Just two months after landing $22 million in funding, Yotpo, a user-generated content (UGC) marketing platform, is capitalizing on Instagram's popularity with a new product that harnesses "the power of the user through images."

Rather than using stock images, marketers can leverage user images that prospects can better relate to, explained Yotpo founder and CEO Tomer Tagrin.

Instagram a 'Clear Choice'

"Instagram was the clear choice," Tagrin told CMSWire. "Not only are there 500 million users, it also brings the most engaged visitors out of all traffic sources, and as a visual platform it's the best place for brands to aggregate valuable user generated photos."

"The value of authentic visual content for online businesses is unmatched," Tagrin said. "When you're selling product online, people miss the ability to see and feel the products up close. Images, especially real ones from actual customers, help people understand what your products are like in real life." 

Yotpo's new feature makes it easy for businesses to collect Instagram images and connect with users who post about a business’s product, officials said. 

The new feature allows marketers to create UGC-driven media assets for embedding on product pages and other marketing assets. Yotpo promises marketers this will boost onsite engagement and conversions and extend the lifecycle of these visuals and initiate conversations with interested fans. 

yotpo social curation for instagram

Complements Social Sharing with Facebook, Twitter

Based in Tel Aviv and New York City, Yotpo has acquired a total of $50 million to date, including the $22 million round in June led by Bessemer Venture Partners. 

Tagrin said Yotpo focused on Instagram to capitalize on visual content and also to complement the other social sharing tools it has for Facebook and Twitter. It plans to roll out integrations for other social networks over the next year. 

"In today's noisy market, it's hard to get noticed," Tagrin said. "There’s tons of competition, ads are becoming more expensive and consumers are able to tune out traditional brand content. UGC helps you overcome this. Our research shows that 77 percent of shoppers prefer authentic photos taken by real customers to professional shots taken by brands. Visual UGC helps you build trust while increasing conversions."

Tagrin admits UGC has been mostly a B2C marketing play, but, he said, "just as customer reviews are valuable for both B2B and B2C businesses, so are user-generated photos. The wave of the future is all UGC, regardless of which consumers you're seeking to reach."

Yotpo also offers integrations to amplify UGC organically on Facebook and Twitter, Tagrin said, as well as tools to create ads on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram. 

"Our social ads get higher ROI than other ads because," he said, " they're powered by real customer content — just another example of how valuable UGC is on social."