The Rapid Rise of User-Generated Content and Short-Form Vertical Video
User-generated content (UGC) represents an enormous shift in how brands connect with consumers. Short-form vertical videos have taken the social media world by storm. Platforms like TikTok pioneered user-generated content (UGC), but now it thrives across channels. This shift reflects a desire for authentic connection.
In an ad-saturated world, consumers increasingly crave “real.” They want to engage with relatable people, not polished marketing content. This makes raw, unfiltered UGC incredibly compelling. It breaks through the noise by delivering genuine personalities, entertainment, and value.
With consumers 2.4 times more likely to view user-generated content as authentic compared to content created by brands, the time to invest in an authenticity-driven social marketing strategy is now
Source: Business Wire
UGC Enables a Test and Learn Approach
UGC presents the opportunity to rapidly test messaging and creative concepts. Without the need for hours of planning, full-scale production crews, and fancy editing, UGC videos allow you to create MVPs (Minimum Viable Products) faster. Have a message or idea you want to test before putting a ton of resources behind it? Quickly record UGC-style videos, push these on social platforms and gauge reactions. This is a low-cost way to prototype and iterate compared to investing upfront in high-end video production.
Once you identify winning themes from UGC testing, invest in scaling those up with major video campaigns. UGC should complement, not replace polished content. Use UGC as the “Test” in a “Test and Learn” approach. Let real user responses inform where to allocate your time and effort.
The Approach to Content is Now Vertical-First
Today even polished ads and content need to fit short-form vertical video formats. Horizontal and lengthy videos no longer cut it across platforms like TikTok, Instagram Reels, YouTube Shorts, and more.
Yet many brands still prioritize horizontal assets, leading to less than ideal viewing experiences. Video guidelines have radically changed in just the past 2 years. Creative teams must embrace vertical-first formatting.
In fact, TikTok users are so hooked on short-form videos that almost 50% of TikTokers agreed that they found videos longer than a minute “stressful.” And as of July 2022, videos that are under 60 seconds made up 57% of YouTube views, compared to just 11% two years ago.
For marketing teams, now is the time to leverage UGC and Short Form Vertical Video for rapid testing, and more genuine user experiences. Be willing to trade some creative control for the speed and authenticity today’s audiences crave.