CEO Con Raso shares his opinion on how UGC can be used to impact your business or brand when paired with music.
UGC, or User Generated Content, has been around as long as the internet itself. In the early days when everyone was speed-restricted, UGC was in text format. We created and shared stories that people could read, and distributed them via whatever method was big at the time - anyone remember Bulletin Boards?
As the online world evolved, the advent of Social Networking made the concept of sharing simpler and more widely accessible. We started to share much more unstructured content, often created on the spur of the moment. The content itself evolved into audio and video and became fun.
Fast forward to today, and platforms like Instagram, Facebook, Snapchat and TikTok have even changed the way we communicate. We “speak” via UGC, using video, audio and our own imagery to showcase what we're doing, where we've been and what we love.
But it's not just sharing pics of your latest meal or holiday destination - UGC is changing how we think. TikTok in particular has redefined the concept of what it is to be a creator. The new kid on the social block has been the catalyst for major hits, and has even been responsible for breaking new acts - just by allowing people to connect their video creations with music in a simple way.
There are many good reasons to use UGC in your marketing, so today I’d like to focus on just a couple of ways you can use it in conjunction with your music strategy. We'll look at the possibilities for two different areas of the market - both about creating uniqueness and fun.
Firstly, let’s look at a traditional music application, and how you create something unique in what you are trying to do. You may have an unusual business model, or perhaps a different focus on a market segment. Maybe you’re creating a more equitable way of distributing revenue to artists, but at its core, people are using your app for the content it provides.
How about creating a deeper link between music consumers and artists? Most people want to know more about the artists that they follow or like, but usually they have to use Music apps and Social Networks separately as a way to discover more about their idols. I believe the opportunity for Artist Generated Content (a form of UGC) is untapped and immense.
Think about it - I’m listening to a mix and the next song to come up is from an Artist I have followed or liked. Would it be valuable to me to hear them say what motivated them to record their current song (next in queue)? Would it be valuable to the Artist to share these sentiments with their fans? I think the answer is a resounding “Yes” for both, and I believe that this is the logical extension of an Artist’s creative repertoire and opportunity to deepen the relationship between an Artist and their Fans.
At Tuned Global, we’ve been thinking about this for some time. Our solution is a product where Artists can create video content directly into our music applications via our Stakkar technology - our own UGC tool. Our goal was that right out of the box, music service owners could work with Artists to create something unique in their markets. While it’s early days, we are seeing Artists creating fun and informative short form video that brings them closer to their fans - and ultimately makes being part of a music service more valuable. Keep watching this space as the concept of Artist Generated Content continues to grow and perhaps becomes like a Stock Photo Library - with a whole lot more targeting and relevance.
Now - while AGC (Artist Generated Content) is fun, what if you are a brand and want to create something cool and relevant for your audience? How do you create TikTok-like fervor amongst your user base?
We know from our own research that music resonates with over 80% of people and even higher with Millennials and Gen-Z. That’s perfect, because as a brand you can leverage this by building a campaign that uses music to attract your audience and keeps them engaged.
Brands can work with companies like Tuned Global to bring major labels and artists into the mix and create something unique, meaningful and memorable. While that’s great in itself, your main objective is not to build the next Spotify or Apple Music, but to use this opportunity to know your customer better and impact your core business. A great example is Pizza Hut’s Singing Pizza.
I think a UGC strategy can really work here - create an opportunity where you can theme competitions to available music tracks and have people post UGC with that music. Don’t limit your exposure to a single app, but allow users to easily post that content directly to a social network, amplifying the reach of your campaign (and your brand!).
It's not too good to be true - it’s available now and will continue to grow over the next couple of years. Check out what we did with our partner Warner Music and their major artist Ed Sheeran.