Is User-Generated Content the future?

An impressive array of video kit can be found in most offices, warehouses and work vehicles around the world — usually it’s a smart phone, but often these days it can be something a little more ambitious such as a tripod, external microphone or even a small drone. But does that mean we should all be commissioning our staff to shoot and edit their own films across the business?

I’ve recently worked on several projects that have involved capturing employee generated content (EGC) around the world. As part of one project, we ran a pilot to test the agreed approach, and I went along to facilitate the capture of ‘pieces to camera’ using an iPhone. The plan was that, with a bit of coaching, the employees would have the skills and confidence to film themselves…

In reality it didn’t quite work like that, and in fact the process gave us a really useful insight into UGC in general. What I found was that with the best will in the world, some people just aren’t comfortable filming themselves.

For some, shooting a ‘selfie’ is second nature. For others, it’s hell. So at best, you may be forcing people to do something with which they’re uncomfortable, and at worst you might immediately be excluding part of your workforce with this approach. It’s also worth remembering that shooting usable video and sound isn’t as easy as is often thought, but audiences do have a minimum standard they expect - even with UGC.

The compromise we reached in the end was a hybrid approach combining UGC and professionally shot footage – it worked really well, and none of the available participants were excluded or traumatised.

With some thought and planning, involving a professional crew shouldn’t mean you lose the authentic feel of UGC/EGC.

Simon Crofts
Client Services Director