How Weber put their customers in the spotlight by scaling user-generated video
“The problem we were facing was generating authentic content in order to humanize our brand and build trust/product reassurance. Weber has a very active and engaged fanbase already and we wanted to utilize our loyal audience to create authentic content.”
Frédéric Collard, Weber’s Ecommerce and CRM Manager for their EMEA Hub South division was setting the scene for Weber’s implementation of Teester, a platform that enables clients to scale user-generated video production and distribution via automation.
Said Collard, “We wanted to leverage user-generated content across our distribution channels and website.”
Illinois-based Weber-Stephenson Products, LLC, the parent company of Weber, Inc., maker of iconic Weber grills and smokers, was founded nearly 70 years ago. Since then, Weber has grown to hold the top brand position for grilling in the U.S., Germany, France, Australia, and Canada. Weber generated over $1.5 billion in revenue in 2020 and last week they filed for an initial public offering leading to a potential market valuation of over $6 billion.
Like many legacy brands, Weber needed to adapt to changing consumer touchpoints and expectations throughout the pandemic, specifically around the issue of authenticity. Weber recently launched a new website for the French market and wanted to utilize their loyal audience to create more authentic content to differentiate the brand from competitors.
In 2020, brand authenticity was a top purchase consideration for consumers who overwhelmingly favored brands they felt cared about them and their changing priorities. Weber’s marketing team understood the need for authenticity and connection. They wanted to engage their existing (and very loyal) customer base in creating user generated videos featuring Weber products.
The problem of brand authenticity
Different sectors of Weber’s core marketing team were involved in the buying process which led to the Teester implementation, including Collard and Catherine Massot, Weber’s Head of Marketing in France. When selecting the tool, Collard and his team weighed the benefits of incorporating a new digital strategy around the creation and distribution of user generated videos via a technology solution like Teester.
“Our French team ultimately took the lead and became pilots of the solution and initiated the change in process,” explained Collard.
The Weber community in France was already highly engaged and active. They were excited to have the opportunity to share their experiences using video.
Still from a user generated video – provided by Weber
“The process was extremely simple for us and our customers. What makes the Teester platform so valuable is that no training is needed for our customers. Once logged onto the platform, they receive simple instructions to guide them through video creation,” said Collard.
After an asset is created, Teester’s post-production engine automatically optimizes the videos for distribution which includes editing, branding, transitions, music, and subtitles. Weber can then download the videos in specific formats to share across their social media channels and on product pages to build trust and drive sales.
Integrating Teester with the tech stack
Collard noted that Teester integrated effortlessly with the technology tools that were already in use at Weber, which was one of the key reasons his team selected the platform. Said Collard, “It simplified our entire process and required minimal effort from our team which usually is very challenging for video creation projects.”
Teester handled the process of user generated video creation from soup to nuts, including:
- Recruitment of Weber’s video ambassadors (customers);
- Production and distribution of training materials including instruction briefs and tools to simplify/streamline video creation;
- Post-processing/editing to scale video production;
- Broadcasting tools for social media and e-commerce; and
- Reporting and recommendations to optimize broadcasting and video ROI.
The impact of sharing video on social media is well documented to be powerful and positive when it comes to elevating consumer sentiment (and awareness) for brands. In a recent survey by video creation platform Wyzowl, 96% of respondents said they watched an explainer video to learn more about a product or service and over 80% of respondents said they ultimately bought a product or service after watching a brand’s video.
A spotlight on customers = success
Combining user-generated content with video and social media turned out to be a trifecta of success for Weber.
They not only achieved their goals within the French market, they exceeded them. By utilizing Teester to recruit applicants and produce and share video, Weber:
- Increased community engagement: Weber received 1000 applicants and generated 80 videos in one year;
- Humanized the Weber brand by putting their customers in the spotlight;
- Created a successful channel on YouTube focused on lifestyle and consumer videos, generating 3000 views per video; and
- Scaled video production while reducing the time and cost typically associated with video production.
Still from a user-generated video – provided by Weber
“The impact on cost per video is crucial,” said Collard. “A classic brand video managed by our team is much more expensive than generating a user-generated video. We also see benefits on project management since the platform takes care of the full process and we just need to validate the videos before publishing.”
The power of user-generated video
Leveraging user-generated content has always been important for brands, but it’s played a particularly significant role throughout the pandemic, during a time when consumers craved human connection and authenticity from the brands and products they purchased.
Consumers are showing increased demand for user-generated video content about brands. On Facebook alone, aggregate video views on user-generated videos (that is, videos not created by brands or media companies), increased by 222% from January to August 2020 (223 billion to 495 billion, respectively).
“Through our campaign with Teester, we learned how powerful user-generated videos are to engage our customers, humanize our brand and help reassure our customers when making a purchase,” said Collard. “We plan to rely on it as much as possible in the future.”
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