Why Should Trade Associations Care About User Generated Content?

Marketing your association and initiatives is getting more complicated and nuanced with each passing day. Finding the right way to reach your audience is just one component. Giving them authentic content—that is, content they can trust and relate to—is imperative. But herein lies the issue: who has time to create and produce this content?

To be truly effective, you need to be consistent with your message and your voice. You need to connect with your audience on a visceral level, give them something that resonates. You may have heard of user-generated content (UGC), but how do you get started? And what are the benefits to the association as a whole?

What is user-generated content (UGC)?

User-generated content is precisely what it sounds like: it is content – videos and images – that is made by content creators, consumers, people already within your association. UGC is part of a more significant cultural trend in which people are no longer passive consumers of content. UGC recognizes that everyone is a content creator, and video is leading the way.

User generated content makes it possible to advocate for your association using videos generated by your members. In the videos, they talk about how much they love the association and what it means to them. These are real testimonials and accolades, put forward by real people. It doesn’t get much more authentic than that.

Why video content is important

People from all demographics communicate more with video these days than ever before. From the classroom to the c-suite, video is an important tool in the effort to learn and understand so many things.

The truth is, our visual memory is far more reliable than our auditory or reading memory. This means that visuals tend to stay with us, while the bulk of what we hear and read is largely discarded. Viewers retain 95 percent of what they see in a video, versus 10 percent of what they consume in text.

All things considered, it should be an easy leap to favor video content for your fundraising efforts and other critical marketing outreach.

UGC makes collecting video content easy

One of the things we hear most from associations is that there just isn’t the time to produce enough video content to make it worthwhile. The time that it takes to develop a concept and a script, shoot the video, and then edit it into a finished product severely limits the volume of content you can produce. By the same token, hiring a professional video crew is cost-prohibitive.

And what makes user generated content so attractive? It already exists, so you don’t have to do a thing except cut it into your project, then add your titles and transitions. The videos are created by real, passionate people who have a vested interest in your association. In one fell swoop, you’ve addressed all of your pain points: price, time to produce, and trust. It’s a win-win.

Leverage your members’ passion to drive results

Your own members are an association marketer’s best resource for content creation.

Not everyone can write a long blog post, but everyone has something to say or a story to share. Just about any person, regardless of their technical aptitude, can make a video on their phone. By accessing this untapped audience, you will find an incredible wealth of knowledge and experience at your fingertips.

As for the technology, the prevalence of high-quality mobile phone cameras makes it easier than ever for people to share their stories with video. The content you receive can be easily worked into great-looking, high-quality marketing videos that can then be used to deliver your message.

A wealth of content is out there, waiting for you. All you have to do is ask.

What you can learn from the success of others

Today, many associations are leading the way – and getting remarkable results – with member-generated video.

Here are a couple of examples of association success stories:

The League of American Orchestras were able to raise $75,000 in just 24 hours by leveraging user generated content. The videos they collected were of their members sharing personal stories of what the League meant to them and how it had made a difference in their lives.

They faced some challenges in that their members were located all across the country. If they were to produce a video themselves using a professional video crew, it would have been extremely time-consuming, expensive, and complicated.

Leveraging the Gather Voices platform, they were able to collect videos from members that were made on their own time, using only their mobile phones. Videos are synced instantly to their online library, where the marketing team was able to access and edit them into the video they wanted.

The Non Profit Technology Network leveraged user generated content to boost their course enrollment. Their UGC campaign increased CTR by 70 percent and course enrollments by 33 percent.

Here’s how they did it: the association asked their instructors to make a short, personalized video on their mobile device. These videos were then used on course landing pages and in promotional outreach.

User generated content, SEO, and SEM

Search engine marketing can be very successful if it’s done well. However, people’s tolerance for ads and their tastes are changing. Trust and authenticity are prerequisites for a successful campaign.

User generated content can help boost your SEO (unpaid) and SEM (paid) results by taking advantage of the second-most important search engine after Google – YouTube. Videos work with your optimized website to provide search engines with more reasons to deliver your site in search results. This means higher-quality traffic for you and less work overall to obtain great results in the SERPs.

Gather Voices, User Generated Content, and You

If you want to increase your video content marketing output, reduce costs, and boost campaign results, Gather Voices could be the solution you have been looking for. Reach out today to learn more or to request a free demo of our platform.

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