Join us for our latest installment of Behind the Seen featuring Olapic, the premier photo crowdsourcing platform that provides tools to collect, curate and publish photo content from around the web for brands, publishers, e-commerce, sports teams and more. Olapic works with a variety of fashion brands and publications, all of whom have been coming up with really cool ways to promote their products and services through crowdsourced content. They recently partnered with the Urban Outfitter brand, Free People and created an awesome campaign allowing customers to upload pictures of themselves in their favorite Free People Denim utilizing Instagram and have them featured on the Free People website by pulling photos in from consumers who utilized the hashtag #myfpdenim.
We had an opportunity to speak to Campbell Kliefoth, the VP of Awesomeness & Business Development over at Olapic to learn more about how Olapic is proving to brands that a picture is worth more than a thousand words.
Africa: Most new businesses come into fruition because there is a gap in the industry that they are delving in, You seem to have found a market that has yet to be tapped within the photo and video sharing/crowdsourcing world. What was that gap and how is Olapic filling it?
Campbell: When we started working with our first client, the New York Daily News, we discovered that the platform they were using to collect user photos was extremely antiquated – it required uploading a single photo from the desktop, then filling out a very long page of user info to be even allowed to submit it. The bounce rate was enormous. So we began developing tools to collect photos from the services that hundreds of millions of people were already using – Instagram, Twitter, Facebook, Flickr, etc. I will admit when we first started trying to acquire clients, people didn’t quite get the concept, and it was a hard sell. It seems the market has caught up now, and we are hiring new employees every week to keep up with demand.
Africa: Everyone is familiar with Instagram, YouTube and other digital photo and video sharing companies, and they have been more than fairly successful, I hate to ask the typical questions but people are going to want to know what sets Olapic apart from other platforms? What are you all doing to remain competitive in the space? What is the motivation behind your whole movement?
Campbell: There is an extraordinary amount of photosharing going on these days – over 10% of all of the photos ever taken in the history of the camera were taken in the last year. Obviously the advent of the smartphone and accompanying photo-sharing services (like Instagram) are the primary reason for this – but the majority of the value coming from this sharing is unrealized. Someone might take a photo and post it to Twitter that could be extremely valuable to a particular brand, but that value is lost if they can’t find the photo. We are constantly developing new ways to overcome this problem, always looking for new APIs, trends, and tools to “bubble up” the truly best content.
Africa: How is the Internet changing what you do?
Campbell: We follow the trends in mobile photosharing very closely. Whenever a service pops up as popular, we try to find all the ways to collect great content from it. We actually were around to see the rise of Instagram, and immediately found ways to collect based on #hashtag, @handle, and even geo-location. We are always on the lookout for the newest thing.
Africa: So Fashion week is upon us, any big plans for partnering with any brands?
Campbell: We work with a lot of fashion brands and fashion publications, all of whom have been coming up with really cool ways to promote their initiatives through crowdsourced content. Free People (an Urban Outfitters brand) is doing a really beautifully designed street-style contest that got all of us excited.
Africa: Who are some brands you would love to partner with in the future?
Campbell: The interest in our fashion e-commerce “shop-able Instagram” product has been overwhelming, and we could not be happier for it. Because the interest is so high, we are trying to put together a small group of early-adopters who we think will really be able to run with the product, so to speak. The Urban Outfitter brands have been awesome, because they have such an engaged, fashionable, and social media savvy fanbase. We are looking for brands who will be able to replicate their success.
Africa: Could you talk about any long-term goals you have in mind?
Campbell: We want to revolutionize the connection between user generated content and e-commerce. Amazon grew their conversion rate by double-digits when they introduced the ability for users to upload photos to product pages, and we want to empower any brand to have that functionality.
It was awesome speaking to Campbell about Olapic and their growth, we look forward to their advancement in fashion eCommerce and the possibility of a “shopable Instagram” How cool would that be? To learn more about the Olapic team visit them at Olapic.com, follow them on twitter at @Olapic and liking them on Facebook at Facebook.com/olapic and take a look at their latest campaign with Free People