Finding quality user-generated content is a common problem for destinations. While there’s rarely a shortage of photos shared about a destination, the ability to find usable shots related to tourism is often a limitation of DMOs.

Think Iowa City was no different. The DMO began its contract with Stackla in 2018 and immediately began work on utilizing multiple features of the tool to fuel its marketing efforts.

Along with training and assistance from Simpleview’s social media specialists, the Think Iowa City team has established optimal use of these features of Stackla and is seeing tangible results in website performance, social media engagement and staff time efficiency




Creating Customized Search Terms

Stackla enables clients to utilize a variety of search types to best find qualified content on social platforms. The Think Iowa City team created 40 individual search terms utilizing geo-radiuses, Instagram locations and hashtag searches. In August alone, those search terms found more than 9,000 photos of Iowa City and its surrounding areas. 

Customized Widget Utilization

At its core, Stackla is a tremendous tool for putting user-generated content into customizable widgets that can be easily placed on any page within the Simpleview CMS. Think Iowa City wasted little time in creating impactful widgets that enhance pages on its website. The DMO has created individual widgets that feature content specific to restaurants, things to do, events and, of course, a medley of all the best content to go on the homepage.

Social Media Engagement

For Think Iowa City, Stackla has found more than 60,000 photos of the destination. The tool pulls those photos into its content section and enables clients to go directly to the photo’s location on Instagram and engage with the piece of content. This can be done quickly and on a daily basis, leading to increased engagement and a boost in followers.



Rights Management

The Think Iowa City team utilizes one of the most impactful plug-ins available within Stackla: Rights Management. This feature enables a client to act on found photos and request permission to use particular user-generated content in a DMOs marketing outlets, including social media, print, advertising, website and others.

Since Think Iowa City began using Stackla, the DMO has secured rights for an astounding 120 user-generated photos. To do so, the DMO team utilized both the Rights via Registration and Rights via Response features. The Rights via Registration feature enables the DMO to contact users and ask them to agree to a set of terms and conditions that relinquish photo rights to Think Iowa City. Stackla catalogs registration responses, thereby enabling the DMO to directly download rights-given photos for use.

“I don’t think anyone has ever denied a request. I’ve received every single picture I’ve asked for. We're starting to build a new visitors guide. We’ve found awesome photos with Stackla that we’re going use,” says Middlestaedt.