Driving reader engagement and loyalty is a bigger motivator for increased use of user-generated content than gathering additional content, WAN-IFRA and Finnish crowdsourcing service Scoopshot found, in a survey of editors of regional and national dailies, local papers and online-only sites that use UGC.
All respondents rated reader engagement and loyalty as a primary driver for increased editorial use of UGC, ahead of 71% who said that the uniqueness of the content provided was a driver. Just 14% said that the lower cost of the content was a motivating factor.
Photos are the most commonly used content, according to the survey, with all respondents using them. Nearly all (87%) use story tips and half use videos. About one third cited comments as a way readers contribute which they see as UGC.
UGC is most relevant on a local level, the survey found. Three-quarters of respondents see UGC as particularly suitable for local or hyperlocal news, and just over half believe it is particularly suited to community events. Other coverage areas which more than one third of editors cited were ‘sports’ and ‘accidents’.
All believed that UGC can add value to a publication, and 81.3% said that they see the importance of UGC increasing at their publication. One participant commented that although it is seldom “very” valuable, there are times when it is.