How User Generated Content Insights Reveal the Truth About Your Brand

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Alex Orap, Founder and CEO, YouScan Visual listening, talks about how brands can use logo recognition software to see how their brand is perceived online

With social media ads expected to claim a 13% share of global ad spend this year and overtake print for the first time, the demand for social media analytics tools is following suit. In fact, the social media analytics market was estimated at USD 4.73 billion in 2018, and is expected to register a CAGR of 28.2% during the forecast period (2019-2024). Measuring the reality of how a brand is represented online is one of the biggest challenges.

However,  what’s not so obvious is the way this measurement is split between social media strategic activities and organic content. For a marketer to truly understand how their brand is viewed ‘in real life’ we need to go beyond the tagged posts and reviews.

If we could measure the unintentional actions consumers take towards a brand, imagine how authentic that analysis would be. Think about the brand of beer that happens to be within the shot in people’s Instagram and Facebook posts about the latest football match. That brand of beer becomes associated with that sport.

If this kind of association is negative it can quickly evolve into a PR crisis if it’s not picked up immediately. In fact, this happened to Heineken, when brand representatives missed a single crucial visual mention of the brand.  A few years ago, the brand was accused of sponsoring dog fights in Mongolia. The fights, which are legal in Mongolia, took place in a ring that was decorated with Heineken flags. Later, after the controversial photos had become viral,  the brand confirmed it was not a sponsor of the event; the flags were simply left over from a previous event. Nonetheless, Heineken did not catch the negative mentions in time and had to apologise and construct a defensive communication strategy in response.

In over 85% of cases, users don’t tag the company in their photos or captions. So how can a brand find out how their products are really used?

Logo recognition software can boost your marketing efforts by providing essential visual information about your customers – even if they didn’t write a single word about your brand. AI-powered image recognition is a breakthrough for digital marketing.

The ability to identify logos from pictures or other branded assets in photos, in the absence of any accompanying text, opens a world of possibilities for the brand’s interaction with customers. 

YouScan’s image recognition helps brands analyse ‘visual mentions’. It provides a thorough analysis of every image; the software identifies objects in the photo then determines the context of the photo, and in what setting it was taken.

User-generated photos could point to a new way to develop a product. For example, based on the information about the objects in a photo, the depicted scene,  and dynamics within the photo, a marketer can identify clear use cases and better understand the brand’s target audience.

These insights can be used to course-correct or pivot your targeting and, in some cases, guide customer-centric, product development. 

For example, a washing machine company could use their consumers’ ideas to develop products beyond the “steam” and “hybrid” washing machines. User-generated photos could serve as inspiration for new functional design ideas, since the washing machine is a part of interior decoration in many houses. For example, YouScan’s logo recognition might reveal that in Spain, the washing machine is often used as a shelf for potted plants, while in France they are used as bathroom vanity cabinets. These insights reveal a snapshot of truly local adaptations of products. The more brands are inspired by customers’ own ingenuity and preferred use cases, the more closely their product design will suit those consumers.

Another opportunity for Visual Insights to more accurately measure ROI through visual analysis, is event sponsorship. According to research by EventMB, 91% [of event sponsors in the US] measure the success of their events on attendee satisfaction. 61% measure according to their specific event objectives and 60% determine results based on staying within budget.

However, there’s a huge data set not being measured: visual insights. How many people really saw your brand at the event? Event organisers will often use previous event attendance as an indicator but in 2019, heading into 2020, shouldn’t marketers be more sophisticated that this in their measurement? In what context were the images seen?

Visual analysis  reveals who saw your brand and in what context. It measures the reaction to photos of your brand, brand image distribution and their reach. Losses resulting from poor sponsorship decisions, bad campaigns and negative reviews come at a high cost, so it pays to go deeper into the data.

Earned Media share-of-voice for brands that acted as sponsors for the FIFA World Cup 2018

 YouScan’s logo recognition software Visual Insights can show how your brand’s products are used by ordinary people in their everyday lives. Insights gained from such an analysis can help major global brands create products and services that are truly consumer-focused.

Tech Digest Correspondent