The video challenge:
Videos for marketing have always been a challenge for businesses (even corporates), this is mostly due to the complexity of the many phases required to produce a video and their costs associated with:
- Preparation: Creating storyboards, scripting scenes, researching locations, …
- Shooting: On-location crew costs, finding talent, sourcing venues...
- Editing: Hours spent looking at tons of footage, cutting, formatting, adding captions and overlays.
User-generated videos cut production costs by 100x
Marketing departments are sometimes trying to run video campaigns with their community, customers or even colleagues in order to get user-generated videos to create episodic or snackable content to feed their social media channels.
Unfortunately, most of them fail at creating recurrent and consistent video content that engages with their audience over time. Their main reasons for failing are:
- Quality of entries: They receive only a handful of videos that are random, low quality
- Content management: They struggle to find the right tool to receive, centralise and manage the clips (Dropbox, email forms, Whatsapp, Google Drive…)
- Format: The videos submitted are inconsistent (different ratio, file format, image resolution and quality)
However, good user-generated videos bring huge advantages:
The most obvious are:
- Improve your website traffic
- Optimise your ranking in Google search (videos are ranked higher by search engines).
- Look more authentic and hence more trusted by the viewers
- Allows your prospects to bond with your brand
- Creation of a “Tribe” where a group of people (customers or not) follow your social media channel for the quality of your posts (whether they are directly related to your brand or not).
This is extremely powerful but requires recurring posts of consistent and engaging videos.
So how to get user-generated video, one solution is to create a contest that resonates with your audience:
The easiest way to get user generated videos is without any doubt setting up an online competition. This will give you tonnes of videos from different places, different people and different perspectives.
There is no limit in terms of what, where and from who you want those videos from so long as you know how to reach the targeted community.
However, asking someone you don’t know to take out their phone, shoot a video and then upload it for you to enjoy is not that easy and there are some strict rules to follow to maximise the number of contributions your campaign will received:
- Brief: Needs to be simple. A basic idea like: ”Show us your coffee milk art design on coffee” would be good for baristas at home. Also, think ahead about the resulting video, it needs to show something fun or interesting to make sure your viewers will engage, share and comment.
- Name and email: Capture the name of the contributors in order to give them a shout-out in the final video. You also need to collect their email in order to contact the winner
- Questions: You can ask side questions while they upload their videos in order to learn more about your community and what they like.
- Tools: Make sure you provide the easiest way for your contributors to upload their videos as, even if you incentivize them, they will drop off as soon as they will encounter an issue during their upload process. You could scrape instagram hashtags or use a specialised tool for video contests like vloggi.com.
- REWARD, REWARD, REWARD: This is by far the most important item to look at if you are running a competition in a low-cost environment. Make sure your prize is attractive, fits your audience and is clearly visible on your competition post.
- Audience: Depending on the type of contest you want to run, you will probably reach different type people and the number of videos submitted will vary depending on the target. The communities you should target in priority are the “enthusiastics” who are those people who love to share about your products or the competition topic and here is why:
- They will be more than happy to show off their latest purchase (motorbike exhaust, surfboard, brand new facial toner…)
- As a superfan, there is probably a big chance that they already have the video you need on their phone ready to be uploaded.
- Competition type: Skill-based, basically you choose the best video clips through internal votes. Or you can use a third party software to draw a winner for you.
Now that you have all those amazing user-generated videos it’s time to give back to your audience. Pick the best footage and use your favorite video editing platform to create NOT JUST ONE but MANY videos.
Remember, you need to engage with the audience, they want to see what’s happening during this competition, they would probably like to see a weekly teaser with your pick of the best 2-3 videos received (if the competition runs for several weeks). Then obviously make sure you produce the final video that announces the winner and thanks all contributors.
IMPORTANT: ensure all videos posted are consistent (same intro and outro, same font and style guide use throughout the videos). This is crucial as people like consistency and it makes it easier for them to remember your channel and brand, canva.com is a great tool if you want to create customised opening and closing or you could use vloggi.com to create a template for videos that can be reusable throughout the whole competition.
User-generated video will keep invading the web as long as our smartphone cameras keep on providing better and better quality footage. If you haven’t thought about user-generated video and you are in a marketing department, it is worth having a look and see what other people are doing.
Moreover, video creation is being preferred and openly pushed by Google and Facebook which means that a lot of writing and photo content now needs to be replaced with videos.