In today’s digital age, visual content has become a crucial component of most business marketing strategies. But, professional product photography can be costly, especially for startups. Taking on the expense of professional photos is hard when you are just beginning to establish your business in the market.


Luckily, user-generated content (UGC) provides an opportunity to obtain authentic and cost-effective product photography. At the same time, using UGC will help to build your brand trust and connect with potential customers. This is as beneficial to artists who sell handmade crafts as it is to larger companies like Disney!


UGC is any content created by customers, who then share the images or videos, on social media. By leveraging UGC, startups can save on costs while simultaneously creating a genuine connection with their audience. Here are some effective strategies that can help your business encourage customers to share their images. You can then integrate the content into your marketing efforts:


products on white background


Develop a Branded Hashtag


Creating a unique, memorable hashtag that represents your brand is a great way to encourage customers to share photos of your products on social media. You can promote the hashtag across all your marketing materials and engage with customers who use it. This way, you’ll create a sense of community around your brand, plus you’ll have a steady stream of UGC content to choose from.


For instance, a makeup brand could use a hashtag such as #YourBrandNameMakeupLooks, encouraging customers to share images of themselves wearing the brand’s makeup.


watch photos are one example of cost-effective product photography with user generated content


Organize Photo Contests or Giveaways


Hosting a photo contest or giveaway is an effective way to incentivize customers to share their images. This strategy can increase social media engagement and excitement around your brand. At the same time it will also be providing you with a pool of UGC that you can use in your marketing and social media campaigns.


For example, a furniture brand could encourage customers to share images of their furniture in their homes using a specific hashtag for a chance to win a prize.


Feature Customer Photos on Your Website and Social Media


When customers share images of your products on social media, take the opportunity to show your appreciation by featuring their content on your website, social media channels, or email newsletters. Tagging or mentioning the original poster will make them feel valued. It will also encourage others to share their images. Displaying UGC in your marketing materials adds an authentic touch that resonates with potential buyers.


For instance, a clothing brand could feature images of customers wearing their clothes on their website or social media channels, accompanied by a brief description of the customer and their style.


Inexpensive jewelry is an excellent choice for getting cost-effective product photography with user generated content

Some companies will now pay UGC creators to develop material for them. If you are considering this, make sure to develop a brief for your creator. They won’t know your brand as well as your customers do. Plus, since you are paying for it, you want the best results possible.

If you are hunting for UGC creators, one company that offers services, (in addition to me …) is Collabstr.

Note: I am in no way affiliated with Collabstr.

Leveraging user-generated content can help startups create visually compelling marketing campaigns without breaking the bank. It will foster a sense of community around your brand. Hosting photo contests or giveaways, and featuring customer photos on your website and social media, will create an authentic and engaging visual marketing strategy.

Try using these easy and effective UGC strategies. You can boost your brand’s credibility, connect with potential customers, and create a visually compelling brand that stands out in the market. Give it a try and watch your brand flourish!

Are you looking for more ideas to create cost-effective product photography with user generated content?  If so, reach out and let’s talk!

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