UGV: How to Harness the Power of User-Generated Video

Let’s be honest: user-generated content (UGC) has been the best thing in marketing since Instagram hit our feeds. UGC video is not only helpful for shoppers, but it’s also super-beneficial for brands.

The stats make that pretty clear:

So yes, your brand needs UGC. But it’s not all rainbows and butterflies and beautiful content.

User-generated content has become a hot craze in the world of content marketing, so it’s not enough to simply source a few Instagram pics and call it a day.

Today, your brand needs to hunt down UGC in its most pure, effective form: video.

Did you know that 91% of shoppers want to see more videos from brands? 

Brands often avoid video content because, if we’re being 100% truthful, video takes a lot of work. It takes time, resources, and pricey equipment to pull off branded videos.

Fortunately, you don’t have to let the difficulties of video creation get you down. Users, influencers, and brand loyalists can help you create video content without lifting a finger—and quickly spreading your brand around the internet.

It all starts with user generated video, or UGV.

What counts as user-generated video content?

User-generated content is any piece of content that a user makes about your brand. Generically, that includes anything under the umbrella of “content,” including:

You get the idea.

UGV, then, is a specific offshoot of UGC that focuses just on video content made by your customers, followers, and influencers.

In today’s world, that means sourcing video content like:

  • Instagram Stories
  • TikTok posts
  • YouTube tutorials
  • Facebook Lives
  • Unboxing videos

Video is just one form of UGC, but in our experience, it’s the most potent, powerful form of UGC.

Why user-generated video matters to brands

If you’re already sourcing UGC, you might wonder why user-generated video content is important. After all, isn’t your regular, run-of-the-mill UGC good enough?

We love UGC in all of its forms, but video marketing has four specific beneficial features you might not see with other forms of user-generated content.

1. UGV is cost-effective

Have you ever tried to create a video in-house? It’s a flippin’ nightmare.

You need to buy editing software, DSLRs, lights, microphones—oh, and find time in your packed schedule to film and edit. Internal video is a time-suck that, frankly, isn’t always worth it.

User-generated video, on the other hand, is an affordable and fast way to source your visual content.

When you use a platform like Trend by soona, we source the content creators and facilitate the entire exchange for you.

Instead of spending tons of money on equipment or tons of time hunting down content creators, UGV through Trend by soona helps you tap into the potential of trusted content creators who fit within your budget.

2. UGV content is effective

Video is a must-have for promoting your business online. And the data backs us up here: 89% of consumers say video has convinced them to ultimately make a purchase.

UGV pairs the innate trust consumers have with their peers, blending their best-friend type of relationship with the efficacy of video content.

Since consumers are creating your UGV, the content touches on points that shoppers actually care about, improving your chances of scoring a conversion.

3. Consumers expect user-generated video

Remember, shoppers want more video content from brands. People aren’t reading everything you have to say because they want it in a video format.

With the rise of Instagram Stories, Facebook Live, and TikTok, it’s clear that video is the future of social media anyway—get with the times!

4. UGV is highly shareable and relevant

User-generated video content is the modern form of word of mouth marketing, arguably the most effective and affordable way to sell yourself. 

UGV is successful because of its shareability. More than half of shoppers are more likely to share videos than any other type of content. If you get it right, you have more potential of going viral with a video than you do with a blog post or static image.

If you want to amplify the reach of your UGC (and we’re sure you do), videos are a must.

4 ways to source user-generated video content

The real question here isn’t about the efficacy of user-generated video. We want to know how brands can leverage user-generated video content.

When you’re stuck in a video content rut, use these four tactics to source effective UGV quickly.

1. Start with social monitoring

If you’re already investing in user-generated content, chances are, you’ve got a few user-generated videos out there on your Instagram, YouTube, Facebook, or TikTok.

Always start with the content you have right now to see if you can source any quick UGV wins.

The best way to do this is via some kind of social media monitoring tool for your business. Most social listening platforms can help you locate user-generated videos talking about your brand.

Once you source your existing user-generated videos, put them to work! Compile all of your videos (especially your short ones) into a compilation video.

And if you don’t have videos at all? Instagram images work just fine, too.

Compile your static images or screenshots into a compilation video of your happy customers. A simple video editing tool like Promo can do the work in minutes.

2. Engage your loyal team and shoppers

Unless you’re brand spankin’-new, your business likely already has a fleet of brand loyalists willing to gush about you online.

Here are a few places you can source user-generated video from folks you already know:

  • Repeat customers: Do you have brand fanatics who buy from you all the time? Ask your VIP customers to submit video content in exchange for products, discounts, or any other perk.
  • Employees: Seriously. Brands sometimes feel weird asking employees to do this, but your social media and content marketing team is eager to show their stuff. Shoot behind the scenes videos, life at the office, your manufacturing processes, or anything else that would be interesting to share. If your employees are okay with it, they could even share the content on their personal social media, becoming an internal content creator who promotes your brand to their followers to amplify its reach.

3. Host a contest

Social media contests drive buzz and awareness—and they can incentivize UGV creation. 

A contest gives participants something in exchange for taking the time to create videos for you.

Since video content takes a little extra effort, a contest is a great incentive to gather user generated videos!

Whether you give away cash, prizes, pre-released products, or exclusive merch, make sure the contest prize is worthwhile.

If you want to reward more than just a handful of participants, you can ask people to create videos in exchange for a juicy coupon code. It’s a great way to drive UGV creation while boosting sales.

Always be specific in your contest rules. This ensures you get the type of user generated content you’ll need.

Your brief should include information like:

  • Desired hashtags
  • The content direction itself—is this a review, unboxing, how-to, or something else?
  • Length
  • Format and platform—how long should the video be and where should they share it?
  • A call to action

P.S. remember to follow all federal guidelines for hosting social media contests.

4. Use a creator marketing platform like Trend by soona

You’ll source a ton of high-quality user-generated videos with any of these other strategies.

But if you need to source videos quickly from verified content creators, go with Trend by soona.

We take the overwhelm out of the UGV equation. Instead of sifting through Instagram for creators yourself, our platform matches users with your exact needs, helping you launch a campaign in just a few hours.

Our verified content creators make beautiful, brand-friendly videos that fit your exact specifications. As an added bonus, they can share these videos out with their following, helping you source more UGV and put it in front of thousands of potential customers.

Easy, right?

Moving forward with UGV in your marketing mix

User-generated content is valuable because it describes your brand through the customer’s eyes. With every brand on Instagram leaning heavily into user-generated content, you can stand out by focusing your efforts on sourcing video.

If you’re tired of hunting down trusted influencers on Instagram yourself, go with Trend by soona. We jumpstart your influencer marketing efforts while helping you source quality user-generated videos for your business.