Authentic Brand Storytelling Through User-Generated Content

Posted by Jillian Londino on May 13, 2014 9:00:00 AM

In Planning Campaigns, Campaign Best Practices, Moment Marketing

Everyone is a photographer these days, but you already knew that. 

When customers are pulling out their smart phones in the store to post a photo of their latest shopping spree or long awaited purchase, brands should look no further for the content of their next visual marketing initiative. Leveraging user-generated content to tell a story in an authentic way can be at the fingertips of every brand, they just need to know how to ask.


Brands who have exemplified this concept and successfully strengthened their brand’s awareness through real, customer stories have thought outside the box on how to validate users. 

Leader in women’s sports coverage, espnW, ran a social media campaign focused on empowering women through a series of athletic-inspired photo contests in their “98 Days to Shine” campaign. For 98 consecutive days a different phrase or challenge was posted to the network’s website, encouraging viewers to post a picture to Instagram or Twitter with the specific day’s hashtag. A winner was selected for each day’s challenge and “re-grammed” on their website, as well as showcased in an NYC art gallery with all of the photos that were accumulated throughout the campaign. 

By providing an esteemed, public display of their users’ photos, espnW was able to validate their participants’ efforts, attract public attention to the gallery and create a bank of authentic, user content to utilize for future visual marketing efforts. 

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