Empowering Authentic Video Marketing - Why Organizations Embrace User-Generated Content Over Stock Footage

October 3, 2023

Footage plays a crucial role in marketing videos by adding visual appeal, facilitating storytelling, demonstrating products and services, establishing credibility, fostering emotional connections, diversifying content, increasing shareability, highlighting features and benefits, aiding differentiation in a competitive market, and conveying atmosphere and culture. It enhances engagement, helps tell compelling stories, showcases products effectively, and leaves a lasting impression on viewers, ultimately driving brand awareness and conversion.

Advantage of User Generated Content  

User-generated content (UGC) can have several advantages over stock footage in certain context


UGC is inherently authentic because it comes from real customers or users who have experienced a product or service. This authenticity can resonate with audiences who value genuine, relatable content. It can build trust and credibility as it reflects real-world experiences and opinions.


UGC often generates higher levels of engagement compared to stock footage. Audiences tend to connect more with content created by their peers or fellow consumers. UGC can spark conversations, comments, and shares, leading to increased social interaction and user participation.


UGC provides a unique perspective and diversity of voices. Every user's experience is different, and their content can showcase various use cases and benefits of a product or service. This diversity can be valuable for marketing campaigns that aim to reach a broad and diverse audience.


UGC is typically more cost-effective than producing original content or licensing stock footage. Users often create UGC voluntarily, and obtaining permission to use it is often less expensive than purchasing stock footage or commissioning a professional production.

Community Building

Encouraging and featuring UGC can help build a sense of community around a brand or product. It shows that a brand values and appreciates its customers, fostering loyalty and a sense of belonging among its audience.


UGC can provide a constant stream of fresh content. Users are continually creating new content, allowing brands to tap into the latest trends and insights without the need for frequent content production.

Storytelling Opportunities

UGC can be integrated into storytelling efforts effectively. Brands can showcase real-life stories, testimonials, and case studies through user-generated content, adding a layer of authenticity to their narratives.

However, it's important to note that UGC also comes with potential challenges and considerations. Not all UGC is of high quality, and brands may need to curate, moderate, or edit user-generated content to align it with their messaging and brand image. Additionally, obtaining proper permissions and rights to use UGC is essential to avoid legal issues.

Whether UGC is better than stock footage depends on the specific goals, audience, and context of a marketing campaign. In some cases, a combination of both UGC and stock footage may be the most effective approach, allowing brands to benefit from the authenticity of UGC while also having access to professionally produced visuals for certain elements of their campaigns.

How to Get Better User Generated Content  

Getting better user-generated content (UGC) involves strategies to encourage users to create more high-quality, relevant, and engaging content for your brand or product. Here are some tips to help you achieve this:

Set Clear Expectations and Guidelines

Provide clear guidelines and expectations for the type of content you're looking for. Explain the purpose, format, and tone you want in UGC submissions.

Specify any specific hashtags or keywords users should use when posting content related to your brand.

Incentives and Rewards

Offer incentives or rewards for users who create and share UGC. This could include discounts, giveaways, contests, or recognition on your social media channels.

Consider creating a loyalty program where customers earn rewards for submitting UGC.

Engage and Build Relationships

Actively engage with your audience on social media and other platforms. Respond to comments, ask questions, and encourage conversations.

Build relationships with your customers by showing appreciation for their contributions and showcasing their UGC on your website or social media profiles.

Provide Tools and Resources

Make it easy for users to create UGC. Offer tools, templates, or apps that help users generate content related to your brand.

Consider hosting workshops or webinars to teach users how to create better UGC, especially if it involves using your products or services creatively.

Highlight Exceptional UGC

Showcase the best UGC on your website, social media, or in marketing materials. Recognize and reward outstanding content creators.

Use UGC in your advertising campaigns to demonstrate the authenticity of your brand.

Ask for Feedback

Ask your customers for feedback on their UGC experiences. Understand what motivates them to create content and how you can improve their experience.

Use feedback to refine your UGC strategies and offerings.

Promote Creative Challenges

Encourage users to participate in creative challenges or campaigns related to your brand. Create themes or prompts that inspire creative UGC.

Feature the submissions on your website and social media, and consider giving prizes to the most creative entries.

Provide Inspiration

Share examples of excellent UGC to inspire others. Show how different users have creatively used your products or services.

Use storytelling to illustrate how UGC has benefited your brand and how it aligns with your values.

Monitor and Moderate

Regularly monitor UGC submissions to ensure they align with your brand's guidelines and values. Implement a moderation system to filter out inappropriate or irrelevant content.

Build a Community

Foster a sense of community around your brand by creating forums, discussion boards, or social media groups where users can connect and share their experiences.

Engage with community members and encourage them to contribute UGC.

Remember that building a strong UGC strategy takes time and ongoing effort. By creating a positive and engaging environment for your customers and followers, you can encourage them to produce better, more relevant, and more valuable content for your brand.