How to Get Started with UGC: A Practical Guide for Producers


From speaking to TV producers recently, it feels like recovery is finally underway, and demand for content is greater than ever.

But the pandemic has accelerated changes to consumption habits that were already happening pre-Covid. Driven by millennials and Gen Z, more and more people are turning to social media channels for entertainment, news, and current affairs. Infact, only 1 in 8 of the Gen Z population are now consuming this type of content from traditional broadcast networks and cable channels.

The time is now to reach audiences through alternative types of production. So, here’s my producers guide to getting started with UGC.

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What is UGC?

Quite simply - “UGC is a rich source of relevant and fresh stories created by the public.”

Despite common misconceptions, UGC is not just cute cats and people falling over. The quality, variety, and quantity of UGC being created increases daily as creators document their lives and the world around them – the happy, the sad, the shocking, the surprising, the weird and the wonderful. Moments that otherwise go untold.

It’s possible to find videos of just about anything – viral clips of course, but also animals and nature, sport, science, weather, travel, news, and events. UGC gives producers access to relevant, fresh and unique stories.

TV production is being fundamentally changed. UGC is now a key ingredient in many factual and unscripted shows, and it’s becoming increasingly vital for the sake of relevance that broadcast networks and cable channels utilise this content.

UGC is more than low-quality home video

A professional TV production crew can produce better-looking content, but the value of UGC isn’t in the quality of its production. It’s a valuable storytelling device because of its unparalleled connection and relevance to the audience – it makes them feel totally immersed in the action.

The key is to let the footage tell the story. No quality dramatic recreation can deliver the raw urgency or emotionality of real footage. UGC offers a visceral on-screen experience that retrospective interviews and recreations cannot deliver. However, that doesn’t mean you have to hand over control.

UGC can be directed, whilst still being authentic. Thanks to Newsflare’s video brief feature everyday people on our platform shoot amazing bespoke material that can be put together into brilliant factual and unscripted productions.

UGC is authentic and trustworthy

When you’re in constant competition for audience attention, authenticity is critical. Audiences view UGC as more trustworthy, truthful, and authentic than either curated content or stock footage. In fact, studies have shown UGC to be the most authentic and influential form of content.

Sourcing and verifying videos directly from creators can make using UGC both time-consuming and costly for producers. But it doesn’t have to be that way. When sourcing UGC content, the power of partnering with a UGC platform can really come into play.

At Newsflare, our trust algorithm meticulously verifies and quickly clears 5,000+ of the best videos every month, enabling you to produce with absolute confidence.

UGC is storytelling at speed

Another big challenge with UGC has traditionally been access and utilisation. Producers are often working to tight deadlines, and this creates the need to uncover and access the clips you need and get them into production as fast as possible. Again, you don’t need to do this yourself.

With organisations like Newsflare providing the biggest archive of UGC, as well as access to a vast network of active contributors delivering fresh content every day, time constraints are no longer a concern. UGC is available, its cost effective, and you can get it straight into production.

So how to access UGC?

Now I’ve definitely got this bit covered.

Newsflare makes accessing and getting high quality UGC into production easy. We specialise in sourcing and verifying videos of every genre and format to production companies around the world. You can search and license from 250,000 videos filmed by our diverse community, and we'll help you find the content your production needs or crowdsource content by putting our 45,000 creators to work on bespoke footage for your production.

Get in touch with a member of our team to find out how we can help you build get started with UGC.

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Morgan Schofield
Author

Morgan Schofield