User generated content, or UGC became one of the first major trends that developed during YouTube’s early years. At first it was an amazing way to share personal video content, like going to the zoo. Soon YouTube’s potential was seen to create content for business and marketing purposes. At first, user generated marketing campaigns were seen as a novelty but organizations saw it as an easy way to aggregate amateur video content. Ten years later, UGC is a marketing staple.
UGC has long been seen as an alternative to professional stock footage. Incorporating crowd-source video content, often rough and unpolished, gives the marketing content an authentic vibe. This, in turns, makes organizations feel more approachable. Ultimately, audiences feel more connected to a brand or product.
When UGC started to rise in popularity, many companies launched contests to attract brand ambassadors who also happened to be video creators. While contests remain a popular way to attract UGC; today, many marketers use social media networks to find those brand ambassadors to create their crowd funded content. Now, content can be shared across social networks, with dedicated hashtags and other identifying factors.
As time has passed, it has gotten easier and easier to crowd source UGC video content. Today, many organizations use UGC as an integrated marketing foundation. One of the best known examples is Doritos “Crash the Super Bowl” annual online commercial competition. Now nearly every community member, customer, etc. is capable of contributing video content as a video camera is integrated into every smartphone. A lot has definitely changed since 2005!