Move over stock photos, it’s time for user-generated content



Authentic is definitely one of the buzzwords of this decade; used to explain the rise and merit of influencer marketing – where consumers are more actively engaged with content because it is relevant and authentic to them. It has also been used to denounce influencers whose content has become more financial than genuine!

Breaking through the noise is essential as it is never easy to capture the attention of Gen Z/Y/X and the competition for their buying power has never been tougher as technology bombards consumers of competing stimuli while facilitating content sharing and “influence”.

Images can make or break a marketing campaign, it’s usually the image that draws you in when reading content, which makes sense given that we process images 60,000 times faster than text. A fact that accredits the old adage that a picture is worth a thousand words.

It really is a numbers game when it comes to authentic image content – every day on Instagram, people post over 95 million photos and videos from around the world.

Anyone who has scoured stock photography will know how difficult it is to find the perfect photo that will resonate with your target audience, not look too “staged” or recognizable as being used elsewhere in marketing like Better photos always are, so finding an easy and reliable way to access and use the masses of user-generated images online instantly eliminates those problems.

One person who understands this more than most is Sarah Stenhouse, whose understanding of the need for “authentic” content and her frustration with the limited number of generic photographs available led her to found OODLS, with a mission to make content authentic. user-generated readily available. to all.

OODLS (a Scottish slang word for lots) allows Instagram users to log into their system and offer their images to digital marketers and brandsfor an additional cost. With hundreds of thousands of images now available to thousands of consumers, this approach is clearly disrupting the standard world of stock footage. For brands, the speed at which you can find authentic images is drastically reduced and this eliminates the need to deal directly with the consumer who created the image.

Other services have tried this approach before, but it’s the ease with which consumers can connect their account that makes OODLS such an attractive product offering. I connected my account (I doubt anyone wants to buy pictures of my dogs or random flights) quickly and found the interface very easy to use.

The fact that user-generated content was never generated for marketing purposes makes the images inherently authentic, which helps build consumer trust and engagement.

But why do companies need a “middleman”, why can’t they just use those images that are already publicly available? I asked Stenhouse to explain why companies are using OODLS rather than going direct.

Instagram can be a minefield for copyright. How do you know the owner of the image is the original creator? We provide a guarantee through our terms that all images licensed by us, on behalf of our users, are in fact sold by the copyright holder and that they have the ability to license perpetual world. This protects your brand from unwanted litigation that would be a risk by going direct. On top of that, the only image file available on Instagram is a heavily compressed version. We offer a high-resolution option through a state-of-the-art neural network. »

It’s not just the companies that buy these images that benefitphotographers who originally posted their images on Instagram just to share a moment are discovering that there is money to be made. I mean, imagine if the photographer of this Egg managed to monetize the image – a simple image of an egg is the most liked image on Instagram with 53.6 million likes!

In recent years, the music industry has been disrupted by singers/songwriters who have found commercial success through Youtube, the media industry has been disrupted by bloggers and podcasters, the marketing industry has been disrupted by social media influencers and I predict that the next user-generated content disruption will be led by companies like OODLS making images accessible to everyone.


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