video content that is created by others and which helps to promote your product, service or message.

Whilst it’s not professional content that doesn’t make it inferior. It’s just different. There’s an authenticity and naturalness to it that audiences love, especially if the content is created by someone within your community.

In 2016, Pélissier published a successful series of UGC videos called ‘Pack Your Boots!’ These documented the refereeing experiences of Alex Marsh, a young rugby match official who travelled to New Zealand, Australia and Alaska. His enthusiasm, humour and energy were a great hit with the grass-roots rugby community, particularly on Facebook.

Alex in Alaska

UGC is powered by the ease with which anyone can record a video if they have a smart phone as well as the digital skills of millennials who are always photographing or filming stuff. It means that you’re not dependent on a specialist production company for all your video needs.

Why you should consider publishing User Generated Content

The benefits of publishing UGC are significant:

  1. It’s affordable – you are using content that others have shot on your your behalf. It therefore saves you time and money. All you need do in return is to give your UGC partners a credit.
  2. It generates traffic – whether the video is published via social or on your website, it will increase website traffic as well as audience engagement. Content that users ‘like’ they will ‘share’, and once that happens your audience will start to grow.
  3. It creates trust – this is linked to the sense of community that viewers have when content is created by ‘one of us’. Viewers enjoy watching videos that feature those they can relate to. There’s also the added bonus that there’s no perceived marketing spin.

If you know your audience and you have the foundations of a community these are strong reasons for considering UGC.

Research confirms the potency of user generated content

UGC has been around for some time, although the term only started to appear regularly in 2016. Research tell us that:

  • People are motivated by the idea of their peers ‘liking’ what they create as it demonstrates their awareness and closeness to the brand (Source: Business Wire)
  • 85% of consumers (US) say they find UGC more influential than brand-created content (Source: Business Wire)
  • UGC, when published in conjunction with professional content, can add as much at 18.7% to sales effectiveness. (Source: Comscore)
  • UGC can have ‘higher emotional intensity, key message communication and ease of relating too’ than professional content (Source: Comscore)
  • Up to 80% of online video content is UGC (Source: eMarsys)

If video posts, whether they are shown on Facebook, Twitter or Instagram, receive 38% more engagement than image posts then the next step is to find out how to turn this to your advantage.

How to Publish User Generated Content

There are two options here and they are influenced by the type of business you are in.

Option 1: Hybrid

This is the approach we use at Pélissier. It’s combines our post-production (editing) skills with the UGC content gathering skills of someone else i.e. Alex Marsh in Pack Your Boots!.

Here’s how it works:

  1. Agree theme, approach or objective
  2. Ask the community to go out and film
  3. Get them to upload their the UGC content to a G-Drive folder
  4. Edit the content
  5. Distribute the UGC across social.

We use this approach regularly for England Rugby. We had great results when young female rugby coaches at Hartlepool Rovers RFC made films about what they loved about coaching and why they felt others should try it. Because they were the ones telling the story, it was popular across social and automatically engaged their peer group.

Hartlepool Rovers RFC promotes Rugby Coaching for girls

This hybrid approach allows England Rugby to save on production costs and invest in our production expertise to shape and edit the video instead.

The end result is more video content to publish, content presented by members of the rugby family and content which members of the community can relate to.

Option 2: Third-Party

If your business is about fashion, food or lifestyle there’s no shortage of people publishing videos about their enthusiasm for the brand or product. They pop-up all the time on Instagram and YouTube.

You can contact them directly, although be mindful that you could be going down the influencer marketing route if they have a significant following and that can be costly.

You can also find them by launching a UCG competition. This is simple:

  1. Pick a theme or topic
  2. Create a unique hashtag
  3. Offer a prize
  4. Give a deadline
  5. Promote the competition
  6. Announce a winner & and the runners up
  7. Measure the impact

A-List brands such as Netflix and Macdonalds do this, so why not you? As we enter the autumn and the days shorten, a few UGC competitions may lift the sprits and drive-up engagement.

UGC is Content Marketing

If you invest in content marketing then User Generated Content is a tactic worth considering. It provides a pleasant contrast to what you currently produce, it is affordable and it has proven benefits.

Experiment with one or two videos and once you are comfortable with it, devise a series of UGC videos. In our experience, the best results come when you have an on-going theme or topic.

If you want more detailed advice on how to start book a Content Strategy Call. We can then discuss your needs and objectives and how best to proceed.

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