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Today, the best performing ads are not the best produced ones. They're the most relatable ones.
Recently, one of the trends that we’ve noticed here at Ubu is how many brands are using user-generated content, or content that looks like it’s user-generated, as part of their paid advertising campaigns.
And it doesn’t come as a surprise to us—we’ve spoken before about how today social media users look for more “relatable” content as opposed to “aspirational” content online, because as high quality smartphone cameras and editing softwares become more and more widespread and accessible, the novelty of highly produced content has reduced greatly.
As people now have more and more friends that create good quality content, it stands out to them when a brand posts a highly produced advertisement. They’ve grown to ‘automatically’ ignore it, instead paying more attention to content that’s more relatable, just out of habit.
And some pioneering brands have caught on—the DTC Twitterverse is reporting that when they used raw UGC as ads, they saw even greater results. Let’s have a look!
Ads as Content, Content as Ads
First and foremost, if one of your objectives is to get great ad content, the way to start is to build a community of great content creators. This way, the people that love your brand will be the people that create the coolest content for your brand, and then you can use that content for your paid campaigns.
When you send products to creators, you need to trust their vision. Do a lot of work on building a curated community so that once you’ve done that, you’ll know that the community is one that you trust. Just let your creators be authentic.
People like ads that don’t look like ads.
An ad that is ignored is useless. An ad that gets people to stop scrolling and actually watch it—now that’s useful. People inherently don’t like ads, but people love good content.
Make your ads good content.
Ads that look like content is called “Native Advertising” and it’s not a new concept!
Native Advertising has been around for a long long time, just that earlier it was done on blogs that you clicked on through a search engine, and now it’s the form of posts, stories, Reels and TikToks. And since it’s been around a while, we know from experience that it WILL outperform non-native ads.
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What is GOOD content
When you have GOOD content creators creating content for you, they’ll know how to make the content engaging.
And as mentioned in the tweet above, it’s really not that hard—get attention in the first three seconds, demonstrate benefits and have a genuine testimonial.
It’s super important to get the basics right—good lighting and good audio. I would argue that audio quality is even more important than video quality. Without this, everything else falls apart.
Remember how we spoke about a genuine testimonial? This is what is a genuine testimonial. Not just “I love it”, but also WHY do they love it?
This tweet by the DTC Newsletter is a great sum up of all the different ad types that you should have for your brand—and you can do each of these ad types using UGC.
Are any of you already doing this? Hit reply and let me know, I’d LOVE to chat with you about your experience.
I hope you enjoyed this issue, and see you guys next week again!
—Mayank from Ubu
Shameless plug: Ubu is a tool that helps DTC brands engage and grow their community better by combining Inbox Management, UGC/Analytics and an Influencer CRM. We're growing pretty fast in Europe, and I'd love to have you give it a shot for free for your brand.