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The Ultimate Guide To Planning And Shooting High-ROI UGC Video

User Generated Content (UGC) is an immensely powerful tool for e-commerce advertisers.

In fact, it’s so powerful that we created an entire post about it.

User generated video content can deliver incredible results across all of your digital advertising and social media channels, helping to enhance your overall marketing strategy and increase your conversion rates. 

However, to take full advantage of the power of user generated content, you need to ensure that you’re creating effective assets. 

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That means sourcing the right talent, filming engaging content, and following proven strategies for success. 

And that’s where we can help. 

Our ultimate guide to planning and shooting user generated videos will provide you with all the knowledge you need to create high-ROI assets. Let’s get started. 

Why should I use User Generated Content?

When potential customers discover your brand online, they’ll need to trust the quality of your products and services before they buy.

User Generated Content is the perfect way to establish trust quickly.

If shoppers see real customers enjoying your products and promoting your business, they’ll recognise you as a trustworthy brand. If you’re looking to influence purchase decisions, grow your customer base and increase conversions, user generated content is the way forward. 

UGC helps to build credibility.

There’s something incredibly persuasive about watching real people interact with and enjoy your products.

Authenticity is very important in advertising. Customers are regularly exposed to ads from e-commerce brands, so you need to find a way to elevate your business. 

UGC helps to increase the credibility of your brand by clearly showcasing quality products and satisfied customers. 

UGC is cost-efficient. 

Highly effective user generated video content doesn’t require an eye-watering budget to create. 

In fact, since the users themselves are doing the majority of the heavy lifting, producing UGC is a breeze for e-commerce brands. 

The beauty of UGC is that the more ‘raw’ and authentic it feels, the more impactful it is. So you don’t need to worry about creating Hollywood-levels of production value. 

UGC delivers positive results. 

Last (but certainly not least) is the impressive results that UGC delivers. 

UGC benefits

Social proof is very persuasive, and the right content can send your conversions into the stratosphere. 
Still need convincing? 79% of consumers claim that UGC has a strong impact on their purchase decisions, while UGC-based ads deliver 4x higher CTRs and 50% lower CPCs than normal ads.

Finding the perfect talent

So what makes for a highly effective piece of User Generated Content?

It all starts with finding the right users for your campaign. 

The talent you include in these assets is critically important. They need to showcase your products in a way that’s engaging for prospects and authentic to your brand. 

Basic instructions and test content 

The clearer you are when briefing UGC creators, the better the outcome will be.

It’s a sensible idea to request a mini test review from potential users to help you identify the best candidates. 

Start by asking creators for a 30-60 second video review of your product. This doesn’t need to be a highly polished piece of content, just a sample to assist the selection process. 

It’s helpful to share some key product talking points to guide this test video, but there’s no need to be too prescriptive at this stage. You can always refine the specifics later on – it’s more about the personality and delivery of the creators. 

Where possible, you should also request some additional assets from users, such as images of them holding products or videos of them using them. The more content the better!

If you can send previous examples of successful UGC assets to provide inspiration, even better. Once you’ve collected these initial product shots and video clips, you’ll be able to recruit the best talent for your UGC assets.

What does a good product testimonial look like?

So what should you be looking for in a solid product testimonial?

  • The reviewer has actually tried the product and is genuinely impressed with it.
  • The reviewer understands why someone would need the product, and how customers can benefit from using it.
  • The video doesn’t feel too rehearsed.
  • The content is useful and informative for potential buyers. 

You can always share this information with users before they create test content to keep them on the right track.

Feel free to send across examples of strong testimonials as inspiration:

What does a poor product testimonial look like? 

Below are some elements that should be avoided in testimonial videos.

  • Videos that feel very forced or fake.
  • Creators that make it obvious they’ve been hired to produce the review.
  • Content that feels like it’s selling products for the business, rather than being a natural testimonial.
  • Creators that try to cram too many product benefits into a single video. 

A thorough and informative brief can help to steer creators away from these errors, so make sure that you’re providing enough guidance. 

You can also share examples of poor testimonials to highlight these potential issues: 

How to shoot stunning user generated video content

Creating effective user generated content isn’t rocket science, but there are some proven techniques that can help you to produce superior content.

Below are some general pointers to consider before starting production: 

  • Ensure that the lighting is good before capturing any content, particularly for indoor shots. This can make a huge difference to the quality of the assets.
  • The more video content, the better. Request multiple versions of user generated videos so that you can pick out the best takes.
  • Always capture video content unless instructed to take static images or photos.
  • Keep videos short, snappy, and engaging. 
  • Use short portrait/9:16 (i.e. selfie mode) to create user generated video content. 
  • Organise content neatly. Create individual folders for different products, and label content clearly in each folder (e.g. ‘Product Shots’, ‘Unboxing’, etc)

Now let’s run through some best practices for three specific types of UGC – unboxing videos, spoken reviews and product close-ups.

Unboxing video assets

Unboxing videos can help viewers to feel like they’re part of the experience. Prospects can visualise their new purchase and share in the excitement of the reviewer. 

Effective unboxing videos should include:

  • Various angles of the packaging and products.
  • A bird’s eye view of the unboxing.
  • Visuals documenting the full process from unpackaging to opening.
  • Clear footage of the contents of the box. 
  • Informative and engaging speech over the video content.

A good unboxing video should feel genuinely exciting while also delivering key product information. 

The filming process shouldn’t be complicated, but the footage needs to be clear and focused on the unboxing experience and the products. 

Spoken reviews 

Spoken reviews are a simple but highly effective form of UGC. However, they do require users who can create entertaining and informative content in front of the camera.

Effective spoken reviews should include:

  • Good lighting.
  • Snappy content – ideally between 30 seconds and 1 minute. 
  • Clear product visuals in-shot.
  • Clear information about product benefits and selling points.
  • Positive emotions and genuine passion.
  • Product results (if applicable).
  • Camera shots that aren’t too close to the user (due to FB/Instagram policy).

If you’re creating spoken review assets, it’s important to find talent that can deliver authentic and interesting videos. 

These users will be showcasing your products directly on camera, so they need to be positive ambassadors for your brand.

Product close-ups

Product close-ups are an excellent way to showcase key features and benefits. 

These assets should be fairly easy to create, but reviewers will need to get the basics right when filming close-ups. 

Effective product close-ups should include:

  • A combination of videos and static images.
  • Clear visuals of the products themselves, including any notable features. 
  • Images/videos of reviewers holding the product.

If there are specific angles or product details that need to be included in close-up shots, be sure to highlight these when briefing creators.

Your product is ultimately the star of the show, whether you’re filming a spoken testimonial or an unboxing video. 

In any style of UGC video content, it’s vitally important to show your products being used. 

Your user generated videos need to help potential customers to understand what your product is and how it works. If they’re unclear on the function of the product, they’re unlikely to buy it. 

It’s also important to clearly demonstrate the outcomes of using your products. 

When you show off impressive product results, you encourage consumers to imagine receiving these same benefits, which is a powerful incentive for a new purchase. 

If you can showcase what your product delivers in a highly visual and persuasive way, it makes the buying decision that much easier. 

The do’s and don’ts of UGC video

User generated video can have a huge impact on your advertising results.

This type of content can build trust with potential consumers, enhance the reputation of your brand, and ultimately increase your conversions. 

But not all UGC is equally effective. 

Although user generated video is designed to feel relatable and natural, effective assets still require solid production techniques and the right direction. 

Here are some general do’s and don’ts when it comes to UGC. Make sure that reviewers stick to these guidelines, and you’ll have some user-generated gold dust on your hands. 

UGC best practices


  • Showcase genuine emotions.
  • Ensure that products are described in detail.
  • Show emotional reactions after products are used/tested.
  • Remember to keep the product in the shot as much as possible.
  • Keep videos snappy – ideally between 30 seconds and 1 minute long.
  • Film with good lighting and clear camera angles.
  • Tell a story through the content. 


  • Make it too obvious that the content is paid for.
  • Create content that feels like it’s being delivered by the brand. 
  • Produce videos that are too long.
  • Film with poor lighting.
  • List too many benefits in a single video. Stick to the key features. 

A handy user generated content structure 

To keep reviewers focused on creating a punchy and snappy piece of content, you can share this structure with them alongside the brief. 

If users hit all of these key points, they’re more likely to produce a compelling story that showcases your products, captures viewer attention and increases engagement.

  1. How did the reviewer feel before buying the product? What problems or challenges were they facing?
  2. How did they discover your product? What led them to your brand?
  3. Why did they choose to buy your specific product? What made it stand out?
  4. Show the product in use and focus on any key features.
  5. How does the user feel after using the product? If relevant, show results from using or testing the product. 
  6. Finish with a strong Call To Action (e.g. buy now, learn more)

It’s important that reviewers have creative freedom when producing UGC to avoid videos that feel rehearsed. The above points shouldn’t necessarily be used as a rigid script. 

However, sharing this structure is a very helpful way to nudge users in the right direction and establish guidelines for the content. 

Examples of top-notch UGC 

Now that we’ve covered the fundamentals of UGC production, let’s take a look at some real examples for inspiration. 

Here’s a great example of user generated content from Kinvara Skincare, advertising its Hyaluronic product range through spoken testimonials.

This content ticks a huge number of UGC boxes, packing a lot of persuasive messaging into one video. The clip includes:

  • Natural and convincing spoken testimonials from different users
  • Clear messaging that showcases the main product benefits 
  • A simple three-step process that highlights how the product works 
  • Footage of the product being used and applied 
  • Multiple samples of five-star reviews from online customers
  • A selection of industry awards that the product has earned 

In a single UGC asset, Kinvara manages to explain how its product works, demonstrate the benefits the product provides, and elevate its credibility through social proof. 

Most importantly, this video achieves all of the above while still feeling genuine and authentic. This is a recipe for increased clicks and conversions. 

Here’s another strong example from Switch Mobile. These spoken reviews are clear and direct, outlining the core benefits of a Switch Mobile purchase.

Each video clip delivers a clear and compelling product benefit in an authentic style.

In just 25 seconds of user generated video, Switch Mobile manages to highlight its speedy buying process, helpful customer support team, and extensive product range. 

These reviewers have also stuck to best practices when filming these clips – the shots include good lighting, clear product visuals, and genuine emotions. 

When all of these fundamentals are covered, you’re left with a truly persuasive and highly effective piece of UGC video content. 

Finally, here’s a brilliant UGC example from Accentuate where the video showcases a product in action. 

The power of this UGC comes from its simplicity. The video shows a group of people enjoying the Accentuate game in an incredibly natural and organic way. 

Consumers can instantly recognise that the video is raw and genuine, making it infinitely more persuasive and believable. 

They can also imagine themselves enjoying the game in the same way, which is hugely important for driving sales. 

When it comes to producing effective UGC, sometimes you just need to let the product speak for itself.

A solid UGC strategy can instantly benefit your e-commerce business.

The right content can immediately win over new customers and rapidly increase your sales. 

Simplicity is often best when it comes to UGC – but that doesn’t mean you can just churn out infinite amounts of content. Quality is key, so be sure to follow the best practices outlined in this guide when you’re producing new assets. 

The better the brief you send to users and reviewers, the better the content will be. 


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