Instagram’s 400 million active users now post a staggering 70 million photos per day, while 350 million photos are uploaded daily to Facebook. It’s clear that visual user generated content (visual UGC) isn’t going anywhere.

For several years now visual UGC and solutions like visual commerce have been hugely popular among e-commerce businesses. However, some companies struggle to bridge the gap between their online and brick-and-mortar strategies. Of course, certain businesses that deal much more in in-person purchases sometimes miss out altogether.

Now, visual UGC is no longer restricted to pictures of purchased products or visual testimonials of the customers. It has gone much deeper than that and it is moving closer to the life of the customer. Even a picture of evening strolls in a quaint park provides value to businesses. These pictures are not only used to run any marketing campaign, but they are also finding a place on the product itself. Such a tactic is an effective way of bringing visual UGC into the real world, and that’s just what Frito-Lay has done recently.

Lays recently launched a program where 200,000 Americans can receive a bag of Lay’s potato chips embossed with a digital photo that they have submitted. Through collaboration with Instagram, they are giving the opportunity to the customers to share their best moments via images with Lays and Lays will put those images on eight-ounce bags of barbecue, sour cream & onion, or classic flavor Lay’s chips. Enhancing its gamut further, Lays has linked this visual UGC program with a reward. Customers whose Instagram images have been placed on bags will be automatically be entered in a sweepstakes to win prizes like paddle boards.

lay's visual ugc

Here’s a rendering of Lay’s bags with customer photos.

In an interview, Sarah Guzman, senior director of marketing for Frito-Lay North America, said, “Engaging our consumers is really important to us, so we want to continue to give them a voice and a way to connect with our brand in a meaningful way. After all, Lay’s plays an important role in their lives and in their moments.”

What else is new in the world of omni-channel visual UGC promotions?

Jewelry company Alex and Ani just concluded a Mother’s Day campaign on Instagram, which offered customers an extra charm for a necklace or bracelet if they visited a store. While it’s standard to use Instagram to nudge users to brick-and-mortar locations, this campaign is noteworthy for the medium–Instagram ads–as well as for the specific linking of, “buy online, visit us in person,” presumably for the upsell.

The Art of Shaving, meanwhile, has a display in several of its stores that’s both low-cost and sure to be shared online. It’s a collection of products with the phrase, “This is what’s trending” written above it. This direct statement is a literal interpretation of the visual UGC that Art of Shaving customers post on social. Of course, its bluntness is entertaining and makes for quality content to be shared in its own right.

The Art of Shaving shows customers in-person what's rending on social.

The Art of Shaving shows customers in-person what’s trending on social.

What are your favorite examples of in-person visual UGC?

 

This post was written by Prasad Dhamdhere.

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