November 12, 2015


Quick guide – Unlocking the potential of user-created content in 5 steps

Enterprise video solutions are an invaluable employee engagement tool, especially as businesses become increasingly digital in nature and work to connect employees in diverse locations. Getting your workers into the office at the same time for a town hall session is becoming more difficult all the time, but connecting them via a video stream is getting easier.

The opportunity created by video is clear, but the best ways to use video to engage your workforce and connect them over digital channels are┬ánot as straightforward. A variety of content types can be combined to make video more meaningful for your workers, and one of the most powerful options is user-created material. Think of it this way – peer-to-peer messaging is among the most powerful forms of advertising. Word of mouth is, despite the numerous marketing channels out there, among the best ways to get somebody to go from merely being aware of a company to actually engaging with that organization.

Employee engagement is ultimately an exercise in internal marketing, and creating peer-to-peer content can be invaluable as you try to get your workers to buy in to corporate messages. User-created content can be powerful, but you need to manage it well to create value. These five steps will help you get your user-created content strategy off the ground well:

1. Get some champions
Champions, in this context, are employees who have a clear understanding of what the organization is trying to accomplish, are excited about the strategy and can work to get their co-workers on board. Having a group of champions is important for any type of technological investment that could disrupt operations, but it is especially important for a user-generated content strategy. You need people who will want to create their own videos as an example of what the company considers good content to establish a foundation for the program. These individuals can use their own content to stimulate excitement across the company and then encourage co-workers to create their own videos as well, helping the effort gain traction and get off the ground effectively.

2. Create internal standards
User-generated content comes with some risk – what if a worker goes a bit too far outside the box and creates a video that the company doesn’t approve of? Creating clear standards that give employees a framework to operate in will help them understand what is considered appropriate for video and what isn’t. This may seem like a natural first step. However, you need to be careful to avoid creating such strict standards that nobody actually wants to try to create content in the first place. Having champions in place first gives you a core group of enthusiastic workers that can help you evaluate rules and standards from a user perspective, ensuring they provide the governance you need without stifling the initiative.

3. Get people involved at all levels
You have a group of champions who have created content that can drive excitement. You have basic rules and standards in place to give users guidelines to work within. Now you need to start branching out and getting more people involved in content creation. The key here is to get content from as many levels of the company. You don’t want the project to gain the perception as something that is only for managers or executives. Or perhaps that HR and sales have uses for video, but the rest of the company doesn’t. Diversification is key if you want the video content to have a meaningful impact across your entire organization.

4. Use targeting to inject a second wind into the project
Generating excitement at the start of a user-created content project is relatively easy, but sustaining that energy is a different matter. The first three steps can get you through the initial rollout of the video strategy. After those efforts have had time to sink in and you start to feel like people are beginning to disengage, you’ll want to start targeting specific user groups or even individuals to encourage them to get on board the content creation bandwagon. This strategic engagement tactic can breathe new life into the video plan. It can also give you a second wind of excitement to ensure video maintains enough momentum to be solidified as a key part of how employees communicate within the organization.

5. Stay on top of the effort
User-created content projects hinge on a sense of community. If people post videos only to have nobody comment on them or not have them spark conversation around the water cooler, they are probably going to stop bothering with the program. As more people tune out, fewer videos will be created and the audience will continue to disengage. Any successful user-created content strategy will require consistent attention to ensure that you are creating a community around the video content in your organization and fueling continual improvement.

Grassroots employee engagement is possible through user-created video. Following these five steps will ensure your organization is well positioned to find success getting workers plugged in to your program.