In the digital marketing landscape and within a content marketing context, there has been an ongoing dialogue regarding user generated content (UGC) versus professionally produced material or branded content.
This topic has been analysed from a textual point of view using product reviews, reader comments, and customer testimonials as an example. This UGC content is often posted on online platforms such as websites and blogs, the latter of which could also be argued to be a form of editorial content which we will address later (Source: RankPop). UGC has also become an interesting topic to discuss from a graphical content point of view with the emergence of Instagram and the popularity of Facebook and Pinterest platforms. However, perhaps the most popular example of UGC is where video content is concerned, and where YouTube is the platform most often used. Essentially, UGC can be defined as any “material your organisation has not commissioned and paid for” which brings home the point about blogs mentioned above as nearly every brand or business has a blog (Source: onlinejournalismblog.com). UGC could also be looked at in an earned media context discussed in past posts, as it is the conversation by consumers that happens around the brand. It has been argued that UGC provides depth and increases confidence in a brand or product from a consumer point of view, so it’s no wonder why it’s a popular form of content integrated into any brand strategy (Source: RankPop).
A recent study from comScore aimed to answer the question posed above, which has become a critical conversation for today’s digital advertisers: ‘How do user-generated videos complement professionally-produced content, if at all?’ The study compared professionally-produced content and user-generated product videos and actually concluded the two forms of content work better together than on their own. According to Frank Findley, Vice President, Research and Development at comScore: “While marketers may already be familiar with the effectiveness of professional video content alone, these results suggest that even greater returns can be had by combining their use with authentic, user-generated content.” In the study, professionally-produced content combined with UGC product videos resulted in significantly higher lifts when used together versus separately. While professional content on its own resulted in a higher percentage of respondents understanding the importance of the brand message, UGC was more successful at producing emotional intensity and ease of relating to the consumer (Source: comScore).
A good example of a brand incorporating both professional content and UCG in their latest campaign efforts is Samsung. With various advertising campaigns for the Olympic Games, the messaging centered around one key concept which was how technology today allows everyone to be involved in the event in various ways (Source: Campaign Live). Instead of just talking about it, they created action by using brand ambassadors like David Beckham and Jamie Oliver who encouraged everyday users or bloggers rather, to use technology to capture the spirit of the games in London with the Global Blogger initiative. As a result Samsung was acknowledged as receiving “the gold medal” in terms of biggest uplift in online visits for an Olympic Sponsor (Source: The Wall). For more information on Preview Networks’ involvement with Samsung and MSN, please contact Charles Delamain in our London office.
About Preview Networks
Preview Networks is a content marketing platform for brands and content aggregation and syndication platform for publishers. We provide the tools for brands to centrally distribute and manage marketing and PR content across media destinations, devices, and commerce platforms; allowing media partners to automate content acquisition delivering audience and advertising revenue growth.