Manga (graphic novel) and anime powerhouse VIZ Media is a leader in American Japanese pop culture, publishing and distributing content to half of all Gen Z manga readers. With a diverse audience comprising multiple fandoms, the brand intended to build a more fan-driven website with user-generated content (UGC). Aiming to engage the brand’s sweeping community of readers authentically and reduce internal workload, VIZ Media looked to Pixlee.
Previously, VIZ Media used forums to interact with readers online. To double down on that engagement while drawing their readership closer to the brand, the team needed a solution that would incorporate their fan content on the site. With Pixlee, the brand created a “Fan Zone” gallery of UGC, encouraging their readers to upload photos of their manga collections and outfits inspired by the stories. Since the gallery went live, they've seen a 27.55% year-to-date engagement rate.
“[We were asking ourselves] how do we incorporate fans into our site so they can participate – and how do we, as a team, manage that process? With Pixlee, we’re able to pull from social media, request permission, and sort of streamline the process. This helps us highlight those conversations that are already happening.” - Ryan Crowder, Senior Social Media Manager
Creating community-driven experiences across each fandom required VIZ Media to collect a large volume of high-quality content. WIth a highly engaged community, VIZ media collected almost 50,000 pieces of UGC for commercial use using Pixlee's permissions functionality to easily secure content for all channels.
“Pixlee allows us to ask for permissions in a really streamlined way that helps our team move forward.” - Ryan Crowder, Senior Social Media Manager
Using content catering to the subsections of VIZ’s community allowed the brand to connect with its fans in an authentic way, beyond traditional branded ads and influencer content.
“Our fan communities are sort of a proof of concept for our casual website visitors. If someone comes to check out a series that's really popular, they can see all the cosplay (like a sort of fandom around that property) and they can kind of relate to it more.” - Ryan Crowder, Senior Social Media Manager
VIZ Media was also looking for a way to streamline content collection and remove barriers that typically hindered the company’s efficiency. Not only did the integration of Pixlee unclog tedious workflow, but it also didn’t add additional tasks, allowing UGC to be approved easily internally, and seamlessly showcased online.
“Pixlee minimizes the work my staff has to do. Pixlee has a lot of really great functionality to make UGC work on our site very easily, and doesn't require additional coding. Many of our staff members can jump in and do what needs to be done.” - Ryan Crowder, Senior Social Media Manager
With an easy-to-use platform for staff, Pixlee brought VIZ Media’s community to life online, paving the way for a more engaging digital brand.