Content Intelligence Network
How THRON alleviates the issues that companies may encounter when launching and managing UGC contests on their websites, and how it amplifies their engagement.
In this article you’ll learn:
- What are UGC Contests and what’s their purpose
- What difficulties companies face in creating them
- How THRON is able to absorb and handle large numbers of UGC
- Advantages in terms of infrastructure, control and monitoring
- A practical example, with technical details
What are UGC Contests and what’s their purpose
Stimulate the engagement of users, who by nature are curious and eager to interact. This is the goal of UGC (User Generated Content) Contest, online contest where a brand invites people to create content to win an award.
The companies launching these contests, which use gamification-like dynamics, do so in order to improve their brand awareness and lead generation, acquiring qualified traffic.
From strengthening the feeling of community and belonging to the brand, to increasing the user database thanks to the CTAs which must be followed to participate (with a form to be filled in), the advantages of proposing UGC contest are accepted facts.
Helding UGC Contests: the difficulties
However, when creating UGC contest on their website companies can encounter a lot of inconvenience, as the site needs to host a huge number of files in a short time, with several mega or gigabytes worth of content (photos, videos, etc.) uploaded by users.
This has heavy consequences on the server infrastructure, which will become slow and congested. The economic losses will affect not only retention (the slower the site, the sooner users will run from it) but also the maintenance of the infrastructure, with increasing costs due to the purchase of new storage space.
THRON and UGC: a perfect match
THRON is an Enterprise Content Platform that allows you to store, organize and manage the User Generated Content from contests in an optimal way, for a variety of reasons:
1) Relieve the server infrastructure from continuous pressure
As a Saas (Software-as-a-service), THRON provides an elastic and scalable cloud infrastructure, that is very customizable to the customer’s needs. Its capabilities include:
- traffic peaks management
The system can absorb any load of content, even very large content, increasing the resources available in case of peaks of requests, and reducing them as they decrease, without the need of interventions on the infrastructure from the company. This ensures always the best performance, and costs are aligned with the actual usage (rather than a one-off payment).
When users upload content to the site, the server architecture is relieved of the stress of managing tens of thousands of interactions per second, as they are handled directly by THRON, with significant technological simplification.
- automatic transcoding of multimedia files
When working with large media files, THRON provides maximum flexibility as it simultaneously converts them into multiple formats, choosing which one to display to the user depending on their device and the quality of the connection.
For example, once you upload to THRON a full HD video recorded by a video camera, it can be displayed and made visible on any device, including mobile devices, thanks to the automatic transcoding. It all happens without the user encountering any playback issue.
A picture that on an AVC digital camera has a resolution of 1920x1080 with 16:9 ratio will be shown in a 480x320 resolution with 4:3 ratio on an iPhone 3. THRON picks the right profile for the user’s device and bandwidth, always ensuring the highest playback quality of the content, with a great improvement in the responsiveness of the website.
In the case of a UGC content, the THRON-supported website can host large files with no need to worry about their final rendering/streaming.
- preparation for distribution on any channel
Thanks to an AI-powered rationalization, THRON archives only a single version of every piece of content; then, without duplicating the original file, it prepares multiple formats of it to distribute directly to the various channels. That’s how the DAM becomes the only source of corporate assets.
The result is a simplified and optimized delivery that covers all the corporate channels, including the site hosting the UGC contest.
2) Control over user-generated content
UGCs are user-generated content, so fake accounts or haters are around the corner and before you let something be published on your corporate site you’d better have a certain degree of control.
THRON makes it possible through a structure of shared workflows that follow content throughout its lifecycle. This is because the platform, with the support of AI, puts content at the center of its processes, understanding it semantically and organizing it into different folders for each approval phase.
When users fill out a form and upload content (photos, videos, etc.) to the site to participate in the contest, it is saved and classified on THRON along with user data.
Once the content has been tagged by the semantic engine, it can be organized into workflows and be moderated. In fact, content is moved in the publication folder only if it is considered suitable, and this can be done in two ways: 1) manually, with a drag&drop movement 2) through an automatic process.
This is a crucial feature, because it ensures full control over what is published. Once approved, the files can populate a wall, becoming visible on the site to all users who can browse, comment and even vote on them.
3) Monitor the performance of content
THRON natively integrates Content Intelligence, so thanks to the association between tags on the content and the profiles of the users who watched it, it is able to measure the performance of both published content and CTAs (see here how to track them on THRON).
What drove more people and engaged them the most? With the data collected you can find out. This new dataset, updated in real time with the users' preferences, can be integrated with the profiles already existing in your CRM, giving a complete snapshot of the visitor and of their navigation path, useful information that can be used to offer the most relevant content.
A practical example
A well-known automotive brand has launched a UGC Contest for the presentation of its new car, with an exclusive prize for a few lucky people who will be able to attend the live event. To try and win, according to the contest rules the users must upload a video to the website (integrated with THRON) together with their data (name and e-mail).
The content, uploaded to the platform as described in this article, are moved into a dedicated To be approved folder.
Once moderated and approved, the videos are moved by a moderator (the brand) into an Approved folder, from where they will automatically populate the wall (for more information go here) where users can watch the videos and vote for them.
On the website, the content appears as a wall and it can be sorted according to the desired criteria (e.g. alphabetical order, date of creation, score, etc.). With THRON, in addition, the Content Experience can be customized through the choice of the player and its settings.
The advantages include the performance of the site (which is relieved of a number of large videos), control over what is published and on the way it is published, and the ability to measure in real time the effectiveness of the CTAs.