5 Tips for Shooting UGC

User Generated Content (UGC) is exploding in popularity it is relatable content for commercials, viral videos, and ad campaigns. Instead of expensive video shoots, UGC features real individuals in their authentic environments, which, when done right, can give the consumer a feeling of relatable authenticity that is hard to replicate in a studio. Here are 5 effective tips to maximize the impact of your UGC:

Tip 1: Invest in a Ring Light

Ring lights eliminate shadows and add different shades of light and color to your video. The circular-shaped lights are typically placed on an adjustable tripod with a built-in phone mount, but if you prefer to shoot your content while holding your phone, they make smaller clip-on models as well.

Here are a couple of links where you can find both the tripod and handheld models.

Tip 2: Keep natural light behind your camera

When you position yourself directly in front of a window, the natural light entering the room tends to produce a “washed-out” look which can add shadows and take away from the natural color and intensity of your shot. Don’t let the light hit your back. Keeping natural light in front of your face and behind your camera can help create the look you want to share with your viewers.

The Verge gave a great example here.

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Tip 3: Invest in Audio Quality

Spend equal time on how you look on camera and how you sound. Here are some audio tips.

  • Get a USB Shotgun microphone to capture sound from further distances when the you can’t use a lavaliere or handheld microphone. You can plug this directly into your phone and use it as the native microphone for your camera.

  • Consider using wireless earbuds. The built-in microphones in even mid-range brands are still pretty good and will almost always be able to pick up better audio than the built-in mic in your phone.

  • If all else fails, get a miniature recording device or even a second phone that can be closer to you but still out of the shot. There are many digital recording devices out there that are made for this exact purpose. This way, even if your camera's native audio is not up to par, you will still have a clean audio source that can be overlayed into your video in post-production. Better safe than sorry!

Here are a few links to some of Amazon's best selling USB mics, reasonably priced earbuds, and mini recording devices.

Tip 4: Vary Your Angles

UGC should make the viewer feel a personal connection to you and your space. Set up a specific area to record Move around your space and share additional angles to make your viewers feel closer to you. They should feel as if they are in the room with you and have access to the same space you are filming in. Investing in a selfie stick or a motorized camera slider will give you better control over your shot while moving.

Here are a couple of links to some of Amazon's best-selling selfie sticks and motorized sliders.

Tip 5: Product Placement

Recording your content in the appropriate aspect ratio - 9:16 for TikTok, Reel,s 4:5 for Instagram, and 1:1 Facebook. A simple trick you can use for all 3 formats is to create an invisible box around your head. Inside of this box you should create equal space (roughly a hands worth) on all 4 sides of your head. This should give you ample space to showcase both your face and your product all while keeping everything central to the video.

If you put your product too high or too low, you run the risk of having it cut off or covered up by marketing copy which will typically be added to the top or bottom of your video in the editing phase. Not every platform has the same viewing format so ensuring you shoot in the proper format is key to the impact of your content!

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