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Marketers Love UGC Video, But Disagree With Creators Over How Work Together: Survey

by | May 30, 2024

Plenty of brands work with the creator community to harness the power of user generated content (UGC) and UGC video. After all, UGC content is big business: Goldman Sachs analysts predict the creator economy will reach $480B in value by 2027.

And according to a recent MASV survey of 500-plus creators, consumers, and marketers, 85% of consumers rely on UGC videos before making a purchase—highlighting the importance of UGC videos for B2C companies especially.

But marketers and the creator community seem to disagree on the best ways best ways for video teams and others to work with video content from creators to come up with that next viral TikTok, Instagram Reel, or YouTube Short. Let’s dive into the numbers.

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How UGC Video Creators Prefer to Work With Brands

User generated video content is vital for most brands: Of the marketers we surveyed, nearly 70% said UGC video marketing is an important element of their marketing strategy. Nearly 90% of marketers use this video content to either build brand awareness or to generate leads when running a UGC campaign.

So how should brands approach creators in order to work with them for content marketing?

Of those we surveyed, most indicated the best way for a brand to entice a UGC creator into making UGC video content for a UGC campaign is to either provide free samples or pay them via a sponsorship.

But a significant number of creators also indicated that providing a great product or service is enough to convince them to create a video.

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That’s a disconnect from the responses we received from marketers, most of whom said that the best way to work with a UGC creator is to simply use and promote their unpaid videos (with permission), just ahead of involving creators in giveaways or contests.

Product seeding, the No. 1 way creators say is the best way for marketers to work with them, was a distant fourth (at just 5.1%) when we put the same question to marketers.

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Authenticity Is Key For Successful UGC Video Content

While most creators we spoke with had never been paid or given free products to make videos, many successful creators ultimately end up producing a mix of free and sponsored content.

That was the case for all of the creators we spoke with for our UGC video report – many of whom said they have more success, in terms of views and engagement, with their unpaid videos over overtly sponsored content.

“I think (paid sponsorship) actually hurts more often than it helps,” explains Alex Lefkowitz, founder of Tasty Edits, a video editing platform that works primarily with video creators. “Because a brand will say, ‘I want you to say specifically that this is the best sneaker you’ve ever worn in your life.’ And it’s just very clear that it’s not authentic.”

UGC video creator Samuel Chen agrees. “If it feels like I’m selling the item in the video, a lot of people get turned off in the first five seconds,” he says. “But if I say that I found the item and it looks organic, then it does much better.”

In our survey, however, marketers said that paid brand collaborations and sponsorships are more effective than gifting free product.

💡 Read More: Download The State of User-Generated Video Report 2024

How Do Creators and Marketers Typically Work Together?

Most marketers who use UGC video simply find and repost content on the same social or video platform. But nearly as many ask users to upload content using an uploader on a webpage, or download content from social to be used elsewhere.

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Most of the creators we surveyed said that brands either downloaded their videos from social, a video platform, or another online source and used it elsewhere or shared the videos on the same platform.

Only 17.9% of creators used a web uploader to submit content to brands.

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Don’t Push Creators Too Far With UGC Video

MASV’s research—performed in partnership with market research firm Dynata—shows that UGC video is more trusted than official branded content or influencer content. It’s also more trusted than any other type of user generated content, such as text or audio.

More than 80% of consumers in our survey indicated that they consider brand-specific user generated video content more trustworthy than official brand content or content from paid influencers.

But a large part of that is built over years of effort by UGC video creators to earn their audience’s trust by providing honest and authentic information about things they are passionate about.

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That means every UGC content creator must ride a very fine line when working with brands in order to keep their credibility intact. Brands who push too hard could end up quickly alienating creators who don’t want to be pushed into creating UGC video ads.

“Most brands will reach out to me and say, ‘You have the freedom to do the video in your style for your audience,’” explains creator Angus Nguyen about his process for content creation for brands. “But some companies have very strict guidelines. And so I’m not super happy with the videos that I’ve contracted to put out with them, because they’re basically ads.”

To build and maintain their authenticity, savvy creators are super selective in the brand-specific videos they make—especially if they are approached by a brand to do a review or talk about their products or services in specific ways.

“Trust and authenticity on social media is absolutely critical in this day and age – folks can snuff something out if it feels like it’s sponsored or planned,” explains Jillian Robinson, senior global PR manager at social media platform management company Dash Hudson.

Lefkowitz agrees. “The key to it all is that it needs to be authentic,” he says. “It can’t seem like they’re shelling out or getting paid for it on the side.”

Marketers Take Note: Creators Love Doing Music-Based Videos

We’ve already established that the main way creators build trust among their audience is to create authentic content about things they’re passionate about. Anything else can seem contrived at best, or completely phoney at worst.

That means brands need to go where UGC creators already are, and work with creators who are passionate about what they’re doing. Of the creators we surveyed, their top preferred user-generated video types to create are:

  1. Music-based videos
  2. Positive brand feedback
  3. Food/recipes
  4. Product or service reviews
  5. Live events, such as sports or concerts
  6. Just want to get the brand’s attention
  7. Instructional/tutorial
  8. Life hacks
  9. Cause/charity based
  10. Unboxings

Video creator Anum Rubec told MASV that she tries to be as organic as possible when including products or services in her videos.

“I try to incorporate a lot of brands or products within something that I naturally do already,” she says. “A lot of times it’s a ‘get ready with me’ style of video, where I’m sharing different makeup products that I use.”

Of course, when creating any kind of music-based video, creators and brands both need to be aware of copyright and ensure they’re able to use the music legally in their video.

And that’s not a given—of creators, just slightly more than 50% say they always remove other people’s copyrighted works from their videos before publishing.

Brands must stay vigilant to ensure third-party content has either been removed or used with permission in UGC video to ensure they don’t incur liability.

Gather UGC Video Easily and With Less Risk With MASV Portals

Plenty of marketing teams rely on outdated and risky methods, such as downloading user-generated videos from social media, to gather UGC video.

But that comes with inherent risk because simply downloading a video doesn’t imply creator consent—especially when that video is used in a marketing campaign.

And asking every creator for consent individually can be cumbersome when there’s a million other things to do.

The best way to navigate UGC content rights is to use a central platform that can facilitate the sharing of assets and legal sign-off a universal file uploader with built-in, customizable file upload forms right in your website or SaaS solution.

A MASV Portal is a versatile large file uploader that provides a fast, secure, and reliable way to gather content from a browser. MASV Portals can be fully customized to your brand’s look and feel and can be embedded on any website, making Portals the ideal solution for organizations who work with creators and need to upload UGC quickly, securely, and reliably.

Plus, they’re powered by MASV’s industry-leading file transfer speed and fail-proof reliability.

Try a MASV Portal for free today and get 20GB free to try it out.

MASV Portals for UGC

Every MASV Portal comes with file upload forms and the ability to set upload rules around terms of service, file size, naming conventions, and more.