How On-Demand Photography Can Help Brands Get Ahead Of Their Customers’ Content
BYLINED is a customer engagement platform that uses photos as a mechanism to drive interactions
Every day, over 2 billion photos are shared across social platforms. Brands and their consumers are the immediate beneficiaries of that social share, the platform is as they own the right to leverage it in whatever purpose they deem fit. So how do brands and their customers benefit from the content they create? Enter BYLINED.
BYLINED is a new customer engagement platform that gives brands, agencies, publishers, and venues the opportunity to engage their fans for authentic, brand-oriented photos. Their mission is to bridge the gap between the brands and agencies that are desperate to own user-generated content (UCG) with the fans-customers already doing a great job creating it.
Think about it, what’s the first thing we do when we sit down with our Staurbucls pumpkin spice latte (it is fall)? We take a photo of it, #hashtag it, and share it on Instagram. Photos sourced from BYLINED come with royalty-free licensing and include the intelligence necessary for ongoing marketing and advertising efforts. Brands simply post an assignment describing what they’re looking for in the perfect photo, and their fans and customers submit their best photos. Best of all, customers can also get compensated for the photos they’re already taking and sharing with their family and friends.
PSFK sat down with founder David Hunegnaw to learn more about the user-supplied, on-demand photography platform.
How did you conduct the research for creating and then launching BYLINED?
The idea for BYLINED was borne out of a conversation with a local publisher over a coffee meeting last summer. During the conversation the publisher mentioned an upcoming story he was writing for ComFest, a three-day outdoor festival; he needed photographers to cover the event and told me how difficult it can be to hire photographers.
I immediately asked him, “What about the 20,000 people that attend ComFest every day? They all have smartphones and they’re all taking pictures with them, why not leverage them as photojournalists?” That was ‘the lightbulb moment’ for us. It was shortly after that conversation that I reached out to a handful of national brands based here in Columbus, Ohio, and presented the idea for BYLINED to them to validate the need. We didn’t build a single line of code before talking with over 20 companies. Every single one of them committed to using the platform if we built it.
What’s the advantage of using BYLINED for engagement campaigns versus ones that are from a specific platform?
There are a number of advantages to using BYLINED for product-oriented, UGC/engagement campaigns:
- Images licensed through BYLINED are royalty-free
- Brands can control the type of content being created and shared
- Images sourced through BYLINED are full resolution
- Images sourced through BYLINED are taken through the eyes of the customer—and as a result, offer unique perspectives that may not otherwise be captured by a professional photographer
Plus, images sourced through BYLINED include all of the customer’s metadata (first and last name, email, date stamp, timestamp, location stamp, etc) allowing brands to continue to have a one-to-one conversation with their fans-customers.
Will publishers eventually be able to price their participation in addition to submitting for assignments?
With the millions of sunrise, sunset, beach photos, and other images available on hundreds of stock marketplaces, we believe we’ve hit ‘peak stock photography.’ Our intention is to remain ‘unstock’ in nature, and do not have any plans allowing BYLINERS (or publishers) to submit photos for sale that aren’t submitted to a specific assignment. The only photo submissions we accept must be submitted directly to an assignment.
We would like to understand your experience with Bunbury music festival, what happened with it?
Bunbury Music Festival is a three-day event with 60-plus artists and over 60,000 festival attendees. Festival organizers created an assignment on BYLINED for the event: their goal was to capture and own all of the great content being created at the event and use it for their year-round promotional activities.
Early in our conversations, we asked the question, “What if we take over the screens between artists and display festivalgoer photos on the screens…in near real-time?”
Bunbury organizers loved the idea. And more importantly, concert-goers absolutely loved being on screen–they actually felt like they were part of the show. It is amazing just how much UGC is created at music festivals.
Are you targeting a certain type of content creator? Can you describe your selection process?
We have a content pyramid: It includes celebrities, the instafamous and loyal brand customers. While the first two are important, our platform focuses on the actual customer. Doing so allows brands to increase 1:1 engagement with them, collect authentic product-oriented UGC created from the customer perspective, and collect relevant data on how customers actually interact with their product.