With the rise in popularity of Instagram and Reddit, companies have started relying on user-generated photography and content to populate the different section of their websites. Specifically, brands have started using influencers in sourcing photography assets that can be used in a curated campaign via social media or onsite.
The push originated from a shift in how consumers are digesting content. With the rise of different social media platforms and average time on smartphones, consumers are looking to relate to brands on different levels. This includes imagery that speaks to them not only on an emotional level, but is also relatable to what they are seeing on a daily basis. This, in turn, created a shift towards using user-generated photography, or “Instagram-like” photography within main portions of website design.
This new wave photography is now being included not only as additional imagery on the product detail pages, with Instagram feeds or supporting lifestyle imagery to help consumers imagine what a product would look like in real life, but also within the homepage or main sectors of a website as a replacement for “lifestyle photo shoots.”
This wave of user-generated photography has evolved immensely through influencers, who are not only promoting the brand, but in turn, creating repurposable content that is more relatable to the consumer than staged photography. This new wave of influencer curated photography allows a brand to easily curate new content without going through the difficulty or hiring models, staging shoots, finding a location, etc. and adds more diversity to their shots. It in turn also makes the brand more relatable and potentially leads to higher customer engagement, brand loyalty, and conversions.
New platforms such as twenty20 and bee have also started catering to an influencer or user-generated style photography curation making it easier for brands to source photography, create campaigns for specific topics, and more. Influencers have changed the game not only in promotional posts, but are now paving the way for consumers to become personal PR teams for their brands in an equitable exchange allowing brands to have easily accessible and constantly new content.