Professional vs User-Generated Content

buzz_480The main issue with video created by a professional production company is the perceived value given by high-quality content.

The reason why most companies go for professionally-produced content is because it traditionally is of higher quality. More money is spent, productions undergo meticulous planning, story-boarding, pre-production meetings, location scouting, casting, art direction, and so on and so on. It’s high-concept, well-thought-out, and created by the most technologically advances post-production teams to create a slick presentation of the product it is intended to sell.

That’s the good news.

The bad news is that the modern American consumer is smarter than that. We’ve grown used to spam, scams, liars, and cheats. We second-guess everything that is marketed to us because most of the time, there’s usually a recall or a recanting months later. So much of what is produced by those high-end production companies is amusing, but does it really convince us to purchase the product?

The main issue with video created by a tube site user, on the other hand, is the perceived value of a product based in reality.

The reason why most consumers love user-generated content is that it is raw, real, and timely. It’s cheap to make, doesn’t require a huge crew, and can be done on the fly. It allows for the viewer to see what the user’s opinions and can base their own opinion based on whether or not that information is viable. It creates a visual representation of consumer opinion, which these days holds more water than a glossy Hollywood production.

So how can we combine the two so we can create a high-production message that is believable to other consumers?

There are a few ways to at least reach the audience. You could, for instance, just start a YouTube campaign promoting your product using everymen and everywomen as spokespeople for the product. You could also just make a series of online videos that hopefully become viral based on their cleverness. Or you can try to see if any clever viral video makers would be interested in selling their new-found fame to promote your product. YouTube channel celebrities (“Tubelebrities” maybe?) now have endorsement deals for beauty, tech, fashion, and more.

There’s no real way to predict whether a user-generated video will go viral. There’s also no way to replace a video that’s already out there with one that has, say for instance, your ad on it. Mainstream has already started to mix commercial advertising with user-generated video in a truly corporate-meets-consumer collaboration.

But it’s not just about traffic. Traffic means that people will watch the video – but then what? It’s important that the message is something that people will share with others, and that those people will decide to try your product. Additional social media methods of getting those people to try the product is what’s next – either through trial offers, opt-in lists, contests, discount codes, and other methods. A good marketing campaign will combine all of these things so that the traffic generated can be converted.

So take a look at your marketing campaign. Are you being too glossy? Are you being too much on a pedestal, refusing to let people look behind the curtain? Perhaps letting some people backstage so that they could then share the experience with others, and then allow them an opportunity to experience your product, might be the difference that you’ve been looking for.