Is UGC just low quality home video?


The most compelling thing about user-generated content (UGC) is the rawness and authenticity of real video from real people. But this is also one of the most common reasons for reticence in using it.

There still remains an air of caution. I get it; it can be hard to justify exchanging perfect-looking high production video for less polished creator content. But here’s four reasons that might change your mind…

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  1. UGC is not just low quality home video

    UGC typically conjures up images of wobbly shots and equally wobbly sound… in some cases this is exactly what you do get, but it’s definitely not the norm anymore. When created without an engaging story at its heart, videos can seem amateurish. But with cameras, many as good as many professional ones on the market, in everyone’s pocket and the public capturing events at a moment’s notice, it allows producers to unearth and shine a light on stories that otherwise couldn’t be told.

  2. The value of UGC is in the story, not in the quality of its production

    A professional production crew may well produce better looking content, and let’s be honest in some cases there’s no substitute for the craft of a professionally shot video. UGC is not a replacement. UGC is a valuable storytelling tool because it is unparalleled in terms of its connection and relevance to the audience. UGC provides another window on great story telling. Where professional footage can look staged (especially in reconstructions or stock), UGC can only be viewed as genuine and authentic. UGC captures otherwise unseen moments in raw and authentic ways that simply cannot be created, and as such helps to create truly compelling narratives and deeper audience connections.
  1. UGC can still be directed

I’m not for one moment of course suggesting that production companies ditch the craft of directing a compelling narrative and visual story in favour of UGC, merely suggesting that when used in the right way UGC can be a key differentiator, helping producers get even more creative. UGC can be directed, whilst still being authentic. Given the right direction, everyday people on the Newsflare platform shoot amazing bespoke material that can be put together into brilliant films.

  1. Quantity and quality

    Audience viewing habits and the ways in which they choose to consume content are changing rapidly. They want non-linear content, on the go and as such incumbent broadcasters are facing growing competition for eyeballs, attention, ad spend, talent and rights. Attracting these eyeballs means delivering more and delivering it faster. UGC is available, it’s cost effective, it’s talent on tap, you can get it straight into production, and most importantly the very nature of UGC means it grabs attention and keeps hold of it.

The key to any successful production will always be the craft of creating a compelling narrative and visual story.   Don’t discount UGC as just low-quality home video, it’s so much more than that – it’s a fantastic way to engage, captivate, inspire and tell great stories to your audience.

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

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

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Morgan Schofield
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Morgan Schofield