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If your marketing strategy includes producing written content as well as videos for social media, you're on the right track to promoting your small business. However, if you're running low on inspiration on what video content to create next, know that you don’t have to make all the videos yourself! What if your customers made your marketing videos for you? You’d save time and gain some powerful marketing assets, right?
Read on to learn about user-generated videos and how you should use for your marketing efforts when you're growing your small business.
We’ll also explore three fun ways to integrate user-generated videos into your social and email campaigns.
What are user-generated videos? Are they simply video testimonials?
User-generated videos are videos that your customer creates about your product or service. They’re a form of user-generated content, which, again, is any content that one of your customers creates instead of you as a company. User-generated video doesn’t require a professional crew or expensive equipment. In fact, it doesn’t have to cost anything because your customer creates it for you.
Customer testimonial videos are one form of user-generated videos (and one of the most common), but there are many more types that are equally effective. Some other examples of user-generated videos include:
Videos of customers using the product
Why user-generated videos are powerful for small business
1. Low cost
UGC for small businesses is one of the most inexpensive forms of marketing, especially if it’s video. At most, you may offer customers a discount or enter them into a drawing for creating a video about your product or service.
This costs you a negligible amount in the grand scheme of things. If you have an engaged customer base, many customers will simply make the videos themselves, effectively helping you market your product or service for free.
For example, take a look at how Preply sources videos for its business English courses directly from the tutors.
Preply doesn’t have to hire video professionals to make content that helps sell lessons on its platform. The tutor does it themselves. This strengthens social proof since potential students know that the tutor is making the video, not the company.
2. More trust
Few marketers or marketing assets can beat the power of social proof. User-generated video testimonials are among the most powerful kinds of proof since they come straight from the customer’s mouth.
Check out how PandaDoc implements video testimonials on its homepage.
The moment a prospect learns about PandaDoc, there’s a video of a happy customer to reinforce the benefits of using the service.
3. The power of visuals
Written user-generated content can help increase brand awareness and create additional social proof. However, video is even more powerful. Viewers can retain more of a video’s message than if they would for the same content in written form.
Thus, your user-generated videos will stick around in the customer’s mind much longer. The result is that your brand stays top of mind, and sales can increase eventually.
4. SEO boost
Higher search rankings never hurt, and video marketing can help with this! Visual media like video often holds a viewer’s attention longer than written content, meaning they spend more time on your website. This decreases bounce rates and increases browsing or dwell time—two factors that can give you a boost in search rankings.
Of course, you want to make sure you optimize each user-generated video for other SEO ranking factors, like keywords.
3 fun ways to integrate user-generated videos in social and email campaigns
Email and social campaigns are two of the best places to integrate user-generated video strategies. Let’s look at some ways you can leverage the videos your customers create through these two channels.
Contests are an excellent way to generate a lot of user-generated videos fast. Some customers want to win for the sake of competition while some are motivated as there’s a prize or offer at the end. On top of that, prospects who still haven’t bought from you might make a purchase just to get in on the competition.
The prize doesn’t have to be pricey, either. Alongside promising to feature the winner’s video throughout your marketing channels, you could offer that winner a big discount or free products.
Also, make sure you feature the winner at the end through both email blasts and on social media. People enjoy publicity—showing their video to the masses can incentivize people to get creative. Plus, showing off the winner can strengthen their loyalty to your brand and get them to buy more, creating a 'superfan' of your brand.
Entering should be easy. Be clear on the instructions for entering and the submission deadline. Send out a short email campaign linking to a quick and simple online entry form.
If you host the contest on a social media platform—like Instagram—make sure to research the best hashtags to use. Picking the right hashtags will maximize each video’s reach and get more eyes on your brand.
2. Building a content community
Brands have customers, fans, employees, and so on. By building a tight-knit community on a platform with these individuals, you can source plenty of user-generated videos and build more brand loyalty.
In this community, you can start conversations with and between customers. As you build that rapport, you can ask customers to create video content about your products and feature them on platforms like Facebook. For example, they could show the product in action or talk about their experiences with it.
After sourcing this content, you can implement it across various channels and even urge people to join your content community.
Young brands like HiSmile and Princess Polly are USG video magnets on Instagram and TikTok.
Retargeting helps you capture more sales from two audiences: current customers and prospects that visited your site once but didn’t buy anything. You can lower customer acquisition costs through retargeting by gaining repeat business while scooping up abandoned browsers and cart sales.
Many ad platforms have retargeting features, but Facebook is often favored for retargeting, thanks to its massive user population.
Now, people you retarget are well-aware of your brand and product. You don’t need to provide them with general, informative content relevant to your industry and the pain points your customer has. What they need is further social proof—something that user-generated video can provide.
In your Facebook retargeting ads, you can place user-generated videos of customers using your product in real life. Add a line or two of compliant copy, and you have an effective ad that shows people like your prospect enjoying the product. It's easy to make a Facebook ad with Clipchamp.
Leverage your own customers for growth
Get the most value from video marketing with user-generated video that's low-cost and offers strong social proof that draws in new customers while strengthening brand loyalty with existing ones. Your customers can become your best salespeople. Ready to get your customers to make videos about your brand or products? Good luck!