5 business benefits of user-generated video

by | Jan 30, 2020 | Resources

Chances are that you already recognise the value of video when it comes to learning content. It’s a brilliant and versatile medium for grasping and keeping audience attention. As well as a useful media format to include as part of individual learning programmes, it can also support wider business priorities such as culture change, digital transformation, future skills and more.

Equally, the concept of user-generated content has probably started to enter your field of view. Learning content produced by your people, for your people.

Both video and user-generated content are great formats to facilitate modern learning, but have you ever considered combining the two?


Why introduce user-generated content to your business?

One of the biggest cultural changes enabled by ubiquitous internet access, smartphones and social networks is the accelerated use and acceptance of user-generated content. It’s widely used to support decision making and learning in our personal lives. And, people trust it. A recent report from Stackla highlights the importance of user-generated content when building trust and authenticity with audiences, for example:

  • Consumers are 2.4x more likely to say user-generated content is authentic compared to brand-created content.
  • 90% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding which brands they like and support.

If you’re trying to build trust in your L&D team and evolve a continuous, self-driven learning culture, then user-generated content is one of the best ways to support this.

That’s great, but why user-generated video then?

The added value of user-generated video in learning environments is not to be under-estimated. Why? You get the best of both – individual stories created and shared by the people who matter in your business, using an in-demand medium. Brilliant.

User-generated video supports the human stories of your business, unlocks and shares expertise as well as drives cohesion and connection in a way traditional e-learning just can’t.

Like many L&D teams, you may be relying on professional production companies to support your video requirements. By using a tool like StoryTagger and bringing this work in-house, self-filmed videos can be an agile, cost-effective and authentic way to capture the stories your business needs to hear.

If that’s not reason enough to start thinking about it, we’ve compiled the top five reasons why now might be the time to leave video production houses behind and welcome new, innovative ways of recording personal, value-led video. Smartphones ready? Let’s get filming!

1. Reduce costs

It’s great commissioning content that would look at home on Netflix, but the reality is that this is a costly investment which is rarely matched with real business benefits. Even when you strip the brief right down and go back to basics, a lot of resource and technology is required to run a shoot. Budgets and complexity quickly escalate and, chances are, the same goals could have been achieved with a more organic approach.

Simply put, user-generated content, especially personal videos, can drive costs down whilst still creating high-value, meaningful content for end-users.

2. Save time

Whether you’re visiting locations with a backpack full of equipment, or working with an external team, producing video can eat up many more hours than expected. When you factor in pre-shoot engagement, interviews, on-the-day support, post-production and editing, professional video is a time-heavy investment.

The set-in-stone appointments of traditional film-shoots can also pose a problem for busy colleagues. Fluid diaries and competing priorities get in the way – as can the nerves that many will experience with sets, lighting and scripts.

The great thing about user-created videos is that people can record at a time that makes sense to them when they have something meaningful to share. Or indeed, simply at the request of L&D.

This also massively extends the capability of the L&D department, decentralising the function and promoting every colleague into an SME in their own right. An approach that empowers people in new ways, it fully supports a continuous learning culture.

3. A more scalable solution

It’s impossible to be inclusive when using traditional video production methods. Let’s say you want to get feedback and insights from a recent leadership programme you rolled out globally. You can probably conduct a maximum of 8 – 12 interviews on one day of filming in one sole location. However, this small group is unlikely to reflect the diversity of your cohort.

With remote working and global teams commonplace it’s likely your interviewees will be based in different locations, making it hard to include all the perspectives you need. This can compromise video plans and force a less engaging but broader reach solution.

By letting your teams create their own videos, wherever they are, you immediately extend your reach and achieve some great results with much less effort.

4. Make it human

UGC video is uniquely positioned to not only enhance live learning experiences with reflection stories, sharing of ideas and feedback but also to make digital experiences more human. Super-fast access to experts, knowledge and inspiration in the moment via social media or next generation learning platforms is brought alive by real stories from real people doing real things.

When we watch a self-filmed video the relationship we develop with the creator doesn’t just feel more authentic, it is more authentic.

5. No technical skills needed

One of the major barriers to introducing video to learning environments can be the level of skill required to make it work. Even if you’re not outsourcing you may still be relying on in-house teams, such as internal comms, who have these skills.

Progress hinges on their availability and causes bottlenecks which completely stymies L&D’s ability to be responsive to business needs at pace. Projects are left gathering dust when they need to be driving impact.

However, when using the right tools, user-generated mobile video doesn’t require any of these specialist skills in order to create valuable video content, quickly.

As you can see, video production in L&D can hit a number of barriers. This is one of the reasons why many forward-looking teams are now using user-generated mobile video as a cost-effective, scalable and sustainable way to capture stories. How would you use it to model a continuous learning culture?


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