User-generated content is the foundation of social media. Smart brands that understand the value of this content can turn it into an influential tool for marketing and a vehicle for driving sales. However, there are some real challenges associated with UGC, including copyright violations and ensuring that user content is on brand.
Much like influencer marketing, user-generated content is often more trusted and relevant than ads and other branded content, which many users see as an invasion of their social media space. However, according to Katherine Hays, founder and CEO of user-generated marketing platform Vivoom, social media users are getting wise to influencer marketing:
Influencers are still being paid by the brand to share that content. And it can be very powerful, but as more and more of it is being done, consumers don’t feel that it’s as transparent.
Indeed, the power behind UGC is that it’s being shared by a known peer, who isn’t being paid by the brand. And while many brands see the value in leveraging content from their digital communities, many are still concerned with the quality and appropriateness of the content.
Vivoom did an analysis of more than 4,000 user-generated videos for its media partners and discovered that about 6 percent contained hate speech, nudity, profanity or were just off message somehow. To put this number into perspective, Gatorade ran a Super Bowl-themed filter on Snapchat that garnered 160 million impressions. Based on the Vivoom numbers, that would mean 10 million were problematic or objectionable impressions.
94 percent of the content is great, but many brands haven’t been able to utilize it because they can’t risk the 6 percent that could be terribly off brand.
Moderation is, of course, a Catch-22 because brands want to take advantage of the excitement of fans and followers and facilitate the process of user-generated marketing. The problem is that in many cases, the only solution is to remove objectionable content retroactively, which means the damage is already done. However, there are platforms like Vivoom and Offerpop that enable brands to manage UGC proactively.
Check out the infographic below for a list of user-generated content landmines to watch out for.