It’s become commonplace for companies and brands to encourage consumers to engage with them in a direct dialogue online.
The tools for public conversations on products, campaigns, even company strategy are now ubiquitous on the web – they come in the for of blog responses, tweets, Facebook page – you name it.
Such dialogue binds those engaged in the conservation closer to the brand, and it shows to everybody else that the company listens, is transparent – and it can be a opportunity to show some personality.
With a new generation of consumers becoming ever more media-savvy there’s a new wave of user contributions. Innovative companies are beginning to experiment with video feedback, or user-generated video, in the industry parlance.
Most computers, phone, pads have now built-in cameras, so it’s become very simple for consumers to record video – many will find recording a video response easier than typing up a blog post.
Now, while inviting users’ video contributions might sound like a great innovative idea – it’s also important to consider what and how the submitted material will be used. Related is the question for how much and what kind of editorial control will rest with the company – clarity about these aspects from the outset is essential to not disappoint those who engage in a conversation with you.
Here are a couple of typical approaches that we’ve seen:
Video blog responses. This is the most straightforward application of user-generated video. Users speaking straight to camera, recording their thoughts. This is a direct evolution from online comments. Questions to consider here are whether video blogs will be moderated; whether to opt for pre or post moderation; and how copyright in the posted videos will be handled. A good option is to edit together individual customer responses into a professional video.
Users as filmmakers. This approach may at first seem like outsourcing your video production to your customers – but there’s a bit more involved. It can take the shape of a competition for a complete online ad created by your users, or it could be an invitation to submit individual shots that are then edited and professionally produced. An outstanding example is ‘Life in a Day’, a cinema-length film, edited by Ridley Scott, entirely from user-generated video.
User auditions. This approach lets your users ‘apply’ via a video for an event or a role as ambassador. The best-known example is probably the YouTube Symphony Orchestra. Since 2008, the orchestra has been auditioning via online videos. In 2011 it gave a concert in the Sydney Opera House, streamed online to millions of viewers worldwide.
Dr. Jens Riegelsberger
User Experience Researcher
Get in touch with Kartoffel Films we have a great deal of experience in both video production and its applications.