User generated content keeps your online video marketing funnel full
This past month I’ve been watching my son play Nintendo’s Mario Maker on our Wii U (for the uninitiated, that’s a video game and a video game console respectively). And it occurred to me that Nintendo are genius at video marketing. They released a game that makes it easy to create an infinite number of Mario world levels (I suspect they use the tool to create their own game levels too!). Then they created a way for everyone to share the levels they make. As of the end of September, 1 million copies of the game had been sold, and 2.2 million levels had been uploaded and played 75 million times.
Those numbers are just for the first 2-3 weeks of the game’s release. Nintendo now has a never ending source of content for that game. Sure, they need to maintain the network used for sharing, but the gamers are the ones doing the “development” from here on out. It is the fans themselves that breathe new life into a 30 year old franchise every time the make a level. Genius. Just genius.
How Mario Maker relates to your video marketing
So why does a video game have anything to do with online video marketing? Well, what is one of your biggest issues with video marketing? Or content marketing in general? According to a survey by the Content Marketing Institute “Creating engaging content” and “Producing content consistently” ranked as the top two most difficult challenges.
Granted the study looked at all content, not just videos, but videos are arguably some of the most difficult content to create. Here’s where you can take a note from Nintendo and realise your customers can create the video for you.
Many brands are already doing it: Target (a US retailer), Coca-Cola, Pepsi, Chobani, Vanish, and Snickers to name a few. They’ve all run campaigns to gather videos from customers and fans. Those videos were then used to raise brand awareness, or to create brand marketing materials (such as a compilation of submitted videos).
Benefits of user generated content
One obvious, already mentioned, benefit of this type of content is that it takes a load off of the marketing department. These days you need endless content and it’s just hard to keep up.
But a bigger benefit is that real people who enjoy your brand make the videos. And real people watch those videos. Peer recommendations and reviews are given more weight than professionally written content by 70% of consumers according to a Reevoo study. No matter how good your video marketing strategy is, it’s difficult to be as authentic and believable as your fans.
This is backed up by the psychological principle called “social proof”. The idea is that people are likely to be more interested in a product other people already use. The phrase “1 billion Chinese can’t be wrong” comes to mind. If we find a large group uses and trusts a brand, we are likely to use it too because the group’s judgment is likely better than our own limited view.
So if you’re struggling to create enough content to fill your funnel, consider opening up to your fans and customers. You can run a contest with great prizes or incentivise them other creative ways. Some people would just love the chance to be featured in your advertising – so they could see themselves and tell their friends. If you know your customer base you can probably think of many ways you could reach out to them and have a ton of content you didn’t have to create yourself!