Summer may be on its way out, but as we predicted at the start of the season, user generated content is just heating up. With an average of 60 million images uploaded to Instagram daily (which is currently generating an average of 1.6 billion daily likes), UGC is among the hottest – not to mention most scalable – ways for marketers to showcase products, celebrate fans and drive revenue on the visual web today. So, what are you waiting for?

If you’re still pondering how to fit UGC into your brand’s strategy, consider these four campaign tactics – and learn how to get started today.

Wet Seal: Launch an on-site UGC gallery

Wet Seal - Fanreel

Wear it. Share it. Tag it. That’s what teen fashion retailer Wet Seal is currently inviting fans to do with their on-site UGC photo gallery, which corrals user-generated images and features them in a contextually relevant way. Beyond giving fans a unique way to be heard, Wet Seal’s Curalate-powered UGC hub adds a layer of authenticity to the online shopping experience that, until recently, had been nearly impossible for brands to achieve. Customers who shop Wet Seal’s collections can now see the brand’s products being used by real women in the real world. And if we know anything about consumer habits, it’s that social proof is a major driver of consideration, click-throughs and revenue.

Design Within Reach: Build a UGC-driven contest


Over the years, modern home retailer Design Within Reach has built a loyal following of design-obsessed fans. To reinforce this culture of creativity, the brand launched a UGC-centered promotion and invited those fans to participate with the brand by showing off their imagination and skills. The Champagne Chair Contest challenged fans to construct and then upload a photo of a miniature chair made entirely from the hardware of two champagne bottles. By doing so, Design Within Reach was able to prompt users to create inspiring images while engaging their fans and framing their brand in a new and playful way.

Find out how DWR worked with Curalate to launch and track the Champagne Chair Challenge – download our free case study.

Mercedes-Benz: Tap into social influencers


Unlike the generations before them, millennials are willing to receive and engage with ads; it’s just that 45% find that the content they are being served simply isn’t interesting enough to share. Mercedes-Benz recognized this disconnect and, in an effort to break the mold and reach this demographic, asked Instagram influencers to take over the wheel. Equipped with a Mercedes GLA (NBD) and, of course, a full range of Instagram filters, each influencer was tasked with driving cross-country, documenting their journey and marketing the sports utility vehicle in a natural yet visually compelling way.

Ben & Jerry’s: “Re-gram” fan imagery


Whether asked to or not, consumers are already creating images around your brand – it’s simply a part of the customer journey today, to celebrate the products we know, use and loveOne of the easiest and most immediate ways to celebrate fans and cultivate brand advocacy is to ask your audience for permission to repurpose their images on your owned social channels. Take Ben & Jerry’s, for instance. This summer, the iconic manufacturer of chilled treats is featuring fan photos tagged with #WHPicecream or #benjerryssummer on their Instagram account, reinforcing just how much they appreciate their customers and driving even more users to submit images. Just be sure to ask for permission (using a permissions management tool such as Curalate’s Yes! Tags) and credit the photographer in the description.