How to Get Started With User-Generated Video

Chances are that you sifted through dozens of customer reviews before your last big online purchase. Putting yourself in your customers’ shoes, you’d know they’re all doing the same in their buying journey.

Time is short, schedules are full, and COVID makes it difficult or even impossible to go into a store to see products in person. With that in mind, authentic video experiences from fellow consumers are more important than ever!

Let’s be honest, many of us scan through wordy and drawn-out reviews. They’re great to grab some of the nitty gritty details and cool product features, but they don’t grab the essence and emotion we want to see from our peers. So, then what?

Enter user-generated video experiences. User-generated video (UGV) stories like reviews, or feature highlights, or answers to questions are unpaid content created by existing customers and staff—and they’re a game-changer.

Like any marketing strategy, they come with their own set of challenges. One of the main problems with collecting video is that most people don’t know where to start. Additionally, they can be hard to collect on a large scale so that you have a rich curated collection of relevant buyer’s journey videos for prospective buyers to draw from. That’s where StoryTap comes in. We make it easy for you to collect user generated story-first videos.

Here are a few questions that you should be asking yourself when creating a user-generated video strategy. By figuring out these elements, you can create a strategy that will support your broader marketing efforts and most importantly, increase customer confidence and drive conversions.

What are your goals for your user-generated video strategy?

Before adding user-generated video to your mix, it’s important to set goals and determine how this initiative will fit into your overall marketing strategy.

At a high level, what would you like to achieve? Are you looking to increase brand awareness, build trust and engagement, drive more sales from your product description pages (PDPs)? Determining this will help you set a north star for your user-generated video strategy.

After determining your high level goals, you need to determine which metrics will ladder up to these goals. Here are some examples of key metrics that our clients use to evaluate their user-generated video efforts:

  • Number of videos collected
  • YouTube views
  • Organic traffic/video SEO ranking
  • Average session duration
  • PDP conversion rate
  • Increase in revenue

There are also many qualitative benefits of user-generated video efforts. Experience videos can provide insights on brand sentiment, how customers use your products, and more. 

For example, when Mead Johnson, a StoryTap client, ran a video experience campaign for Enfamil, a premium brand of baby formula, they found that a large proportion of the stories that they were collecting were from fathers, grandparents and adoptive parents, providing additional insight into their customer base.

Which stories are important to uphold your brand promise?

From start to finish, your brand tells a story. This story needs to be consistent. Your overarching brand promise guides what your stakeholders say in user-generated videos.

For example, Enfamil captures video experiences showing how parents trust Enfamil with their children’s nutritional needs.

This ladders up to Enfamil’s overarching brand promise of providing optimal nutrition for infants. By showing a real story of a real parent, who gained peace of mind knowing that their child’s nutritional needs were being taken care of, Enfamil is able to provide evidence to support its high level brand claim.

How are you going to manage your videos?

User-generated video has the potential to be a huge part of your marketing strategy and with this comes some added complexity. It’s important to make sure you are managing your videos properly. 

Here are some things to take into consideration:

  • How to ensure videos are on-brand and align to your brand promise
  • What is your governance process to choose which videos will be shared on social media, PDPs, etc.
  • How to manage things such as marketing permissions, closed-captioning, and accessibility
  • What kind of video organization system fits the needs of your business
  • Who on your team will be responsible for managing videos on your back-end

By determining these elements, you ensure that video is used properly and ladders up to your overall marketing goals. Without a strong back-end process, you run the risk of having a video strategy that is misaligned with your organization’s broader strategic initiatives. The StoryTap platform makes it easy for you to collect and organize video stories at scale, making this process as pain-free and hands-off as possible.

Which video platforms will help your brand grow?

There are many different platforms that you can use to distribute and promote your user-generated video efforts. However, it’s important to consider which ones best fit your audience. Here are some important questions you should be asking:

  • On which platform(s) does your audience spend their time?
  • Does your content have the proper format for this platform? (style, length, etc.)
  • What kind of viewing experience do you want to give your audience?
  • Do you want to include calls-to-action/links with your videos?

For example, if your product is complex and requires long videos to convey the product experience, Instagram or TikTok may not be the best option for your business, since these channels tend to focus on shorter videos. However, if you’re a cosmetics brand targeting a young adult audience, these channels may be a great play, since the experience of these products can be conveyed with a shorter video, and your target audience is active on these channels.

How will you collect videos?

After you’ve determined how user-generated video will align to your strategic goals and how it will be managed internally, it’s time to create a plan to actually collect the videos.

In your plan, you should consider the following:

  • Which products do you want to collect videos for?
  • What stories do you want to tell and which customer segments would be best to tell them?
  • Which channels should you use to engage with customers to collect these videos?
  • Should you provide any sort of incentive or run a contest to collect videos?

After building out your video collection plan, you give yourself a better idea of how you can reach your goals and then execute on the initiative.

Ready to start collecting your own user generated story-first videos? The StoryTap platform makes it easy for big brands to collect specific video experience stories at scale. Our platform will then distribute approved customer videos to help drive traffic, customer engagement, and increased conversions. Additionally, our client success team makes sure that we do all the heavy lifting, not you. Click here to learn more about our platform and get started!

Want more content like this, straight to your inbox?

Subscribe to our monthly email roundup of helpful marketing resources.