How To Find Quality UGC Video (Regardless of Budget)

October 12, 2023

Engaging, authentic, and effective, user-generated video content (UGVC) is a worthwhile investment.

Created by real people and easily integrated into your social channels and website, this medium is a powerful way to supercharge your brand awareness, sales, and more.

But how do you harness the efficacy of UGC video that meets your quality standards while being mindful of your marketing budget? 

Review this comprehensive guide to identifying and finding quality UGC videos while balancing budget constraints and best practices for content curation.

In this article:

  • What are the key characteristics of quality UGC video?
  • How to find quality UGC video in 5 steps
  • How to balance budget constraints with UGC quality 
  • UGC curation and moderation best practices

What are the key characteristics of quality UGC video?

It's important to recognize there's no one-size-fits-all recipe for success. Instead, we must explore several vital factors that contribute to its effectiveness. These factors include stories that connect with audiences, demonstrating authenticity, and the quality of the video.

Stories that truly resonate 

Customers rank UGC as the most trustworthy type of content. On top of that, consumers find short-form videos to be the most engaging type of content on social media.

According to Forbes, “Highly shareable, bite-sized videos are 2.5 times more engaging than longer videos, and 34 percent of consumers appreciate the more genuine nature of the shorter form.”

While it’s a highly trusted and engaging medium, you need to ensure you’re selecting videos from creators that resonate with your audience. So what does this look like in practice?

Featuring videos where creators offer a window into the real-world application of products or services. Selecting UGC videos from creators who mirror your target audience’s aspirations, pain points, and emotions. Sharing content that illustrates a story about how the creator went from an everyday customer to a raving fan of your brand is especially valuable. 

The goal is relatability, alignment with your target audience, and showcasing a narrative.

An authentic message and voice

Regardless of the source of the UGC (your customers, influencers, brand ambassadors, or even your employees), users want authenticity. So how do you pinpoint authenticity in video reviews

Focus on emotionality and the creator shares how the product or service makes them feel. Consider its utility for social proof and if the video shows a change in the creator’s life caused by the product. Be on the lookout for unique voices and strong personalities where creators embrace self-expression.

Solid video production quality

You can find the most genuine, compelling UGC, but if they aren’t high-quality video content then they might fall flat.

According to Statista, 68 percent of U.S. consumers said video quality was very important when watching user-generated content online.

What’s more? Video quality impacts conversions. Statista also reported that user-generated content with high video quality had a 3.2 percent conversion rate, compared to 1.9 percent for low-quality videos. It’s not just preference. Better video quality results in better conversion rates.

Establish quality standards for identifying UGC videos, including:

  • Clear audio: High audio quality is essential for viewer engagement; make sure the sound is clear and free from background noise or disturbances. 
  • Stable footage: Look for or request videos with a steady focus, since shakiness can be distracting. 
  • Adequate lighting: Ensure that the person is well-lit and there aren’t excessive shadows.
  • Good resolution and clarity: Ideally, videos should be shot in at least HD resolution (1080p) to maintain clarity and quality. 

How to find quality UGC video in 5 steps

Once you know what you’re looking for, it’s time to create and follow a plan for success. Follow these five steps to curate user-generated content for your next UGC video campaign. 

1) Create a UGC video campaign 

First things first, start with a campaign with clear goals and benchmarks. Whether you’re looking to gather video reviews from real users or sponsor video content from influencers, fleshing out a campaign is your first step.

To ensure success, review these tips for creating a video review campaign

Searching for UGC videos manually is time-consuming. What’s worse, grinding through video after video won’t always show you your best options. Leveraging the power of automation for video discovery saves countless hours trying to manually find and assess customer sentiment.

Instead of curating a list of videos at will, make UGC a part of your marketing strategy and begin a UGC video campaign.

2) Leverage the power of influencers and brand ambassadors

Influencer marketing has become one of the most popular and effective forms of online marketing. It is a billion-dollar industry, and it’s expected to keep growing. 

Brand ambassadors have a longer-term relationship and are active users of the product or service before promoting the brand. Meanwhile, influencers are people with well-established social following and reputation. Typically, influencers have shorter-term relationships with brands based on campaign terms. 

By gathering UGC videos from influencers and brand ambassadors, you can expand your reach, awareness, and brand trust. 

Based on your budget and goals, both can be effective and successful channels. 

3) Provide incentives

Offering a range of incentives, such as free trials, coupons, discounts, exclusive access, and giveaways, can effectively encourage individuals to share UGC content.

For instance, a clothing brand might offer a 15 percent discount on the next purchase to customers who submit a video review of their recent clothing purchase, thus motivating them to create and share UGC.

The choice of incentives should align with your brand and target audience, ensuring that they resonate and incentivize action.

Planning out which incentives you’ll offer is a vital part of your UGC video campaign. 

4) Share customer reviews on your website

Once your campaign is underway and you've identified compelling UGC, it's essential to integrate this content into your website.

Strategically placing video reviews on your homepage, product pages, and testimonials section can significantly enhance user engagement and credibility.

It provides social proof, fostering trust among potential customers and encouraging them to explore further.

Therefore, incorporating UGC, especially video reviews, into your website is a powerful tactic to boost website engagement and overall brand trustworthiness.

5) Use UGC videos to promote new product launches

Beyond integrating UGC on your website, it's important to harness the potential of this video content for promoting new product launches.

Leveraging platforms such as Instagram, TikTok, and YouTube to showcase UGC videos can generate anticipation and excitement among your audience.

Weaving it into product launch campaigns taps into the authentic and relatable nature of user-generated content, which often resonates more with consumers than traditional advertising.

Incorporating UGC into your product launch strategy helps build excitement, engage your audience, and drive interest in your new products.

Here are some winning examples of video review campaigns

How to balance budget constraints with UGC quality 

Despite what you might think, your business can find and source high-quality UGC video content on any budget. It just takes some careful, intentional planning.

The price of quality UGC can vary based on details like sponsorships, paid promotions, and incentives. Plus, there are hidden costs like your team’s salary and time, tools used, and more. 

As a benchmark, the average price of a sponsored YouTube video with over a million views was $2,500 in 2022.

Even with budget constraints, there are effective strategies to consider. In the following section, we'll delve into specific tactics for harnessing the power of UGC without breaking the bank.

Low or zero-budget incentives 

Get creative with other low or no-budget incentives to offer your audience in exchange for UGC videos. 

Organize UGC contests or challenges with enticing prizes like merchandise, discounts, or even recognition as the "Fan of the Month." Encourage participants to submit creative videos related to your brand.

Celebrate your customers' UGC by sharing it and giving them a shoutout on your social media platforms or website. Share their content prominently, along with a heartfelt thank-you message. When others see what you’re doing, they post in hopes they’ll be next to be featured.

Provide exclusive access to new features, content, or beta testing of products or services. This can make creators feel valued and incentivize them to create more content.

Collaborate with your loyal customers on joint UGC projects, such as product reviews, tutorials, or storytelling. This not only incentivizes their participation but also strengthens their emotional connection to your brand.

Tap into niche communities 

While sponsoring with well-known influencers can be more expensive, you don’t need to always partner with the most-followed accounts to make a splash.

Finding niche communities and forums that reach your target audience is a solid first step. From there, you can share content on those channels and even find more affordable ambassadors and influencers to work with. 

Instead of going to them, you can also have them come to you. Foster a sense of community by creating forums or groups where customers can share their experiences and content. Offer recognition or rewards to active contributors.

Source content from employees

Beyond consumers, ambassadors, and influencers, you may have an untapped source of budget-friendly video creators: your employees.

Employees could create behind-the-scenes videos, share their favorite products, and reveal insider tips. Not only are these dynamic, engaging perspectives to share, but they won’t cost as much as other formats.

You can still provide incentives that don’t break the bank, like free products, entries in company-wide raffles, or other company perks. 

UGC curation and moderation best practices

When it comes to UGC curation and moderation, several best practices are worth noting.

First and foremost, it's crucial to ensure that all submissions align closely with your brand values and guidelines. This alignment not only maintains brand consistency but also upholds your image.

Additionally, if your campaign requires specific submissions, be sure to provide clear criteria to your audience to encourage the submission of the most appropriate and highest-quality content.

Finally, an ongoing commitment to monitor and manage your brand's UGC is essential.

This vigilant approach helps preserve the quality and relevance of the content over time, ensuring it continues to reflect positively on your brand.


User-generated video content stands as a valuable asset for your brand, offering engagement, authenticity, and effectiveness. Integrating these trusted videos into online platforms elevates brand awareness and drives sales.

However, the challenge lies in harnessing the power of UGC video while adhering to quality standards and budget constraints. This comprehensive guide walked through key characteristics of quality UGC video, practical steps to find and curate it, and strategies to balance quality with budget limitations.

By adhering to these principles and best practices, you can leverage UGC video to connect with your audience, foster trust, and propel your brand to new heights.

Are you ready to embark on a UGC video campaign? Discover how you can leverage Vyrill to make your video campaigns easier, more efficient, and more effective. 

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About the Author

Katy boasts two decades in B2B technology & services, spearheading growth and brand evolution. A former Adobe marketing maven for 9 years, she’s since built growth teams for 5 tech startups that have all been acquired. With a stellar record in operational excellence and creating demand, she excels at leading successful cross-functional initiatives that enable companies to scale up.

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