Customer generated video is awesome for all kinds of reasons right? Social proof, customer insights, unique content for your brand...awesome...just one problem. How exactly do we encourage customers to give us video content?

Well the good news is that lots of brands are already gathering great user generated content efficiently, and its not down to the size of their budget.

There are tried and tested (and most importantly, repeatable) methods which will have your customers generating the content you need in no time at all, and we’ve distilled down 5 of the most effective for you to get started on right now.

1. Start with your existing advocates

This should be your first port of call for UGV (user generated video), as it takes the least amount of effort, and gets you some of the best results. Don’t just focus on big brands, but customers with the most passion.

a) Leverage Personal relationships: You have built some great one on one relationships in your business, and its time to harness that goodwill. Reach out to your top 10-20 customers, personal contact works best; we give ours a quick call, and ask them “a huge favour”. Here is what we get back:

b) Leverage online community: The best we’ve seen here goes to Joy Agency who very successfully recruit consumers for client video research using a single, albeit very well crafted, Facebook post.

At the request for parents to film their childrens wardrobes, Pumpkin Patch received 400 responses within the first 2hours

2.INSPIRE content generation!

Inspired content wins every time, as its more passionate, genuine and you’ll generate more of it. Inspiring involves understanding what your customers are most passionate about, and tailoring the video you want to create around this. This could be sport, business, family, you name it.

3. Law of reciprocity

This is the whole “if i scratch your back, will you scratch mine” scenario. At its heart, if someone does something for us, we feel obliged to return the favour, and is No1 of Cialdini’s six principles of influence.

This goes in hand with inspiring, however sometimes a little “icing on the cake” can make all the difference. They key, again is to understand exactly what your customers time is worth.

a) Make the first move Maybe this is an introduction, donating to charity on their behalf, or inviting them to your event.

b) Offer a reward Most video market research projects offer discount vouchers or direct payment in return for the time given. Try to steer away from communicating an exact dollar amount, this ensures you don’t just pick up ticket clippers, and gives you flexibility to reward more or less.

4. Timing

As with any campaign, timing is crucial for response rates. At what point in the customer journey do you request content:

a) Point of sale: When a customer purchases / receives your product or service, usually it sparks excitement! This is a great time to send through a follow up email or text asking them to tell you what they think.

b) Customer service: Great customer service is pretty much one of the best ways to inspire advocacy. I have a problem with a product, the brand pulls out all the stops to fix it for me, I want to bloody well hug them! Get this hug on video, these will be the best testimonials you ever receive.

5. “Seed” content

A little social proofing strategy here: no one wants to be the first to do something. Show others doing it, and you’ll not only increase the willingness of new people to contribute, they will have good examples to follow.

Leverage meetings, events and close advocates to generate this seed content. When you ask someone in person, very few people say no. We see 80% + acceptance rates in person.

Rezdy does this exceptionally well, capturing their clients on video after each and every meeting.