How deadlines drive engagement with UGC

by | Resources

There’s a lot to think about when planning your UGC campaign. And, sometimes, it’s the most simple things that are easy to overlook. One vital piece of good practice to increase engagement is to make sure you always set a realistic deadline for creators.

Picture the scene. You’ve designed your campaign, know the types of stories you need people to share, identified your storytellers and now you’re ready to invite them.

Alongside clear instructions – including how StoryTagger makes the process really simple 😊 – you’ve dialled into the purpose of the campaign helping people understand why their story matters. As a result they feel motivated to share their experience.

This all sounds great. You invite your creators to your campaign and wait for all those incredible stories to come in. Except they don’t. Nothing. What could have possibly gone wrong?

After a spot of trouble-shooting you realise no deadline was set!

Why are deadlines important for UGC campaigns?

Every UGC campaign needs deadlines: Deadlines make sure UGC creation fits within your broader project timeline. Without them, project progress which depends on this content could falter, causing delays.

Creators need to know what to prioritise: Everyone is busy with tasks competing for attention. Deadlines encourage creators to work efficiently and plan their time. With a clear deadline, they know when you need their story and can manage their time effectively.

Build in nudges on the way to a deadline: If a deadline is set this also gives you the chance to nudge. People have the best intentions but often leave a task to the eleventh hour. Factoring in a simple reminder at the half-way point and the day before the deadline increases the number of submissions.

Consistent flow of stories: Regular deadlines can help maintain a consistent flow of UGC. If you’re using stories to include in monthly blogs, social media posts, newsletters, etc cadence is important. A campaign calendar will also help you manage this.

Quality and planning: Setting a deadline also gives you time to review, edit if needed and refine content. Even if post-production isn’t necessary you’ll need to know when content is ready to include in either a learning programme, comms campaign or simply be available for others to watch. Allow for this.


Tips for setting deadlines

Help your campaign task become top of your creator’s to-do list by setting a realistic deadline and nudging at key points.

Tip #1

Set realistic deadlines to keep creators on track. Make sure the deadline is appropriate for your ‘ask’ but as a rule of thumb 7 – 10 days is reasonable for most simple video stories if people are expecting to participate.

Tip #2

Explain to creators why this date has been chosen so they understand it’s not arbitrary. For example, you’re planning to feature their content in a monthly newsletter or publish it to your learning platform on X-date.

Tip #3

If you’re using StoryTagger take advantage of automated deadline and reminder nudges to make it easier to get stories in on time.

Following this best practice will help you optimise your campaigns so you get the best possible, and most timely, stories from your creators. And, if you’re looking for more tips on how to engage your people to share their experience, our engagement guide is brimming with ideas on how you can crowdsource stories from across your organisation.

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