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  • James Clarke

Can User Generated Content Work For Me?

So you've decided that video is the way you want to market your brand through the next quarter, but filming something original just isn't on the cards at the moment. COVID-19 has stopped you, it's not logistically possible or it's out of budget, there's an endless set of ways that you may not be able to get a filming date locked in right now.

That means you need to be more creative with ways you can gather original, on brand content to turn into an effective campaign. This is where User Generated Content (UGC for short) can be a really effective way for you to start experimenting with video marketing.

UGC is effectively content created by your customers that you recycle into effective marketing material. I'm going to try and answer some common questions about user generated content and explain why it may be a great option for you and your business.

What is User Generated Content?

User Generated Content (UGC for short) is content - be it a video, photo or audio - made by users online: you and me! It's also a really effective way for you to start experimenting with video marketing.

UGC can be content created by your customers that you recycle into effective marketing material.

The internet, and the coronavirus outbreak, has brought an innovative way that consumers can produce new and inviting content.

Who should use User Generated Content?

The beauty of UGC is that any business can use it effectively.

From gyms to car retailers to restaurants, anyone selling anything can make it work for them.

In today's world, every customer has the ability to take pictures and videos of everything they purchase, which means there is an endless supply of content being produced. Global brands such as GoPro, Apple and Redbull have used content produced by customers for a long time, and now even the company behind card game UNO have been advertising with UGC! Even the latest Blink 182 video is full of UGC...

How can it be used effectively?

UGC can come in a wide range of different forms.

These can include testimonials from customers and product demonstrations in real world use.

Both of these examples are great forms of instilling confidence and excitement in your customers.

What are the pros to using UGC?

There's a number of ways user generated content can benefit you and also prove an effective way to market both in terms of quality and results.

It's cost effective

Having a professional film team come to your premises and film can be very expensive. When you factor in bringing in actors, props, locations and additional equipment it can all add up very quickly.

With UGC, your customers have already purchased the product or service and any content is often a bonus on top of that sale.

Many loyal customers will be happy for you to film some extra content for you too. What's more, is you're actually receiving free knowledge about your customers that you can use in future marketing strategies.

It's relatable

Having a really well shot product video is amazing and something everyone should look to do.

But having content shot by your customers can be a really great way to provide content that's personable to them - because it's footage they can produce themselves.

It can also work well for people recognising their own content. For example, if you have a compilation video of customers using your product, they're more likely to watch the video to see if they have appeared in the video.

It's unique

Everyone is different and everyone will film something differently. Therefore, a video using 30 people's videos will have loads of unique ways of showing off your products!


It's very easy for brands to falsely sell an item or over emphasise it's capabilities, but content that is directly provided from a customer, giving real views on it can be a very powerful tool for potential buyers to use to make a decision on their next purchase

Increases reach

In the age of the influencer, it's so easy to get your brand recognised if the right people are using it.

If someone with 100,000 followers creates content for your product and shares it, you could quickly be reaching thousands of new people.

But what about the cons?

As with any form of marketing, there's always negatives to weigh up against the positives and UGC is no different.

Patchy quality

One of the reasons companies use professionals for their marketing is to guarantee quality. Sometimes the quality on UGC can be iffy at best.

Both in terms of the content and the resolution. For example, most phones have a HD, if not a 4K, screen. And if some content is significantly lower quality than these it can really show up.

It can be time consuming

Trying to gather content from 20+ different sources can take a while.

Sometimes people forget to send the content or it's sent to the wrong place and it can take a little while to gather these things together.

Legal issues

This is rare, but you should always check with the content producer to make sure you can use their content for yourself.

In some cases, you may get slapped with a legal charge if you unlawfully use someones content without permission.

Final Thoughts

User generated content can really be a great way to bring new creative life into your marketing campaigns. It's a prime opportunity to experiment with video marketing for the first time.

It's clear the benefits outweigh the possible negatives and is something many more businesses should look to use.

I'd suggest you take a look the video below which is a short ad I produced for my good friends at Pooch Bandana, which used 100% user generated content to advertise their new line of dogs snoods!

If you're looking to produce content like this, get in touch today and I can see what I can do for you! Get in touch today!


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