Top 7 Things to Look for in a User-Generated Video Software

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In the simplest terms, user-generated video (UGV) is video content that is authored by the real people that make up an organization’s community - consumers, employees, members, donors, volunteers, supporters, etc. - rather than by the organization itself. It’s rough-cut. It’s human-centric. It’s authentic.

User-generated video content doesn’t require professional recording studios or the longer, more elaborate planning and execution timelines of highly-produced video content. Instead, people use the equipment they already have (their phones, tablets, and computers) to create their video content anytime, anywhere. 

This means UGV is more affordable and more accessible, empowering organizations to raise up the voices of people who aren’t regularly included in the conversation. 

And it’s effective. Surveys consistently show that authenticity and passion are most important to video viewers. For example, a Think with Google survey found that people rate content that relates to their interests and passions as 1.6X more important than whether or not a video has high production value. User-generated video doesn’t just earn more views, it also: 

  • Impacts purchasing decisions
  • Improves brand engagement
  • Generates compelling social proof

And, while it’s possible to collect video content from your community manually, user-generated video software solutions enable you to scale your use of UGV, even with a small team and limited resources. To maximize the performance of your strategic campaigns, you need more user-generated video that you can collect on your own. 

Here are the top 7 things to look for when choosing a user-generated video software solution:

1. Ease-of-Use

Leveraging user-generated video regularly is still new to many organizations. For most, it’s been a manual process to create, manage, and utilize these videos. And that manually process is complex, slow, and overwhelmingly resource-intensive. 

But, UGV is too important to be hard. The software you select needs to be intuitive and simple. Think about how your organization and stakeholders (including your video creators) will be able to utilize the software solutions you’re considering. 

Overly complex tools have low adoption and quickly become cost centers, while best-in-class solutions enable those without video experience and technical skills to quickly get started gathering, building, and sharing UGV.

Questions to ask: 

  • How can I make videos using your software solution?
  • Are the video gathering, editing, and publishing tools simple or overly complex?
  • What client case studies and testimonials can I review?

2. Ownership and Control

When dealing with user-generated videos it is important to understand Digital Rights Management. A video created by a user is theirs until explicit transfer of ownership occurs. Historically, this has been handled by media release forms which are manually managed and therefore inefficient.  

When selecting a user-generated video solution, make sure that there is an efficient transfer of ownership and maintenance of those records so your organization is empowered to use the video content as you see fit. This requires details around when, where, and how you utilize content.  

Questions to ask: 

  • Will my organization own the video content collected with your software?
  • What ownership rights do you secure from video creators?
  • Can I customize video rights ownership messaging?

3. Speed to Value

One of the key benefits to user-generated video is the ability to move quickly and to scale without having to pour in the tremendous resources associated with traditional video production. 

As you assess your options, make sure your user-generated video software solution provider has a clear perspective on how their tool will empower you to move quickly with gathering and publishing the user-generated video you need to drive business results.

Questions to ask: 

  • How quickly can I start collecting user-generated video content?
  • How long does it take to get those videos to my website or social media?
  • Is there an easy way to incorporate those videos into my email campaigns?

4. Human-Centered

User-generated videos are created by humans, not bots, animated characters, or avatars. When selecting a user-generated video software solution, make sure you choose a human-centered organization that gives you access to support from real people instead of just a set of tutorials. 

Intuitive technology and strategic video playbooks are great, but having access to a real person to ask questions, secure advice, and get support from can mean the difference between success and failure.  

Questions to ask: 

  • Are you dealing with real people on video during the discovery and demo process or are you on the phone or websites only?
  • Once you choose a UGV software solution, who will support you?
  • How much human contact will you have with your software solution provider?

5. Video Playbooks

In our increasingly connected digital world, best practices for where and how to leverage user-generated video content are constantly evolving. Your UGV software solution provider should offer the knowledge and expertise you need to achieve more with video. 

While many user-generated video software providers are relatively new, some have gained experience over the past three to five years with early adopters that have helped develop playbooks for user-generated video content creation, management, and utilization. These video playbooks bank on proven techniques developed after multiple tests and experiments and ensure performance targets when followed.

Questions to ask: 

  • What playbooks for user generated video do you provide?
  • What is included in your playbooks?

6. Flexibility

Most organizations begin with a very simple and clear need for user-generated video content. Testimonials are a great example. But, testimonials aren’t the only type of user-generated content your organization needs to be successful. When selecting a user-generated video software solution provider, think long-term. 

The tool you choose needs to offer your organization the flexibility to gather UGV of all kinds from event invitation email videos to mobile app promotion videos to course reflection videos to holiday greetings videos from patients’ families to fundraising videos.

Questions to ask: 

  • How many different types of UGV do you support?
  • Can I customize the type of UGV I receive?
  • Can other departments within my organization use the software as well?

7. Accessibility

User-generated video software solutions make video more accessible, by allowing organizations to capture authentic video content from real people anytime, anywhere, using their own phones, tablets, or computers. Make sure the tool you choose offers accessibility to everyone involved with your videos from video creators to video viewers to team members in your organization who will gather, build, and share the video content. 

Ask yourself how accessible the solution makes it for people to create videos you want and need. Will they need to download the app? What kind of device can videos be recorded on? Do video creators have to be connected to the internet to record their videos?

And don’t forget to assess how accessible the tool is for the people in your organization who will work with the video content. Is there a limit to how many people can access the tool? Is the software niche and limited in its capabilities, or does it allow for customization and broader adoption?

Questions to ask:

  • Will the videos you create be accessible to your viewing audience? 
  • Will they have closed captions included? 
  • Can they be utilized across your multiple channels of communications?  

About Gather Voices’ Video Software Solutions

Gather Voices simplifies video content creation, making it affordable and simple. Collect video from anyone, anywhere, on any device. Manage, edit, caption and publish video with incredible speed and scale. 

Co-create engaging stories by empowering your community to make compelling videos, directed by you and owned by your organization, using the powerful cameras everyone already has in their pockets.

You can learn more about how organizations like yours are meeting their goals with Gather Voices by reviewing our case studies and requesting a demo today.


Quality is in the eye of the beholder: new research on what viewers love. (April 2019). Think with Google

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