Digital video advertising isn’t a new strategy. User-generated videos aren’t a new concept either. But what many companies don’t realize is just how much their brand (and revenue) can benefit from putting UGC at the center of their advertising strategy.
Last year, 86% of businesses used videos as a marketing tool, and 92% of marketers believe video is integral to their strategy. It’s no surprise that video is taking the marketing and advertising world by storm. Video holds the audience’s attention longer than written content, and generates more engagement than any other format—and UGC videos are a cut above the rest.
Today’s every-discerning buyer is tired of being sold to. They want to watch something entertaining from someone they can relate to. They want to see a real person give their authentic opinions.
If you haven’t considered UGC videos for your ad campaigns, now is the perfect time. Consumers worldwide already watch an average of 17 hours of online video content per week. Authentic user-generated content videos aren’t part of the temporary fad for the year—it’s a pivotal component for boosting brand awareness and consumer interaction. When prospects see their peers interact with and support a brand, their uncertainty levels decrease, and secondary consumer trust begins to kick in.
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Now, more than ever, social proof is a necessity. Buyers don’t want to hear that your product is amazing—from your salespeople. They want to hear it from their peers—people they can relate to and trust. That’s why it’s key to not only find the right content creators for your brand’s video content, but to also determine the best style of UGC video for your campaign.
The type of content you choose largely depends on your audience to elevate its effect or be the reason behind not-so-great numbers, so choose wisely. Some especially impactful types of UGC include:
A demo or step-by-step walkthrough gives prospects a closer look at a brand’s product or service, highlighting its features and benefits. With the right content creator, you can show off your product in a fun and engaging way, while highlighting how it actually works in action.
This simple and straightforward UGC video concept is a great option for any brand with a physical product or software service. And beyond showing how amazing your products are, it also helps educate future customers, so they know exactly what they’re buying. This is a great option for SaaS products because it enables the potential buyer to see the user interface—You might use a demo or walkthrough if you are pitching a free trial of a software service, or anywhere along the funnel to build brand awareness and increase consumer knowledge.
Social proof is essential for a convincing digital ad campaign, and customer reviews and testimonials are the key to building that connection while providing proof. Buyers search for reviews when they’re on the verge of making a purchase decision, so this is a great bottom-of-funnel strategy.
So should you go review or testimonial? What’s the difference between the two?
A review is an evaluation of a product, service, or experience to help others decide on the brand in question. Because reviews go over the product, service, or experience thoroughly, they tend to be longer than testimonials but still provide answers to questions prospects may have. They usually sound more objective and analytical in tone, and are great assets to your ad campaign if you have a more technical product.
A testimonial is a statement or endorsement—usually from satisfied customers—that focuses on the positive aspects of a brand to build a brand’s credibility and establish potential customers’ trust. Testimonials add a more personal touch and can help build excitement around your brand.
Whichever your brand uses, the most important thing is that the reviews and testimonials are believable and relatable for your target audience.
@bambassad0rs Are you being intentional with your user generated content? 🎬 #ugc #creatormarketing #usergeneratedcontent #tiktokads ♬ original sound – Bambassadors
People connect with and believe people. Real people in UGC ads are more relatable to potential customers than professional models or actors. Working with a content creator means finding real people that can relate to and connect with your audience, and asking them to work with you to create video content.
The sky’s the limit to what you can create with a strong content creator partner. Often, the brand will give the content creator instructions or a creative brief that may include authentically trying out the brand’s service or product, and then creating content that relates to the brand. To make sure that the content doesn’t feel overly staged, there’s no script. The goal is to let the creator take the brand’s instructions, and then run with them, using their own expertise and creativity to make compelling video content.
Of course, brands still retain control over the messaging and style of the final video, so nothing that doesn’t align with the intentions of the brand has to be used. This UGC concept is particularly effective for brands that want to create a sense of community.
This pricier format involves a more planned-out production. It may involve having scripts for content creators and having a director present to make sure that each element of the video is in alignment with the brand—including the set, script, vibe, and so on.
So… is this actually UGC?
It’s debatable, but essentially these UGC-style productions are just that—made to look like UGC, while actually being brand-created content. These videos tend to be pricier and a heavier lift, but for brands with very stringent standards, this can be a great option. It gives the brand complete creative control, while still giving that user-generated and authentic vibe that connects with consumers.
Regardless of the type of UGC video you decide to use in your advertising campaign, the right content creator, creative concept, and compelling message are key.
At the end of the day, if you want to get your buyers’ attention and trust—stop using tired sales copy, and start using user-created video content. After all, if a picture is worth a thousand words, then a video is worth at least a million.
Need help finding the right content creator for your brand? We got you.