User Generated Content (UGC) is an unparalleled content creation channel. It’s also set to be one of the biggest game changers for marketers in 2018. Why, you ask? Very good question.

How do you ensure you have a user’s permission to use their content? Also a great question.

Well, read on dear reader, read on.

Social media is a content-hungry beast. And it’s growing by the day. Each new channel needs more resource, more attention, more personalization. But your team hasn’t grown - and you also want a freaking life.

Apart from being a really fun buzzword that makes you sound like you know stuff, it transforms your content team into an entire content troop. And the content you get? It’s more authentic, it’s in real time, and it’s more likely to get attention - because it’s your audience telling the Story. This matters, because 86% of consumers say authenticity is important when deciding what brands they like and support - and content created by consumers is 3x more powerful than content created by a brand when it comes to authenticity.

When done right, UGC can help source authentic on brand content with ease. This is amazingly advantageous for marketers with little resource, or those constrained by strict brand guidelines within their typical content creation channels.

But perhaps most impressively, UGC outperforms other content when it comes to brand marketing - and it isn’t even a close shave. With 84% of millennials saying UGC influences their purchases, it’s not surprising that Shopify found that UGC can lead to:

  • 4x higher click-through rates

  • 50% drop in cost of acquisition

  • 50% drop in cost-per-click

So, the numbers matter - and they talk a big game.

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As it pertains to user generated content (UGC) captured using Mish Guru, we have seen brands take a variety of approaches. Obtaining user rights should be a seamless process for both the brand and user, and when done right, can help to grow an entire brand advocate base of engaged users. 

Read on to see the strategies used by brands on our platform for dealing with user rights management.

If brands are crafting a Snapchat or Instagram Story that they hope will produce UGC for re-use in the public domain, they will provide clear messaging within the story around what they plan to do with the content. For example, some brands include a Snap in their story which communicates something along the lines of the following:

 

Send us a Snap doing XXX

For your chance to win YYY

All received Snaps will be screenshot and may be used by ZZZ for marketing purposes

 

If a user submitted content having seen the above, the idea is that they have given implied consent for their content to be used. Obviously we aren’t lawyers, so you should double check that with some legal minds. You can find a folder filled with example Snaps with similar messaging here.

 
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A brand can also seek to obtain explicit consent for content use. To do this, a brand might reach out to ask the user if they’d be happy for their content to be used by the brand.

When making rights requests, it can be helpful to:

  • Make the request from a brand account, not a personal one

  • To be friendly, but not overly familiar

  • To remember to thank every user, regardless of whether they give permission or not

An example rights request message might be along the lines of:

 
Hi there! We really loved the Snap we received of you doing XXX. Do we have your permission to use it for YYY? If you’re happy for us to use your content, simply reply ‘go for it’.
 

The brand might also offer a means for the user to get more information, which could  be from a terms and conditions page. ShortStack has a great template for a UGC Terms and Conditions page which you can check out as an example.

If the user gives the brand permission, the brand will typically make a record of their explicit written consent by screenshotting the message thread. This keeps an account of the user’s willingness for their content to be used, and helps to keep a record of the brands interactions with their brand advocates.

The power of UGC is clear, and the opportunity for brands to grab audience’s attention - and keep it - is there for the taking. The link between authenticity, brand affinity, and purchase behaviour proves that the most powerful content creators may actually sit outside the walls of your office - you just have to tell them how to do it.

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As we mentioned earlier, we aren’t lawyers, so please don't take this as legal advice #notlawyers