Kai Thursday 12pm
Internet has become ubiquitous and of a vital need to human social life, people are keen on participating in virtual communities much more frequently than ever. As the Internet shift from Web 1.0 to Web 2.0, the concept of UCC (User Created Content) was introduced, because users expect to create contents that they prefer rather than consuming media contents passively (Hsu & Hsu, 2008). Since then, Internet companies provide various UCC services for meeting users’ demand, and these services have already dominated the web traffic. For instance, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Youtube and Wikipedia are platforms that users are able to share their knowledge and get engage with others. Despite the different function, they all have one thing in common that users are the producers. Taking Facebook as the example, which is the most popular SNS, used by about 1.8 billion users, where people could generate their own media contents. Facebook is only a platform and does not publish any information, but construct a community for users to express personal ideas. It is an unalterable tendency that users are no longer just consumers but also creators.
In the reading of Participation and User Created Content (Hinton & Hjorth, 2013), authors firstly narrate the emergence of social media and emphasize the media ‘participation’ for introducing the topic of UCC. They present the background of the concept of UCC and make a distinction from UGC. Then, they state that users as producers are capable to create on the Internet due to the Web 2.0 and explain it with sorts of examples. After that, a specific explanation of UCC was given as well as the understanding to this concept. In the following parts, what factors that drive the UCC are being discussed with the example of citizen journalism.
The Core Concept of UCC
According to Rhie, Kim and Lee (2010), UCC is representative of Web 2.0, also recognized as the User Generated Content (UGC). However, Hinton and Hjorth (2013) pointed out that there is a slight difference between UCC and UGC. UCC is content entirely created by users while UGC is users forward something that is not created by themselves. For example, people upload some videos which are filmed by themselves to the Youtube, it recognized as the UCC. On the contrary, UGC is the video shared from other websites rather than filmed by the uploader. This difference has been confirmed by many scholars that UGC is not 100 percent of UGC.
In the last decade, the Internet users have witnessed the blossom of the virtual community. The Internet is a global scale community where users are able to make contacts with users from different nations, it is much beyond the physical social circle. Mass of contents are stored on the Internet, these contents are uploaded by digital communication where created by users (Shim & Lee, 2009) and consumed by the users (Kim, Moon & Kim, 2012). Therefore, users play vigorous roles and interact on the Internet rather than it is leading by network companies. Basically, there are three criteria to be fulfilled to define UCC: 1. Content is available in public over the Internet; 2. Reflects a “certain amount of creative effort,”; 3. “created outside of professional routines and practices” (Kaplan & Haenlein, 2010).
Most UCC sites are non-commercial at the stage of start-up, whereas it has become an economic phenomenon recently (Vickery & Wunsch-Vincent, 2007). For example, Wechat is the major mobile social network site in China. In the beginning, it only provides interactional function and users could share life by posting photos with descriptions. After years, Wechat replace the QQ (a desktop SNS like MSN) to be the most used one in China because of it could be used on mobile phones. Due to the fact that a large population of users, Wechat decided to generate profit by offering promotion services to whatever large or small scale enterprises or even individuals. In addition, users so far could play mobile games on Wechat which is not belittled portion of their income.
UCC and Digital Marketing
Consumers believe the opinions or comments of their peers are more reliable than the information advertised by a brand (Carlson, 2016). In the cyberspace, consumers have ability to get access to reviews and ratings of a product easily. they could make a judgement whether a product worth its price by hearing others’ idea after their experience of the product. Therefore, a brand recognition might be build up once netizens have good feedbacks on a product.
Compare to the traditional marketing, digital marketing seems more effective because of the characteristics of internet. Besides a more large number of population, informations are transferred rapidly that cannot not be measured on the Internet. The most important point is that recommendation from other purchasers can have a huge influence on a consumer’s attitude towards a product. That represents a brand image could be created easily if a company really did an excellent digital marketing with the help of UCC.
Red Bull is a sort of energy drinks sold by Red Bull GmbH, establish since 1987. It ranked 76th on the Forbes Most Powerful Brand List in 2015, and their drinks sold in over 170 countries. Red Bull tried to drive awareness of the extension of the brand and to sale their tropical flavoured “Summer Edition” energy drink for the Australian market, so they stared a social media campaign on Instagram (Quigley, 2016). In order to get attention of audiences on the new look of the cans, they portray summer days by posting images and videos which are using the yellow filters with the #thissummer hashtag . Red Bull had achieved a great success to engage audiences to create their contents in the campaign. The results of the campaign led to 9-point lift in favourablility of their brand and 1.2 million consumers had been reached.
How UCC Apply to the Campaign “The Con”
In our campaign, we apply UCC into our campaign greatly. Both two activities which are creating memes of performers and Guessing the music that others humming have reflected the theory. For the first one, the official account would post several memes of performers for the current week and invite others to create memes of these performers with their innovation (see Figure 1). In this activity, users are offered an opportunity to participate in creating their individual content. For the latter event, it is incredibly interesting that one person may holding a portrait of a musician and film a short video of humming a music clip (see Figure 2). The video need to be uploaded to the Youtube and post a status with the link of the video to invite at least three friends to guess what song he/she is humming in the video. Our aim is going to encourage more people to join in the campaign and have intrigued by the classic music. Using UCC might be a feasible method to engage more young people. In addition, contents we expect users to create have satisfied the three conditions of UCC that those contents are puplic avaliable, creativity and the users are all common audiences (neither professionals nor practices).
Utilizing UCC for social media campaigns have received highly attention from marketers. About 65% of young users would have an evaluation by surfing the Internet before purchasing (Carlson, 2016). Consumers are more likely to turn to social networks for advice, which had formed a new assessment method to value an item in their minds. Digital marketers must to seek the potential opportunities to arouse audiences’s passionate of creating. Engage audiences is first priority to have a digital marketing come through. That is the reason why UCC plays a vital role in a campaign.
Carlson, K. (2016). The Future and Importance of UGC in Digital Marketing. Retrieved from https://business.experticity.com/the-future-and-importance-of-ugc-in-digital-marketing/
Hinton, S., & Hjorth, L. (2013b). Participation and User Created Content. In Understanding Social Media (pp. 55–76). London: SAGE.
Hsu, J. C. J., & Hsu, C. M. (2008). The relationship between service quality and customer satisfaction in a leading Chinese Web 2.0 company. The Business Review, 11(1), 84-89.
Kaplan, A. M., & Haenlein, M. (2010). Users of the world, unite! The challenges and opportunities of Social Media. Business Horizons, 53, 59-68.
Kim, M. S., Moon, Y. J., & Kim, W. G. (2012). How User‐Created‐Content (UCC) Service Quality Influences User Satisfaction and Behaviour. Canadian Journal of Administrative Sciences/Revue Canadienne des Sciences de l’Administration, 29(3), 255-267.
Quigley, A. (2016). 5 Successful Social Media Campaigns You Can Learn From. Retrieved from https://digitalmarketinginstitute.com/blog/5-successful-social-media-campaigns-you-can-learn-from
Rhie, B. W., Kim, J. W., & Lee, H. J. (2010). User-Created Content Recommendation Using Tag Information and Content Metadata. Management Science and Financial Engineering, 16(2), 29-38.
Shim, S., & Lee, B. (2009). Internet portals’ strategic utilization of UCC and Web 2.0 ecology. Decision Support Systems, 47, 415-423.
Vickery, G., & Wunsch-Vincent, S. (2007). Participative web and user-created content: Web 2.0 wikis and social networking. Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development (OECD).