Real-Time, User-Generated Content (UGC) Marketing - Lessons from Shinola [Case Study]

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Information about Real-Time, User-Generated Content (UGC) Marketing - Lessons from Shinola...

Published on February 4, 2014

Author: percolate



For marketers working to deliver consistent brand experiences to their followers at social scale, user-generated content (UGC) can be an efficient way to source authentic, timely media directly from fans. But despite the fact that friend recommendations and online reviews are the two most trusted information sources for consumers making purchases, only 3.3% of e-commerce retailers use user-generated photos as part of their content marketing strategy.

So is real-time, safe and scalable UGC a possibility for content marketers? Absolutely. This 2014 case study shows examples of how Shinola, a retailer of high-quality watches, bicycles and leather goods built in Detroit, uses Percolate's UGC sourcing and approval tool FanBranded as part of their social monitoring and content strategy to quickly activate UGC and forge closer connections with their customers.

Backed by FanBranded, Shinola curates UGC imagery straight from followers who include the campaign hashtag #MyShinola, using Percolate’s integrated media release software to obtain image rights to the content. FanBranded lets Shinola secure full legal rights to user content in minutes, eliminating the need for repeat social media compliance checks.

In a short amount of time, this new workflow has helped Shinola grow its media library without costly photo shoots or recurring legal reviews, increase visual post frequency and engagement on its Facebook page, and show thanks to its fans by publicly featuring their signature looks.

When Shinola’s customers show their pride for their favorite products on social, not only is the brand listening, its also using Percolate to save its marketing team time, energy and resources, while delivering consistently great, real-time content to its followers.

To learn more about Percolate's complete content marketing technology platform, visit

Making Real-Time, UGC Marketing a Reality

People love creating and sharing content

Number of photos shared per platform per day 400M 350M 350M 55M

Meanwhile, brands want authentic, timely and cost-effective content

UGC should be a great opportunity for marketers

But only 3% of e-commerce brands use UGC marketing

Three main UGC challenges for brands 1. Permission: Legal rights to use the content 2. Speed: Getting legal permission fast enough without high costs 3. Consistency: A process to source UGC while preserving brand voice and content quality

FanBranded was built to solve these challenges Percolate’s FanBranded is a simple software application to procure and obtain rights for UGC faster and safer.

Client Case Study

Shinola - “Watches Built in Detroit” Watches, bicycles and leather goods that embody “excellence of craft and pride of work.” !

Shinola’s social goals 1. Scale: Grow media library without costly photo shoots or recurring legal reviews for new content 2. Engage: Increase visual post frequency and engagement across Facebook, Twitter and Instagram 3. Delight: Thank fans and brand advocates by showcasing their signature looks (#MyShinola) !

Shinola + FanBranded on Twitter With FanBranded, Shinola’s marketing team benefits from (1) faster creative turn-around, (2) UGC rights approval directly from Twitter, (3) high follower engagement and (4) hashtag tracking.

Customer delight, great content, together

UGC complements Shinola’s full marketing lifecycle Plan Learn Inspire Brand DNA Source Engage Publish Create Shinola is a proud Detroit brand that knows what it stands for. With Percolate, Shinola can tell its story consistently, elegantly, and at scale.

Lessons for UGC success from Shinola 1. Set UGC goals and approval rules up front 2. Listen attentively to your social audience 3. Communicate sincerely and transparently 4. Streamline processes using technology like FanBranded and Percolate Photographer 5. Plan how your brand is going to organize and use its UGC ! Learn more at

Thank you

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