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The Guide to

Collecting &
Leveraging Authentic
Customer Photos

01. Why Customer Photos?

If a picture is worth a thousand words, a picture taken by your customers is worth a million.

The research is in: Authentic customer photos build trust and sell more.

A survey of 1,000 shoppers showed that when it comes to images, customers prefer authentic photos over professional ones.
And that images from past buyers are incredibly influential when it comes to making purchasing decisions.

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Customer photos create a strong connection with your potential buyers.

When visitors see customers using your products, they can see themselves using your products and they are more likely to convert. Furthermore, collecting customer photos saves you the work of creating powerful visual content yourself.

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02. How to collect customer photos

Over 1.8 billion photos are posted to social media every day.Of course, you could comb through them all to find the photos of your products. Or you could do it the easy way: collect photos with reviews, or curate them from Instagram.

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COLLECTING PHOTOS WITH REVIEWS

The perfect time to collect photos from your customers is when you are asking them for a review. At this point they are already engaging with you and thinking about their purchase, so they are more likely to take a picture of their product.

If you are using a tool to collect photos via reviews, make sure it has strong moderation capabilities. As great as customer photos are, you still want to control your brand’s visual identity. So ensure that you’re able to approve photos before they’re published anywhere.

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protip
When you ask for pics, make the process mobile-first.

Over 880 billion photos are taken on smartphones each year, so make sure you’re leveraging them by using a photo collection process that makes it easy to share photos from a mobile device.

CURATING PHOTOS VIA INSTAGRAM

Your customers are posting pictures of your products on Instagram every day, why not take advantage of it?

The easiest way to curate photos from Instagram is to create a unique hashtag and encourage your shoppers to use it when posting photos. That way, it will be easy for you to see all of your user-generated
Instagram pictures in one place.

When you find photos you like, ask for permission to use them via comment or private message.

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protip
Curate photos the easy way.

Use a tool for curation that automatically collects photos with your hashtag, automates the process of asking for permission and has easy moderation.

03. HOW TO USE CUSTOMER PHOTOS TO INCREASE CONVERSIONS

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ON YOUR SITE

The best way to use customer photos to increase conversions is to display them front and center on your site. On product pages, show photos side by side with reviews so customers have a visual to tie in with the words they are reading.

For Instagram-curated photos, use a widget that updates with a stream of photos as they are published. Or go one step further, like Free People did, and experiment with using customer photos to replace (or in addition to)
your typical product shots.

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protip
Use customer photos alongside professional photos.

People love to see photos from real customers! Show them alongside your professional product photos to tell the whole story about your product.

IN YOUR ADS

Leveraging photos taken by your customers in ads – whether they are on Instagram or in print – increases the effectiveness of your campaigns. Research shows that ads featuring user-generated content have 4x higher click-through rates and half the cost-per-click against ads with no user-generated content.

Even giants like Apple are catching on; inspired by the #iphoneonly hashtag on Instagram, the company collected customer photos to use on billboards, bus stops and train stations worldwide.

The ads feature the photos taken by customers and the simple tag
“Shot on iPhone”. Apple leveraged user-generated content to show how their products worked, instead of just showing their product. They weren’t using photos of iPhones they were using photos taken with iPhones.

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protip
Use customer photos that show how your products
are used.

For example, if you’re selling a camera, show photos taken with that camera instead of photos of the camera. If you’re selling clothes or accessories, use photos that show your products on someone as part of an outfit.

ON YOUR SOCIAL FEEDS

If there’s one place authentic photos truly rule, it’s on social media. Research shows social posts that include user-generated content have a higher conversion rate and average order value.

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If you want customers to click through and convert from your social posts, you need to blend in by using customer photos. Starbucks regularly shares customer photos on their Instagram feeds, resulting in millions of likes.

Using customer photos on social can be as simple as sharing a Facebook or Instagram post or creating a contest that encourages buyers to submit photos.

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04. CUSTOMER PHOTOS ARE THE FUTURE OF VISUAL MARKETING

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To stay ahead of the curve, you need to start collecting photos from your customers now. Yotpo’s visual marketing tools make it easy to generate tons of photos from your customers and leverage them to increase traffic and sales. Schedule a live demo to find out how you can start using customer photos to increase conversions today.

What is Yotpo?

Yotpo helps thousands of businesses acquire, convert, retain, and understand customers through user-generated content.

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