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User generated, native content is the new Word of Mouth


July 22, 2014

Pick up any marketing/advertising publication these days and you will find multiple articles talking about how everyone needs to switch to native advertising, and how to find ways to harness user generated content. Whether its serving a sponsored post in-stream, or leveraging a fashion bloggers Pinterest page, everyone is trying to find a way to get on the native advertising bandwagon.

The problem is that true native, user-generated content cannot be created by the brand or their agency. To be effective, it actually needs to be created by the user, and it is the brand’s responsibility to provide their users with an experience or outcome that they actually want to share. User-generated, native content is essentially word of mouth advertising done in the 21st century with technology as opposed to engaging in direct conversation. Brand ambassadors feel so connected to their brands that they want their world to know just how great their particular brand is. This puts the pressure on the brand to provide an experience that cannot be duplicated by anyone or anywhere else.

My user generated, native content experience…

My college buddy Dave took a once in a lifetime trip to South Africa to go on a safari with his soon to be wife. Dave took along his GoPro camera and filmed the awesome sites he saw and things he did while on his trip. When he got back, he spent some time editing the film before he shared his video clip across his social platforms. After watching the video, I was so impressed with the quality and versatility of the camera, that I just needed to get one for myself. After a few minutes of searching online, and reading some reviews on Amazon, $400 worth of GoPro goodness was on its way to my front door. There wasn’t any fancy advertising campaign, or large billboard ad that influenced by buying decision – it was just my buddy Dave’s awesome GoPro video that he shared on his Facebook page when he got back from South Africa that convinced me to purchase one of my own.