Video Goes UGC: A Guide to User-Generated Video Content

Video Goes UGC: A Guide to User-Generated Video Content

The content in demand by customers today isn’t flashy or expensive. It’s captured by the everyday person and their smartphone, free of Photoshop and pushy sales pitches. Whether it’s a review written on Yelp or an unboxing video, consumers want authenticity — and they’re finding it in content created by people just like them.

With this in mind, brands are tapping into the power customers have in impacting their fellow consumers’ purchasing decisions with user-generated content. It’s a powerful tool for creating marketing collateral consumers trust, and some of the biggest brands are already leveraging it.

Chobani, for instance, has tapped into their fans’ creativity with the #SwitchTheChobaniFlip challenge, a social media marketing campaign driven by user-generated content. And you can use this strategy in your own marketing efforts, too.

The secret is getting customers excited to create their own content by letting them tell their story in the format they love — video. Better still, now that videos can also be interactive, it’s easier than ever for users to add whatever they want straight from the video player. We’ll dig into how you can achieve this with your own user-generated video campaign and why it drives better business results.

Ready to collaborate with your customer base? Keep reading.

The Rise Of User-Generated Content

Put yourselves in the shoes of a customer looking to plan a trip. Which of these would you care more about when choosing a hotel — an ad campaign launched by the brand itself or a Yelp review from a recent guest?

Most consumers are likely to pick the latter. In fact, research shows 76% of consumers trust content shared by an individual more than content shared by brands. Today’s customers want to know they can trust the content they choose to engage with. And that comes from consumers just like them who don’t have sales goals in mind.

Authenticity has become especially important to Gen Z. Over 60% of Gen Z believes authenticity makes a person “cool.” They’ve grown up in a digital landscape filled with brands pushing their products, and the brands that have stood out to them are those that aren’t afraid to be real.

With the demand for authentic content stronger than ever for younger generations, businesses are learning to adapt to this growing consumer trend. In fact, we consider it to be one of the top video marketing trends to watch in 2022.

How Video Is Catching On

Traditional marketing campaigns resort to Hollywood-level production to wow and delight customers. But now that consumer trends have shifted to a more authentic approach, can video keep up?

Absolutely. In fact, video and user-generated content go hand in hand.

User-generated content is all about letting the customer tell their story. And the best storytelling tool out there today is video.

Combining visuals, audio and text, videos are able to capture all the nuances of whatever story it is you’re trying to tell, from body language to soundtracks and more.

For example, this video from the University of South Dakota is personalized for the viewer — in this case, Peyton — to take them on an immersive, first-person journey of what it would look like to be a student at their university.

It’s easy to see how engaging videos can be. And because of this, they reign supreme when it comes to content on social media. Videos posted on social channels generate 1200% more shares than both text and image combined.

Combining video and user-generated content, then, is the perfect recipe for marketing collateral your customers will want to share.

How Brands Are Leveraging UGC Videos

While we know user-generated video content is effective, it doesn’t mean your customers will automatically want to take part. There needs to be an incentive for customers to want to create their own video.

Here are some strategies that can make customers more eager to be a part of your campaign.

Let Customers Create Their Own Custom Highlight Reel

An incentive your customers can’t resist is an easy way to show off their biggest achievements. Let your customers create a personalized highlight reel they’ve customized themselves, hand picking the moments they’ve always wanted to brag about.

This is especially popular among gamers, where bragging rights make up a core part of gameplay. CCP Games gave EVE Online players a chance to create their very own recap video.

By selecting their favorite stats, achievements and other custom data, they could easily create a video they could then show off to friends and followers. It’s a simple — and super fun — way to share their love of the game with others.

Enter a Contest With Their Own Video

Another way you can encourage your customers is with the chance to win something big. Create a contest where it’s possible to score one of your latest products for free or a spot in your next commercial — all they need to enter is a video they’ve created themselves.

GoPro has become a master of this with their marketing campaigns that ask customers to send in videos they’ve shot with their GoPro. Check out this recent campaign that challenged customers to shoot an exciting video from their home during the pandemic.


Not only did it give customers something to do while they were stuck at home, but they also had the chance to score their own GoPro, simply by submitting their own video.

Help Customers Celebrate

No accomplishment is complete without a little humblebragging. It’s in our nature to want to show off a new milestone we’ve met. Let your customers announce their good news in a video with user-generated video content.

The right — and wrong — ways to personalize your content

If you’re in the health industry, give customers a way to create a user-generated video celebrating their latest fitness goal. Or if you’re in the higher ed space, students can announce their acceptance in a video they can send out in an instant.

Another personal celebration that deserves its own special video? When someone’s made a donation. Donors have a huge impact on nonprofits — and it’s likely they’ve donated to a cause they’re passionate about. Let them celebrate their commitment to helping out with a video showcasing how they’re doing so.

This video campaign was created during COVID-19 to give people the ability to thank those making this stressful time easier, whether it was a family member working the front lines or a friend offering emotional support.

Thanks to our innovative Living Video functionalities, it was easy for individuals to create and share their video of appreciation. Users could input custom data — here, available on the landing page, but you can include it in the video, too — to personalize the message. Drop-down selections for music and themes make customization even easier.

Note: Curious how it works? Try it for yourself.

The Value of User-Generated Videos

We’ve explored the what and where of user-generated video content. But an explanation of UGC videos is incomplete without diving into why they work so well.

Here are just some of the ways UGC videos improve your bottom line.

They Increase Reach

You can tap into the power of viral content by crowdsourcing content from your customer base. Your audience is already on Twitter, Facebook and every other social channel.

With a user-generated video, they can easily share why they enjoy your product or service, how they’re using it or whatever else they find most interesting. It’s an effective way to get your product in front of prospective customers and increase your reach with a message they’ll trust.

Take a look at this campaign from WW (formerly Weight Watchers) as an example.

Because the video was interactive, members could click within the video to pick the stats they wanted featured — making it easy to create a video that celebrates their fitness journey. And, as we touched on before, a highlight reel like this is likely something they’ll want to share on social media.

Imagine you’re a prospective customer. You see your friend has posted a video with all of their personal achievements using this brand’s service. Wouldn’t that interest you to try it out yourself?

This word-of-mouth marketing is completely free, too. Rather than pay an influencer to praise your brand, you can let your customers increase your reach by posting their video for friends and followers to see.

They Drive Conversions

Now that you’re able to get your product in front of prospective customers, will they actually go ahead and buy from your brand? Because user-generated content is inherently peer-reviewed, customers find it more trustworthy. And that makes it super influential in a customer’s purchasing decisions.

In fact, statistics show almost 80% of people believe user-generated content highly influences what they buy. Trust is key in making customers confident in buying from your business.

Create Trustworthy Content With UGC Videos

Rather than guess what your customers will be interested in, user-generated video content lets your customers tell you themselves. With their help, you can create content that will actually be valuable, translating to a more customer-centric CX and a healthier bottom line.

What kind of videos do you think your customers will create, given the chance? Whatever industry you’re in — gaming, health and fitness and more — the options are virtually limitless. Ready to see what you and your customers can come up with? We’re here to help you get started.

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Rachel Horner

Rachel Horner is a data-driven digital marketing content writer. Using her storytelling skills, she creates and curates content that empowers brands.