The Marketing Potential of User-generated Video Content

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Many marketers are still skeptical in approaching consumers to produce video content, but a recent study by comScore found that user-generated video reviews exhibit elements of sales effectiveness usually found in professionally produced TV Ads. The same study found that the effectiveness of these reviews was greater than that of banner advertisements.

“The results of our research suggest that user-created video is a format that not only yields promising persuasive executions, but does so in a way that complements traditional forms of media,” said Frank Findley, Vice President of comScore ARS.

The study confirms what many visionary PR and social media experts already predicted. Video is becoming an important marketing tool, and the technology to produce good quality videos for online use is also available at affordable prices. User-generated reviews, even those “paid for” appear to the audience as genuine and honest. The public reaction can only be positive, even when the video quality is beyond amateurish.

User-generated video content has the potential of becoming as popular as blogging, if not more. Producing an amateur video takes less time than writing a blog post – the only problem is that uploading the video to a hosting site is still a slow process, depending on a number of factors like file size, video format, bandwidth, compatibility, formatting, etc.

But the comScore study was made on only 25 existing “unbiased” user reviews provided by EXPO TV. The product reviews were drawn from the EXPO online product review database in a manner similar to that used by advertisers when searching the database for marketing content. The TV and digital ads were selected from the comScore ARS database, which includes ads that were pre-screened by clients and then submitted for qualification via copy-testing.

The study also revealed that the user-generated videos displayed their greatest strengths in areas different from other forms of media. When conveying their experiences, the product reviewers were naturally more apt to focus on the product and its attributes. This resulted in a strong branding presence and communication of such elements as product convenience and quality, which are key rational elements in increasing an ad’s persuasiveness to a prospective buyer.

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