Introducing The King Of User Generated Content: User-Generated Video (UGV)

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

The stats make that pretty clear:

So yes, your brand needs UGC. ... But there’s a problem.

User-generated content has become a hot craze in the world of influencer content marketing, so it’s not enough for you to 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 54% of your customers want to see more video content from you?

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:

  • Social posts.
  • Videos.
  • Memes.
  • Blogs.
  • Podcasts.

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.
  • YouTube tutorials.
  • Facebook Live.
  • 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 has 4 beneficial features you might not see with other forms of user-generated content.

1 - UGV is cheap

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 a cheap and fast way to source your content.

When you go through a platform like Trend, we source the content creators and facilitate the entire exchange.

Instead of spending tons of money on equipment or tons of time hunting down content creators, UGV through Trend 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 science backs us up here:

UGV pairs the innate trust consumers have with their influencers, 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

It’s a hard pill to swallow, but your users don’t care as much about written content. Videos accounted for 84% of all web traffic in 2019: that means your users want user-generated video content.

Remember, more than half of all shoppers expect more video content from your brand. 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 hip with the times!

4 - UGV is highly shareable and relevant

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

UGV is successful because of how shareable it is. If you get it right, you have more potential of going viral with a video than you do with a blog or static image.

Consider this: social media videos get 12X more shares than any other type of content. Plus, 92% of social media users share videos they love with people in their network.

If you want to amplify the reach of your UGC (and we’re sure you do), then 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 4 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. Any social listening application can help you locate user-generated videos talking about your brand.

Once you do 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 brand 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:

  • 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.
  • 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.

3 - Host a contest

34% of new customers come from social media contests.

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. That’s a great way to drive UGV creation while boosting sales.

Always be specific in your contest brief. 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

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.

We take overwhelm out of the UGV equation. Instead of sifting through Instagram for influencers, our platform matches influencers 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?


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.

Since all of your shoppers have a smartphone in their pocket, it’s easy for brands to source user generated video with these 4 clever strategies.

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

Want to see Trend in action? Sign up now for free.