How exactly do you tell the most compelling story, and create the greatest impact with the raw video content you’ve captured?

Our Verbate respondents have made us laugh, cry, and fall in love with the human race over and over again, and if you’ve run your own Verbate campaigns you’ll know exactly what we are talking about. When it comes to sharing this with clients or team members, the best way by far is to condense your findings into a high impact edit.

To get you started, we talk to Verbate’s very own video editing experts to help get the most out of your content.

1. Let your content direct the story
1. Let your content direct the story

"The first challenge that comes with editing user-generated content," according to Shayne, "is getting the leading stories out of your videos."

“Conventionally, video productions tend to be orchestrated. They involve a lot of pre-production work. But with mobile content, videos are often captured in fleeting moments. They tend to be raw, honest, and in most instances, filmed in quite amateurish ways.” However this style of filming is loved, in fact user-generated videos are watched 10x more than those created by brands.

There is nothing more emotive, intimate and engaging than someone talking openly and honestly to the audience on film. “There’s a lot of this in mobile content, so use it to your advantage”, adds Shayne. “Listen to what they have to say, and let them tell the story with their own dialogue and style”.

Take a look at Target’s commercial on its education campaign below. The editing is kept to bare minimum but I’d wager it teared you up a little bit!

2. Look for recurring insights
2. Look for recurring insights

Before you get into editing, browse through the content quickly to look for messages in each individual’s videos. “Start by looking at recurring themes”, Shayne advises.

Discover strong emotions that reflect your respondents’ opinions, elation, frustration or indifference to the issues at hand. Use these raw insights to give you directions to construct your message.

“Focus on the golden moments. Look for strong reactions, quotes and one-liners that grab your attention”, Sophie of SOSAVY, another of Verbate’s collaborating editors. The best way to use these clips, Sophie suggests, is to “put them at the beginning to immediately set the tone of the video”.

Another trick that Shayne also shared with us is how he constructs the content from multiple video respondents to resemble one person telling a continual story.

This awesome music video made from unrelated YouTube clips may be an extreme example, but you get the idea - combining and delivering a few strong, key insights in one story will make your video content to be not only engaging but also powerful.

(Also - Take a look at how Pampers use user-generated videos for their Love, Sleep, Play campaign.)

3. Break it up
3. Break it up

Getting overwhelmed from all the video responses you received from your survey? Worried about how to stitch them all together? Fret not. You don’t have to!

In fact, science is on your side. Microsoft’s new study discovered that human beings now have attention span shorter than that of a goldfish (that’s 8 seconds if you are wondering, 1 second less than our fishy friends!). So break up your participants’ content. Make it short. Instead of one longer edit, consider creating a number of bite-sized, more effective pieces of content.

“Short-form videos are the trend these days. Everyone is getting on board with Instagram and its 15 seconds videos”, Sophie explained, who prefers to keep her video cuts fast paced to maintain people’s attention.

“People tend to switch off after 2 minutes, so I try to keep my videos short between 30 seconds to a minute and a half”, she said.

See how Coca-Cola make themselves the king of user-generated content by making full use of short, user-generated videos to create campaigns that echo the brand’s voice in their Happiness is Movement and Ahh campaigns.

4. Compare and contrast
4. Compare and contrast

Another way to make your edits impactful is by following an underlying theme, mixed with moments of the unexpected - catching your audience off guard. Shayne prefers to break down and mix in a group of similar responses with one unique thought or visual:

“This way your audience will experience an ebb and flow that will keep them engaged in the story”, he said.

Creating this dissonance in key moments in your video is a powerful way to lead your audience through to the final message.

5. Editing specifics
5. Editing specifics

A few more specific tips for working with raw mobile video content:

Vertical video syndrome (VVS)

We tried. Oh we tried.

It’s inevitable, people film video in portrait. Our advice - If you can’t beat them - join them. Don’t be afraid to mix up those vertical and horizontal videos (have you heard? Vertical videos are in!).

“Most of the time, I either leave vertical clip as they are or put a bunch of them consecutively together in the same clip, so there are fewer jarring transitions”, Sophie said.


On using music with the video, Sophie suggested to pick out a suitable track before the editing starts. “This way you can use the beat to set the tone and pace of your video”, she said.

Find music to help convey the emotions and tell what the story all is about in your videos. Try audiojungle, Premium Beat, Jamendo or take a look at how Jukedeck gives users nifty tricks to add unique, customised, royalty-free music to their videos.


“Good graphics will take your videos a long way”, Sophie advised. Put word titles in between your survey questions. Use nice, clean font and neutral colours or better yet, follow your brand colors to give your video a polished finish.


Whatever you do, Sophie cautioned us to set our editing workflows early when it comes to getting started in editing user-generated videos.

“We’re talking about editing 20 to 30 survey clips here, if not more. So you don’t want to get lost in the editing process.” Label your original clips. Put videos, music and assets in separate folders. Be very meticulous in tracking your edits.

Last of all, have fun - your Verbate results are going to make you smile:)

If you do need a hand with your edits, Sophie and Shayne are here to help - just drop us a line and we’ll pull together your content into awesome impact edits overnight :) [email protected]

Verbate 90seconds from on Vimeo.