2018 Video Trend #3: User-Generated Content & Contestification

by James Loizou
2018 Video Trend #3: User-Generated Content & Contestification

Invite (No, Challenge!) Your Fans to Tell Your Story

The concept of user generated content or "UGC" is not a new one. In 2009, Burberry launched The Art of the Trench campaign to invite its customers to upload photos of them wearing the brand's chic products. With this campaign, Burberry said "We like young people and young people like us!"

In 2010, Target pledged to make massive donations to education. To kickoff the initiative, it asked students applying to college to submit videos of themselves opening their acceptance letters, leading to an iconic (and super fun) commercial. With this campaign, Target said "We support students and students support us!"

In 2014, Starbucks challenged customers to design a new cup and upload entries with the tag #WhiteCupContest. Three weeks later (with 4,000 posts!), it selected the winner. With this campaign, Starbucks said "We value our customers and our customers and value us!"



As a marketer, you're probably thinking "These are great ideas! But I'm not Starbucks. I'm more like no-bucks." And that would be a very funny joke. But this trend is gaining momentum because the technology is making it easier for users to share high-quality content and for organization's to find and integrate that content into established marketing strategies.



But where do you start? GoPro embraced an interesting model of "contestification." In 2014, it announced the GoPro Awards, daring users to submit their best photos and videos for a chance to be recognized in an all-star gallery. GoPro buys the rights for the best shots and then uses them almost exclusively in their commercials.



When looking to promote DC Public School's new study abroad program, we actually invited the students themselves to tell the story, physically equipping them with cameras (GoPros, of course). Collecting footage from a dozen different countries, we saw the global experience through their perspective. This allowed us to produce a more informed and more intimate promotional piece for donors, parents and and the next class of world-traveling students.



Do you already have an established fanbase posting content that you could leverage? The ability for marketers to find and curate material is only getting easier with new technology like Stackla. These platforms allow you to sift through, secure permissions and repost some of your favorite fan-made content.

UGC works because it makes a brand look less corporate and less scripted. It works because it allows a company to connect with its community and show that its confident enough to let the general public define its image. It works because it plays to a fan's need to be recognized, potentially transforming casual posters into lifelong brand ambassadors.

Talk to us about how we can make the masses do the marketing for you.

Learn about more video trends that we predict will dominate 2018.

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