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The Combined Power of User Generated and Professionally Produced Videos

written by MO.com Subject Matter Resource David Howard

A recent comScore study reinforces what I wrote about previously about user-generated videos being a great source of marketing content for your website. The study, released late last month, reports that combining user-generated videos with professionally-produced video content helps drive online sales effectiveness.

Among providing other services, comScore measures digital media effectiveness and provides digital business analytics.

To conduct the study, comScore worked with EXPO, a company that produces and distributes, through their proprietary distribution network, product videos, and undoubtedly has an interest in results that further their business. Even taking that into consideration, however, the numbers are still impressive.

A previous phase of the study measured the impact of embedding user generated product videos within e-commerce websites. The goal in that phase was to measure if and how user generated product videos were able to make the user experience more distinctive for the supported brand relative to competitive products on the same site. Another key question was, during a recession, would user generated content videos lead to a higher willingness to pay more for the supported brand?

In that phase, comScore reported that of those watching user generated product reviews, more than 40 percent perceived the supported product as “unique and different” and more than 30 percent were willing to pay more for the supported product. Interestingly, even when the videos weren’t played, the presence of the thumbnail moved more than 13 percent of visitors to be willing to pay more for the product.

In the current study phase, the most recent one reported last month, comScore and EXPO aimed to measure the synergy between professionally produced video content and user generated product videos. The two companies worked with an un-named beauty care brand to test the combination of one professionally produced, and one user generated, “how to” demonstration video.

The brand allowed the study to replicate a real campaign from its website in the testing environment, and the researchers brought representative category purchasers into the lab to test three scenarios: a) professionally produced video only, b) user generated video only, and c) professionally produced and user generated videos together. The user generated product video was two-and-one-half minutes long.

In a veiled exposure test, the combination of professionally produced video with user generated video provided a share of choice lift for the featured product of 35.3 points, compared to a lift of 24.7 points for professional video alone, and a lift of 18.7 points for user generated video alone. (Share of choice is comScore’s metric to quantify the ability of an advertisement to influence brand preference. comScore says it is predictive of advertising-induced sales.)

In a second, cued exposure test, where participants were surveyed after being directly exposed to the content, the results were equally compelling. The increases in key measurements such as emotional intensity generated by the content, communication of the key message, and audience perception of the importance of the key message were all higher for the combination of professional and user generated content than for either content type alone.

The pairing also boosted important brand equity response rates for key indicators such as, “This is a brand I feel close to, this is the brand for me, and this brand speaks with sincerity to consumers.” Importantly, the study reports that user generated product videos did not exhibit any signs of negatively impacting brand equity.

This only scratches the surface of the data produced by the study. For example, researchers found that professionally produced video content generated different positive emotions toward the brand (noble, grand, mystic, respectful,) than user generated content (sensitive, romantic, lovely, sweet.) Marketers interested in delving deeper into the results should contact comScore or EXPO for the full dataset.

But at a high level, what are the takeaways? User generated content is a valuable supplement to existing media plans, at least for consumer packaged goods products, although comScore allows that the same techniques are used for business-to-business marketing as well. And the combination of user generated product video with professionally produced product video on e-commerce websites provides significant lift in key metrics relating to brand equity, preference and selection. Finally, holdouts afraid of introducing user generated content into their campaigns should feel at ease – there’s no evidence of such content generating negative brand equity.

So, if you haven’t introduced user generated content into your media plans yet, you no longer have an excuse. Get moving today to introduce inexpensive content to your campaigns shown to provide significant lift.

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