CinebodyUser-Directed Content™ 6 Ways User-Generated Content Ruins Your Content Strategy

6 Ways User-Generated Content Ruins Your Content Strategy

User-generated content

Today’s content landscape is changing faster than ever. Brands and agencies are under pressure to create authentic content that engages fans, but user-generated content is missing the mark. Here are 6 flawed aspects of user-generated content and how brands and agencies can create better content in a new way.


1. PR nightmares & hashtag hijacking

When it comes to brand communication, few things are worse than a PR nightmare. User-generated content campaigns are notorious for creating uncontrollable PR meltdowns when malicious or parody sources take over a campaign via “hashtag hijacking”. In 2012, McDonald’s launched the #McDStories campaign to “inspire heart-warming stories about Happy Meals”, which quickly turned into hilarious and disgusting user-generated stories about horrific McDonald’s experiences.

User-generated content

2. Lack of two-way communication

Traditional social media rarely creates a true, two-way, collaborative conversation between a brand and its fans. The most common model occurs when brands and consumers independently push media into the same ecosphere. User-generated content campaigns consistently miss the mark on how brands and consumers can interact in an authentic way.

3. Intellectual property infringement

Unfortunately, if you aren’t Facebook, you don’t own Instagram. When you invite your fans to create content on social, you are inviting your kids to play in somebody else’s pool. Brand-tarnishing consequences aside, what if everything goes well? Even in this case, you don’t own that content until you are given explicit permission from the user. This often leaves brands looking at users like a teenage crush staring at a “read” receipt. By the time you receive a user’s approval, the content could be completely irrelevant.

4. Zero feedback

Just like that “read” receipt, user-generated content does not offer any opportunity for feedback. Attentive brands lack a way to communicate with users who create content outside the ether of comments. One-to-one communication, such as push notifications, can help users transform an eye-curdling, vertical video into a beautiful, yet authentic, landscape shot.

5. “We’re doin’ it live!”

Live streaming is completely devoid of moderation, leaving your brand vulnerable to misrepresentation. Facebook has now hired a dedicated team of over 3,000 employees to watch live streaming videos after a string of violent crimes were streamed. Live streams have time-sensitivity against a brand, and a screen recording can turn a “live” video immortal.

6. Randomness  

Unique perspectives are critical to a brand’s social strategy, but fans can only interpret an open-ended prompt in so many ways. Brands must ensure that they clearly direct users in a helpful, creative way that reduces randomness and redundancy. UGC typically receives higher engagement than other forms, but videos that lack storytelling and cohesion do nothing for a brand.

User-generated content

“User-Generated Content” via Google Trends

How User-Directed Content™ solves the pitfalls of User-Generated Content. 

Due to these issues, user-generated content’s popularity has fluctuated since 2008. Brands know that user content and engagement are critical aspects of their social strategy, but they don’t want any of the adverse baggage. User-Directed Content™ connects brands and their communities in fundamentally different ways. There are 3 key solutions to these problems that User-Directed Content™ provides.

Standardized shot lists

Brands create a cohesive story that directs their community and captures the exact look and feel that a brand wants. A shot list concisely directs collaborators to film desirable shots, while still leaving room for unique perspectives. Through this direction, brands can tell a quality story that adheres to brand standards.

Real-time editing

User-generated content

Moderating incoming content in real-time through a platform like Cinebody ensures that your brand is protected and that all clips are controlled by editors.

User-Directed Content™ is owned content.

Unlike UGC, brands own the full rights to the content that collaborators capture during a campaign. Through Cinebody, content instantly uploads to the cloud where it can be edited and distributed within minutes of an event’s conclusion.

Ready to utilize the power of User-Directed Content™? Request a demo to get started.


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