Just when we thought we had the quality question answered, along comes comScore to throw a monkey wrench into the works, but in a good way!

We now know what the exact relationship is between a professionally-produced video and its user-generated counterpart. Right down to the tenth of a percentage point.

We do need context, and that’s the aim of this article, so let’s define our terms first.

“Professionally-produced” means attention to quality in the branding, scripting, composition, lighting, audio, backgrounds, and on-camera performance. “User-generated” translates to a hastily shot but enthusiastic video with poor lighting and audio, no script and generally sub-standard image.

Now let’s get to the good news.

comScore finds that user-generated videos help an advertiser get far more mind share than by just using a professionally-produced video. How much more? Well, let’s break the numbers down here.

The pro “how-to” video gave a 24.7 point “lift” in choice of that product, while the user-generated video did 18.7 points. Pro video wins hands-down, right? Well, not so fast.

When the pro and amateur videos were used together in the same campaign, they provided a 35.3 point lift for that product and 28 points for the entire line.

How does this work? Well, here’s the really useful part of the study. What they found was that the pro video was more believable in perceived feature benefits; in other words, when the information about what the product does and how it works came from the company itself.

The user-generated videos had more credibility when it came to verifying product claims, such as superiority and convenience.

You might say simply that the company gives you the nouns and the customer gives you the adjectives.

So how do you produce with this information?
Well, I’ve been telling you for a while now that when you want to reach your viewers with good information, make your video the best way you can. You’ll simply be more believable.

What this study also proves is that you don’t want to deploy a user-generated video to sell anything. It’s kind of a waste of effort.

Roughly translated, this means that when you sell, make a nice cleanly-produced video, and leave out the superlatives like “we’re the bestest you ever saw!”

Leave that to your clients and customers.

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