INFLUENCER MARKETING

UGC Videos: The Ultimate Guide to User-Generated Video Content

David Morneau

By David Morneau
13 min READ | Dec 11 2022

Table of contents

UGC videos are like chocolate: they’re sweet, delicious, and addictive.

As a result, UGC videos (aka UGV) help you engage your audience, build relationships, and increase sales.

They can also be used to capture valuable customer feedback that you wouldn’t otherwise receive.

The value of UGV lies in its ability to spread like wildfire. Or like hot, melting chocolate.

The key is learning to create an effective campaign based on UGC videos.

That’s what this article is for. We’ll take you through stats, actionable steps, and plenty of examples that work. We’ll also point you to other useful articles to help you start a UGC video campaign, so keep scrolling below.

What Is UGC and Why Do UGC Videos Matter?

UGC is user-generated content or any content from users.

The definition includes customer reviews, photos, videos, etc. UGC is an effective form of content because it provides authentic testimonials of your product/service, thus building trust, social proof, and desire.

UGC videos have become incredibly popular on social media platforms like YouTube, TikTok, and Instagram.

An effective UGC marketing campaign can showcase your products authentically through highly shareable videos that can make your brand go viral.

UGC videos boast five primary benefits you can leverage:

1) Authenticity: Your potential customers trust other customers more than advertisers for their purchasing decisions. In fact, visual UGC is 85% more trustworthy than branded content.

2) Reach: UGC videos can go viral quickly and help you reach a wider audience than you otherwise could. YouTube UGV gets 10x more views than branded content on the platform.

3) Engagement: UGC videos are more likely to be shared, commented on, and liked compared to other forms of content. In fact, Millennials spend 5.4 hours each day interacting with UGC. Besides, content shared by employees is 8x more engaging than branded content.

4) Cost-effectiveness: Creating UGC videos is an affordable way to boost your marketing efforts and reach a wider audience. While a basic video can cost $1,000, UGC videos produced by an average person cost 20 times less to curate and ship.

5) Improved ROI: Investing in UGC campaigns leads to higher customer engagement and increased sales compared to traditional advertising. The conversion rate can increase to 100.6% for customers who interact with your UGC videos on your social channels or websites.

UGC Videos – Use Cases

Use cases represent the most successful and popular applications of UGC videos.

There are different ways to categorize them, so we’ll choose one of the essential variables:

The incentives you give to your audience.

Side note: Yes, your audience expects those incentives to post.

1. The Influencer-Generated Content Snowball

This type of campaign allows you to create more momentum in the beginning and gives you more control over the process.

The premise is simple:

Partner with influencers relevant to each audience segment to start your UGC campaign.

Regular people will then be more tempted to post their UGC videos because they’ll:

  • Feel the need to be included in a community started by their favorite creators
  • Understand your campaign better because those influencers can explain it in more detail than paid ads can
  • Perceive it as desirable because everyone around them seems to be doing it

Of course, you will need an authentic influencer marketing campaign, led by trustworthy figures and (ideally) a powerful UGC marketplace.

Best for:

  • Gaining quick traction and recognition
  • Increased engagement

We leveraged this content marketing strategy numerous times in our mobile app marketing strategies as well as other advertising campaigns.

Inbox decluttering app Unroll.me focused solely on UGC from nano and micro - influencers that we converted into TikTok ads.

The campaign led to 100,000 app downloads and 75% lower CPAs.

Unroll.me video ad campaign
Source

2. The Contest

Organizing a contest or giveaway with a palpable reward at the end gives potential buyers a significant incentive to send you their videos.

That’s how you can get past the shoppers’ initial wariness and their effort. Because let’s face it, few people are brave enough to send their first version.

The idea behind a contest is to offer people a worthy enough reward.

This can be:

  • Money
  • Discounts
  • A trip
  • Gift cards
  • A year’s worth of your products’ supply
  • And more

Of course, people will also participate in the context if you underline:

  • The feeling of community
  • The recognition and appreciation they get from this community
  • Their chance to analyze what others are doing

Best for: High volume of UGC videos

Gymshark’s 66 Days to Change Your Life Campaign is an excellent example because:

  • It had a clear, poignant CTA: “From the 1st of January until the 7th of March, we want you to change your life.”
  • It offered clear guidelines.
  • The hashtag was easy to remember: #Gymshark66
  • The incentive was worth it: 66 days of Gymshark supplies
Gymshark video
Source

3. The Chance to Matter

Studies show that many people share UGC to make a difference. They want to help others or support a cause they truly believe in.

Here’s what you have to do:

  • Associate your brand with an important value for your audience.
  • Ask for user-generated content to promote the cause.
  • Showcase the benefits:
  • Your audience can change at least a tiny part of the world.
  • Your company will do specific action to help the cause.

This customer-inclusive strategy:

  • Helps you create long-term, loyal supporters
  • Leads to more buying decisions
  • Gets you quality leads that will recommend your brand to others

Best for: Long-term ambassadors

Visit Mesa in Arizona developed a UGC campaign asking hikers to post videos of them hiking in Mesa. Therefore, tourists could see first-hand clips from locals exploring the area.

Therefore, the campaign created both social proof and desire. Everything was much more affordable than the professional videographers filming this annual campaign. And the authenticity levels speak for themselves, especially when you involve children, like in the video below:

Kendra Campbell instagram post
Source

4. The Community

Another interesting use case for UGC videos is creating a community around your brand.

Unlike campaigns that start with influencer-generated content, this one is based on visual content made by regular users from the start.

The obvious drawback is the slower start.

But the immense advantage is that this type of campaign keeps rolling out endlessly, getting you more organic UGC and more traction.

Best for: Loyal shoppers

The Chipotle Lid Flip Challenge is an excellent example here, with amazing results:

  • 110,000 videos and 104 million video views in just the first six days
  • Extended media coverage in prominent news channels and websites
  • Increased delivery among Gen Z
Chipotle Lid flip UGC video campaign on Tiktok
Source

10 Best Practices for UGC Videos

Now that you know the best use cases for UGC videos, let’s see what the best practices are to build that effective campaign:

1. Use A UGC Video Platform

A UGC video platform will help you source the most effective user-generated videos for your campaign. inBeat’s UGC Creator Studio can connect you with the top 1% of influencers to create compelling UGC clips, such as product reviews, unboxing videos, and recommendations.

That authentic content will convince more people to try your products and create their own content about your brand.

Pro tip: Not all user-created content is amazing. Instagrammable content requires multiple edits, and prospective customers usually lack proficient editing software. By comparison, a user-generated content platform can help you do that.

2. Align Your Incentive with the UGC Video You Want

For example, if you’re looking for customer reviews, offer a discount or free product as an incentive. If you’re looking for social proof, give away branded products or experiences. Ensure your incentive is attractive enough that people are willing to create and send those videos. To streamline the process and gather feedback efficiently, consider implementing video review software for a seamless experience.

3. Make It Easy for People to Participate

Your UGC videos can also be made up of reviews and a mix of photos. You can ask people to send this authentic user-generated content that you can re-edit into a clip.

Besides, you need to offer your audience:

  • Clear rules and guidelines
  • A clear address where they can send you their content
  • A short, memorable hashtag they can use

4. Promote UGC Videos on Social Media

Leverage your social media channels to:

  • Tease and promote hashtag contests
  • Re-explain the guidelines
  • Remind people about the campaign and the incentive
  • Create desire by showing other social content created by their peers

You’ll have to do this for all other UGC, paid ads, or influencer marketing campaigns. Ensure your requirements, incentives, and framework respect the current legislation.

For example, you may need to ask explicit permission for each piece of content. You also have to clarify that you have full rights to edit and repurpose this video content for future digital campaigns or email campaigns.

And remember to check that you’re getting this content from real people.

6. Use Hashtags

A clear, memorable, and short hashtag will help people find your campaign and post their content in the right place. That means you’ll also benefit because you can collect that UGC easier and keep track of all posts under that hashtag.

Even better, using hashtags means leveraging social platforms’ algorithms. These algorithms make your content discoverable and help you rank higher.

Hashtags also improve your SEO because of easier indexing, which leads to a more relevant ranking, getting you more organic visitors, therefore increasing your ranking, and so forth.

7. Leverage Gamification or Rewards to Encourage Participation

Even your most loyal customers will hesitate to send you their videos unless you offer a big enough incentive. Whether that’s recognition or cashback – it depends on your current audience and marketing goals.

But remember that videos are hard to make and are more personal than other types of content. Even photos are more impersonal because they lack sound and movement.

That’s why you need that strong reward and gamification to keep people interested.

8. Credit Users for Their Contribution

Crediting users may be the legal thing to do in your area, but it’s also nice and effective from a marketing perspective. Mentioning the original creator by name:

  • Strengthens your bond
  • Gives them an extra incentive to share your campaign with their loved ones
  • Creates desire because your other customers would want you to mention them

Ultimately, that’s how you get more UGC.

9. Analyze and Optimize Your UGC Videos Strategies

Keep track of your results with an open mind. Your campaign might not get the traction you want, but that doesn’t mean UGC videos are not the right strategy.

It may mean that you implemented it incorrectly.

So:

10. Use UGC Videos in Your Other Campaigns

Studies show that marketing e-mails with visual content like user-generated videos have:

  • Click-through rates: 300% higher
  • Open rates: 8-13% higher
  • Unsubscribe rates: Up to 75% lower
  • Chances to get shared: 40 times more

So, include your UGC videos in paid ads, marketing e-mails, social media posts, and any other campaign you build in the future.

Pro tip: Use our free ad mockup generators to test different UGC ads before rolling them out.

Examples of UGC Videos That Work

We’ve already discussed some UGC videos that work. Now, let’s see a few more compelling examples:

1. #RayBanElevatorDance

This campaign had people doing quirky dances in the elevator while wearing different outfits and the famous Ray-Ban glasses.

Ray Ban elevator dance challenge
Source

You’re probably thinking that asking people to post weird videos of themselves may not be met with instant approval.

And you’d be right.

However:

  • Ray-Ban is famous for its out-of-the-box marketing strategies and knows its audience well.
  • The brand popularized the challenge through influencers like @officiallizsanchez, @giuiapennaofficial, @yvnghomie, and @roxanne.off.
  • Acting childish is a strong human instinct – we all need to let loose once in a while.

Results:

  • 3 billion video views
  • 2 million videos on TikTok
  • 2 million UGC pieces

Will it work for you?

  • Yes: If you’re using a catchy tune and content creators to create social proof
  • No: if your brand is generally recognized as formal, rigid and well, serious.

2. Codecademy Learner Stories

Codecademy promises to help people learn how to code easily, even without prior experience. The brand posts different UGC stories both on its website and on YouTube.

The real people featured in these video reviews share their life stories, explaining how Codecademy helped them make 180-degree turns.

Codecademy learner stories
Source

In the video above, Christine explains how she went from medical professional to software engineer without formal education – just Codecademy courses. You can see the video views jump over 1,110,000 at the time of this writing.

Videos like this:

  • Create awareness
  • Build social proof
  • Alleviate worries

Will it work for you?

  • Yes: You have happy customers with specific insights into why your product works and how to alleviate other people’s purchase-related worries.
  • No: Your audience doesn’t need further proof about your product functionality, but something else (e.g., a cause to believe in or a material incentive).

3. GoPro

GoPro is one of the biggest brands leveraging UGC video marketing. Their loyal customers constantly post UGC videos on YouTube to show off their cameras, daring adventures, and interesting finds.

GoPro UGC video
Source

GoPro’s strategy works extremely well in sourcing a constant influx of organic content because the brand has created a community. This community is passionate about both photography and all sorts of outdoor adventures.

Besides, GoPro has taken many steps before getting here, including many previous challenges and partnerships with renowned influencers.

That is how the photography community works. The platform collects people with the same interests, provides an opportunity to build a strong network, gets through the challenges and motivates others to overcome the difficulties.

For example, their annual Million Dollar Challenge allows real-life people to compete for one million dollars:

GoPro UGC video part 2
Source

Will it work for you?

Yes: You have a loyal brand community tied by niche interests or strong values. You can associate yourself with these types of values or causes quickly (e.g., you have a skincare company that values diversity).

No: You are a new brand aiming to build awareness and credibility.

4. FitnessBlender: Honest UGC from Employees

FitnessBlender is a fitness website that offers hundreds of free and paid workout videos. The platform is famous because it started as a small husband-and-wife business on YouTube.

However, Kelli and Daniel – the two owners – immediately captivated the audience through unique selling points like honesty, in-depth explanations, beginner-friendly variations, and humor.

Their business grew, and the website got some new trainers. But all FitnessBlender trainers produce authentic and compelling user-generated content for the company, showcasing their:

  • Spoofs
  • Idiosyncrasies
  • Challenges
  • Behind-the-scenes moments
  • Making-of
  • Teasers
  • And more
Fitnessblender UGC video
Source

Will this strategy work for you?

Yes: You want to build a loyal brand community and are willing to invest the time into it. You don’t have the budget for a massive buzz marketing campaign.

No: You need immediate awareness to drive sales or reach your other marketing goals.

5. Bluehouse Salmon

Bluehouse Salmon is one of inBeat’s clients. The company retails organic salmon and powers most of its advertising calendar with UGC, like the one below:

Bluhousesalmon UGC video
Source

Getting such meal recipes from fans allows Bluehouse Salmon to stay top-of-mind and create cravings. Thus, its loyal customers will keep coming back for more and recommend the product to their loved ones.

Will it work for you?

  • Yes: You have a DTC or CPG brand. You want to stay memorable without spamming people with ads campaigns or irrelevant content.
  • No: You need fast results. In this case, you can kickstart your UGC video campaign with influencers or offer a prize.

Starting Your UGC Video Campaign

This guide showed you the actionable strategies and best practices you can use for your UGC video campaign. You can also draw a lot of inspiration from our examples and case studies.

But we understand that rolling out a UGC campaign can be more difficult than another type of social media campaign.

There are many variables you can’t control, so you must carefully plan the things you can control.

inBeat is here for you.

Try our UGC Studio to create awareness and engagement with professionally designed UGC videos. Our professional influencers will deliver the content you need according to your brief, and our agency will edit it.

Not sure you want to try it?

Book a free strategy call with our team to get your plan going asap!

inBeat, for free

Get your Influencer campaign started.

Book a demo