How User-Generated Content Can Transform Your Company’s Storytelling



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Lisa McDonald, Chief Creative Officer of Storyful, and Vincent Deneux, Chief Content Officer of Publicis Media in France focused on storytelling and explained how user-generated content (UGC) can lead to authentic storytelling for brands.

Everyone has become a content creator, sharing a story through social media and this has created an additional challenge for brands that now don’t compete only with other brands, but also with users.

Content consumption has reached impressive numbers, as there are 400 hours of video uploaded on Youtube every minute, 10 billion views on Snapchat daily, and more than 8 billion video views per day for Facebook.

Below are some takeaways from the session. To watch the entire talk, plus access more than 100 hours of other SMW events and presentations, sign up for SMW Insider.

It is estimated that 80% of online content is generated by users, and everything is happening at such a pace that we “live by the touch, or die by the swipe.”

It is what Lisa McDonald called the concept of “democratized storytelling,” where everyone can share content, changing the dynamics between brands and customers.

It’s important to remember that “you only couple of moments to break through and build meaningful relationship with customers” and that’s why you need to “share content at scale that feels authentic and it’s engaging”

A great example is Turkish Airlines, which was among the official partners of Euro 2016, working with Publicis to scale its presence during the tournament.

The idea was to try out a different concept and focus on the fans, use their content, push it, repost it, but this time focusing on authenticity.

As Vincent Deneux mentioned, “If you don’t do it for real, people won’t take you for real.”

Thus, they wanted to “seize the opportunity to help people widen their dreams about football” while the challenge was to create enough content to feed the social channels.

Storyful helped with providing the brand engaging content, an existing audience, rapid deployment, helping to “discover, validate and acquire existing content to make sense for brands and campaigns”

The key message was finding “moments that matter,” identifying the emotional content that would tell a message with authentic stories.

The key to success relied on three points:

  1. Discovering relevant content in real-time
  2. Identifying the unexpected extras worth sharing
  3. Sharing the experience quickly

It was important that both the execution and the operation were getting on the same page, with Storyful focusing on aligning with brands’ objectives, while working on discovering content, verifying and licensing it for brand use and deploying it rapidly.

Vincent Deneux wanted to prove that “good content doesn’t need media budget” and thus, the campaign focused on user-generated content led to…

  • 600k video views
  • 15k organic engagements
  • 2k organic shares

Which came from…

  • 263 pieces of content discovered
  • 92 stories published
  • 50 content alerts during the campaign sent
  • 6 real-time influencers identified

The content was 10 times more effective than the rest that Turkish Airlines was creating for the tournament which highlights the “shift in content horizon” with Vincent Deneux suggesting that all brand should be true to themselves, “otherwise UGC is going to kill us all.”

Thus, maybe it’s time to “reorganize ourselves” and “deliver content that is true to the audience.”

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