Brands know that users share content. In fact, users create and share original content more than any other time in the history of civilization. And, brands understand that there’s an opportunity to surface and collect content related to the brand experiences. Yet, brands have not yet harnessed this behavioral trend at any meaningful scale. Some of the difficulties are related to legal ambiguities. And there is just so much “stuff” out there; it can be hard to know where to begin.
In response to this opportunity, marketers have created tools to help brands sort through the clutter. And, we’ll soon reach the tipping point in which it is not the exception, but the rule, that brands leverage user-generated content (UGC) as a key content source within their strategy.
Here is a quick roundup of some of the tools in the space that are designed to surface and filter the best of user-generated content for brands:
#4) EngageSciences surfaces content from influencers: EngageSciences recognizes that not all user-created content is good content. Instead, they lead with an “influence” mentality and instead look to surface the content of influencers within the community, knowing that this content, in particular, will resonate well with the audience. EngageSciences enables a circular cycle of content creation by enabling marketers to surface content from user-generated content hubs, like Twitter and Instagram, and reward those who post content related to the brand, which propagates the cycle of creation.
#3) Crowdtap enables brands to “co-create” consumers: Crowdtap leads the “co-creation” space as a facilitator to allow brands and consumers to partner to learn, ideate and market. Remove the marketing jargon, and this means that Crowdtap enables UGC creation that is most valuable to a brand – that which is created by social influencers. Crowdtap helps brands to identify, recruit, empower and activate influencers on its behalf.
#2) Curalate’s Fanreel surfaces UGC related to e-Commerce products: Curalate, a provider of visual analytics, now allows brands to integrate UGC within their websites. Using Fanreel, marketers can showcase UGC on individual product pages to help convert interested browsers to purchase. In fact, Dessy Group, a Fanreel beta tester, reported a 30% increase in engagement with their website upon launching the solution.
#1) Pixlee’s Photorank algorithm addresses that not all photos were created equal: Visual marketing firm, Pixlee, recognizes that curating and filtering user-generated content is tedious and time-consuming. In response, they created “Photorank,” which is an algorithm that incorporates photo data, impression metrics (or hits) and customer data to allow marketers to surface the most compelling user-generated content. (Hat tip to Bill Litfin for sharing Pixlee with the social team at Engauge back in October.)
There are already impressive vendors that are meeting this new marketing need for brands. And, the technology in this area will likely continue to improve very quickly in 2014. Let me know if there are other leading tools in this space; I’d love to hear about them.