February 6, 2013 – 11:55 am
Capturing the images of an event plays a crucial role in the event’s marketing plan. The post media plan in many instances can be as significant as the preparatory ones. Following through can propel a single event past the limitations of its time-frame. It can also be an easy and cost-effective manner in which companies can curate existing content. This rehashed content can feed social media networks, blogs, and more. It becomes another opening in which to create a conversation between the consumer and the brand.
The event experience is subject to the perception of those in attendance. A lone photographer’a lens is able to tell a unique experience, but may not be representative of all attendees. All sides represent a crucial part in the telling of a complete and compelling story, also ensuring that the outer limits of your own demographics are reached. However, gathering these event photos to tell this story can be trouble-some at times.
Marketers are currently granted a few options. Flickr has been a popular tool for constituting and distributing an online album. Free accounts allow users to host images accessible to all. The complication with this approach is that images are controlled by a singular source. Thus, in order to display a broader perspective, the account owner(s) would have to encourage others to submit their photos to them, which they would subsequently upload and accredit to the user. This method is both time-consuming and uneconomical.
Facebook mends an element of this. Users are able to tag a fan page, attributing their pictures to it. These images are pigeon-holed into a ‘Tagged’ album on Facebook. They do not directly correlate to the event it pertains to. If a user aims to view all the images of an event, they may be sorting through multiple galleries across multiple users. This is hardly convenient if one yearns to see all the images associated with an event.
At its core, Pixlee addresses this issue. This aggregate allows users to contribute photos to a single event gallery, assorted by hash-tags. Images are pulled from across the web, ranging from Facebook and Twitter, to Instagram and more. It requires no registration from participants, only inclusion of a provided, event-specific hashtag. Thus, users looking for photos of an event can easily view a single album containing thousands of unique user perspectives from all across the web.
This Brooklyn startup is already servicing several high profile clients across an array of verticals, including the Oklahoma City Thunder, the San Francisco 49ers, and more. While still in its infant stages, their recent San Francisco 49er’s campaign may be a precursor to its potential. Together with Pixlee, the 49ers collected fan pictures on game day. A moderator that controls all images put into the web portfolio (based on parameters set by the client) filtered photos with those of 49er’s jerseys. Pixlee placed un-intrusive calls to action on the user-generated photos. This turned the fan photo into a pseudo banner advertisement. In the case of the 49ers, clicking on a user photo featuring a player’s jersey directed the user to a site where that specific jersey can be purchased. The result was a spike in the sale of football jerseys, only compounded by the 49ers trip to the SuperBowl.
In concept, Pixlee is simplistic but offers something Facebook cannot. On Facebook, calls to actions on photos can only lay to the far right of the image light box, where the description is placed. The problem with this is more often than not, there is a stark contrast between the whitespace of the description section and the photo. Thus, when a photo is opened, the image’s dimensions define the user’s spectrum and the limitations of their attention. Hence, when placing calls to actions in the description section, we can begin with an assumption a lesser-quality CTR and a diminished chance of converting the social observer to a direct lead.
In essence, the description is not meant to convert the user. The goal for Facebook is for the user to interact with the section below it as opposed to a sponsoring an off-site, ‘bottom-line’ conversion. The next level of engagement after viewing a photo is to partake in its virality. This is why we see the comment box in-between the strong fallow and terminal areas. Within that whitespace, it uses colors to bring the focal point of the user, from the ‘description’ to the ‘comment’ section. Facebook does this with a contrasting white/blue color scheme. By highlighting the comment section, Facebook increases the image’s comments, increases its reach, and ideally, indirectly influences the conversion funnel.
Pixlee’s model is the next step up from allowing user-generated photos to indirectly influence conversions. Not only can it organize them, but by collecting these photos, Pixlee is able to seamlessly make them collateral in an ROI driven, direct response campaign. It packs both a commercial and agency appeal and even if stripped, contains functionality that would prove invaluable to other networks looking to increase the capabilities and sophistication of their own advertising platforms. At it’s core, Pixlee is the next step in identifying a numerical attribution for a company’s social media marketing endeavors and provides one with better insight as to the return on investment for such efforts.