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Why UGC is your YouTube channel’s secret weapon
September 10, 2021
At Brave Bison, we manage YouTube channels for major rights-holders in sports, music and entertainment.
One of the things we do is help them make strategic use of content that other people create from the material they own.
That might seem counterintuitive.
When you see other people using your content, your instinct might be to instantly block it. But UGC (user-generated content) can be one of your channel’s greatest advantages. Use it well, and you’ll make a huge positive from a potential negative.
Maintain and monetise your copyright
Whenever possible, we use a YouTube tool called Content ID across our channel partner’s content. This allows us to fingerprint their videos – and try to locate any re-uploads on other channels.
If we do find a re-upload, what we do next depends on context.
Say someone makes a twenty-minute highlights video of a sports match, but the official channel can only show five minutes. We’re obliged to block that because it infringes broadcast restrictions. But for a short piece of content, we have more choice. We can still block it if we think it’s diverting traffic. But we can also monetise it, and often that’s worth doing.
Take golf as an example. If Tiger Woods is playing, that footage will be re-uploaded hundreds of times. Each of those re-uploads will have an ad in front of it. If we claim and monetise that UGC, we build a massive bank of videos all generating revenue for our partners.
What can UGC teach you?
The value of UGC isn’t just monetary. It’s also a learning tool. We analyse the most popular UGC videos made with our clients’ content to find out why they perform so well. Then we work with the clients and try to generate that kind of content for their official channels.
We’ve had a lot of success with this in recent months. One example is this video we created for CPL T20. It’s called Record Breakers! and it shows Chris Gayle and Evan Lewis chasing down 129 runs in just seven overs. As any cricket fan knows, that’s a major feat. The video has had over ten million views in two months, and it’s now the channel’s most viewed piece of content.
CPL T20 poses an exciting challenge. They have one annual six-week tournament, so they need to keep their channel active and their subscribers happy for the other ten months. As Record Breakers! shows, a really good piece of UGC-style content can even outperform real-time tournament coverage.
UGC content trends you need to jump on
Let’s have a look at the kinds of UGC-inspired trends that can be easily adopted by rights-holders.
#1 Compilations and highlights
Highlights and compilation videos often do very well. The top five catches of a match or tournament, a particular player’s best moments, or the funniest lines from a popular TV show. People search for these videos, share them, and watch them again and again. If you’re a rights-holder, you can easily use your content to create this kind of video.
#2 Timeless, evergreen content
If you’re a sports channel, you’ve got a pretty rigid content strategy during an actual tournament. You’ll have a highlights package from each match, which you can upload within maybe twenty-four hours of the match going live. Broadcast restrictions probably stop you from doing much more. Those tend to expire after a few months, by which point the audience has moved on to something else.
But you can still make great use of that content. You can go back and revisit the match and pull out key moments you weren’t able to upload at the time. It’s the same for entertainment. Keep your finger on the news pulse, and you can create exciting new videos from old footage in the light of current events.
#3 Epic events and fan favourites
Think of a moment that moved you. Maybe it was a fantastic goal or a sad or funny scene from a show. Perhaps it was a beloved player’s last match or an actor’s award-winning performance. Those moments never get old, and people go to YouTube to relive them over and over again.
One of our clients is Alofoke, a talk radio show where the conversations are filmed. They attract big celebrity guests, and the discussions can get heated! This is exactly the kind of content that lends itself to entertaining, moving and thought-provoking compilations.
By creating exciting content people want to see, UGC creators actually do a lot of testing and trialling on behalf of the rights-holders. That’s something you can and should harness.
If you let it, UGC can be a win-win-win game.
Creators get to access your premium content. Fans get new, exciting content they love watching. You get to see what works and the chance to tap into rising trends.