Venueseen: A New Tool for Visual PR/Branding Campaigns

While researching our post on great 2012 Instagram branding campaigns, we came across a company called Venueseen, a new software that labeled itself an “Instagram campaign management” tool helping PR and marketing departments “track, organize and analyze.”

We recently had a chance to chat with Venueseen founder/CEO Brian Zuercher before today’s official new API product launch, and we’d like to give you his take on the role his company plays in the expanding “user-generated content” PR game while presenting some examples of Venueseen’s work.

To summarize: Venueseen is a software platform based on a simple concept: that consumer photos are “better than commercial stock photography”. It helps PR and marketing teams “visualize their brands” by collecting, aggregating and displaying photos (and, in the future, videos) created by fans.

From a PR perspective, the ability to quickly browse and analyze all this content helps identify “influencers” or potential “brand ambassadors” among the audience. In other words, it could help you “let [your customers] tell the story of your brand.”

Say your brand wants to start a hashtagged Instagram campaign like the ones we featured in our “best of 2012” post. According to Zuercher, Venueseen will serve as a “moderation platform” that helps solve the inherent challenges of content aggregation and makes it easier for you to create said campaign by automatically identifying and organizing the photos that your fans submit and filing them into galleries for you to browse at your convenience–thereby allowing PR pros with no tech specialization to “dive right into” a new project.

Example: one of the company’s biggest clients to date has been the Indianapolis 500 race. Indy500’s team noticed that fans were sharing lots of photos and videos of the race, so they developed a promo campaign using the hashtag #Indy500orBust. Venueseen then helped them bring in all content bearing that hashtag and use it to build an interactive map display on their site and encourage featured users to enter a contest for a VIP race package.

What steps does Venueseen remove from the campaign management process? Normally, pros would have to “find photos, build their own custom moderation/comment system, and then build out a virtual gallery themselves”–but all these steps are included in the Venueseen platform.

It also provides teams with crucial data like:

  • How many people submitted photos
  • How many people registered for contests
  • How many actually spent money on the site

For creatives, the platform also allows for the customization of campaigns. Brands can create their own visual templates and integrate them directly into their websites–a crucial point for big-name brands that don’t want to use existing layouts.

Venueseen theoretically allows PR pros to “talk to customers in a way that’s not unnatural” by interacting with them directly through the interface. For those worried about the kind of privacy concerns that recently hurt Instagram so badly, the system can send automated notifications to users as soon as their content goes live. If they have objections, they can voice them immediately.

Zuercher describes the ideal Venueseen campaign as one that asks the customer “Show us how you use your _” and uses their responses to inspire other fans to join in and encourage brand loyalty.

Here are three examples of Instagram campaigns created with Venueseen:

What do we think?