First Party Content is booming – here’s how you can use it to boost your advertising power
It’s 2020 and First Party Content is all the rage. We’ve been excited about embracing the creativity and ingenuity of brand superfans for a while, but it’s taken a global pandemic for this advertising phenomenon to truly take off. In this article, we’ll go into what First Party Content is, who creates it, why it’s trending now, and how you can harness it to create high-impact, self-generating campaigns.
Here at Miappi, we’re all about user-generated content, or UGC for short. In brief, UGC is brand-centred content created by customers or fans, that can be repurposed or incorporated into campaigns directly with the right permissions. The UGC in question may already exist on social media, or its creation can be encouraged by a brand with clear instructions or hashtags, for example. The names of the two main types of UGC, Third Party and First Party, indicate the differences in how UGC is gathered. Third Party UGC takes the form of content uploaded to third party social media platforms such as Instagram or Facebook, while First Party is content that is directly uploaded to the brand via a website or other digital touch point. There’s great power in harnessing one or both of these approaches; the approach you choose depends on your objectives.
Brands using First Party Content
Recently we had the opportunity to work with world-leading brands Dove and ITV as they embraced the power of First Party UGC in two mould-breaking campaigns. The results of both campaigns have been impressive.
ITV and Dove both knew exactly what they wanted to achieve and each gave the public clear instructions on what content to create. Miappi’s Content Aggregator platform provided a simple and elegant way of collecting and curating First Party UGC by allowing the content to be uploaded direct to the organisation, as well as providing a straight-forward way of agreeing terms and conditions with the content creator. Miappi also provided the means for distribution so that the brands could display the best user-generated content on their websites as part of an interactive gallery.
The Perfectly Crafted Question
You might be wondering, what kind of customer creates First Party UGC and why would they be motivated to work on your advertising campaign for you free of charge? The answer lies in authenticity. Authenticity should lie at the heart of any good advertising campaign. Forget suggesting any old hashtag and resting on your laurels, a perfectly crafted question from a brand can result in a heart-felt response from your fans, with the best content revealing some kind of truth about themselves, the brand or the wider world.
A great First Party UGC campaign should give back to both the content creator community and the brand, without either compromising on their own values. So really, your content creator could be anyone as long as the interaction is authentic and leaves everyone coming away from the experience enriched. The level of authenticity in the relationship you have with your content creators will shine through in the quality and impact of your campaign.
Project #ShowUs by Dove
One particularly arresting example of this is Dove’s award-winning Project #ShowUs campaign – https://miappi.com/dove-unilever-miappi-project-showus-ugc-2019/ Dove’s brand is famous for portraying beauty realistically in ads, so when they engaged their customer base, they wanted to receive content from women and non-binary individuals who felt that they had been misrepresented in mainstream advertising. With the goal of improving representation far beyond the brand, Dove’s aim was to create a photo library which reflected the true diversity of beauty around the world. The results were amazing and the campaign resulted in the generation of the world’s largest photolibrary for women and non-binary individuals, allowing more people than ever to see models that break the mould of modern beauty standards as well as giving new photographers a chance to showcase their work. https://www.dove.com/uk/stories/campaigns/showus.html
The People’s Ad Break by ITV
In March 2020, when ITV found themselves in lockdown with the rest of the UK, they couldn’t just get on location and film new content. Having been aware of the potential of UGC for a while, the restrictions of lockdown meant that First Party UGC quickly became a candidate for the basis of their next campaign. The People’s Ad Break campaign asked viewers to recreate well-known TVC spots (including Honda’s famous The Cog advert) at home, and upload them directly to a specially designed microsite integrated with Miappi technology.
Given that most of their viewers are equipped with smartphones that, thanks to modern technology, supplies them with simplified TV studio technology in a pocket, ITV were confident that they would get a high volume of good quality submissions. ITV ended up receiving hundreds of entries from viewers hoping to showcase their work to a national prime-time audience. The results, broadcast in May 2020, were funny, ingenious, clever and memorable. So memorable in fact that the DIY adverts outperformed the originals in brand recall. https://www.campaignlive.co.uk/article/five-remakes-itv-the-peoples-ad-break-outstrip-originals-brand-recall/1684579
Here’s what ITV had to say:
“UGC was the core of our idea and would not be possible without Miappi and the team. By using Miappi, my job was made easier, we have saved lots of manual work and using Miappi’s direct upload feature we have made getting consent a breeze.
Typically the production of TVC ads can cost anywhere from £20k-£1m and involve a number of parties to get to a finished product. By leveraging UGC for this campaign we have been able to turn around a highly engaging TV ad in a short space of time whilst saving budget too. Miappi has given us full control of collection, curation, licensing of authentic moments from the public.”
Creating a First Party Content Campaign
It’s clear from these two examples that First Party UGC when used in the right way can give you outstanding campaigns, with the only spend being a subscription to our Miappi platform as well as the usual costs for repurposing the content you collect. Collecting and aggregating UGC is a big challenge, but we’ve made it our business to do the hard work for you. So how does our platform work?
Firstly, your fans upload their content directly to your website, microsite, or app using Miappi’s easy-to-use Public Form. This form minimises the time required to collect content and clears appropriate terms and conditions at the same time. This means that you get the appropriate consent needed for how you intend to use the uploaded content. You can find out more about the Public Form here: https://intercom.help/miappi/en/articles/1621411-public-form
It is also completely customisable! We can tweak the fields and the design to meet your project needs.
Miappi’s clear dashboard user-interface lets you curate, moderate and organise you UGC into specific albums. This content can then be used in line with the Ts&Cs agreed with the content creator at the time of upload.
Finally, as well as the uses described earlier in this article, UGC can be displayed via a direct feed on websites, social media, microsites, purchase paths – the sky’s the limit when it comes to your campaigns. And if you have an idea for a new application, our developers will help you make it happen.
After you’ve created an affordable, high-impact First Party UGC campaign with the help of your most loyal customers, what next? In the world of UGC, as in life, we don’t believe in ditching a beautiful friendship. As our platform evolves we are developing community tools so that you can continue to reward your superfans, trial new products with them and invite them to contribute their content to future campaigns.
We hope you’ll dip your toe into the world of First Party Content soon. Miappi will take care of the time consuming stuff, making it easy for you to interact with your most engaged consumer fans.