Catalysts Header Image

New Feature: Add CTAs to Visual Content with Catalysts

We all know that user-generated content draws people to our pages, increases time on site and grows our follower counts more effectively than traditional owned media. Ultimately, though, we need the excitement we build through UGC to lead to a conversion: a purchase, a registration, a booking – an action that provides a valuable return.

That presents an interesting challenge, because in the travel and tourism game, we often need social activity to pay off in real-life experiences. Sure, we want you to drool over photos of that lemon chiffon cruller, but we’re really hoping they’ll motivate you to go taste one for yourself.

So how do we bridge that gap between eye candy and actual candy? Simple: make conversion a natural continuation of the browsing experience.

Get your content ready for action

Catalysts allow you to augment visual content with messaging, CTAs and links that put users on an immediate path to conversion. Whether it’s providing directions to an event space, registration details for a contest or a link to your blog, Catalysts encourage users to explore opportunities in the moment, and generate click-through to your high-value pages.

Since we’re probably all still thinking about doughnuts, let’s fry up a tasty use case for Catalysts, using Travel Portland and the city’s quirkiest confectionery, Voodoo Doughnut, as examples.

Dollars to Doughnuts: Using Catalysts to Drive In-store Purchases

Let’s say Travel Portland is featuring Voodoo Doughnut as part of a food-focused tourism initiative. Living vicariously through photos of over-the-top desserts is basically a national pastime, but it’s important to remind people that they too can experience that jelly-filled joy. To get the conversion oil sizzling, Travel Portland could attach something like this to doughnut-related photos in its social gallery:

Sample Catalyst Copy

Now, whenever users hover over a photo with a Catalyst, they’re met with a simple message.

Catalyst States

Catalyst in Gallery View

A doughnut in hand is worth two in the box

Seeing the photo at full size will no doubt get the salivary glands pumping, and that’s when the conversion process needs to start. As soon as users navigate away from the photo – even if it’s with the intention of learning more about Voodoo Doughnut – there’s a risk that something (an email notification, another open tab, etc.) will take their attention away from planning that trip to the shop. With a Catalyst linking directly to Voodoo’s location page, those outside factors are diminished considerably.

Simply showing them how to get to the shop turns the prospect of getting doughnuts from a faint dream to an easily obtainable reality. For users and marketers alike, starting the conversion process earlier, even in the smallest way, can be pretty sweet.

Catalyst in Fullscreen Mode

Catalyst Linking Out to Website

Closing the conversion loop

Part of what makes UGC marketing such an effective strategy is that social content is a renewable resource. In this example, once people reach sugary nirvana at Voodoo Doughnut, they’re going to share their experiences on social. The photos they post don’t just represent a conversion (the purchase of a doughnut), though, they also become fresh content for your social embeds, starting the cycle all over again.

Catalysts pay you back in conversions and in content – they’re an embarrassment of social riches!

Restarting Catalyst Conversion Cycle

The Catalyst Conversion Loop

This little trip to Imaginationville showed just one of the myriad ways to use Catalysts. To learn how to make your content more conversion-friendly, talk to your account manager. If you don’t have CrowdRiff yet, email us at or hit the button to drop us a line.