The noise that surrounds content marketing can sometimes be deafening. Over two million blog posts are written in a day, and there are 3.3 million posts on Facebook every minute. The amount of content out there can sometimes be overwhelming.
Yet, content is king. This is as true today as it was 15 years ago when content marketing first started making its presence felt. 70% customers today prefer learning about new products through content as opposed to traditional advertising.
So how do you find what works for your brand? It’s important to understand which form of content audiences are relating to nowadays. Equally important is the narrative that they connect to. On both these counts, user-generated video content triumphs over many other marketing trends.
Why user-generated video content works
User-generated video content combines the power of the visual medium with the personalized authenticity of user-generated content (UGC). Here’s why user-generated videos are poised to become one of the most powerful marketing tools.
Videos are becoming increasingly popular
In the last few years, there’s been a massive shift in how people consume content. And videos have emerged as the biggest winners. In 2017, internet video traffic was a whopping 69% of all consumer internet traffic. Even more amazingly, this number will go up to 80% in 2019.
Videos are becoming the go-to strategy for most content marketers. In fact, 64% marketers say that their marketing strategy will be dominated by videos in the near future. Disregarding video content nowadays, especially if you’re a consumer brand, means you might lose out on a massive opportunity.
Brands are also waking up to the fact that videos do not necessarily have to be quintessential TV ad-style anymore. Social media platforms like Vine, Instagram, Snapchat, and Facebook have changed the landscape of videos. From 5-second shorts to vlogs and tutorials, creating engaging video content is a whole new ball game.
Customers trust user-generated content
The fact of the matter is 70% customers trust their peers more than businesses. The reason is simple. Users create videos to inform, educate, and entertain their audience while brands create content to sell their product.
With user-generated content, customers are assured of zero ulterior motive. Therefore, no matter how creative and innovative brand-sponsored content is, it’s the user-generated content that will gain credibility over the other.
Moreover, user-generated content always has a rawness about it that lends it a more authentic feel. As a result, customers tend to connect more with these videos. For instance, pro-aging skincare company Boom by Cindy Joseph has videos of customers talking about their experience with the product. Having someone who looks and sounds like them share their real experiences help prospective customers identify more with the brand.
User-generated videos are easy and inexpensive to set up
There was a time when video content was restricted to brands that could afford big budgets. From hiring talent to expensive equipment and technicians, videos cost time and money to create and market it further. However, today, the scenario has shifted completely.
Technology advances have made it possible for viral video campaigns to be created with just a smartphone. With user-generated videos, things get even simpler. Audiences don’t expect user-generated videos to be very professional. In fact, videos that are less technically sound carry more credibility. This makes using and showcasing user-generated content fairly simple.
The bigger challenge is finding user-generated videos. Brands often need to find ways of reaching out to customers to encourage them to create such content. Luckily, there are some platforms that now enable brands to solicit user-generated videos, especially through contests.
There are many ways to showcase user-generated videos
There are different types of user-generated videos, and there are multiple ways of soliciting and using them.
Effective user-generated content helps you craft a story around your brand. These stories tend to be personalized and authentic, resulting in a much wider audience reach. For instance, Pampers’ famous campaign encouraged users to send footage of their babies on Facebook. Pampers then curated this footage to create a beautiful video that resonated deeply with customers.
Another way of doing this could be seeking professional video testimonials of your best customers. This is a great idea for high-ticket items, B2B products, or niches that are otherwise seen as mundane. For instance, Square is a payment processing company whose product meets a fairly mundane need. Yet, they created this beautiful video of a barber who uses their service to enhance his business. Thus, they were able to bring home the value of their product in a way that touched the audience.
User-generated product reviews are a great way to build credibility, especially for newer brands. Customers who come to your website through ads will be looking for social proof that your ad copy is genuine. Having user-generated videos reviewing your product is a great way to build this credibility. Be sure you don’t interfere in the process of video creation. The more natural and authentic they are, the more effective they will be.
To solicit these user-generated videos, you should reach out to satisfied customers explaining why you need them. If your customers are highly engaged with the product, chances are they’ll create the video just to express their appreciation. You can also try free giveaways or discounts to encourage these videos.
As you scale up, there will be more user-generated video reviews of your product out there. Regularly search on YouTube to see if you find any. Share the positive reviews on your brand’s social media channels to garner extra credibility. Engage with the negative reviews patiently and try to transform their negative experience into a positive one.
Contests are a great way to encourage users to create innovative videos. Offer an exciting reward, find the right hashtags, and get both user-generated content and the right social media buzz. Taco Bell and Starbucks are brands that use such contests to their advantage. Nowadays, you also have digital platforms that help you drive these online contests.
User-generated videos complement your overall marketing strategy by bringing the credibility of peers to your brand. A combination of brand-created content and user-generated content is said to improve conversion rates by 28%. With the whole landscape of content shifting towards video and UGC, you can’t afford to lose out.