Sourced from: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=chJ0HFpQ0A4
Consumers can be content creators of today. GoPro’s content marketing strategies encourages and attract users to generate contents for them with a webpage to showcase the most captivating videos captured by their users. In return, they promise global exposure and monetary incentives for the best videos in competitions such as the annual GoPro awards.
As cultural theorist Henry Jenkins (2006) once cited that: ‘Audiences, empowered by new technologies, occupying a space at the intersection between old and new media, are demanding the right to participate within the culture’. From my perspective, that was the rise of social media and digital residents whom are also the sources of user generated contents today.
(Burberry and Coach encourage their customers to upload and comment photos of people wearing their products on their website)
From a marketing point of view, user generated contents should never be ignored especially for B2C firms with strong branding presences. Instead of us creating content, why not actively encourage content creation, giving consumers a platform for communications and engagements just like Coach and Burberry?
UGC had changed the landscape for content marketing and it is the upcoming trend for majority of the B2C firms in the upcoming year of 2016. Content Marketing Institute’s 2015 Benchmark, Budgets and Trends reports that 48% of the B2B firms and 70% of B2C firms are currently or planning to engage in UGC within next year.
How and why are user generated contents effective? Here is an overview of the statistics.
Source from: http://www.getstorybox.com/wp-content/uploads/2014/12/StoryBox-Infographic1.png
Exploiting from the online community?
There are outcries from creative circles labeling UGC as “WFF” – Working For Free. Which is true to a certain extent, considering that crowdsourcing campaigns rewards the “top of the crops” and the winners are very likely to be individuals whom had experiences or exceptional talents in the relevant fields such as designing and photography. A growing concern for creators is how are they expected to make a living if their work are made available for free?
The time and effort spend by all the participants combined are not taken into considerations and organizations get to reap further benefits by storing participants’ work or ideas as valuable references or data to work on future projects. There are criticisms of media corporations exploiting amateur creators by committing them to relinquish the rights of their creations and taking commercial advantage of “user-generated content”.
Starbucks – #WhiteCupContest
National Geographic – #WanderlustContest Photo Contest
Sourced from: http://www.engagesciences.com/user-generated-content-campaigns-2015/
However, I felt that the benefits of user generated contents outweighs the ethical issues highlighted above. For marketers, UGC may be utilized for a successful marketing campaign and brings forth several advantages such as cost effectiveness of a marketing strategy and enhancing brand loyalty for a firm.
For creative circles, despite potential ethical issues arising, these opportunities had also created a platform for them to gain visibility and to gauge if their works would attract attention! It also creates networking opportunities, gaining reputation through increased followers which might arguably be better for the long run especially for amateur designers or creators to build on their portfolio.
Dear readers, what are your views on this topic?
2015 Benchmarks, Budgets, and Trends— North America
José van Dijck (2009; 31; 41) Users like you? Theorizing agency in user-generated content
Sophie Turton (24 July, 2015) How user generated content is changing content marketing
David Hesmondhalgh (2011) User-generated content, free labour and the cultural industries
Joep Hegger (October 4, 2011) Free labor? An attempt to determine the value of user generated content – for the user
House of Commons (May 01, 2007) Culture, Media and Sports Committee:
New Media and the creative industries