Creating UGC Galleries to Put Authenticity on Display

Imagine that you’re attending a local event celebrating Earth Day. Like most tech-savvy folks, you take your smartphone out of your pocket every once in awhile to snap a photo of something great, beautiful or memorable. After the event was over, you upload a shot of an interesting vendor to your Instagram feed, adding a filter, caption, geolocation and a few relevant hashtags. Though this post is mostly for friends and family, it’s also available for the Instagram community to interact with.

The next day, this great photo that you originally published on social media is now front-and-center in a gallery on your local newspaper’s website. As it turns out, your post lined up perfectly with a community-focused news story they wrote about the Earth Day festivities.

What’s next? If you’re like most people, you’re thrilled — or at least pleasantly surprised! You email the article to friends and family, share the link on Facebook and check out the rest of the photos featured alongside yours.

There’s no doubting that people love to see their own content published on a website, whether it belongs to a small local paper or a well-known brand. These pages often become popular just by social sharing. After all, who wouldn’t share that their content was scoped out and published on a popular platform?

What a lot of brands, companies and marketing firms don’t know, though, is that visitors to websites don’t just love to see their own pictures and videos published. In general, they also enjoy browsing almost any gallery that places UGC front and center.

That’s why web pages that feature UGC galleries — or photo galleries stocked with extraordinary content from everyday people — garner more engagement and longer average times spent on a page. The key? Create and embed UGC galleries, which you can source straight from social media platforms like Twitter and Instagram.

Let’s chat about why these types of galleries are so compelling and how brands and companies can create them.

They’re Highly Effective

We’ve said this once, but it’s definitely worth saying it again: Our brains are wired for processing visual content, and the power of photos and videos is truly beyond belief.

David Williams, director of the University of Rochester’s Center for Visual Science, points out that over 50% of our brain’s cortex is devoted to processing visuals. And because we also understand visuals much faster than text — 13 milliseconds rather than 200 — readers don’t have to do mental gymnastics to comprehend great visual content.

Take a second to think about media and advertising without pictures or videos. It’s hard to imagine, right? There’s a definitive reason why you’re more likely to click on a Twitter link that includes a photo, or why soft-sell advertising isn’t as fashionable as it used to be.

These statistics also help us understand why galleries — essentially just groups of social media images — are highly effective. According to the CRM platform Salesforce, visitors on a page showcasing a UGC gallery (as opposed to a page lacking one) actually spend up to 90% more time browsing it.

UGC galleries stocked with authentic photos and videos offer an incredibly easy way to cash in on this. Give viewers the gift of UGC galleries, and they’ll reward you with more engagement. Check out the #travel gallery below, which took less than a minute to create using Scopio’s all-in-one platform.

They Don’t Fuel Legal Fires

There’s no doubting that visuals are the cornerstone of any good piece of marketing, advertising or journalism — but licensing UGC photos and videos without a platform and avoiding costly legal trouble is a hefty challenge.

Most people wouldn’t willingly steal a painting. So why do folks rip photographs off the internet? In the digital millennium, you’d think that brands and companies would be well-versed on the content they’re allowed to use and the ways in which they can modify it. Unfortunately, photographers aren’t viewed like other types of artists, and it’s often assumed that photos posted to social media platforms are a free-for-all.

Just take Pennsylvania photographer James Jollay as an example. Last month, James discovered that his rainbow hair photo was reposted on Marie Claire’s Instagram feed. Unfortunately, the popular women’s magazine failed to list the proper credits, tagging the hairstylist and hair products used in the photoshoot instead of the photographer and model.

UGC galleries curated through Scopio’s platform avoid these embarrassing problems. Because each image or video links back to its original post on Twitter or Instagram, Scopio ensures that each piece of visual content is properly credited and linked.

And even if you don’t want to create a gallery, Scopio’s image-licensing platform will sift through the spam and junk on your social media searches, allowing you to discover great photos to embed individually.

They’ll Save You Time

Creating UGC Galleries to Put Authenticity on Display
Snapshots like this one are powerful, but they’re even more effective when placed in a gallery. Photo by Kassala Holdsclaw/Scopio submission.

Acquiring permissions for social media photos and videos isn’t just a legal grey area. Even through a platform, you can’t have instant access to every piece of content you’d like to use. It takes a little bit of time to discover a great photo, craft a friendly message for the photographer and then wait for a response.

Nobody should have to choose between saving time and publishing great content, though. Custom UGC galleries created with Scopio are one of the easiest ways to engage your audience. Since no legal permissions are needed from image authors, the galleries take under five minutes to curate, embed and publish.

Let’s take the Columbia Missourian — a local newspaper staffed by journalism students at the University of Missouri — as an example. Instead of requesting multiple photos from busy students on Spring Break and waiting on confirmation, the Missourian’s outreach department decided to use Scopio to create an image gallery. Since Scopio automatically generates a custom embed code for galleries, the Missourian was able to embed one directly into their Spring Break article.

A Little More on Scopio’s Custom Galleries

Whether you’re a journalist looking to supplement breaking news coverage or a clothing brand trying to show off some great ensembles, Scopio provides enough options to customize a perfect gallery.

Dashboard users can choose between carousel- and grid-style gallery layouts to easily fit the native layout of their website, and can also include the content creator’s original caption below each embedded image or video.

Scopio is the industry’s premier search and licensing platform for images and videos on social media. We help companies find and use the photos and videos that matter to their audience, from capturing content to evaluating the analytics on campaigns. Want to sell photos online? Visit our super-handy submit page! Wondering how to find authentic visuals that brighten up your emails? Request a demo with the button below or email Featured photo by travelawan/Instagram.

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