UGC vs EGC. They are different. And they are the same.

As companies and brands seek to establish brand content and conversations with their audience, we have seen many variations of how the content is generated. Their intent is to have their audience participate and be the actual generators of the brand content themselves. Thus why we call it User Generated Content. The audience rallies around social activities such as video submissions, tweets, Vine video loops and Instagrams. All competing against each other to be seen or be heard. Like the infamous Doritos Bowl where the audience literally created their own Super Bowl commercials with a chance to have their spot aired during the game. And then there was the Disney Memories campaign which the audience was able to share their personal moments that they had with Disney.

However when companies task their own employees to create user generated content around what it’s like to work there, there is a difference in approach and strategy. So much that we can define that content as Employee Generated Content vs User Generated Content. 

Why does this matter?

With UGC, the audience may or may not have any brand loyalty whatsoever. Their content is shot straight from the hip. Possibly without any deep connection or knowledge of the brand.

With EGC, the audience IS the brand and/or they are expressing how they are living it. With that said, they represent the company and so there are some specific parameters in place that guides their content.

With UGC, the content may have a wider creative license for fabrication. Pure entertainment value is what makes a piece of content go from 10 likes to 7.2 million likes.

With EGC authenticity is a dominant value in the content. It needs to tell a story which enables the audience to associate a positive understanding about the company with an underpinning of career endeavors. The relevancy and accuracy of the content including from whom the content was created is authenticated to the company and employee that works there.

This doesn’t mean the content is innocuous and boring.

The entertainment value and uniqueness is just as important on a EGC campaign as it is on a UGC campaign. It just means that a carefully thought out strategy of unique creative themes around the employment experience must be established. These themes need to be flexible and diverse enough so that the content isn’t so linear and predictable. The themes should allow a wider association to the company so that it doesn’t stifle creativity and hamper the entertainment value of the content.

A good example of this was the Deloitte Film Festival which was done a few years ago. Employees competed and rallied behind what it was like to work at Deloitte with very entertaining videos. Why did the audience care? Were they looking for a job when they saw any of these? Probably not. But people passed them around because they were very entertaining. And at the end of the day, the hope was for the audience to come away with a newer association to Deloitte then ever before that underpinned a possible career endeavor with them.

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Russell Miyaki
Written by Russell Miyaki

Russell Miyaki is Sr. Vice President Global Creative Director for TMP Worldwide and leads innovation initiatives for our clients and development teams while overseeing the development and creation of all interactive media. He is involved with ensuring that the highest of standards and best practices of interactive development are applied to all interactive projects. At the same time he is constantly focused on exploring new navigational schemes and information design that involves audiences deeper into the context of the message. His experience and knowledge of interactive media and human factors allows him to bring a strong balance of sound usability and intuitive exploration to each solution. Russell is one of TMP’s visionaries. He is the leader of a company think tank known as TMP Labs which is comprised of TMP visionaries tasked to stay in the forefront of innovative new media solutions and trend indicators in talent acquisition. Russell has over 20 years of experience in advertising and design working for agencies such as FCB, Landor and as Creative Director for The Sharper Image.

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