Youtube: an oasis of UGC for marketers and businesses in the social media century

Youtube is one of the greatest social media marketing tools available for businesses. With more than 1 billion unique visits to YouTube each month (Youtube, 2014) not only does the platform provide great reach but it also provides creativity, innovation and best of all… user generated content (UGC).

UGC is all the hype in modern marketing, it is defined as the ways in which users engage in and produce new media content within digital media spaces (Flew, 2008). The growth of UGC has created effective new ways to influence, leverage and connect with consumers within the marketing industry – YouTube being the best place for this (Sehnkan and Sichel, 2007).

A great example of this in action is the company GoPro. A video filmed and tagged as GoPro is uploaded to YouTube every minute of every day (Honigman, 2013). This UGC is the company’s primary way of selling and marketing their product. The 759 videos on their YouTube channel (generated by users, fans and the company) are complied to created their advertisements – transforming user-generated content into consumer-generated advertising. The company is successfully using the online GoPro community in conjunction with the power of YouTube to create free advertising and to put their consumers at the front of the company; exciting and appreciating their work and building brand loyalty. One of their amazing compilation advertisements:

GoPro is rapidly building their YouTube community, with 1,961,428 subscribers to date. Shown in the graph below they are growing much faster than the rest of the consumer electronics sector due to their successful use of YouTube (Claridge, 2013):

Screen Shot 2014-06-16 at 1.56.19 pm

Simply, Youtube is an oasis of UGC for marketers and businesses in the social media century – use it well and the online world will love you for it!


Flew, T. (2008). Twenty Key New Media Concepts: User Generated Content. In V. Somerset (Ed.) New Media: An Introduction. (3rd Ed) (p.35) Hong Kong, Oxford University Press.
Honigman, B. (2013). How GoPro Does Content Marketing Like a Pro. Contently.
Shenkan, A., and Sichel, B. (2007). Marketing With User-Generated Content. The McKinsey Quarterly Journal.
Claridge, P. (2013). Unmetirc: GoPro’s User Generated Content Turns Extreme Sports into Extreme Engagement. Womma.
Youtube. (2014). Youtube: Statistics.

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